New Leica and Zeiss lenses, a cool power flash from Nissin, Samsung's Wi-Fi, a camera copter, a blow-up studio and more at the Javits center.
Leica's big news is a new Elmarit-S 30mm f/2.8 ASPH lens for its medium-format S system. Equivalent to a 24mm lens on a 35mm camera, the new optic is said to be optimized for consistent performance at all apertures—without the need for optimizaton software. The lens is expected to be available in December. Leica also showed its previously announced 21mm f/3.5 for M-mount cameras, which is expected to be available. Speaking of M-mount, Ricoh showed the M-mount module for the GXR, complete with an APS sensor (shown).
Zeiss 25mm f/2: This lens is so new, the samples were still stuck in customs. However, it is said to be designed for documentary indoor work and is claimed to have eliminated chormatic aberration thanks to two aspheric surfaces and other special lenses with anti-reflective coating and increased light transmission. This is the first 25mm lens in the Canon EF mount, and translates to a 40mm lens when used on an APS sensor-based camera although it will work with full-frame models.
Nissin showed a new ring flash for Nikon and Canon, as well as the MG8000, which is capable of shooting up to 100 flashes in rapid succession without overheating thanks to quartz tubes and built-in air vents, something I haven't seen before in a shoe-mount flash. Nissin is hoping wedding and event pro shooters will embrace this heavy-duty new flash. It's so new, we don't have pricing or availability yet.
While Samsung didn't have any new products at the show, they did show how their SH100 Wi-Fi camera can be operated remotely via any bluetooth-enabled Android device. On the screen are app-like icons. Is this a future direction for compact cameras? Let's hope.
Rotor Concept took us on flights of fancy with the HPL1, a small (less than two feet in diameter) camera-carrying helicopter with the ability to rise to up to 2,000 feet and a flight radius up to 1 mile for up to 20 minutes. It can carry up to a 3-pound camera as payload that can be operated via remote control. Price ranges from $500-$1,800, depending on payload.
Camping? Blow-up moon walk thingie that kids jump around in at carnivals? Nope, It's the EPS Expandable Photo Studio, which was being blown up outside the event. It packs down to the size of a large briefcase, blows up to a large tent-sized shooting space, basically anywhere you need it. The smallest model is 22x15 with 13 foot ceiling, while the largest blows up to 22x30 feet. Models weigh between 45 and 90 pounds and come in light blocking or diffusion material. Not recommended for camping.
Finally, the simplest idea to eliminate zoom creep: Lensband looks like one of those “I'm taking up a cause” wristbands, only slightly bigger. Attach it to your zoom lens and it simply doesn't creep. Which leaves us with the question: Why didn't anyone else come up with this idea before?
Go here for Part 2 of our Photo Plus Expo coverage!