January 9, 2012
Posted in rumors

(Boring) lenses coming from Sigma for NEX. And a new Alpha mount lens.


Sigma is about to launch two new unspectacular lenses for the NEX system. The 19mm f/2.8 lens which at least from the size point of view is less interesting than the Sony 16mm f/2.8 pancake lens. And the 30mm macro lens which isn’t really a lens we needed since we already have the Sony 30mm f/3.5 lens. Damn Sigma, you should have done it better! You alreayd amke some awesome lens for Alpha mount! Like that nice 50mm f/1.5 for example. Next time ask SAR readers what they want ;)

Here is the press release text:

Sigma 19mm f/2.8 EX DN: Sigma’s new 19mm f/2.8 EX DN has the effective FOV of a 38mm lens on a full-frame DSLR, which should appeal to street photographers and photojournalists.  Regardless of your choice of camera, the Sigma 19mm f/2.8 EX DN features eight elements in six groups that include three aspheric lens surfaces to correct optical distortions, color aberration and unwanted field curvature. The new lens also sports an internal focusing system and Super Multi-layer coating to reduce flare and ghosting while maintaining high contrast levels even when set at wider apertures. Other features include a new linear AF motor that eliminates mechanical gears or drives for quicker, near-silent focusing, seven rounded diaphragm blades for an attractive blur in out-of-focus areas, a 46mm filter thread, and a minimum focusing distance of 7.9″ (20cm).

Sigma 30mm f/2.8 EX DN: Extending a mere 1.5″ (38.6mm) from the front of the camera is Sigma’s new 30mm f/2.8 EX DN. This lens has a full-frame equivalent FOV of a 60mm lens when used on a NEX format mirrorless camera. The new Sigma 30mm f/2.8 EX DN features seven elements in five groups including dual aspheric lenses and a double-sided aspheric lens that help control edge sharpness and chromatic aberration. As with Sigma’s new 19mm f/2.8 EX DN lens, the new 30mm f/2.8 EX DN lens includes Sigma’s newly developed linear AF system for smoother and quieter operation, Super Multi-Layer coating for optimized contrast levels and reduced flare, a 46mm filter thread, internal focusing and a minimum focusing distance of 11.8″ (30cm).


And than there is that new Sigma’s APO Macro 180mm f/2.8 EX DG OS HSM lens. It is the fastest 180mm macro lens on the market today, by about a half a stop. But the specialness of Sigma’s new high-speed macro goes beyond its f/2.8 maximum aperture.

Press release:

Shooting close-ups can be tricky, most notably when trying to capture life-size close-ups of skittish animals and insects without spooking them, or close-ups of small objects without casting your shadow on your subject. The longer focal length of Sigma’s 180mm f/2.8 EX DG OS HSM does away with many of these issues by allowing you to step back from your subject. The longer focal length also reduces optical distortions, which can be problematic when shooting close-ups, and also allows you isolate your subject from distracting foreground and background details, especially when used at its closest focusing points at wider apertures.

In addition to highly detailed life-size (1:1) image capture, Sigma’s 180mm f/2.8 EX DG OS HSM features three FLD glass elements, a floating internal focusing system, Super Multi-Layer coating, Sigma’s OS image stabilizing system, which enables the use of shutter speeds approximately four stops less than usually possible when shooting handheld, Hyper-Sonic AF focusing motors and a rounded nine-blade diaphragm for attractive bokeh.

January 9, 2012
Posted in rumors

(SR5) Sony delays the A99 launch :(

I have many new rumors I am working on but one of them is actually a bad news. That’s why I start with this. I learned from my TOP sources that Sony delayed the A99 launch. Reason for the delay is the (again) Thai flood. Sony needs time to evaluate the A77 customer response and the A77 production delay will not allow them to launch the A99 in Spring as originally planned. Instead the A99 will be launched in September at the Photokina show in Cologne. To make it worse the whole Sony FF roadmap has been shifted forward, this means the second FF camera (with integrated vertical grip) will probably hit the market in early 2013 only.
The A77 will be 100% available eveywhere in March. Right now you can find few cameras only at Amazon DE (Click here), Amazon Japan (Click here), with shipment in USA in March only (Click here), and overpriced on eBay (Click here).

Now guys, like you I am also in a bad mood because of this news. I understand that Sony has a very good reason for delaying the A99, and sincerely they really cannot afford to repeat some of the early A77 bugs experience on a camera that is supposed to appeal the pro market. But Nikon (with the D4) and Canon (with the 5DmarkIII coming in February) are pushing forward and Sony really has to come BIG at Photokina otherwise they will miss the train. In general Sony should decide first if they want to be a serious contender in the FF market and than develop a clear and reliable product strategy. I believe Sony has the technical knowledge to challenge Nikon and Canon. But they should really start to make us “feel” they are serious with FF.

A couple of suggestions:
– New sensor technology with quantum leap forward is needed. That would allow to create a massive advantage over current Canon-Nikon cameras. See what’s going to happen with the new Fuji sensor technology tonight to see how this will create a huge buzz.
– Push super video quality on FF cameras. it’s something that will hurt Nikon.
– More top quality FF lenses. A top lens system matters!
– The camera specs should not only look good on paper but work for real from the very first day
– Make a fullframe mirrorless system. Again, create an advantage over Nikon and Canon like they did with the NEX-7.

In sum Sony, make it right at Photokina…create a historical event! It’s the only way to win credibility! And one more message to my readers. To cheer you up I can share you right now that other rumors I will post soon are very positive :)

P.S.: The A900 which was marked as “discontinued” is now “in Stock” at Amazon (Click here) and Bhphoto (Click here).

January 8, 2012
Posted in news

Image leak of the new compact cameras.

I know this is not the kind of news you particularly like but it’s just a proof that you should not expect new NEX and SLT stuff. The images on top do show the three new Sony compact camera that are going to be announced at the CES show on Monday. The W610, W620, W650.

The reason for Sony not announcing any new “serious” camera stuff is the production delay because of the Thai flood. First they have to go back to full production capability. As I already told you now even the NEX-5n is facing some serious stock shortage. From all new cameras the A65 is the only one in Stock at Amazon (Click here) and BHphoto (Click here) and if I am not wrong the NEX-7 is in Stock at Fotomundus.

A bit of free Advertising: Probably the “Only” real new interesting camera announcement is coming form Fuji. neither Canon nor Nikon (a part of the D4) nor Panasonic really have to show somethign new. You can follow the announcement live on Monday at MirrorlessRumors (Click here) at 9pm London time.

In Stock status check:
A77 at Amazon, B&H, Adorama, J&R, eBay
A65 at Amazon, B&H, Adorama, J&R, eBay.
Sony NEX-7 Amazon, B&H, Adorama, J&R, eBay.
Sony NEX-5n Amazon, B&H, Adorama, J&R, eBay.
Zeiss 24mm f/1.8 Amazon, B&H, Adorama, J&R, eBay.
Sony 50mm f/1.8 Amazon, B&H, Adorama, J&R, eBay.
Sony 55-210mm Amazon, B&H, Adorama, J&R, eBay.
NEX-5n viewfinder Amazon, B&H, Adorama, J&R, eBay.

January 7, 2012
Posted in news

Sony Tidbits…(with SAR readers work)

Here is a collection of news and mails I got from SAR readers:

Kelly: “Hello! I just wanted to let you know that DxO v7 is now available for purchase. A very important note for current DxO v6 users – if they log into their dxo.com account and look for an upgrade link, it will save them a lot of money. Instead of paying 200 euros to upgrade, I only had to pay 50 euros. (Thanks Kelly!).”

A.:I´m a Video-sub Diver from Spain and a writer about underwater filming at www.forobuceo.com. I´m  testing the faboulous Sony NEX VG 20:
Videos about the NEX 20:

Anonymous: The local paper here in Melbourne, Australia, and probably syndicated to/from the Sydney Morning Herald, has a curious little article on sensor size which strangely turns into a brief review of the A77. http://www.theage.com.au/digital-life/cameras/the-difference-sensor-size-makes-to-a-camera-20111123-1ntds.html

Jermey:I’ve made a new video test about the noise management between the Sony A77 and the Sony NEX 5N: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VVBJ5bVRabo. My next video test will be about the noise management and aliasing between the Canon 5D and the Sony A77.

A77 review from David Tayor-Hughes at Soundimagesplus.

Henrik:I made a video on Kyoto using the Sony a65 alongside the Canon 5dii, which I think really shows off the video capabilities of the a65. About half the cuts are from each camera, with the handheld shots done using the a65 due to its in-body stabilization, and the “flying” shots done using the 5dii mounted on a glidecam. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fgDyTK0Rz6w

Mike Kobal: “portraits link
travel snaps with Nex 5n and A77
and fashion shoot with A77
that is so cool you shot a documentary in kibera, no video for me :(”

OZ:A77 & A65 Gallery from 1000 flickr user http://www.flickr.com/groups/a77/discuss/72157627947591387/

Sony LA-EA2 test at DC.watch.

2012 Sony World Photography Awards Will Be Held In London (ePhotozine).

NEX E30 Macro Prime Vs E18-55 Kit Zoom Shootout (RiceHigh).

Sony A35 review at macworld.

Erfahrungen mit der Sony NEX-FS100 at Slashcam.de.

Sony A65 review at Whatdigitalcamera (Click here). The camera gets the “Gold Award”! The reviewer writes: “There’s no doubt that the A65 faces some stiff, established competition, but it’s the A65 that delivers the best all-round blend of features, performance and image quality. It’s a great camera that deserves real consideration.

Kiril:I wrote a short article how to use off camera flash with NEX 3 and 5 series. http://karaatanasov.info/index.php?entry=entry111229-221046

January 7, 2012
Posted in reviews

Short tutorial: Which third party lenses will work fine on NEX cameras (without lens cast issue).

Image from Photozone. Also the famous lens review website noticed the lens-cast issue on the Zeiss 35mm f/2.8 ZM.

A week ago I got my NEX-7 and I am going to use third party lenses on it (by using appropriate adapters). But is it really so easy and flawless to use whatever lens you want on your NEX?

There are is one fundamental thing you have to watch out before to chose your lens. The “lens-cast” issue which creates color shift (mostly cyan shift) in the corners of your image. That problem appears or is stronger under following conditions:
1) Lenses with symmetrical design are not optimized for digital sensors, while lenses with tele-centric design do work well.
2) Wide angle lenses do accentuate the problem.
3) Problem gets worse on bigger sensor. Leica M9 shows more color shifting than the NEX-5n.
4) Problem gets more visible on cameras with smaller pixels. The NEX-5n has less problem with lens cast than the NEX-7.

Example: The Voigtländer 15mm f/4.5 M-mount lens (Click here to see it on ebay) does a wonderful job on film cameras but isn’t that good on the NEX-5n and completely sucks on the NEX-7. This because it has a symmetrical design and extreme wide angle. Does it mean you cannot use it on your NEX? There is a solution: The problem can be fixed with the use of the CornerFix software (there are both Windows and Mac OS X versions). It can correct Sony RAW files and transforms them in DNG files.

But if you like me don’t have time to convert every single file than you have to really watch out for the design of the lens you want.An alternative for the Voigtländer is the Zeiss 18mm f/4.0 lens (Click here to see it on ebay). Unlike the Voigtländer it has a tele-centric optical design. Those lenses are usually bigger than symmetrical lenses. That’s why the Zeiss is still bigger even if it has more or less the same aperture of the Voigländer.

In general wide angle Voigtländer lenses, Zeiss ZM Biogon lenses, Older Leica lenses come with symmetrical design. All new Leica lenses, most medium and tele lenses and soem Zeiss ZM lenses will work fine. With the help of our readers I will now collect info about a huge variety of lenses you could use on your NEX. It should become a sort of general guide to see how good a lens works on NEX cameras. I will post 1-2 guides per week starting from the next week.

To read more about the problem read that short text at LL (Click here), the guide at Digitalhapeman (Click here) and an M-mount index at Ken Rockwell (Click here).

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