Here’s a little gear porn to keep your G.A.S. revving this Thursday. Japanese lens manufacturer Tamron has officially announced that it is working on a 150-600mm f/5-6.3 ultra-telephoto zoom lens that will replace the company’s current 200-500mm lens and become the longest focal length zoom in its lineup. Read more…
If camera manufacturers were high school boys, building super telephoto zooms would be their equivalent of a pissing contest to see who can shoot the farthest or most accurately. Sports photographers would arrive at the stadium packing the biggest lens to win bragging rights, acting like Arnold Schwarzenegger slinging his Gatling gun in Terminator. But Canon’s super telephoto zoom, the EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM, is getting long in the tooth, and it’s time to say, “hasta la vista, baby” to that lens.
Canon Singapore has published a first photograph of the long-awaited Canon 200-400mm f/4L IS Extender 1.4x, which, as its name suggests, includes a built-in 1.4x teleconverter. The photo was shared with this caption:
Be one of the first to check out the soon to be launched EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Extender 1.4x at the EOS Experience Roadshow happening this weekend! We’ll be at Cathay Orchard Cineleisure this 4-6 January from 11am-10pm! See you there!
Sounds like the lens is indeed close to hitting store shelves after being announced in February 2011. It’ll reportedly cost around $11,000.
(via Canon via Canon Rumors)
You know that beastly Sigma 200-500mm that we’ve featured twice in the past two days? Turns out it’s headed to the World Series to be used for some pretty ground-breaking imagery. A post today by Jakob Schiller over at Wired fills in some interesting details on what the lens will be used for.
Nikon’s massive 800mm f/5.6 super-telephoto lens hasn’t been launched yet, but English press photographer Leon Neal was given the enviable opportunity to play around with a pre-release copy at the London Olympic Games. After shooting two sessions at the aquatics center with the beastly piece of glass, Neal published a blog post with some sample photos and thoughts on how the lens performs:
The shot above is an unsharpened 100% crop of the frame below with no noise reduction applied. As you can see, not only has the lens done a pretty good job of tracking but the D4 has provided good results at 4000ISO. Image stabilisation seemed subtle with no obvious “clunk” as it kicked in like some lenses. The only discernible giveaway was the soft purr of the IS motor disengaging after I took my finger off the trigger. Likewise, the effect of the stabilisation was equally subtle with only a barely noticeable delay when looking through the viewfinder at a subject.
Head on over to Neal’s blog to read his short review.
Nikon 800mm f5.6 preview (via Nikon Rumors)
Image credits: Photographs by Leon Neal
This is, in fact, the proper way to carry the Nikkor 1200-1700mm f/5.6-8.0 super telephoto lens. Weighing in at 36 pounds and measuring nearly 3 feet in length, the manual focus lens was introduced in 1993 and had a hefty price tag of $60,000. It would be interesting to see how it stacks up against the magical Sigma 200-500mm.
(via MIR and Reddit)
Photo enthusiast Chris Malcolm needed a better way to aim his 500mm lens at fast moving subjects (e.g. birds in flight), so he upgraded his lens with a DIY sighting aid by attaching a non-magnified red dot sight:
They’re designed to clamp onto a gun sight wedge mount, so some kind of adapter is required. I played with the hot shoe mount, but it was too flexible — the sight needed re-zeroing at every mount, and was easily knocked out of calibration. The degree of precision required to aim the central focus sensor at the target via the dot also made parallax error a problem on the hot shoe. So I decided to mount it directly on the lens. Least parallax error, plus the geometry of the lens barrel and the sight mount naturally lines it up with the lens. To protect the lens barrel I glued the sight clamp to a cardboard tube slightly too small, slit open to provide a sprung grab on the lens body. The slit also handily accommodates the focus hold button on the lens barrel.
Malcolm reports that the site “works amazingly well”, making it “trivially easy to aim the lens at anything very quickly”.
Once your lenses get to a certain level of awesomeness, you have to start carrying them like bazookas. Can anyone identify the two lenses found in this photograph?
(via The Phoblographer)
Over at Leica User Forum, member dkpeterborough wrote a series of posts detailing how he and a fellow member of the Peterborough Photographic Society named Tony Lovell created a beastly 900mm lens. The lens uses optics salvaged from a government flight simulator projector lens, and cost only hundreds of pounds in parts (comparable lenses cost thousands).
If you want a lens with a similar range for a similar price, but don’t have the technical know-how to make your own, check out this Opteka 800mm mirror lens on Amazon that sells for $200.
Home made 900mm lens (via Reddit)