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Lenses

The MIT metamaterial lens

We expect the world to be predictable. Water flows downhill, fire burns and lenses bend light in a particular way. That worldview took a jolt as Isaac Ehrenberg, an MIT graduate student in mechanical engineering, developed a three-dimensional, lightweight metamaterial lens that focuses radio waves with extreme precision. That may not seem too disturbing, but the lens is concave and works in exactly the opposite manner of how such a lens should.  Read More

Scientists have created lenses that refract light in the same fashion as the lens in the h...

Although many people may think that the lenses in our eyes are just like those found in cameras, there is in fact one key difference between the two – while man-made lenses have just a single index of refraction, meaning that they only bend light in one direction, our natural lenses refract light by varying degrees. This is why artificial implanted lenses, such as those used to treat cataracts, can create visual distortions. A new technology, however, now allows for the fabrication of lenses that work just like the ones in our eyes.  Read More

The Nikon 70-200mm f/4G ED VR boasts a constant f/4 aperture and promises up to five stops...

The recently announced 70-200 f/4 is an important lens for Nikon – not only does it plug a longstanding gap in the manufacturer's lens lineup, but it's also the debut for the third generation of Nikon’s Vibration Reduction (VR) technology. Considerably smaller and lighter than the f/2.8 alternative, the new lens still boasts a respectable constant f/4 aperture and promises up to five stops of image stabilization.  Read More

The HiLO right-angle lens allows iPhone and iPad photographers to more easily get high- an...

A lot of digital cameras have LCD screens that can be swiveled around independent of the camera body, making it a lot easier to get high- and low-angle shots. Photographers using an iPhone or iPad, however, are stuck with an unswivel-able screen. That’s where the HiLO lens comes in. It’s a right-angle lens that attaches to an iDevice’s existing lens, allowing users to shoot up, down or to either side while still being able to view the screen.  Read More

Lensbaby's new Spark lens allows photographers to get shots with one 'sweet spot' of focus...

Although there’s an almost infinite number of effects that can be added to already-taken photos using software, there’s definitely something to be said for the on-location creativity that comes with good ol’ optical in-camera effects. That’s why Lensbaby designed the Spark, a new lens that it announced today. Spark is intended to capture images “that have a sweet spot of focus surrounded by beautiful artistic blur.”  Read More

Canon C500 and C100 cameras

Canon found itself in a strange position when the Digital Cinema "revolution" became mainstream. Having been a manufacturer of video camcorders for years it was surprised to find everybody wanting to use its still cameras to make movies. After adding a video function for press photographers, film-makers fell in love with the look provided by a large sensor and 24-frames a second. Canon (eventually) responded with the entirely new EOS C300 digital cinema camera nine months ago. Only two complaints with the C300 – too expensive and not 4K. Canon has now addressed those two little problems.  Read More

A new ultrathin, flat lens focuses light without imparting the optical distortions of conv...

The miniaturization of electronics, in particular the electronic sensors on which digital images are captured, has seen digital cameras shrink to such a degree that they are now standard equipment on mobile phones. The main thing holding back further downsizing is the lens through which the light is focused onto said image sensor. A team of applied physicists from Harvard University has now overcome this roadblock by creating a lens that, at just 60 nanometers thick, is effectively two-dimensional. Not only that, the ultrathin lens focuses light without the distortions seen in conventional lenses.  Read More

The Mobi-Lens attached to an iPhone

The Mobi-Lens is a portable lens for your cell phone, tablet, and even some laptops. Instead of having a design that is exclusive to a certain device, the Mobi-Lens uses a clip-on design that will work with almost anything.  Read More

The Phocus photography accessory for iPhone 4/4S

An updated version of the OWLE Bubo, the Phocus is a versatile photography accessory for the iPhone 4/4S. Essentially, it's a heavy-duty case designed to optimize the iPhone's photographic capabilities. It provides users with up to three lens choices, as well as the option to purchase an adapter that allows for the use of standard DSLR lenses.  Read More

Digital technology has transformed photography over the past couple of decades, and the ch...

If you ever need an example of the exponential rise of technology, look no further than the digital camera. The ability to capture images on an electronic sensor has transformed photography and the way we record life's precious moments (and plenty of the un-precious ones as well) in less than 25 years. So how will we capture our holiday snaps when another two decades have passed? By 2030, will today's spanking new DSLR be as unrecognizable as a box brownie is today? Here's a look at some of the significant innovations and ideas we've encountered in recent times that may hold some clues.  Read More

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