Nikon's DX macro, Pentax's limited-edition medium-format camera, bigger Giottos Vetruvians, more.
Nikon introduces 40mm f/2.8 DX Macro Lens
Nikon this week unveiled a 40mm f/2.8 macro lens designed for DX-format (APS sensor) Nikon cameras. Capable of focusing to 6.4 inches for 1:1 reproduction, the lens weighs just nine ounces. It is designed especially for users of starter DSLRs such as the D3100. The Nikon AF-S DX Micro NIKKOR 40mm f/2.8G will be available in August for approximately $279.95. Read the Nikon press release. http://www.nikon.com/news/2011/0712_af-s_dx_micro40mmf28g_01.htm
It's hip to be square: Kenko-Tokina buys Cokin
Cokin, the French company known for its innovative square filter system, has been acquired by lens and filter giant Kenko-Tokina of Japan. Cokin will continue to operate independently, but will have the financial backing and resources of the larger company, according to a Cokin spokesperson. Before acquiring Cokin, Kenko-Tokina operated 10 factories and subsidiaries worldwide and are a world leader in round photographic filters. Now they're also a leader in square ones.
Pentax Limited Edition 645D: Red Hot
Speaking of companies recently bought by other companies (in this case, by Ricoh), Pentax this week announced that in honor of being named the Camera Grand Prix Japan 2011 Camera of the Year, Pentax has announced a limited-edition lacquer-finish body red Pentax 645D. The dust- and weather-resistant, 40MP medium-format digital camera will come with matching accessories in a fancy wooden box, and will be built to order; a four-month wait is expected, but this camera is more of a collector's item than a user. Price? They're not saying.
Kodak Launches new C1550, 16MP Compact
Kodak continues to launch inexpensive, easy-to-use compact cameras with the C1550, which features a 5x optical zoom, Kodak's Smart Capture technology, a Share button that lets you tag pictures and videos to be shared easily on Facebook, Flickr, YouTube, and other sharing sites. The CCD sensor is crammed with 16MP and yet only basic VGA-quality video at 25fps is available. The camera will cost $100.
Giottos expands Vetruvian Tripods
Giottos' Vetruvian line of tripods has received accolades for their ability to fold down to very compact sizes. Now, based on consumer feedback, Giottos has just launched two larger Vetruvians with a higher payload. The VGRN9265 extends to 67.3 inches but folds down to 15.7 inches. The center column can be removed and turned into a monopod, and there is a built-in ballhead. When collapsed, the legs can fold through 180 degrees to surround the center column for easy transporting. Pricing and availability were not announced.
And finally...Toshiba, SanDisc Build Quake-Resistant Factory
After feeling firsthand the devastating effects of a major earthquake and tsunami, Toshiba and SanDisk announced this week that its latest factory, in Yokkaichi, Japan, has been built to withstand a quake. The building, which opened this week, has “advanced earthquake-absorbing structurs and integrates multiple power compensation techniques for protection against unexpected disruptions.” Toshiba had suspended operation in Japan after the March quake due to structural damage and blackouts. The factory will supply NAND chips for computers and cell phones.