Rather than being built from scratch with new designs, new camera lenses are designed by taking existing lens designs that work well and then improving on them. As a result, virtually every lens design can be traced back to one of six basic lens designs developed in the early 1900s (shown above). Roger Cicala of LensRentals writes,
Those original lenses in their pure form each had strengths and weaknesses. Modern lenses derived from them have ‘inherited’ those same underlying tendencies. Many of the complex technologies used in a modern lens are put there to correct the underlying problems of the original design.
Head on over to his post to learn about lenses derived from the first three of these designs.
If you had any doubts that Leica’s new M9-P is simply the M9 given a cosmetic makeover, get this: Leica is offering to upgrade any customer’s M9 camera into an M9-P. For the low Leica-esque price of $1,995, the company will give your camera “sapphire glass” for your LCD screen and a new top cover without the famous Leica red dot. If only upgrading to the latest DSLR were this easy!
One of the things you’ve likely seen when looking at product or review pages for lenses is an MTF chart, used by manufacturers to give consumers an idea of how sharp a particular lens is. If you’ve never gotten around to learning how to interpret these charts, here’s a helpful 10-minute video tutorial on the subject. Luminous Landscape and Cambridge in Colour have great tutorials on this as well if you’re more comfortable with text-based tutorials.
We’ve seen all kinds of ideas for keeping track of your camera’s lens cap when it’s not being used, including velcro, special mounts, fashionable pouches, and even a retractable cap, but Nikon has come up with the best idea yet: a lens cap that attaches to camera straps! A patent filed by the company in 2009 and published yesterday shows a lens cap that can easily clip onto a strap when not in use — a simple solution to a small problem that apparently many entrepreneurs have been interested in solving. Sorry, but Nikon wins this one.
The Arizona Republic features photographer Michael McNamara shot this photo of his camera bag showing the gear he uses for his work. His photographs are used for food, fashion, and lifestyle pieces, and usually requires lighting.
I use a Think Tank Photo Airport Security roller. I use a Canon 5D mk2 and a 1D mk2N for my bodies. I have the standard 16-35, 24-70 and 70-200 zooms, and also have a 50 macro, 100 macro (both for food), 50 1.4 and an 85 1.8 (mainly for portraits). I have a 580EXII and five 550EX strobes.
The “Holy Trinity” of Canon zoom lenses and six strobes. Lovely.
Camera innards are often shown in cross section diagrams, but here’s a Sony Alpha camera and lens that were actually sliced cleanly down the middle (we’re guessing a lightsaber was involved). The build quality of the lens definitely looks cheaper than the sliced Leica lenses we shared last week (as it should). Brownie points if you can identify both the camera model and the lens.
Photography lens manufacturers use all sorts of abbreviations and acronyms to explain the features of their lenses. In an effort to educate use, the photography lens manufacturers really just confuse us. Hopefully you’ll understand a bit about the different lens feature abbreviations by reading this post. Read more…
Check out this wacky-looking custom lens cap designed by Japanese corp UN for the Olympus XZ-1. Many compact cameras don’t offer too much protection for the lens glass when the camera is off and the lens retracted (usually it’s a small plastic cover/curtain), so there are quite a few camera users that might benefit from a cap like this one. It’s secured to the front of the XZ-1 using an Allen key, and is pushed open when the lens extends from the body. When the camera is turned off, the cap automatically folds back into place to protect the glass. It’s supposedly available for about $90 if you email the company directly.