Expectations and additional information are now available on the Sony FE PZ 16-35mm F4 G Lens page.
B&H is indicating that June 24th is the estimated ship date.
In this video, Canon Explorer of Light Laretta Houston tells about one of her favorite high fashion photoshoots.
Learn more about this camera and lens:
A considerable amount of information is now available on the Sony FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM II Lens page.
The version I and version II lens MTF comparison is especially interesting.
From a specifications perspective, here is the Sony FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM II Lens compared to the Sony FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM Lens.
Preorders begin at 10:00 AM ET on Thu, Apr 28th. I expect this lens to be hard to get for a long time and recommend preordering immediately at that time.
Sony Electronics Introduces New FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM II, the World’s Smallest and Lightest F2.8 Standard Zoom Lens
Newest G Master™ Series Lens in Sony’s Mirrorless E-mount Lineup with Industry-leading Optical Design, Unique Actuator Technologies, Advanced Autofocus and More
SAN DIEGO, CA – April 27, 2022 – Sony Electronics Inc. announced today the 67th lens in its mirrorless E-mount lineup – the highly-anticipated, FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM II (model – SEL2470GM2). Sony developed the world’s lightest F2.8 standard zoom lens[i] using its leading lens technology to deliver stunning resolution and beautiful bokeh known to Sony’s “G Master” series. The FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM II is one of the most versatile lenses in the line-up and was created for photographers, videographers, and hybrid content creators.
“Six years have passed since Sony released the first 24-70 mm F2.8 G Master and in that time, our customers’ needs have changed,” said Yang Cheng, Vice President, Imaging Solutions, Sony Electronics Inc. “We are always listening to our community and have designed the new FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM II around feedback from creators. Knowing the 24-70 mm focal length is extremely popular, it was imperative that we continue improving to bring our most advanced technology to such a critical lens in our customers’ kit. Today, we are thrilled to introduce the world’s smallest and lightest F2.8 standard zoom lens.”
Evolved Image Quality in a Zoom Lens that Rivals Prime Lenses[i]
The FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM II is great for a compact yet versatile set up and allows users to capture extremely sharp, detailed imagery for both stills and video. The new lens features high resolution across the frame—even with the aperture wide open. A completely redesigned optical path features five aspherical elements, including two high-precision XA (extreme aspherical) elements. The FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM II also includes two ED (extra-low dispersion) plus two Super ED glass elements. Combined with a new floating focus mechanism, the lens effectively controls chromatic aberration, astigmatism, distortion and coma so that outstanding resolution is achieved throughout the image area at all zoom and aperture settings.
Even when shooting in challenging lighting conditions, the FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM II achieves excellent clarity by effectively subduing flare and ghosting. This is thanks to Sony’s original Nano AR Coating II, which produces a uniform anti-reflecting coating on the lens surface. The FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM II produces stunning bokeh throughout the zoom range with beautiful and almost perfectly circular bokeh with its advanced optical design and a newly developed 11-blade aperture unit.
In this new 24-70 mm design, this lens delivers outstanding close-up performance with a minimum focusing distance of 8.25 inches (0.21 meters) at 24 mm and 12 inches (0.30 meters) at 70 mm, and with a maximum magnification of 0.32x.
Fast and Precise Autofocus
The FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM II achieves reliable focus by using four of Sony’s original XD (extreme dynamic) Linear Motors, a floating focus mechanism and advanced lens control – even when shooting a fast-moving subject. In addition, the lens supports up to 30 fps[ii] continuous shooting for stills and 4K 120p video recording with autofocus.
The FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM II enables full AF tracking performance even when shooting stills with the aperture stopped down, making it possible to use deeper depth of field to ensure that moving subjects remain in sharp focus when shooting continuously[iii]. The lens’ AF tracking performance while zooming is approximately two times better than the previous model[iv].
Refined Capabilities for Creative Filmmaking
With its constant F2.8 maximum aperture, astounding AF performance, versatile control, and solid reliability, the FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM II is designed for all types of video applications. The FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM II offers extremely quiet AF operation, thanks to the XD Linear Motors and a newly developed aperture unit. Using the latest lens technology, the FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM II reduces focus breathing, focus shift and axial shift when zooming for smooth video footage. This lens also supports the breathing compensation function[v] provided in compatible Alpha series cameras.
As an added benefit for advanced video creation, the newest lens includes Linear Response MF (manual focus) that ensures high repeatability when focusing manually as the focus ring responds directly and repeatedly to subtle control. It also includes an aperture ring making manual aperture/iris control fast, direct, and easy. The dedicated iris ring enables click-less control to achieve smooth depth of field transitions.
Designed to perfectly pair with Sony’s compact Alpha™ system E-mount cameras, the FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM II is the world’s smallest and lightesti 24-70 mm F2.8 zoom in its class and offers unprecedented shooting flexibility and freedom in a wide range of situations. The FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM II weighs just 24.6 ounces (695 grams), approximately 20% less (7 ounces) than the original 24-70 mm F2.8 G Master. The lens’ length has been reduced by 16 mm, and overall volume has been reduced by approximately 18%.
Reliability and Improved Control
The new FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM II was developed based on feedback from professionals to offer even better control and usability than preceding models. This model includes:
Pricing and Availability
The new FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM II will be available in June for approximately $2,300.00 USD and $3,000.00 CAD and will be sold at a variety of Sony’s authorized dealers throughout North America.
Preorders begin at 10:00 AM ET on Thu, Apr 28th. I expect this lens to be hard to get for a long time and recommend preordering immediately at that time.
Watch the Sony FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM II Lens page for more information.
A product video of the new FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM II
[i] MTF chart comparison
[ii] When paired with the Alpha 1. “Hi+” continuous shooting mode. Effective at 1/125 seconds or higher shutter speed. In AF-C mode at shutter speed of 1/250 seconds or higher. The maximum continuous frame rate will depend on the shooting mode.
[iii] With a compatible camera and the camera’s [Aperture Drive in AF] parameter set to [Focus Priority]. See Sony’s support page on the web for camera compatibility info.
[iv] Sony tests. Compared to SEL2470GM.
[v] Compatibility info at: https://www.sony.net/dics/breathing/ Available in movie mode only. Angle of view and image quality may change slightly when this function is used. Compensation may not be able to cover all situations.
[vi] Not guaranteed to be 100% dust and moisture proof
I spent part of last week cleaning up the currently available vs. out of stock and discontinued status of the lenses on the site, saying farewell to an especially large number of Canon EF lenses. While some of those lenses should have been discontinued a long time ago, it was sad and nostalgic to let others go.
The bottom line is that, as I said recently, it is time to make the move to mirrorless.
Here is the bottom 10 list in oldest to youngest sequence.
|Model||Year Introduced|| |
|Canon TS-E 90mm f/2.8 Tilt-Shift Lens||1991||  B&H | Adorama | Amazon|
|Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM Lens||1992||  B&H | Adorama | Amazon|
|Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM Lens||1993||  B&H | Adorama | Amazon|
|Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM Lens||1996||  B&H | Adorama | Amazon|
|Canon MP-E 65mm Macro Lens||1999||  B&H | Adorama | Amazon|
|Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III USM Lens||1999||  B&H | Adorama | Amazon|
|Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM Lens||2003||  B&H | Adorama | Amazon|
|Canon EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM Lens||2004||  B&H | Adorama | Amazon|
|Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM Lens||2004||  B&H | Adorama | Amazon|
|Canon EF 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6L IS USM Lens||2004||  B&H | Adorama | Amazon|
Perhaps my biggest surprise in the above list is that the Canon TS-E 90mm f/2.8 Tilt-Shift Lens is still on the shelf. The Canon TS-E 90mm f/2.8L Tilt-Shift Macro Lens has a feature superset and optical performance far surpassing the old lens. While the L lens's price also far surpasses the old TS-E 90, the 30-year-old lens that won't go away is still rather expensive.
The Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM Lens has long been a great value portrait lens, offering good build and image quality and quick USM AF for a low price. 85mm image quality has come a long way since this lens's inception.
While the Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM Lens produces soft image quality at wide apertures, it is a small and affordable lens. For years, this was the best Canon lens available in this favorite focal length.
The Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM Lens's ultra-wide aperture and fast AF made it a first choice for its low light and background blur performance. L-grade build quality combined with a relatively low price added to this lens's appeal. This lens's image quality was greatly loved but now surpassed.
The Canon MP-E 65mm Macro Lens is a unique, fun lens that has relatively low popularity.
The Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III USM Lens is a great (cheap) option for the manufacturer to add to a camera kit to make the buyer thinks they are getting a better deal.
We loved the Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM Lens when it arrived. Eventually, the Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM Lens arrived with dramatically better image quality. The 17-40 should have been retired many years ago from an image quality perspective. However, it offers an ultra-wide-angle L-zoom lens option to the budget-constrained photographer.
Since its inception, the Canon EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM Lens has been a good general-purpose lens option for the APS-C kit. This lens features good image quality, a great range of focal lengths, decent build quality, image stabilization, and USM AF.
There is no Canon equivalent to the EF 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6L IS USM Lens. While this lens has L-series goodness, a size, weight, and image quality penalty is paid for the long focal length range.
That concludes the 2022 roundup of the oldest Canon lenses.
What was the newest Canon lens to be discontinued? That would be the Canon EF 24-105mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM Lens, formerly the optimal budget full-frame DSLR kit lens.
Canon has released first quarter 2022 financial results to the Investor Relations page.
Imaging System Relevant Quotes from the Presentation Material
During the quarter, countries prioritized economic activity even as the Omicron variant spread Despite this, the global economy outlook became increasingly unclear due to accelerated inflation caused by supply shortages as well as the Ukraine issues.
In response to continuing parts shortages and logistical constraints, we have worked to maximize production by switching to alternative parts, cultivating new suppliers, negotiating with suppliers and by adopting a flexible production system. As a result, we were able to supply products largely in line with our plan, increasing net sales by 4.4 to 879.4 billion yen, and maintaining momentum, posting our fifth consecutive quarter of sales growth.
While being impacted by increases in material, logistical, and other costs, we promoted further efficiency based on a solid earnings foundation that was established through structural reform and re organizing into industry oriented groups. As a result, we were able to raise our performance even amid the unstable business environment, achieving an increase in profit of 76.1 billion yen in operating profit and 46.0 billion yen in net income.
As for Imaging, although we posted an increase in net sales thanks to growth in interchangeable lens unit sales, profit decreased due to the booking of one off expenses linked to the closing of a factory.
Changes in exchange rates, in particular the yen’s depreciation against the U S dollar, had a positive impact on operating profit of 11.0 billion yen.
As for costs, although the impact was negative due to the rise in parts pricing and logistical costs, we were able to partially offset this impact by raising the price of our products.
As for expenses, while we continued to invest in the development and sales of new businesses, overall expenses decreased due to special factors, including the sale of an office that was determined unnecessary after a review of branch functions by our U.S. sales company and the closing of a production site.
We expect inflation to continue in the form of higher prices for resources, energy, and food, resulting from the conflict in Ukraine and the prolonged impact of COVID 19 For these reasons the IMF lowered its world economic outlook for growth this year to 3.6. However, the movement of countries toward economic normalization is expect to continue.
Under these circumstances, we cannot accurately predict when the parts shortage situation, which is the major reason for the product supply shortage, will settle down, but expect the situation to gradually improve as we enter the second half of the year. However, one year has passed since we started implementing measures such as switching to alternative parts through design change, finding new suppliers, and setting up production structures at multiple sights and company wide efforts are showing steady results.
As for our products, expectations for strong demand remains unchanged and by steadily supplying products, we will link backorders as well as regular orders to sales. Based on this, we raised our projection for sales by 110 0 billion yen, bringing the total close to 4 trillion, as we aim to grow 13.3 to 3 trillion 980.0 billion yen.
As for profit, we expect to increase net income by 17.4 to 252 billion yen and raise operating profit by 27.7 to 360.0 billion yen We will achieve this by offsetting the effects of various cost increases through price increases, cost reductions, and expense savings, based on the solid profit structure we have built up through reforms we have implemented so far.
Changes in exchange rate assumptions, in particular expectations that the yen will remain weak against the U S dollar, is forecasted to have a positive 25.2 billion yen impact on operating profit.
As for costs, we will absorb the significant impact, which mainly consists of international shipping costs, by appropriately reflecting this in our pricing.
Demand, mainly coming from professionals and advanced amateurs, continues to be strong as full frame mirrorless cameras released by each company stimulates the market. As a result, we expect the 2022 market to grow by 5% compared to last year to 5.65 million units, which also includes some carry over from last year due to supply shortages
In the first quarter, unit sales of interchangeable lens cameras were below those of last year due to product supply shortages. However, sales increased due to a rise in average selling prices, as we prioritized the supply of high end models such as the EOS R 5 and EOS R 6 and also due to a significant increase in sales of RF lenses.
For the full year, even as the shortage of parts continues, we will continue to increase our product supply by using parts secured through purchases from new suppliers or by switching to alternative parts. At the same time, we will work to achieve our aim of sales and profit growth, fulfilling backorders to sell 3 million units, 10% more than last year.
This year as well, we will promote the enhancement of our lineup of camera bodies and interchangeable lenses, which include two new Super-telephoto fixed focal length RF lenses announced in February. As long telephoto lenses with focal lengths of 1200 mm and 800 mm, these lenses are extremely compact and lightweight, features that are expected to contribute to more people purchasing them.
Going forward, we will continue to enhance the overall value of the R system, including bodies and lenses to solidify our position as a top manufacturer of mirrorless cameras.
LEXAR UNVEILS THE WORLD’S FASTEST CFEXPRESS TYPE B CARD DIAMOND SERIES AND CFEXPRESS TYPE A CARD GOLD SERIES
San Jose, USA, April 25, 2022 – Lexar, a leading brand of flash memory solution, proudly unveils the world’s fastest Lexar® Professional CFexpress™ Type B Card DIAMOND Series and Lexar® Professional CFexpress™ Type A Card GOLD Series at the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) event this week in Las Vegas, Nevada.
From field to post production, Lexar aims to provide our users products that offer unmatched quality, performance, reliability and compatibility to dramatically accelerate workflow from start to finish.
To meet the demand of high-performance memory solution needed for professional filmmakers and content creators, the Lexar® Professional CFexpress™ Type B Card DIAMOND Series provides unmatched read speeds of up to 1900MB/s, dramatically accelerating your post-production workflow for enhanced productivity. And with blazing-fast write speeds of up to 1700MB/s1, quickly capture smooth RAW 8K, 6K and 4K video with ease. It is also backwards compatible with select XQD® cameras2.
Designed to leverage the capabilities of next-gen cinema cameras and mirrorless camera adopting the CFexpress™ Type A format, Lexar also unveils the Professional CFexpress™ Type A Card GOLD Series. Featuring superior speeds of 900MB/s read, and 800MB/s1 write, this card allows you to capture high-quality images and seamless 8K, 6K and 4K video. Lexar will also launch the CFexpress™ Type A Reader, which supports ultra-high-speed USB 10Gbps transfer protocol via USB Type-C®, in the coming months.
The cards support VPG 400 specification which guarantees a minimum sustained write speed of 400MB/s to capture professional-quality video for compatible host devices. Designed specifically for professional video users, it also ensures that your content is captured seamlessly with no drop frames. Moreover, they are built with the rugged durability you need to capture content even in the harshest of conditions. The cards are designed to be shock and vibration-proof, and resistant to extreme temperatures3. And, for added peace of mind, both cards are backed by a Lifetime Limited Warranty4.
“Lexar has a long history of providing industry leading memory solution for professional users and we are excited to continue this tradition with the world’s fastest Lexar® Professional CFexpress™ Type B Card DIAMOND Series and Lexar® Professional CFexpress™ Type A Card GOLD Series. These cards will dramatically help professionals speed up their workflow while providing the quality, performance and reliability they’ve come to expect from Lexar.” said Joel Boquiren, General Manager of Lexar.
Lexar® Professional CFexpress™ Type B Card DIAMOND Series and Lexar® Professional CFexpress™ Type A Card GOLD Series are under development and will be available in Q2 2022.
Lexar is exhibiting at this year’s NAB Tradeshow held at the Las Vegas Convention Center, Las Vegas, NV, from April 24th – 27th.
1 Speeds based on internal testing. Actual sustained speed may vary depending on host device
2 Compatible with firmware enabled CFexpress™ cameras
3 Temperature-proof: Withstands operating temperature range from 14ºF (-10ºC) to 158ºF (70 ºC) and non-operating temperatures from -4ºF (-20ºC) or 185ºF (85 ºC).
Shock resistant (50[G], 11[ms] / half sine wave.Apply the above impact 3 times from each of 3 orthogonal directions.)
Vibration resistant (10[Hz] to 2000[Hz] to 10[Hz], Sweep time: 20 minutes. 12 cycles per axis, (36 cycles for 3 axes) , Test time: 12[hr]).
4 Limited lifetime warranty is limited to 10 years from purchase in Germany and regions not recognizing lifetime warranty
So Lexar, owned by Chinese company Longsys, lays claim to the "World's Fastest" title.
If read speed is important to you, this card's claim matters, "... dramatically accelerating your post-production workflow for enhanced productivity." Write speed is the factor in play during capture, and the 1700 part of the "up to 1700MB/s" write speed is also extremely fast.
Temporing is the "minimum sustained write speed of 400MB/s" part. While 400MB/s is the minimum sustained write speed required to obtain the VPG 400 specification, is that the true minimum sustained write speed of this card? If so, the speed is less impressive, as other long-available cards have minimum sustained specs that far surpass this minimum spec.
This morning's sunrise delivered the highly desired pink sky to the west as I was overlooking the incredible landscape from Zabriskie Point in Death Valley National Park. That is a perfect combination, right?
What if the colorful sunrise sky color does not match the tone of the landscape? Warming the sky reduced its purpleness, bringing the color tones into closer alignment, but does the pink sky complement the yellow and brown landscape in this example? Or, does that combination clash?
Attractive distant details abound at Zabriskie, making foreground details easy to overlook. This composition takes advantage of the lines and texture in a nearby rolling hill just off the point.
A larger version of this image is available here.
This is an impressively rigid tripod.
Order the Cartoni L507 Carbon Fiber 2-Stage SDS Smart Stop Tripod from B&H.
From Canon USA:
New Canon EOS C300 Mark III and EOS C500 Mark II Firmware Enables Frame.io Camera to Cloud Compatibility
MELVILLE, NY, April 21, 2022 – Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, announced today a firmware update for the Canon EOS C300 Mark III and EOS C500 Mark II digital cinema cameras. The new firmware will enable these cameras to be Frame.io Camera to Cloud (C2C) compatible devices. This cutting edge workflow can save valuable time, allowing a collaborative cloud-based workflow in a variety of production environments from scripted motion picture and television production to reality TV, documentary, commercial, and more.
Transferring footage from camera, from on set or location, into the post-production workflow traditionally requires backing up files to a hard drive and carrying or shipping the drives to another location to be ingested for post. C2C workflow sends secure high-quality, low-bandwidth H.264 proxies, 4K 10bit 4:2:2 H.265 (HEVC) files and uncompressed audio files with matching timecode and filenames to the Frame.io cloud platform. Frame.io® is now an Adobe® company.
Using a third-party Wi-Fi, 5G or LTE streaming encoder connected to the camera output, Frame.io C2C workflow can automatically distribute clips to editors (or anyone else who needs them) the moment the Director calls “cut.” This enables immediate review of footage on an authorized user’s device on or off set, anywhere in the world, empowering all stakeholders to watch production and collaborate in real-time.
The firmware update that will enable Canon EOS C300 Mark III and Canon EOS C500 Mark II digital cinema cameras to leverage third-party encoders for Camera to Cloud is scheduled to be available end of May 2022.*
Just posted: Cartoni Focus 10 Fluid Video Head Review.
This head costs substantially more than the recently reviewed Manfrotto 608 Nitrotech Fluid Video Head, but the Cartoni's fluid motion is better.
This head in the with-tripod kits is on sale at B&H – save $308.00 - $500.00.
From Sony Japan (translated):
Notice and apology for postponement of release of "FE PZ 16-35mm F4 G (SELP1635G)" lens for digital single-lens camera a E mount
Thank you for your continued patronage of Sony products.
At the time of the press announcement on March 22, 2022 (Tuesday), the release date was set to "April 28, 2022 (Thursday)". Digital single-lens camera a E mount lens "FE PZ 16-35mm" Regarding "F4 G", we have decided to postpone the release due to the impact of global distribution delays. The new release date is scheduled for the summer of 2022, but we will announce it as soon as it is confirmed.
We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience caused to customers who are looking forward to the release as it is just before the release. We will do our utmost to deliver the product as soon as possible, and we appreciate your understanding.
Digital single-lens camera a E mount lens "FE PZ 16-35mm F4 G"
At the time of announcement on March 22, 2022 (Tuesday): Released on April 28, 2022 (Thursday) – Scheduled to be released in the summer of 2022
[Acceptance of product orders]
After this announcement, we have decided to suspend the acceptance of orders from our distributors and the acceptance of orders from customers at the Sony store.
* The release date and resumption of order acceptance will be announced on the product information page as soon as it is confirmed.
B&H is indicating June 24th is the estimated ship date.
Overall, Canon and Sony offer outstanding camera and lens line-ups. It is hard to go wrong with either choice, and with no unanimous winner declared, neither Canon nor Sony will be referencing this article. However, making Canon or Sony happy is not my job — advising you is — and advantages exist between the brands.
While my kit is primarily based on Canon gear, I maintain a full complement of Sony cameras and lenses to use during evaluations. Having a solid basis from both brands permits a best-of-breed approach.
Aside from a Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III utilized to capture the site's standard lens product images in the studio, the kit is all mirrorless (I know, I should sell that last camera and process R5 images to the 1Ds III pixel dimensions). Most of the best cameras and lenses are mirrorless models; those starting out should opt for a mirrorless kit, and those interested in bettering their kits should begin the migration to mirrorless.
The Canon side of the kit foundation is built on a pair of EOS R5 bodies. The R5 is an outstanding performer, featuring general-purpose utility, outstanding AF performance, and excellent image quality, including high resolution.
A Sony Alpha 1 and a Sony Alpha 7R IV represent sony in the kit. The a1 is Sony's flagship model, featuring up to 30 fps continuous shooting with no viewfinder blackout, 50 MP resolution, and best-available specs and features throughout. The a7R IV's only advantage over the a1 is higher resolution. It would only take a moment of weakness to upgrade the a7R IV to a second a1.
Listing the cameras was easy, and most often, the which camera decision is answered by the lens needed.
Let's look at the lenses, starting with the zoom lenses and following with the prime lens options. The sort within those two categories will be the widest focal length and then the widest aperture.
Although it does not go to 11mm, this phenomenal zoom lens is smaller and lighter, has a 2x wider aperture, is at least as sharp wide-open as the Canon EF 11-24mm f/4L USM Lens, and has the same price. That Canon lens is another great option.
I primarily use this lens for landscapes, nightscapes, and interior architecture. Note that the Sony cannot utilize front filters, a detraction for certain needs, primarily those requiring a circular polarizer filter. The Canon lens has the same problem; however, the Drop-In Canon Mount Adapter adds full filter capabilities to this lens.
The RF 15-35 is my go-to landscape lens, and it works well for other needs, including capturing the big view at events, etc. Because this focal length range is so important to me, I also have the most equivalent lens on the Sony side, the Sony FE 16-35mm F2.8 GM Lens. If a Sony camera is under evaluation, I'll take the Sony option without hesitation.
The general-purpose focal length range tends to get a lot of use, and there are currently three superb-performing options in the kit. Initially, only the RF 24-70mm F2.8 had membership, and the results from this lens never disappoint. However, a wider aperture or lighter, more compact option was often needed.
The RF 28-70 F2 had been on the want list since it first arrived, but I waited long enough to ensure the high cost was justified. As it turns out, I waited too long, and this lens was still back ordered when a large indoor music festival assignment hit the calendar, providing the incentive to order. Unfortunately, the lens arrived about a month after the concert. Still, other needs for the f/2 lens are steadily arriving, especially the event coverage it is perfectly suited for.
While the RF 24-70 F2.8 is not a large or heavy lens, a modestly lighter option can make a big difference when hiking long distances, and the RF 24-105mm F4 recently joined the kit to facilitate some hiking needs later this year.
A phenomenal general-purpose zoom lens is arguably Sony's biggest opportunity.
My uses for the 70-200mm focal length range include portraits, events, landscapes, and product images. Until recently, the relatively compact and lightweight F2.8 lens was the kit's solo 70-200mm option, but some distance hiking needs justified the F4 variant's entry into the kit.
The Sony FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS II Lens is an outstanding option for those with a sony kit, and this lens addition would help round out the Sony kit shared here.
The RF 100-500 goes almost everywhere with me. This lens is an outstanding choice for landscapes, wildlife, portraits, daytime field sports, and more.
The FE lens fills this important role when working with a Sony camera.
Those with Sony-based kits should also consider the Sony FE 200-600mm F5.6-6.3 G OSS Lens. This lens shifts the focal length range to the long direction, which noticeably increases the size and weight of the lens. Because I most often have a 600mm f/4 lens complementing the long telephoto zoom, I opted for the more compact and wider-angle lens option.
Now we look at the primes, starting with a combined discussion of the widest three lenses.
These three lenses will outperform all others matching their focal length, and the ultra-wide apertures make them the ultimate astrophotography lenses. These three lenses are in the pack if I'm photographing the night sky.
A 35mm prime lens most often joins the pack when portraits are scheduled. The strong background blur and low-light capabilities of the f/1.4 aperture are extremely attractive features, with the 35mm angle of view facilitating a great perspective for full-body portraits.
Canon's EF 35mm f/1.4L II USM is an outstanding lens, both optically and physically. However, the Sony lens is smaller, lighter, and less expensive. I purchased the Sony lens to review and kept it.
When this lens arrived in the Canon USA refurbished inventory, I couldn't resist adding it to the kit. Reviewing the RF 50mm F1.2 revealed it the incredible-performing 50mm lens we had long waited for.
The focal length and aperture make the RF 50mm F1.2 an ideal portraiture and event lens.
Later, Sony introduced the FE 50mm F1.2 GM Lens. It is also an outstanding choice, slightly smaller and less expensive. In this decision, select the lens that matches your camera.
Especially with the RF 85mm F1.2 and RF 28-70 later joining the kit, my 50mm prime lenses do not see much use. Thus, I don't own models from both brands, and the RF 50mm lens is at the top of the consideration to sell list.
This lens joined the most wanted list immediately upon providing the image quality test results, where it showed a stunning improvement over its EF predecessor. This lens is so optically high-performing that it is currently used for image quality testing of Canon EOS R-series cameras.
If portrait photography is on your list, the RF 85mm F1.2 lens is an outstanding choice, one that makes low light a non-issue.
The only non-mirrorless lens in this list, the adapted EF 100mm L macro is an outstanding performer. I may upgrade to the Canon RF 100mm F2.8 L Macro IS USM Lens someday, but I'm not yet over the RF lens's focus shift issue.
Similar to the RF 85 F1.2 to the Canon system is the FE 135mm F1.8 to the Sony system. The 135mm focal length is superb for portraits (and products), and the extremely high optical quality is the reason this lens is used for Sony Alpha camera image quality testing.
Periodically, I decide that I could get along without a 400mm f/2.8 lens in the kit. Then life happens, and I realize how important this lens is to the needs coming in. A 400mm f/2.8 lens is used primarily for sports and wildlife photography, but it gets called upon for portraits since it is already in the kit. This lens delivers differentiating results in all its uses, with the background blur strength surpassing nearly all other options.
Sony-based kits should opt for the also-superb FE 400mm F2.8 GM OSS Lens. I like the Canon option very slightly better, with better image stabilization performance being the biggest differentiator.
Wildlife and sports are among my primary photographic pursuits, the 600mm f/4 is the best option for those needs, and this option for both brands is covered in the kit.
The Canon lens's image stabilization system is better, but I'll pick the Sony option for a sharpness advantage if extenders/teleconverters are needed.
I like carrying and using the RF 1.4 with the RF 400 F2.8, and I like using the FE 2x with the FE 600 F4 when photographing the sun and moon. Otherwise, getting closer is usually better than using extenders, and in this kit, extenders and teleconverters are most frequently used for lens image quality testing.
Which lens will be added to the kit next? It probably has not been announced yet.
Most often, a wildlife silhouette opportunity comes unexpectantly and is fleeting.
Because the sky is typically very bright relative to the subject, the camera's meter usually selects silhouette exposure settings that lead to underexposed images, and correcting the underexposed images during post-processing yields increased noise.
To quickly acquire the right camera settings this opportunity, rules are ideal. For example, with a blue sky in the background, instruct the camera to create exposures X number of stops higher than it thinks is necessary.
Unfortunately, too many rules are needed to accommodate all scenarios. The primary reason that auto exposure + EV rules do not work is that the percentage of the frame filled with the subject and foreground changes dramatically, possibly during the same opportunity if varying exposures with a zoom lens. Also affecting the exposure rule is the sky color, ranging from bright white to deep blue or even the darkness of storm clouds.
While spot metering on the focus point can result in a more stable exposure basis for rules to work from, even animal color varies. For example, black bears are considerably darker than mule deer.
Mirrorless cameras with electronic viewfinders programmed to show the actual image brightness make establishing the ideal silhouette exposure settings considerably faster and easier than doing the same with a DSLR. While I often have the EVF histogram turned off due to interference with my brain's compositional abilities, that tool clearly shows the selected exposure, especially the bright side's available dynamic range. Even without the histogram enabled, the brightness can be discerned by looking at the brightest areas on the EVF.
What is the ideal silhouette exposure? That answer depends on the final look desired. If the animal and foreground are to be pure black, expose the sky to the preferred brightness. If a high key look is desired, expose for a normal animal brightness, letting the sky become blown — pure white and blinking on the LCD.
To gain the most post-processing latitude or if you don't want to decide what the final image should look like while frantically trying to capture the momentary opportunity, use the expose to the right strategy. Create an exposure that pushes the histogram graph lines to the right edge of the chart. There will likely be some small areas of the image showing over-exposed blinkies during image review, but not large areas of blinkies indicating loss of detail. The goal is to retain detail in the highlights while capturing as much detail as possible in the shadows.
If photographing landscape, an HDR technique would be implemented for this scenario. Unfortunately, animals tend to move before the multiple exposures can be recorded. If your animal is motionless and your camera is locked down on a tripod, bracketing exposures is a great option.
The expose to the right option was chosen for this bull moose image capture. The sky is bright but still blue. Using Photoshop, the moose was selected and brightened slightly.
A larger version of this image is available here.
While creating the Sony list was easy, the Canon line-up has more room for improvement. New to the Best Canon Lenses page:
Just posted: Sony a9 II Review page.
From Canon USA:
Canon Announces New Flex Zoom Lens Series of EF Cinema Lenses with Wide T2.4 Aperture Designed for Full-Frame Cameras
MELVILLE, NY, April 12, 2022 – Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, announced today the launch of a new series of lenses for the company’s EF Cinema Lens lineup — the Flex Zoom Lens series of lenses, which were developed to create cinema-style productions with greater workflow efficiency. The first lenses in the series are the CN-E20-50mm T2.4 L F/FP wide-angle zoom lens and the CN-E45-135mm T2.4 L F/FP telephoto zoom lens.
Designed in the pursuit of cinematic beauty, the new large-aperture lenses feature both high-level optical design and performance while maintaining the style and ease-of-use of Canon’s EF Cinema lens series. With the introduction of the zoom lenses featuring focal length ranges of 20-50mm for wide-angle and 45-135mm for telephoto, Canon now offers zoom lenses that cover the same range as its six existing prime (single focal length) lenses. The versatility of these new lenses supports efficient production workflows for a wide range of scenarios, including film, TV programs, commercials, and much more.
When paired with full-frame or large-format cameras, these lenses fully leverage the cameras’ signature shallow depth-of-field look and provide smooth and natural background blur, helping to produce powerful storytelling imagery. The lenses also maintain a bright T2.4 aperture1 across their entire zoom ranges allowing for image capture in both natural light and darker environments. This feature helps to reduce the need for intricate lighting setups, enabling more efficient and cost-effective video production workflows.
Engineered with an optical configuration that creates the optimal placement of lens elements, including a large-aperture aspherical lens and an anomalous dispersion glass lens, the CN-E20-50mm T2.4 L F/FP and the CN-E45-135mm T2.4 L F/FP lenses help reduce the potential for color smudging and chromatic aberrations. This enables them to maintain high optical performance from the center of the image to the periphery when paired with 8K cameras.
In addition to supporting EF-mount data transmission2, the new lenses are also compatible with /i Technology3 from Cooke Optics. With this capability, recording metadata such as focus, zoom, aperture, and lens model can be transmitted via the lens mount for visualization on the camera itself. This additional information helps to contribute to more efficient workflows not only during on-location recording, but also during post-production and editing.
Pricing and Availability
The Canon CN-E20-50mm T2.4 L F/FP wide-angle zoom lens and Canon CN-E45-135mm T2.4 L F/FP telephoto zoom lens are scheduled to be available in early June 2022 and early September 2022 for an estimated retail price of $21,999.00.*
# # #
1 The f-number of a lens refers to the level of brightness calculated based on focal length and lens aperture. The t-number, more commonly used to describe the brightness of cinema lenses, incorporates a lens’ f-number along with the measure of light transmission.
2 Only compatible with EF mount cameras
3 Only compatible with PL mount cameras
* Specifications, availability and prices are subject to change without notice. Actual prices are set by individual dealers and may vary.
There is a Sony Alpha 9 II in my hands, and it is time to set up this camera for use. Following are the 36 steps taken to prepare an out-of-the-box a9 II for use.
I make additional menu and other setting changes based on current shooting scenarios, but this list covers my initial camera setup process.
To copy this configuration means you intend to shoot as I do - including in RAW-only format. While this setup works great for me, you should adjust the setup to your needs.
If you can't remember your menu setup parameters, keeping an up-to-date list such as this one is a great idea. Anytime the camera is set to the factory state, such as when being serviced or when acquiring an additonal camera, you will be ready to create your setup quickly, while ensuring that an important setting is not omitted. If you purchase another same or similar camera, setup will be fast and identical. Consider saving the camera settings to a card (Setup/Tools menu, tab 7, Save/Load Settings on card) for an easy restore.
The remoteness of the beautiful Ibex Dunes in Death Valley National Park is a big advantage and a big drawback.
The advantage part is that few people make the effort required to get there, and the Ibex dune field is often untracked.
The drawback is that these dunes are located near ... well, nothing. The drive from Furnace Creek took nearly two hours, with very few services encountered on the way, and the last 10 miles are narrow dirt and sand roads that require differing vehicle classes depending on the current conditions (including at an intermittent stream crossing).
The adventure does not stop upon arrival. The dunes are over a mile from the road, but they are massive and easily visible from the road (a generous term for it by this point — more like a trail), and the hike to the dunes is not difficult. In contrast to the size of the dunes, the vehicle is tiny and may not be visible from the dunes. A small angular mistake on the way out could mean a significantly longer walk and perhaps a night in the desert.
That adventure aspect was avoided with a GPS pin, an old-school compass reading, and a feature on the mountain opposite the dunes noted.
On this afternoon, a solitary set of tracks led through the low area between the untouched northern and southern dune fields. After photographing my way around the dunes, I settled into the selected sunset location to catch the day's last rays.
As I shared in the last dune image, the Canon RF 24-70mm F2.8 L IS USM Lens on a Canon EOS R5 proved the optimal choice in the Death Valley National Park dunes. While focal lengths outside this range had compositional opportunities, the 24-70mm angles of view enabled emphasis on the close subjects while keeping the background details relatively large in the frame.
The R5's focus bracketing feature made complete depth of field easily obtained for every image. Four f/11 images were required for this 48mm focus stacked final photo.
A larger version of this image is available here.
While the individual grains of sand in a dune likely have some color variation, those grains blend together at typical landscape photo distances, leaving most dunes a single color. A single color does not alone make an interesting photo. Therefore, shadows rule in the dunes — they are necessary to add intrigue.
Shadows are created by uneven lighting, and the early and late sun angle brings on the desired strong directional lighting (barring clouds).
Taking a dune image to the next step means finding great shadows, and footprint shadows do not fit into my "great" definition (unless the footprints are an intentional part of the composition).
Rarely is wind appreciated for photography, and it is especially unwelcomed when photographing landscapes. However, I celebrated as a significant wind storm blew through during the drive from Las Vegas to Death Valley National Park. The dust and sand were dense enough to severely impact visibility at times, rocking, and properly initiating the brand new Toyota RAV 4 rental SUV.
Why celebrate a wind storm in the desert? The wind erased ALL of the Death Valley dunes' footprints, replacing them with fresh, seemingly unending and highly photogenic ripples in the sand.
The Canon RF 24-70mm F2.8 L IS USM Lens on a Canon EOS R5 proved the optimal choice in the Death Valley National Park dunes. While focal lengths outside this range had compositional opportunities, the 24-70mm angles of view enabled emphasis on the close subjects while keeping the background details relatively large in the frame.
Still, the depth of field available (at apertures not impacted by diffraction) from this focal length range was often insufficient. The R5's focus bracketing feature was the solution to that problem. With focus bracketing enabled, the smallest increment specified, and the number of shots set far above what was ever needed (the camera automatically stops at infinity), the R5 proved itself foolproof, automatically delivering the complete required range of sharp focus bracketed images at nearly a 100% rate (and I probably caused the 1 or two insufficient sets). Walk up to a scene, select the composition, position the focus point on the closest subject (the closest sand), and press the shutter release. This strategy takes away the careful attention to the depth of field otherwise required and facilitates images not otherwise possible.
Do you ever struggle to obtain the ideal white balance? I do, and this image challenged me. Unfortunately, adding the needed contrast creates a bright yellow glow that I've been attempting to neutralize. This image is one of those likely to get re-adjusted in the weeks and months to come.
A larger version of this image is available here.
Firmware update for SIGMA Global Vision lenses in SONY E-mount
We would like to announce that a new firmware update is now available for SIGMA Global Vision lenses in SONY E-mount listed below.
·SIGMA 16mm F1.4 DC DN | Contemporary in SONY E-mount
·SIGMA 30mm F1.4 DC DN | Contemporary in SONY E-mount
[Benefits of the update]
The specification has been changed so that the focus position of the lens when the ON/OFF (power) switch is turned “ON”, or when the camera is restored from power save, is set to the same shooting distance when the ON/OFF (power) switch was turned “OFF” or when power save was activated.
·SIGMA 56mm F1.4 DC DN | Contemporary in SONY E-mount
[Benefits of the update]
·The focus position of the lens when the ON/OFF (power) switch is turned “ON” or when the camera is restored from power saving has been changed to the specification that the focus position is set to the shooting distance right before the ON/OFF (power) switch is turned “OFF” or power saving is activated.
·Improved feeling of the MF operation of the lens.
·SIGMA 35mm F2 DG DN | Contemporary in SONY E-mount
[Benefits of the update]
·It reduces the AF drive sound.
[How to update]
Please select the appropriate product from the following page, go to the download page, click “Sony E-mount” and follow the update procedure.
*After the update is complete, be sure to remove the battery pack from the camera and reinsert it.
A new Sigma Mount Converter MC-11 firmware update is available.
Thank you for purchasing and using our products.
We would like to announce the availability of a new firmware update for the SIGMA MOUNT CONVERTER MC-11.
·SIGMA MOUNT CONVERTER MC-11 EF-E
·SIGMA MOUNT CONVERTER MC-11 SA-E
[Benefit of the update]
It has improved the phenomenon whereby the lens’s optical stabilizer effect differs depending on the shutter type and drive mode used.
[How to update]
Connect the SIGMA MOUNT CONVERTER MC-11 to the computer with the USB cable provided, and start SIGMA Optimization Pro*. If there is a newer firmware than the connected mount converter firmware, a dialog box will appear with the message “The latest converter firmware is available. Click “Yes” to update the firmware.