Monday, February 16, 2009

No Picture Day

No picture today. Instead, there have been a couple of recent announcements in Photography-Land that I thought I would mention.

More after the jump.

First, Nikon announced a new lens for their DX DSLR cameras like my D80. It is the AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm F1.8 G. There has been a lot of internet chatter about it, mainly from armchair-CEOs, calling Nikon all kinds of uncomplimentary names. Frankly, the lens should have been introduced a long time ago. It is the DX equivalent to the 50mm f/1.8 lens in FX format. The new lens will give DX cameras the "normal" equivalent field of view that they have been lacking since the introduction of the DX sensor format. The current 50mm lens actually provide more of a short telephoto range when used on DX cameras due to the smaller sensor's crop size. 50mm lenses give an equivalent of about a 75mm lens when they are used on a DX camera. This new 35mm will be closer to the 50mm normal field of view. It is something that has been needed for quite a while. Nikon themselves have said that the intended market is the DX user in general and students and amateurs looking for a small, lightweight normal prime lens. The new 35mm DX lens also reconfirms Nikon's commitment to the DX camera line as most of Nikon's recent lenses have been for the FX format. Some recent sample photographs look promising and the price fits quite nicely into a student's budge (estimated US $199).

Personally, this lens looks like a nice little lens for users of Nikon's consumer DX camera line (D40/D40x/D50/D60/D70/D70X/D80/D90) that will autofocus on all models and provide the "normal" prime lens that DX uses have lacked for so long. I am eagerly awaiting full reviews of the lens when it is finally released. Plus, it certainly will not be the last lens that Nikon announces this year. I would not be surprised if there is one or two lenses announced at the upcoming PMA convention.

Second, the photography boards are buzzing today with PocketWizard's new product announcment: the FlexTT5 and MiniTT1. The Strobist and Chase Jarvis were given the chance to preview the units and they sound quite formidable. While PocketWizard has been the defacto standard remote flash trigger for years, many people thought even the PocketWizards could be improved. Companies like RadioPopper, AlienBees, and Elinchrome have introduced remote triggers that have been well received and in some cases added additional functionality to the remote radio trigger device. PocketWizard has answered that with this new line. It will support Canon and Nikon TTL systems, they will have a more streamlined profile, be firmware upgradeable, and even work some digital magic to allow you to synchronize at even higher shutter speeds. Read the reviews/previews I linked earlier for better explanations than I can give.

I have been keeping an eye on the various remote flash triggers. Until now I was torn between which to choose. Each manufacturer's units had pluses and minuses. These new PocketWizards look to wrap all of the features I would like to have into one system with a convenient form-factor and solid build-quality. The downside is that PocketWizard will have different models for Canon and Nikon systems due to the different methods they use for their TTL communications. This means that PocketWizard will be releasing the Canon variants in March while the Nikon variants are not due until the 2nd Quarter. Still, I'm not in desperate need of remote triggers right now. So, I will gladly wait for the reviews to see if they match the marketing and public expectations.

That is it for today.

Keep shooting.

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