Wow: Sony Planar T* FE 50mm f1.4 ZA

Sony Planar T* FE 50mm f1.4 ZA Prime Lens : As good as it gets


This weeks Amateur Photographer (AP) Magazine had a technical review of the very expensive Sony Planer T* FE 50mm f1.4 ZA prime lens designed to be paired with Sony’s full frame mirrorless A7 cameras like the superb A7R II.

To sum up AP’s verdict “Wow” this lens is as near perfect as its possible to get, hence the “Gold” award , no wonder it costs near £1500.

Here a choice sentence from AP’s verdict that says its all :

“Its always a little difficult to critically assess a lens this good”

August 2016


Sigma 50-100mm f1.8 Art Review

Sigma 50-100mm f1.8 Art Zoom: Yet another winner from Sigma

News image

From Photohgraphy Blog UK:

The Sigma 50-100mm F/1.8 DC HSM Art is an interesting proposition. It’s almost like three or four prime lenses in one (50mm, 60mm 85mm and 100mm), but with the added bonus of offering a wide f/1.8 aperture – something which you won’t find in 100mm prime lenses.

While it’s a very large and unwieldy lens, if it saves you from carrying (and having the hassle of changing) three of four prime lenses, there’s an arguable case for it. As you’ll be using it on an APS-C sensor, it’s not quite wide enough to be a good walk around lens as you’ll no doubt find times when you want to go wider.

That said, you could have this and a wider prime lens and you’ll have most mid-range focal lengths covered. Sharpness is good throughout the focal range and across apertures, and although you can see light fall-off at very wide apertures, it’s impressive at f/2.8 and narrower. Out of focus areas are rendered beautifully, while focusing is quick and accurate – and if you’re using manual focus very easy and swift too.

Overall the Sigma 50-100mm F/1.8 DC HSM Art is a great lens for anybody who wants those prime lengths in a convenient all-in-one package. You certainly won’t be discreet when using this lens, but your favoured focal lengths are in the mid-range, then it could be a good alternative to packing your kit bag full of different lenses.

It’s not a cheap lens by any stretch of the imagination – however again if you consider the potential outlay of three or four prime lenses, the Sigma 50-100mm F/1.8 DC HSM Art begins to look better value for money.

August 2016

Firmware update for Sony A7R II

Sony has released a firmware update for its a7R II full-frame mirrorless camera which improves camera stability while adding support for the company’s new radio controlled lighting system.

Firmware 3.30

  • Support for Radio Controlled Lighting System
  • Improved stability in picture shooting mode (by optimizing temperature control)
  • Allows for HDMI output while using Remote Camera Control software
  • Improves overall stability and operability of the camera

August 2016

Fuji XA-3 is coming?

Despite my doubts it looks like Fuji is likely going to release a update / revamp of its entry level “X” APS-C the XA-2 by introducing a 24mp Fuji XA-3?

This camera like the former XA-2 won’t employ Fuji’s unique Trans X APS-C CMOS sensor by the more usual bayer designed unit as is found in DSLR’s from the likes of Nikon and Pentax.

The XA-2 ) shown below) was an excellent way to dip ones toes into the lens-interchangeable CSC / Mirrorless world but always played second fiddle to Fuji’s widly praied Trans X equipped “X” cameras.

Fujifilm X-A2 Review Image

Rumours suggest the XA-3 will see the welcomed introduction of touch capacity to the tilting rear screen but don’t expect 4K.

A pocketable carry anytime camera the former XA-2 also happened to produced great JPEG’s straight from camera.

Pair the more resolute XA-3 with one of Fuji’s small (ish) prime lenses and you have a great potential combination.

Price will be vital because there are plenty of highly capable entry level mirrorless CSC on the market, Fuji will have to make the XA-3 very competative.

A few weeks and we will know for sure.

Mark Baynham ( August 2016)

What to expect (or hope for) at Photokina

Only a few weeks to go before the Photokina show 2016, so what cameras can we reasonably expect to be launched just before the show or indeed at the show itself?


Well the Canon EOS 5D IV full frame DSLR is 100% certain.

Expect a 30mp full frame DSLR with 4K video and built in Wi-Fi & GPS.

The 5D4 will be offered paired with the  new 24-105mm F4L IS II zoom lens.

Its possible Canon may announce a new mirrorless CsC “M” model, either a update to the current EOS M3 or ( along shot) the long rumoured full frame mirrorless EOS model?


The replacement / update to Panasonic’s entry level “G” CSC model (the G7) will break cover, rumours suggesting a title of G80.  If true the designation hints that the camera will probably use the same 16mp sensor that is found in the recent GX80/85 and not the 20mp sensor as is found in the GX8.

Its doubtful we will see the flagship GH5 break cover ( a November / New Year launch?) but maybe a new mini “GM” model?

An update to the Panasonic LX100 is widely rumoured, once again using the same 16mp sensor from the GX80. I’d expect a tilting / articulated touch screen will be added and the EVF improved slightly , otherwise the new flagship LX model will be reasonable similar to the current LX100.


The  Olympus OMD  EM1 II will be revealed (possibly even in the next 2 weeks or so). I suspect Olympus will have thrown the kitchen sink at its new Micro Four Thirds flagship, so a 20mp sensor, more resolute EVF, genuine handheld High Res shooting, even quicker frame per second rate, and tweaked 5-axis in-body stabilisation.

Along with the EM1 II Olympus will reveal the first of its “Pro” f1.2 prime lenses as well as the rumoured  12-100mm “Pro” travel zoom.

The delayed EPL8 will also see the light of day.


I reckon that Fuji will update its ageing XE model ( the XE2s) with the Fuji maybe a Fuji XE3?

Likewise its “X” range of fixed lens rangefinder styled cameras ie X100T, could well do with a revamp, so possibly a X200 is on the cards?

Fuji’s enty level mini XM model like the X100 range also needs a revision if the range is to continue so a new XM model is needed.

Its pretty obvious that Fuji best option would be to stick the superb 24mp Trans X sesnor from the XT2/ X-Pro 2 sensor in any new models?

Finally rumours hint of a Fuji XA-3 breaking cover. Mmmm, I am no so sure about that one and I wouldn’t be suprised if the XA range is actually dead in the water and the revised XM model used to move things on?


Will we ever see a replacement of the full frame Sony A99?

Or maybe a new APS-C high end Sony Alpha 7000?

Sony will reveal something but what?


No idea whatsover?

Mark Baynham ( August 2016)