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Announced: Voigtlander 35mm F2 Apo-Lanthar

Cosina just announced the Voigtlander 35mm F2 APO-Lanthar.

Specifications

Diameter 63 mm
Length 67 mm
Filter Thread 49 mm
Weight (no hood, no caps) 352g
Max. Magnification 1:6.4
Close Focusing Distance from the sensor 0.35 m
Number of aperture blades 12
Elements/ Groups 11/9

Features

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  • Adopted an apochromat design that makes the on-axis chromatic aberration of RGB, which constitutes the three primary colors of light, as close to zero as possible. A semi-wide-angle lens that doubles as the APO-LANTHAR 50mm F2, a standard lens that pursues ultimate performance. It combines the performance of the best quasi-wide-angle lens in Voigtlander history with the compactness and ease of handling. Main features:
  • Compatible with Sony E mount. Equipped with electronic contacts, the Exif information of shooting data reflects the usage status of the lens. In addition, since it has a built-in distance encoder, it supports 5-axis camera shake correction on the camera body side. It is also possible to enlarge the viewfinder by operating the focus ring.
  • Optimized optical design A full-size image circle is secured and an optical design optimized for the Sony E-mount sensor is adopted. High resolution is maintained up to the periphery of the screen, and phenomena such as color cast are suppressed.
  • apochromatic design to correspond to digital sensors with high pixel current, and thoroughly suppress longitudinal chromatic aberration and lateral chromatic aberration.
  • ball blur 12 sheets squeezed to enjoy the representation aperture blades not only F2 open F2.8, F5.6, adopted a special shape to be circular even F16. It is possible to draw using “ball blur” such as a point light source.
  • Manual focus that enables reliable focusing. By adopting an all-metal helicoid unit that has been processed and adjusted with high precision and high-quality grease that produces appropriate torque, focusing with a smooth operation feeling is realized. Allows for delicate focus adjustment.
  • Aperture click switching mechanism Equipped with an aperture click switching mechanism that can open and close the aperture ring steplessly without generating a click sound. There is no need to worry about picking up the aperture ring operation sound when recording a video.

No surprises here. The 2/35 APO inherits the 2/50 APO’s aperture design, CA correction as well as the mechanical construction we have come to appreciate.

Our Expectations

As Voigtlander lenses have been very consistent in the past and Cosina emphasizes the close relationship to their excellent Voigtlander 2/50 APO we have very high expectations for their 35mm lens. We expect class-leading sharpness and correction of axial CA as well as excellent handling. We are especially curious about the bokeh.

It is funny: The field of E-mount 35mm has been crowded by rather mediocre lenses (by current standards at least) for the last 6 years, with the huge Sigma 1.2/35 being the first optically excellent 35mm to arrive in 2019. But then we got the excellent Sigma 2/35 two months ago (David and Phillip have bought one and are very happy with it. Review coming when it is done) and Sony launched the surprisingly compact GM 1.4/35 to a very loud chorus of praise by sometimes more and sometimes less independent reviewers. And we would be very surprised if the Voigtlander wouldn’t join the ranks of these excellent lenses, giving those who put emphasis on optical perfection an even harder time to decide.

 

FLM Ballheads: a rediscovery

For a few years now I’ve owned an FLM CB-58FTR ballhead. It sits on my largest series 4 tripod, and I’ve liked it up to now, and admired it’s extraordinary engineering. But I discovered something recently. I didn’t know how to use it properly. Not the fancy tilt mechanism that allows you to lock all axes but one, that was fine. Not the fancy switchable indexing on the pan mechanism, I had that down. But the simple act of setting the friction, and locking and unlocking the head.  I had that all wrong. And so did almost everyone on the web. So in the timeless style of first paragraph stings: does this mean that the head is even better than I thought? Spoiler: yes.

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Laowa 14mm f4 Detailed Review

Some people who make photographs aren’t astrophotographers, and nor are they specialist hyper-wide photographers. Did I write some people? Most photographers probably fall into that category. For them, especially if they are travelling, a large fast hyper wide, or one of the excellent hyper wide zooms that are now available, is overkill: too much bulk for too little use. A tiny prime, right in the middle of the hyper wide range, makes a lot of sense. It can sit in a corner of the camera bag without taking up too much space or adding too much weight until it’s needed, and when it is needed, it will reward with easy handling. Is this Laowa the hyper-wide we have been waiting for?

Samples

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Best Astro-Photography Lenses for the Sony A7 series

Introduction

Sony A7s | Batis 18mm 2.8 | f/2.8 | ISO6400 | 20s

Landscape astrophotography is something I have been doing for several years. Luckily over the past few years many lenses have been released that make this task easier than ever. So today we are going to have a look at all the available lenses for your Sony so you can choose the one that works best for your needs.
Last update: November 2020

What is landscape astrophotography?

Sony A7s | Nikon AF-S 20mm 1.8G | f/1.8 | 3 shot panorama |

In landscape astrophotography you will usually try to have a combination of the starry sky (with Milky Way or Northern Lights) as well as some foreground (e.g. landscape) in your frame so we are mostly looking at ultra wide to normal lenses (for stitching) here.

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Olympus E. Zuiko 135mm f/3.5: A review

Introduction

The Olympus E. Zuiko 135mm f/3.5 is a very small but rather slow tele lens which can be found quite cheap nowadays. Is it still good value for money in these days when used on high megapixel cameras?

Sony A7RIII | Olympus E. Zuiko 135mm f/3.5 | f/3.5
Sony A7RIII | Olympus E. Zuiko 135mm f/3.5 | f/5.6
Sony A7RIII | Olympus E. Zuiko 135mm f/3.5 | f/3.5

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