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June 24, 2015
Posted in news

Venus announces the World’s Widest 1:1 Macro Lens (15mm f/4.0).


Bildschirmfoto 2015-06-23 um 21.58.37

Venus optics announced the  World’s Widest 1:1 Macro Lens. It’s a 15mm f/4.0 which comes for both Sony A and E-mount. Image samples can be seen here:

Here is a short video:

Press text:

Anhui China, Jun 12, 2015 – Venus Optics, the Chinese camera lenses manufacturer who had launched the world’s first 2:1 Macro Lens in last Sept, has just released the world’s widest Macro lens for full frame cameras, Laowa 15mm f/4 Wide-Angled 1:1 Macro Lens.

The new Laowa 15mm f/4 1:1 Macro lens is the first lens in the market which posseses a ultra wide angle of view and 1:1 Macro ability. This allows photographers from around the world to start experiencing the rather undeveloped field of ‘Wide Angle Macro Photography’ without using an extension tube. Macro Lenses currently in the market tends to have a mid to long focal length and it limits users to take very close-up shots on the insect or flowers, without showing much of the background details like its habitat or environment.

The new Laowa 15mm f/4 1:1 Macro lens features an ultra wide angle of view of 110 degrees with 1:1 maximum magnification. Photographers can focus very close to the subject and let the foreground dominates in the photo but at the same time, have the background telling viewers about where and how the subject lives. You picture will immdiately become very informative and intriguing.

The lens can also serve as an excellent ultra-wide angle lenses with infinity focus for cameras with full frame sensors. A shift mechanism is added at the rear end of the lens with a maximum adjustment of +/- 6mm, which is extremely useful for landscape/architecture photography for distortion correction.

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The lens houses with 12 elements in 9 groups with 3 pieces of High Refractive elements and 1 piece of Extra-low dispersion elements to deliver crystal sharpness both in the center and the edge. Barrel Distortion was also carefully controlled. 14 pieces of aperture blades form a close-to-circular aperture, capable of creating creamy shallow depth of view. The enclosure of the lens is made of metal to strengthen its durability. Canon EF, Nikon F, Sony Alpha, Sony FE and Pentax K mounts are available.

Sample photos and videos can be found in our English website (

Pricing and Availability
The Laowa 15mm f/4 wide-angle macro lens is currently available at authorized resellers and at the English official website ( The recommended retail price is at USD 479. Free shipping will be provided during the

Bildschirmfoto 2015-06-23 um 21.59.12

June 24, 2015
Posted in news

Sam Shapson posts the first narrative film shoot in moonlight with the A7s.

REFUGE // A Moonlit Short Film
from Sam Shapson on Vimeo.

Sam Shapson sent me this mail to share his first narrative film shoot in moonlight with the Sony A7s:

My name is Sam Shapson, and I’m a young director with a new project I’m really excited to share online this Tuesday. I saw your article for Carbon Studios “Moonlight” on your website, and I’m thinking my project might just be up your alley.
Its a short film called Refuge, and its the first narrative film ever to be exclusively lit by moonlight.
My team and I shot it over two nights deep in the mountains in the dead of night. With the Sony A7s set to 51,200 ISO, I was able to capture a 6 minute Scifi Thriller set against the ethereal misty mountains of the Angeles National Forest.
I was blown away by what the guys at Carbon Studios pulled off with their “Moonlight | Sony A7s” video and I felt compelled to apply what they’d accomplished to narrative. Working with my good friend and AFI Grad, Derek Stuckert, we developed a story that called for a visceral, otherworldly experience that I believe made the most of the technology. Meanwhile my DP — Barry Elmore, a fellow Columbia College Chicago alumn — went out with me for test after test to see how far the technology could be pushed while staying pure to our goal. After concluding that we would bring no lights, we found that large bounce cards would be absolutely key. This allowed us to literally bounce moonlight to fill in the deep shadows cast on the talents faces.
So then, after tracking the moon and weather for several months, it finally came time for production. Lemme just say that while producing a low-budget, two night shoot in a remote location is one thing, doing so without allowing ANY light spill whatsoever is something completely different. Miraculously, my team and I managed to get everything we needed while avoiding any light from astronomical twilight, city spill, or our flashlights — which we generally discouraged using to keep our eyes dilated. It was seriously an incredibly thrilling experience that I’ll never forget.
I’m hitting you up because I’m looking for journalists whose reader base might dig this kind of thing. If you’re at all curious, I’d be willing to share a private pre-release link with you to take a look for yourself!
Let me know what you think. And either way, I appreciate your time!

Sony A7s store links:
Sony A7s in USA/CA at Amazon, Adorama, BHphoto, Sony USA, Sony Canada.
Sony A7s in Eu at Sony DE, UK, ES, FR, IT, NL, BE, AT, CH, SE, NO, FI, PL. And Wex UK.
A7s Gariz leather case in Black (Click here), Brown (Click here), Red (Click here) and Orange (Click here).

June 23, 2015
Posted in news

Let’s help out Sony: Tell them what FE lenses they should make as next!

In an interview at Dpreview Sony said they are working on:
1) Telephoto FE lenses
2) Fast FE primes
3) f/2.8 zooms

So, let them now on out comment system what are the three FE lenses they should come up as next! I will sum up your suggestions in a POLL to be posted in 1-2 weeks.

I will be the first to start with my three suggestions:
50mm f/1.4
150mm f/2.8
24-70mm f/2.8

June 23, 2015
Posted in news

Sony Tidbits…

Diving in Komodo National Park onboard Alexa – Sony A7II (via SonyAlphaForum).

For German readers: at 10:00 you have a Gold Box on the Rokinon 8mm E-mount lens in Black (Click here) and Silver (Click here).
Year of the Alpha (Zeiss Blog).
Hands-On Review: Sony FE PZ 28-135mm f/4 G OSS Lens (Explora).
Sony A7II w/ Olympus 100mm f2 (SonyAlphaForum).
Sony Ultra Wide Converter SEL075UWC Review (ePhotozine).
4K Battle: Sony FDR X1000V Vs. GoPro Hero 4 Silver (Actioncamerarumors).
Sony Fisheye Converter SEL057FEC Review (ePhotozine).
Sony RX1 – Maintaining its Relevance (SonyAlphaForum).

June 22, 2015
Posted in news

Sony manager Kimio Maki and Mark Weir: A7rII is not “crippled” as the Canon 5DS!

Dpreview posted the full interview with the Sony Senior General Manager of the Digital Imaging Business Group Kimio Maki and Sony US manager Mark Weir. Here are some of the key info:


1) Sensor:
To create a balance between resolution and ISO sensitivity. Usually, if you increase resolution, you have to sacrifice sensitivity. To achieve both we created a full-frame back-side illuminated sensor. We needed resolution of 40MP+ and we also needed ISO sensitivity greater than 6400, and in order to achieve that balance, this [BSI CMOS] technology is necessary. Once you’ve gathered the light, improving processing speed is an important issue, so we changed the wiring inside the sensor from aluminum to copper, and reversed the structure. So we’ve improved the resolution and the ISO sensitivity over the original a7R.

2) About the Canon 5ds:
We wanted to overcome the idea that has been prevalent since as long as there have been digital cameras, that you can have one virtue [resolution] or the other [sensitivity] but you can never have both. Look at the Canon EOS 5DS. A maximum ISO sensitivity of 6400, and crippled movie capability. Canon says that it intentionally created the camera to fit the requirements of certain photographers, and [has thereby demonstrated] that the material science of their device technology [cannot] accomplish both objectives. 

3) About the RAW compression:
Right now it is the same, yes. We’re still working on it. In the future we may change the software but that’s not completed yet. We have consumers who require 14-bit etc., and we’re considering [how to deal with it]. 

4) About the competition:
As you know we don’t have the same history [as some of our competitors] in the camera market, so if we just did the same thing as Canon and Nikon we’d lose. Because we don’t have the same brand image as a camera maker. So we have to think about what the consumer needs.
The customer’s voice is the most important data for me, when we’re creating a new product. Of course when we create a new camera we look at competitive products as a reference, but the most important thing is the voice of the customers.

5) DSLR advantage over mirrorless:
That advantage is getting smaller and smaller. I don’t know when we will [surpass] that technology but we will do our best.

6) Lenses:
Our lenses have to be better than Canon’s. That is my mission. We have already made a 35mm F1.4 and 90mm macro – both were based on customer’s requirements, and also we have a full F4 zoom lineup, so our next lenses will be at the upper end of the lineup. And also aperture. A F2.8 lineup is necessary, and brighter [primes].


To sum up the good news: Sony is likely listening to the customers and that means that better RAW files, faster primes, telephoto lenses and f/2.8 zooms. It’s also important to underline how Sony is sure that Mirrorless will soon close the gap with DSLR cameras. Which also means their A-mount system would become “redundant” when this happens.

A7rII and RX camera preorder list:
A7rII at Amazon, BHphoto, Adorama, Uniquephoto.
RX10m2 at Amazon, BHphoto, Adorama, Uniquephoto.
RX100m4 at Amazon, BHphoto, Adorama, Uniquephoto.
In Europe at:
A7rII at Sony DE, FR, IT, ES, NL, BE, CH, AT, SE, FI, NO, PT. Wex UK.
RX100m4 at DE, FR, IT, ES, NL, BE, CH, AT, SE, FI, NO, PT. Wex UK.
RX10m2 at DE, FR, IT, ES, NL, BE, CH, AT, SE, FI, NO, PT. Wex UK.

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