New Leica, Panasonic and Sigma L-Mount Alliance – PRESS RELEASE

Nokishita just leaked the press release of the Leica, Panasonic and Sigma L-Mount Alliance. You can read it in German (PDF) here or google translated below.

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L-Mount Alliance: Strategic cooperation between Leica Camera, Panasonic and Sigma

One day before the official launch of photokina 2018, Leica Camera AG, Panasonic and Sigma announced a strategic partnership at the company’s press conference. The “L-Mount Alliance” is an unprecedented way of working together and will be particularly beneficial to the customers of the three companies. It allows Panasonic and Sigma to use the L-mount standard developed by Leica for their own developments and thus also offer cameras and optics with this lens mount. Through the joint efforts of the three partners, the alliance will significantly contribute to the importance of the L-Mount standard for the world of photography
Due to their numerous interchangeable components, system cameras allow a very flexible use and can be individually configured according to requirements. The bayonet is the most important interface, as the lens has a significant impact on the imaging performance and therefore on the final image quality. The strategic partnership between Leica, Panasonic and Sigma will allow customers to use a wider range of cameras and lenses in the future without compromising on so far to have to specify individual manufacturers, because they use propriety bayonets.

Dr. Andreas Kaufmann, Chairman of the Supervisory Board and majority shareholder, Leica Camera AG: “Photographers are extremely important for their chosen camera system. Particularly in the increasingly growing market for mirrorless system cameras, there is an ever-increasing variety of different requirements on the part of the users. In order to be able to meet these requirements at short notice, we have decided to work together with renowned partners from the photographic industry.
With Panasonic we have many years of partnership and trusting cooperation and their expertise in electronics is undisputed. Sigma is also a respected company, which has established itself particularly in the field of optical development and with its innovative products, a perfect complement to our existing L-Mount portfolio can. We believe that together with our partners, we can achieve mutual and sustainable growth for all our products. ”
Mr. Tetsuro Homma, Senior Managing Executive Officer, Panasonic Corporation, said: “Panasonic’s focus has always been to revolutionize the camera market and make photographers’ lives easier, more advanced, and more enjoyable. Our long-standing partnership with Leica has resulted in numerous high-performance, high-end digital cameras, combining Leica’s leading optical technology with Panasonic’s digital technologies. This partnership has enabled us to drive the development of excellent digital photography products. The L-Mount alliance with Leica and Sigma is a prime example of the power of our collaboration. This alliance of strong companies will fundamentally change the future of the photography industry. As a market challenger, we have always driven innovation with the slogan ‘Changing Photography’ to meet the high expectations of professional photographers. Our
Partnering with Leica and Sigma will provide additional business opportunities for our companies, but above all, it will continue to bring great pleasure to our customers in photography. ”

Mr.Kazuto Yamaki, Chief Executive Officer, SIGMACorporation: “As cameras evolve toward digital and mirrorless, user and system requirements have also changed. Currently, there is an almost overwhelming choice of different systems that, however, do not yet meet all the needs of users, especially in terms of extensibility and flexibility. SIGMA joins this alliance to develop mirrorless cameras that benefit from the short run. As SIGMA seeks to develop high-quality and innovative high-performance products, this alliance will greatly enhance both the implementation and expandability of our camera system, significantly increasing the value to our customers. Leica is a great company and has had a significant impact on photography for more than 100 years, and Panasonic is a leader in many different areas because of its proven track record. Combined with SIGMA’s high quality, high performance and unique products, the L-Mount will become an extremely attractive system for potential users. ”

About the L-mount

The L-Mount was developed by Leica Camera to provide customers with a future-proof, flexible, robust and precise bayonet that will meet even the most demanding photographic requirements. After its initial launch in 2014 in the Leica T, the L-Mount has been continuously developed by Leica Camera and its partners, resulting in improved and quasi-new L-Mount technology.

For the widest possible variety of products, the diameter of the L-mount was dimensioned at 51.6 millimeters, making it suitable not only for full-frame cameras but also for APS-C sensors. The small footprint of only 20 millimeters allows for a small distance between optics and sensor, making lenses much more compact – particularly useful for wide angle development. To withstand even the heaviest loads and to guarantee maximum safety for customers over many years of intensive use, camera bayonets become wear resistant Stainless steel and with four flange segments, which prevents tilting and ensures a particularly firm and flat fit of the lens. The standardized L-Mount contact strip ensures smooth communication between the electronic components in the lens and the camera, including the possibility of firmware updates for lenses, in order to react to technical developments and thus ensure full performance in the future.

Currently, the Leica SL system in full format and the APS system with camera models Leica CL, TL2 and TLde use the lens mount. All the optics of the different systems can be operated without restrictions and without adapters on all cameras – here is already one of the many advantages that customers have through the unified bayonet.In the near future, both the Leica CameraAG, as well as Panasonic and Sigma announce other products using the same standard.

Venus Optics will show 8 new lenses at Photokina

Anhui China, Sept 21, 2018 – Venus Optics, the camera lenses manufacturer who had previously launched a number of unique Laowa camera lenses, is proud to unveil 8 new and unique lenses in Photokina.

Laowa OOOM 25-100mm t/2.9 Cine Lightweight Zoom
Laowa 17mm f/1.8 MFT
Laowa 12mm f/1.8 MFT
Laowa 9mm f/2.8 Zero-D (DJI DL)
Laowa 9mm f/2.8 Zero-D MFT
Laowa 7.5mm t/2.1 Cine
Laowa 9mm t/2.9 Zero-D Cine
Laowa 12mm t/2.9 Zero-D Cine
Laowa 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 FE Zoom
Laowa 100mm f/2.8 2X Ultra Macro APO
Laowa 17mm f/4 GFX Zero-D
Laowa 4mm f/2.8 Fisheye MFT

Laowa OOOM 25-100 t/2.9 Cine Lightweight Zoom

Laowa OOOM Cine lightweight zoom is the first professional cinema style zoom lens offered by Venus Optics. The lens features a wide 25-100mm zoom range, making it a one-size-fits-all lens for different types of productions.

Unlike some cine lens in the market which were re-engineered from a photo zoom lens, Laowa OOOM Cine lens is designed for digital cinematography in the first place. It is truly parfocal, meaning the focus will never shift when you zoom in or zoom back out. It is designed to have nearly zero focus breathing throughout the whole zoom range. The aperture remains fixed at t/2.9 at all focal lengths.

It is built with the true cinema level mechanics. It comes with a stepless, t-stop independent aperture ring with an industry standard 0.8 mod /32 pitch gears.  The 270° rotation flow provides room or precise focus pulls and the iris is clickless, enabling smooth iris pulls. The lens weighs only 2.16 pounds, which is fairly light for a cinema zoom that holds focus and aperture throughout the focal length range.

Laowa 17mm f/1.8 MFT

Laowa 17mm f/1.8 is a new compact, standard prime designed for Micro Four Thirds cameras and it gives a 35mm-equivalent field of view. The lens houses 9 elements in 7 groups and have a 5-blade aperture for the best sunstar rendering. The lens is extremely compact and lightweight, weighs only 160g (0.36lbs) and is 5cm (2”) long. A 46cm filter thread is included and the 15cm minimal focus distance make it a perfect lens for videography.

Laowa 12mm f/1.8 MFT

Laowa 12mm f/1.8 is a new compact, wide-angle prime for Micro Four Thirds cameras and it gives a 24mm-equivalent field of view. The ultra-fast f/1.8 aperture allows photographers to take astro photos with ease. The lens houses 13 elements in 10 groups and a 5-blade aperture. The lens can focus as close as 14cm (5.5”) and takes 46mm screw-in filters which gives extra convenience to videographers. It weighs only 165g (0.4 lbs) and its 5cm long (2”).
Laowa 9mm f/2.8 Zero-D (DJI DL)

Following the successful launch of the super compact and lightweight 7.5mm f/2 MFT lens for DJI Inspire drones (X5 gimbals) during 2017, Venus Optics is proud to introduce another ultra-wide option, Laowa 9mm f/2.8 Zero-D DL, to use on DJI Inspire 2 (X7 gimbals).

Featuring an effective 118° angle of view, the Laowa 9mm f/2.8 Zero-D DJI DL is currently the widest available option for DJI Inspire 2 drones with Zenmuse X7 gimbals. The bigger image circle can cover the size of Super35 sensors and the native DL mount allows an easy lens switching. The lens weighs only 215g and it is super tiny and compact. It comes with a 49mm filter thread and features a close-to-zero optical distortion.

Laowa 9mm f/2.8 Zero-D MFT

Laowa 9mm f/2.8 Zero-D (Micro Four Thirds mount) is the 4th variant added to the existing Fuji X, Sony E and EOS-M mounts. The 9mm lens provides a 18mm equivalent angle of view on the Micro Four Thirds sensor. It also has a better vignetting control over the other variants of the same lens. The close-to-zero distortion will remain unchanged.

Laowa 7.5mm t/2.1 Cine / Laowa 9mm t/2.9 Zero-D Cine

The new Laowa 7.5mm and 9mm Cine lenses are the cine-mod version of the existing photo version of Venus Optics best-selling models. Both lenses were re-housed with a step-less aperture rings and focus rings with standard 0.8 mod gears which give videographers extra convenience to use with follow-focus systems. Both of the lenses are the widest available in the market in its class and only weigh 180g (0.4lbs) & 250g (0.55lbs) respectively. Closest focusing distance is both 12cm (0.4 feet). The wide perspective and lightweight makes them the perfect companion for gimbal shooting. MFT mount is available for 7.5mm t/2.1 Cine and Sony E mount is available for 9mm t/2.9 Cine.

Laowa 12mm t/2.9 Zero-D Cine (PL)

The new Laowa 12mm t/2.9 Zero-D Cine in PL mount is the cine-mod version of the existing 12mm f/2.8 Zero-D lens. The lens was rehoused with a step-less, t-stop aperture rings and focus rings with standard 0.8 mod gears for iris and focus pulls. It successfully covers the 35mm Vista Vision sensor size and offers an ultra-wide 122° angle of view, making it one of the world’s widest and fastest available option for shooting with large sensors. Despite the ultra-wide field of view, it is perfectly rectilinear and features a close-to-zero distortion rate. The focus flow is extended to 270° for cinematographers to also take advantage of the 0.6 feet (18cm) closest focusing distance. The super lightweight (650g, 1.4lbs) is also an added benefit for cinematographers.

Laowa 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 FE Zoom

This lens is currently the widest zoom lens available for Sony full frame E-mount cameras. Designed primarily for travel photography, Venus optics have managed to compress the size to smallest in its class, less than 4 inch (<10cm) and only 1.1 pounds (<500g). The 102° (18mm) to 130° (10mm) angle of view provides flexibility for photographers to compose landscape or architecture photos with ease. The lens houses with 14 elements in 10 groups with 2 aspherical elements & 1 extra-low dispersion element to deliver exceptional performance. It can focus as close as 15cm for some mini-macro shooting. A rear filter slot is included to fit with 37mm filter. A dedicated filter holder is being developed to fit 100mm-wide filters. Click/clickless aperture can be toggled by the switch on the lens barrel. A 5-blade aperture design ensures a pleasing and clean sunstar rendering.

Multiple samples will be available for free rental during Photokina period.

Laowa 100mm f/2.8 2X Ultra Macro APO

Followed by the success of the Laowa 60mm f/2.8 2:1 Macro, the 100mm f/2.8 2:1 Macro is the 2nd member of Laowa 2:1 macro line-up. This new 100mm lens can cover full frame sensor size and focus from 2:1 magnification to infinity. The wide magnification range allows macro photographers to capture subject at any sizes. This 100mm portrait lens also features an apochromatic (APO) characteristic that no chromatic aberration can be found. The 12 elements in 10 groups optics design delivers a crystal sharpness image in both macro and tele distances. Automatic aperture control feature is available for Canon EF version and Aperture coupling is available for Nikon F mount version.

Laowa 17mm f/4 GFX Zero-D

This is currently the widest available native lens option for Fujifilm G-mount cameras. The new Laowa 17mm f/4 GFX has a field of view equivalent to 13mm in 35mm format (113°). Featuring a close-to-zero distortion and 86mm filter thread, this lens is ideally suited for landscape, architecture & interior photography. The 21 elements in 14 groups design with 2pcs of aspherical & 3pcs of Extra-low dispersion elements successfully help to control the distortion & chromatic aberrations to the minimal.

Laowa 4mm f/2.8 Fisheye MFT

Featuring a 210° angle of view, this lens delivers unique circular fisheye field of view on Micro four thirds cameras. The ultra-wide angle view allows photographers to create 360° panorama with ease. Despite the unique & ultra-wide perspective, the lens only weighs 0.3 pounds (135g).

Free Rental Programme
Venus Optics have prepared some copies of the Laowa 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 FE Zoom and Laowa 24mm f/14 Probe lens (Canon) for free rental during Photokina period. For reservations, please contact Venus Optics via contact@venuslens.net.

Availability
All 12 new lenses will make its Europe debut in Venus Optics’ booth (Hall 2.1, D-040) in Photokina, Cologne during 26th-29th Sept. Pricing and ship date are to be confirmed.

About Us
Anhui ChangGeng Optical Technology Company Limited (Venus Optics) is a new Chinese camera lens manufacturer based in Hefei, Anhui. We currently manufacture and distribute camera lenses under the brand name of ‘Laowa’.

For more information about Anhui ChangGeng Optical Technology Company Limited and our products information, visit http://www.venuslens.net/

Sony announces the new 24mm f/1.4 GM lens

Sony announced the lightest and most compact 24mm f/1.4 FF lens on the market. Unlike so many other GM lenses this is a smaller lens than the DSLR lens competition. Nice!

Preorders start at 10am ET, Fri Sep 21:
Sony 24mm GM at Bhphoto. Adorama.

Press:
Sony lens product page. Press text at Dpreview. First impressions by Albert Dros. First impressions by ThePhoBlographer. Prueba de campo de Photolari.

Canon managers interviewed by IR

Imaging Resource interviewed a bunch of Canon managers and engeneers:

About the 20mm flange distance: They said that their first consideration in choosing the flange structure was the physical ruggedness of the system, and they felt that 20mm was what they needed to meet their goals for overall strength.

RF lenses superior to EF lenses: They talked a lot about how much having a large element close to the sensor helped when it comes to correcting aberrations.

Overall the focus of this system was on autofocus performance and optical lens quality.

via CanonWatch.

AI powered Aurora HDR 2019 preorders are now live

Today Skylum launched the new AI powered Aurora HDR 2019 Pre-Order for MAC and Windows. The software will be releases on October 4 and you save $10 on it if you preorder it before that date!

About Aurora HDR 2019:
Skylum’s Quantum HDR Engine harnesses the power of AI for a more streamlined editing experience than ever before. It reduces burned-out colors, loss of contrast, noise and unnatural lighting caused by halos and unstable deghosting.

The Quantum HDR Engine has taken three years to create within Skylum’s AI lab, and contains the vast knowledge of the development team paired with artificial intelligence to bring you seamless HDR editing, be it with a single image or multiple bracketed shots.

Skylum’s developers tested thousands of bracketed shots through a neural network, and used the results to develop the technology needed for creating incredible HDR photographs – whether it’s real estate, landscape, cityscape or any other type of HDR photography.

Here are the most essential changes:
New Quantum HDR Engine
LUTs support with 11 New Integrated LUTs
Photoshop plugins support
New HDR Smart Structure filter for realistic and artefact-free structure (can be found in the new HDR Enhance filter)
Presets are now called ‘Aurora HDR Looks’
Improved Adjustable Gradient filter with new sliders for Shadows and Highlights added
Improved HDR Details Boost Effect ( the photo is shown in high-resolution while fine-tuning the filter)

Offer Availability:
Aurora HDR 2019 is available for pre-order on September, 12, and released on October, 4.

Pre-Order Pricing:
Current users may upgrade at a price of $49 USD ($59 USD MSRP)
New users can purchase Aurora HDR 2019 at a price of $89 USD ($99 MSRP)

Pre-Order Bonuses:
Video Tutorial: Getting the Most from Aurora HDR 2019 by Trey Ratcliff
Landscape Photography Handbook by David Johnston
Burning Moods LUTs by Richard Harrington
Exclusive interior Aurora Looks by Richard Harrington
3-month 500px Pro membership
$300 USD OFF a multi-day Iceland Photo Tours

Your Aurora HDR 2019 Pre-Order Page text link: https://macphun.evyy.net/c/60087/513351/3255

Canon says 8K EOS-R Cinema camera is a possibility. And they will consider adding on sensor stabilization in future models.

The Japanese website MyNavi interviewed Canon managers. And there are a couple of things I wanna share here:

  1. Canon says the EOS-R sensor is not the same as the one used by the 5DIV. The new sensor has been refined and with new micro lenses and with addition of Dual Pixel AF.
  2. The Image Quality of the EOS-R will be higher than that of any other Canon DSLR camera thanks to the new sensor, new processor and the new high performing lenses
  3. Canon did not add on sensor stabilization because of the costs, the heating issue and size issues. But they will consider adding on sensor stabilization on future models
  4. Of course we can expect lower and higher end EOS-R models to be released in the near future
  5. Canon is considering making a 8k Cinema EOS-R camera.

found via Digicameinfo.