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News from around the world covering photography topics. These include technology developments, new product announcements, events news and more.

Lexar NS100 and NS200 SSDs

Press release issued by Lexar:

Lexar Announces New NS100 and NS200 2.5” SATA III (6GB/s) Solid-State Drive (SSD)

The Easy Upgrade to Boost Your Computers Performance

San Jose, CA, September 18, 2018 – Lexar, a leading global brand of flash memory solutions, today announced two new internal solid-state drive solutions to rejuvenate old laptops or PCs. The new Lexar® NS100 2.5” SATA III (6GB/s) solid-state drive (SSD) and Lexar® NS200 2.5” SATA III (6GB/s) solid-state drive (SSD).

The entry-level NS100 SSD is an affordable upgrade for casual users who want more performance than their hard-disk drives (HDD) can provide. It provides faster boot-ups, application load times, and data transfers – turning your old computer from dinosaur to dynamo with sequential read speeds of up to 550MB/s. 1 The NS200 SSD is ready for gamers and professionals looking to refresh their system with a quicker internal drive solution, giving the speed needed to take multitasking on an old PC or laptop to the next level. Users will be able to power through the day with sequential read speed of up to 550MB/sand sequential read of up to 510MB/s1, faster app response times and better overall performance for gaming, photo, and video editing, or other multimedia applications. Both Lexar NS100 and NS200 are shock and vibration resistant4, making them more reliable and durable than typical HDD, plus they also feature SSD Dash management so the user can monitor their drive and make sure their applications maintain exceptional performance. 3

“The outlook for the solid-state drive industry remains strong and continues on a path to become more broadly used. We’re excited about adding an internal SSD category to our product portfolio as we continue our commitment on delivering innovative and fast-performing storage solutions. The NS100 and NS200 SSD delivers Lexar quality to accelerate your computer’s performance with optimized speed and reliability,” said Joel Boquiren, Director of Global Marketing.

The Lexar NS100 2.5” SATA III (6GB/s) solid-state drive will be offered in 120GB, 240GB, 480GB capacities, and the Lexar NS200 2.5” SATA III (6GB/s) solid-state drive in 240GB, 480GB capacities, with a three-year limited warranty. The new NS100 is available mid-September at MSRP $29.99 USD (120GB), $49.99 USD (240GB), $89.99 USD (480GB), and the NS200 is available mid-September at MSRP $79.99 USD (240GB), $109.99 USD (480GB). For more information visit www.lexar.com

This product announcement confirms that Lexar is returning to the high-performance storage market, and will continue to produce, develop, and strengthen the portfolio of memory solutions centered on performance, quality, and reliability.

Lexar will be exhibiting at this year’s Photokina, in Cologne, Germany September 26th – 29th, with new product announcements, focused around one of the most exciting shows in the professional photographers’ calendar.

Samyang’s first Nikon FF DSLR lens

Press release issued by Intro2020:

Samyang unveils their first AF lens for Nikon cameras: AF 14mm F2.8 F [Master the art of Ultra Wide-Angle]

Samyang’s first AF lens for Nikon FF DSLRs, an ultra-wide 14mm f/2.8 FX model

Samyang Optics announces a new, ultra wide-angle lens, the AF 14mm F2.8 F. It is the company’s first-ever autofocus lens for Nikon DSLR full-frame cameras. The AF 14mm F2.8 lens has been developed using Samyang Optics’ globally renowned optical technology.
116.6° Ultra Wide-Angle with beautiful bokeh…

Inside the lens, there are 15 elements in 10 groups, including 2 aspherical elements, 4 highrefractive (HR) elements and 1 extra-low dispersion (ED) glass element to minimise distortion and chromatic aberrations, for crystal clear resolution. This lens offers a powerful 116.6 degrees wide angle-of-view. It also features 7 rounded aperture blades, which help to create beautiful bokeh (out-of focus backgrounds) in portraits, still-lifes and night-time cityscapes.

Faster, accurate and quieter Auto Focus performance…

The AF 14mm F2.8 F autofocus function is upgraded with Samyang’s advanced technology. The lens offers faster, more accurate and quieter autofocus performance than previous AF 14mm F2.8 lenses.

Capture vivid images anytime, anywhere…

This compact ultra wide-angle lens weighs only 484g (without lens cap and hood). The lens also features weather-sealing and a built-in AF/MF switch for increased usability. With a minimum focus distance of just 20cm, it is possible to capture more vivid close-up images of portraits, pets, food etc., anytime, anywhere.

Price: suggested retail price £649.99

Availability: from September 2018

Imported and distributed in the UK & Ireland by Intro 2020 Ltd.
For full details please visit www.intro2020.co.uk
www.facebook.com/SamyangUK

Sony introduces the long-awaited 400mm F2.8 G Master™ Prime Lens

Press release issued by Sony:

New Large Aperture Super-Telephoto Prime Lens is World’s lightest in its class, with outstanding AF performance, innovative optical design and exceptional image quality

Sony today announced the highly anticipated FE 400mm F2.8 GM OSS large aperture super-telephoto prime lens (model SEL400F28GM).

The product of extensive research and testing, Sony’s new FE 400mm F2.8 GM OSS lens is the first large aperture super-telephoto prime to join the E-mount line-up. This exciting new lens produces brilliant image quality, extraordinary focusing speed and precision while also boasting the lightest weight in its class[i] and an extremely balanced design. It’s the ideal choice for professional sports, wildlife and nature photographers, and a perfect complement for Sony’s extensive line-up of high-speed E-mount bodies including α9, α7R III and more.

World’s Lightest 400mm F2.8 Prime with Ideal Balance for Monopod or Handheld Shooting

Weighing in at only 2897g, the new FE 400mm F2.8 GM OSS lens provides a level of portability and handheld manoeuvrability that has never before been achieved in a lens of its class. The remarkably light weight of this lens is achieved through an innovative optical design that includes three fluorite elements, with a reduced number of elements deployed at the front of the barrel, as well as the liberal usage of durable magnesium alloy components.

Additionally, repeated field tests and evaluation by professional photographers across the world have led to a lens design that is not front-heavy, reducing moment of inertia that resists rotation by up to 50% as compared to the SAL500F40G.[ii] This ensures that quicker, more precise panning is available, whether shooting handheld or on a monopod.

Fast, Precise Autofocus

To best take advantage of the rapidly evolving shooting and focusing speeds of Sony’s latest cameras, the FE 400mm F2.8 GM OSS lens features two newly developed high-speed XD (extreme dynamic) Linear Motors that drive the lens’ focus group, achieving up to a 5x improvement[iii] in moving-subject tracking performance. These motors are supported by specially developed motion algorithms to minimise lag and instability and control noise levels, resulting in exceptionally quick, accurate and quiet autofocus performance. This allows the lens to capture dynamic, fast moving athletes or wildlife with ease.

G Master Image Quality and Bokeh

A member of the Sony’s flagship G Master Series lenses, the new large aperture super-telephoto prime lens features an incredible level of image quality and detail, with outstanding contrast and resolution maintained all the way to the corners of the image. The unique optical design includes three fluorite elements that help to minimise chromatic aberration and suppress any amount of colour bleeding. The lens has also been coated with Sony’s original Nano AR coating to suppress any unwanted reflections, glare, or ghosting.

In addition to the impressive resolution, the lens features an 11-blade circular aperture mechanism that allows it to produce extremely natural and beautiful background defocus or bokeh’. Each lens is also individually tested and adjusted at manufacturing stage to achieve maximum image quality and ‘bokeh’.

The new FE 400mm F2.8 GM OSS is compatible with Sony’s 1.4x and 2.0x E-mount tele-converters, producing outstanding imaging performance at extended focal lengths[iv] while maintaining fast, precise AF performance.

Durability, Reliability and Control

To withstand the harsh conditions of sporting events and wildlife photography, Sony’s new FE 400mm F2.8 GM OSS is built with a durable magnesium alloy and a strong, lightweight carbon fibre hood. The lens is also dust and moisture resistant[v], and its front element is coated with fluorine to resist dirt and fingerprints.

There is also an ample amount of hard controls on the lens, including a ‘Full-Time DMF’ switch to immediately engage manual focus at any point, customisable focus hold buttons in four different locations on the lens barrel – allowing easy access of an Eye AF for example, and a focus ring that features Linear Response MF for fine, responsive manual focus. The new lens also features built-in optical stabilisation for dynamic sports action and three different ‘Mode’ settings, including a brand new Mode 3[vi] setting with an advanced algorithm that ensures easier framing when following moving subjects. The new model includes a function ring with selectable ‘Preset’ and ‘Function[vii]’ settings, further adding to the customisability, a first for any Sony lens.

The FE 400mm F2.8 GM OSS includes a drop-in filter slot[viii] that accepts ø 40.5mm ND and other filter types, as well as the optional VF-DCPL1 Drop-in Circular Polarising Filter. The VF-DCPL1 filter can be rotated to achieve the desired polarisation while installed in the lens.

α9 System Software Update to Support FE 400mm F2.8 GM OSS[ix]

The latest system software update (Version 3.00) for α9 (ILCE-9) provides support for the new FE 400mm F2.8 GM OSS (SEL400F28GM) lens to optimise optical image stabilisation performance and enables continuous shooting with auto focus tracking even when aperture is greater than F11.

The update also provides added option to input camera serial number to the Exif data, a feature that has been strongly requested by professional sports photographers and photojournalists. Additionally, several other updates to the α9 camera have been implemented with the new firmware, including improved auto focus speed in low light conditions, enhanced continuous AF performance when tracking a moving subject, and reduced release time lag when shooting with flash.

Pricing and Availability

Built to order, the new FE 400mm F2.8 GM OSS will ship in Europe in September 2018,priced at approximately £10,500. The optional Drop-in Circular Polarising Filter (model VF-DCPL1) will ship in Europe in December 2018, priced at approximately £420.

A product feature video and testimonials by Nick Didlick and Bob Martin are now available at Sony Camera Channel on YouTube, and the new sample images are also posted at the global Sony Photo Gallery

Please visit Sony.co.uk for more information: http://www.sony.co.uk/electronics/camera-lenses/sel400f28gm

[i] Compared to 400mm F2.8 lenses for 35mm full-frame format cameras, as of June 2018, Sony survey

[ii] When mounted on the α9 with VG-C3EM grip. Compared to the α99 II + SAL500F40G, Sony tests

[iii] When mounted on the α9. Compared to the SAL300F28G2 mounted on the α9 (via LA-EA3), Sony tests

[iv] Maximum aperture with the 1.4x (SEL14TC) and 2.0x (SEL20TC) tele-converters is F4 and F5.6, respectively

[v] Not guaranteed to be 100% dust and moisture proof

[vi] α9 software must be updated to the latest version to activate Optical SteadyShot MODE 3 when this lens is used with the α9. Refer to the Sony support site for camera body compatibility information

[vii] Functions can be assigned via a camera body menu. Power Focus is assigned by default. APS-C/Full Frame Select can be assigned by updating α9 software to the latest version. Refer to the Sony support site for up to-date function and camera body compatibility information

[viii] A normal filter is initially installed in the filter slot. The filter is part of the lens’s optical system, and either the normal filter or circular polarizing filter should always be in place when using the lens. Be sure that filter is installed before memorising the focus point for the preset focus function

[ix] System software update for α9 is scheduled soon. For more information, please visit Sony support site. https://www.sony.co.uk/electronics/support/e-mount-body-ilce9-series/ilce-9#downloads