No surprise: Photokina 2021 has been suspended…and may no more come back?

This news will not surprise anyone: Photokina 2021 has been suspended. And I suspect Photokina might not come back at all.

Press release:

We can join the imaging industry in looking back upon a successful, colourful and innovative era: 70 years of photokina in Cologne. Since 1950, for generations it has been the top address for photography, video and imaging. It indisputably ranks among the most positive and emotionally charged brands in the global trade fair world.

This is precisely why it is an extremely difficult step for us to have to suspend implementation of photokina at the location in Cologne for the time being, in light of the continuing steep decline in the markets for imaging products and the increasingly heterogeneous needs of the different market segments.

Even before the coronavirus pandemic began, the imaging market was already subject to strong upheaval, with annual percentage declines in the double digits. The momentum in this direction intensified massively in 2020, most recently reporting a decline in the 50-percent range. Within photokina, these market shifts grew very noticeable in the recent past. Conceptual changes, too, such as the inclusion of the smartphone and new imaging technologies, along with a change of cycle and a schedule change, were not enough to compensate for the downturn in the numbers and marketing budgets of exhibitors owing to consolidation of the classic market.

The overall situation at the moment is not compatible with the quality standards of a photokina as a globally renowned leading trade fair and brand representing the highest quality and professionalism in the international imaging market.

After decades of shared history, this deep cut is a painful one indeed. Nonetheless, we must face the situation and the trend in the industry and take a clear, honest decision against continuing this event – a decision to which, unfortunately, we have no alternative.

We would like to thank you very much indeed, for our time together, for your longstanding loyalty to photokina and for the enthusiasm that this has involved. It is the memories of unforgettable snapshots that we will cherish – such as when the gates of photokina opened and we were privileged to welcome you to the trade fair grounds in Cologne, to spend several days diving into the world of images together. Nothing short of Imaging Unlimited!

Thank you for 70 years together!

Your photokina team

Tokina has launched the new 23mm and 33mm F1.4 atx-m lenses for Fuji X

Press text:

Tokina announces release of new Fuji X-mount prime lenses

23mm and 33mm atx-m series f/1.4 lenses for Fuji X-mount cameras offer versatility for amateurs and professionals.

Huntington Beach, CA, November 20, 2020: Tokina introduces compact, lightweight prime lenses for Fuji X-mount cameras.

The Tokina atx-m 23mm f/1.4 prime lens features an angle of view equivalent to 35mm in full frame cameras. It is an ideal tool for street scenes, environmental portraits and landscapes. The atx-m 33mm features an angle of view equivalent to 50mm in full frame cameras. This standard angle lens is highly versatile for amateurs and professionals. The ultra-fast f/1.4 aperture is excellent for low-light situations and the minimum focal distance allows beautiful, creamy front and back bokeh. Both lenses feature color balance tuning to match film simulation modes within Fujifilm cameras. The silent autofocus is realized by the ST-M focus motor for easy and reliable focus.

The ATX-M 23mm and 33mm prime lenses feature:

  • Compact and lightweight – compatible with Fujifilm X-mount mirrorless cameras
  • f/1.4 aperture – creamy front and back bokeh, exceptional in low light conditions
  • fast, silent autofocus
  • communicable with camera body to support 5-axis in-body image stabilization
  • click-less aperture ring to smoothly control aperture in video mode
  • color balance tuning to fit film simulation modes of Fujifilm camera

Cosina-Voigtlander has officially announced the world’s fastest photographic lens in production: 29mm f/0,8 Super Nokton MFT !!!

This marks a hitsorical point: Cosina-Voigtlander has officially announced the world’s fastest photographic lens in production!

The new Super Nokton 29mm f/0,8 MFT lens! Preorders will be available in December for around $2,000.

Main specs:

This is th google translated press text:

The Nokton 29mm F0.8 is a standard lens designed exclusively for Micro Four Thirds. Achieves the brightest F0.8 * as an interchangeable lens for photography currently on the market. The angle of view of the diagonal 42.75 ° (equivalent to a 58mm lens in the 35mm format) is the same as the standard lens with a large aperture of the past, and you can enjoy shooting with a large blur due to the ultra-large aperture of F0.8.

Main features:
● Amazing large aperture With a large aperture with an
open F value of 0.8, it is possible to shoot with just “as is light” even under extremely low light conditions. It is also the best lens for shooting with shallow focus and beautiful bokeh when the aperture is open.

● Ultimate lens design
By adopting a uniquely developed GA (grinding aspherical surface) lens for the optical system, it is possible to design with a high degree of freedom using a glass material with a high melting point that cannot be used with a glass mold aspherical surface. While achieving an ultra-large aperture of F0.8, high image quality can be obtained from the widest aperture, and a compact size and weight that are easy to handle are achieved.

● Various expressive power When the
aperture is wide open, the straightforward and gentle bokeh emphasizes the focused motif and creates a three-dimensional effect. If you stop down the aperture, you will get a very sharp image, and you can express a variety of photographs with a single lens. The number of apertures is 12, and the out-focus part of the point light source is depicted in a neat shape.

● Aperture click switching mechanism
With the newly designed aperture switching mechanism, it is possible to open and close the aperture ring steplessly without generating a clicking sound. This eliminates the need to worry about picking up the aperture ring operation sound when recording movies, and also enables severe depth control by fine-tuning the aperture ring.

● Dedicated lens hood included
A metal lens hood with excellent light-shielding effect is standard equipment.

● Micro Four Thirds dedicated mount
Compliant with the Micro Four Thirds standard, the optics and mechanism are specially designed. While covering the image size of the image sensor, high image quality is achieved by optimizing it for the Micro Four Thirds sensor.

● Manual focus that enables reliable focus operation
By adopting an all-metal helicoid unit that has been processed and adjusted with high precision and high-quality grease that produces an appropriate torque, focusing with a smooth operation feeling is realized. Allows for delicate focus adjustment.

Here are the image samples:

This is Olympus last product announcement….and they did go crazy :)

Today Olympus made their very LAST historical product announcement. From now on all new products will be made by JIP. And what di they announce? three things…two of them nonsense :)

  1. OVERKILL PRICE: They announced the Olympus 150-400mm lens and you can preorder it for $2,000 no wait $4,0000 no wait CRAZY $7,499 at BHphoto, Adorama. They may sell only a handful of those worldwide because of this price!
  2. NONSENSE: Olympus announced the E-M10IIIs. Dpreview writes: “The OM-D E-M10 Mark IIIs is the OM-D E-M10 Mark III with a new silent shooting mode and a new ‘Instant Film’ art filter mode. Aside from these two small updates, the camera is otherwise unchanged from its predecessor. Absolutely nothing, inside or out, has changed, including the 16 Megapixel sensor, 5-axis sensor-shift IS and 121-point contrast-detection autofocus.
  3. NICE: New E-M1X firmware update with RAW video and Bird Eye AF

Fair well Olympus…this is another very bad day in the photography industry :(


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Sony keeps “dreaming” the medium format camera with curved sensor

SonyAlphaRumors spotted the next patent for a possible new Sony medium format camera. There are two important things we learn from the description:

  1. This is a system camera (not fixed lens)
  2. it uses a new curved sensor that allows lenses to be around 30% more compact than Fuji GF lenses

Now, we all know patents are the equivalent od “engineers dreams“. It means there is only a small chance those will become true. But hey…wouldn’t it be nice ot see this become true?

P.S.: Those are the Sony patented lenses designed for the curved sensor medium format camera:

  • 387mm f/2.8 (lens length: 679mm) – in Full Frame terms this is a 240mm f/1.7
  • 323mm f/2.8 (lens length: 576mm) – in Full Frame terms this is a 200mm f/1.7
  • 258mm f/2.8 (lens length: 380mm) – in Full Frame terms this is a 160mm f/1.7
  • 161mm f/2.8 – in Full Frame terms this is a 100mm f/1.7
  • 84mm f/2.9 (lens length: 123mm) – in Full Frame terms this is a 52mm f/1.7 (it would be only 2cm longer than the Zeiss 50mm f/1.4 FE)

Toyo Keizai Online talks about the deep Nikon camera business issues

Tokyo Keizai Online wrote an article about the Difficulty for Nikon to fall into the red and suffer from “camera slump”. Here is the google translated text from the summary written by Digicameinfo:

  • The prestigious Nikon is in dire straits. The operating loss for the April-September period of 2020 announced by the company on November 5 fell to a deficit of 46.6 billion yen. The main reason is that the performance of the main camera business is deteriorating.
  • In the video business, which includes cameras, sales for this term are expected to decrease by about 40% from the previous term to 140 billion yen and an operating deficit of 45 billion yen.
  • Toshikazu Umatate, president of Nikon, emphasized the stance of carrying out structural reforms centered on cameras, saying, “We want to create a muscular structure in the video business that can generate profits even with sales of 150 billion yen or less.” The production of the main body of the digital single-lens reflex camera handled at the factory in Miyagi prefecture will be consolidated at the Thai factory, and the sales companies will be integrated. In addition, the number of overseas employees is planned to be reduced by 2,000 by March 2022, which is about 20% of the total overseas.
  • It’s not just the external environment of shrinking the camera market that plagues Nikon. The internal factor of delay in the mirrorless camera also echoes. Nikon is afraid of conflict with single-lens reflex cameras, and finally made a full-scale entry into mirrorless cameras in 2018. The difference is clear, with Sony’s 1.65 million mirrorless production in 2019 and Nikon’s only 280,000.
  • Nikon plans to launch three new mirrorless models at once in the second half of this year, focusing on professional and high-end products, but there are still concerns about whether Nikon can catch up with the delay. Within the company, the SLR orientation that has swept the world is deep-rooted, and it is essential to shift development costs and sales promotion costs to mirrorless cameras in the future.