Aug 10

Sony self-claims world wide #2 spot for interchangeable-lens camera sales, still committed to APS-C

Imaging-Resource published a new interview with Kenji Tanaka from Sony – here is the recap from SonyAddict:

  • The bloggers said there was a perception Sony was focused on full frame cameras and Sony executives responded“APS-C is an important category for us. We’ll never quit APS-C!”
  • Not everyone needs full frame. Some Pro users like APS-C for getting extra reach without losing quality, as a second body, or to keep the size down even though Sony full frame is small already.
  • “Please look at our vision, not where our profits come from.” When looking forward, because Sony is willing to invest to advance the industry.
  • Sony has to grow by growing the camera market
  • They plan to do this by making it possible to capture pictures that were impossible to capture before.
  • Sony is all about the long view
  • “*In terms of being a true leader in the market, we were shown market data indicating that Sony now is in fact solidly in the #2 spot for interchangeable-lens camera sales both globally and in several major markets, including the US — and not just for a single month, here or there”
  • “I’m comfortable saying that Sony is now the #2 company in the interchangeable-lens camera business, based on the overall dollar (or Yen?) value of their sales.” This is world wide…

A recent article on Yahoo Japan just reported that Nikon is still at the #2 spot worldwide.

Update from IRThe note above originally claimed Sony was #2 in overall ILC sales, when in fact they are only planning to claim they are #2 in full-frame cameras YTD. Sony clarified the statement on their position in the market and the article has been updated as such.

Source: Imaging-Resource, via SonyAddict

Aug 10

Oprema Jena announces their plans for a new Biotar 75 f/1.5 lens

The previously rumored new Biotar 75 f/1.5 lens (first reported on LeicaRumors) is now officially announced and as already reported, it will be sold under the Meyer Optik Goerlitz Oprema Jena brand (net SE is behind the Oprema Jena and Meyer Optik brands). The lens funding will start soon on Kickstarter.

The Biotar 1.5/75 lens is very sharp in the center and is known for its 3D-like effect – see this first sample pictures from the new lens:

Oprema Jena is planning to bring back also the Biotar 58 and Flektogon lenses.

Here is the full email that got sent out today:

Global All-Star Team Joins to Resurrect Legends – Biotar 75/1.5 first Oprema Jena project on Kickstarter

You might have read in the news that I am involved in some activities to return the legendary Biotar 75 to the market. This is true. I have put together a fantastic team for this venture. It consists of Andre de Winter, an award-winning former Leica lens designer, Wolfdieter Prenzel, the leading specialist in the field of optical design of classic lenses and Kenko Tokina, global maker of high-performance camera lenses. We have come together under the brand name Oprema Jena. The brand is part of net SE, which is led by myself and which is also responsible for Meyer Optik. But apart from this “umbrella” there is no direct connection between the two projects.

Meyer Optik’s mission is to continue building our own production in Germany and deliver lenses that are “Made in Germany.” All our Meyer lenses are ones that we try to “reengineer” with the same imaging capabilities as the original or vintage lenses. In addition, we are working on designing some modern versions of Meyer lenses and will introduce aspherical technology in our lenses very soon. So, while we are full of ideas and have lots of developments under way, we have to be careful not to overstretch our production capacities. Also, the management issues involved in such a production are not without limits. Therefore, I have decided to keep Meyer and Oprema as separate units and have secured Tokina’s cooperation for this initiative. The different players in this group have bundled their activities under the name of Oprema Jena, thus paying tribute to the city where the Biotar was born and to the East German optical traditions. The cooperation with Tokina was very important because this way we can assure a smooth production process by working together with such an experienced lens manufacturer; and we did not want to overstretch our own production.

Oprema Jena’s first project will be the resurrection of one of the most famous lenses of all times, the Biotar 75 designed in 1938 by Willy Merté for Carl Zeiss and only produced in small quantities until 1960.

The lens is known for its famous, swirley bokeh at f1.5 in conjunction with an extreme sharpness in the center. Photographers also rave about an almost 3D-like effect with the object in the center seeming to be separated from the background and moving towards the viewer.

With the aperture at f5.6 or 8, the lens becomes a very sharp piece of equipment with great contrast, especially taking into consideration that it is a design dating back to the 30s of the last century. The Biotar 75 is a lens that proves that it has a surprising sharpness but also characteristics unknown among modern lenses. Its sharpness and swirl is legendary, vintage lenses of this kind are extremely hard to get and sell over a thousand dollars if in good condition.

We will present the Biotar to the photography community with the help of a Kickstarter project, which will be announced soon.

We are excited to see this lens come to life and very happy that we have been able to join Wolfdieter, Andre and Tokina for this exciting resurrection. Be assured, this is not a one off but the beginning of a bigger project that will back the Biotar 58, as well as the famous Flektogon lenses. The team has a great spirit and we think those lenses should not be forgotten.

None of this will interfere with our activities at Meyer Optik. We have to keep our focus there and will continue to successfully rebuild Meyer Optik Goerlitz. The company has just delivered — and is delivering — past Kickstarter projects. We are proving that we deliver on our promises even if it took longer than we thought. Please keep in mind that Kickstarter is an entrepreneurial exercise and that overcoming such problems is often just part of the process.

Meyer Optik lenses are finding an ever growing community of fans throughout the globe. But for the future Oprema Jena projects, I wanted to build a new, powerful brand so that the Meyer story will continue to be put into reality with the total focus we have always given it.

Aug 09

Olympus and Panasonic Q1 financial results

Olympus posted their financial results for the first quarter of their fiscal year. Here is the recap from 43addict:

It looks like Olympus’ strategy of pricing the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II above the competition helped the Imaging Business become profitable during the three month period ending Jun 30th, 2017 compared with the previous period. This is certainly one way to balance the books, but I hope Olympus tries to increase their overall share of the mirrorless market going forward. Their mirrorless division was profitable, while the overall imaging division was not.

Panasonic published their latest Q1 financial results last week:

Panasonic’s camera business is under the appliances segment (no camera specific data was provided):

Aug 09

Canon rumored to announce three new tilt-shift lenses *UPDATED*

Canon is rumored to announce three new tilt-shift lenses. Here is the list of rumored focal lengths (three TS-E and one EF lenses):

  • Canon EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM
  • Canon TS-E 50mm f/2.8L Macro
  • Canon TS-E 90mm f/2.8L Macro
  • Canon TS-E 135mm f/4L Macro

Via CanonRumors

Aug 07

The 2017 Fujikina will take place on September 7, expect new product announcement

The 2017 Fujikina event will take place on September 7, 2017. As FujiAddict already noted, we can expect Fuji to announce one or more of the following rumored/expected products:

For more detailed Fuji coverage you can join one of the new Fuji Facebook groups:

Via FujiAddict

Aug 05

7Artisans 50mm f/1.1 lens reviews

A compilation of 7Artisans 50mm f/1.1 lens reviews from around the Web – the lens costs $370 and can be purchased at Amazon USAmazon DEAmazon UK and eBay, additional coverage of this lens can be found here:

7Artisans 50mm f/1.1 Leica M-mount lens review

DJ-Optical / 7Artisans 50mm f/1.1 (ongoing) Review