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Lenses

Olympus has announced three new PEN camera additions and two new lenses

Olympus has announced three new additions to its Micro Four Thirds PEN camera family, and two new lenses. There's no increase to the now familiar 12.3 megapixel count but the new E-P3, E-PL3 and E-PM1 do come with a newly-developed sensor, a brand new image engine and a huge ISO range. The new flagship E-P3 is also laying claim to the world's fastest autofocus title and benefits from a bright OLED touchscreen display to the rear.  Read More

Pentax is about to release what is claimed to be the world's smallest and lightest interch...

Pentax has announced the first pocket-friendly interchangeable lens camera to sport its new bayonet lens mount. The company says that its Q mount is about a third less in diameter than the more familiar K-mount, thanks to a reduction in the distance from the lens mount surface to the image sensor and by tweaking the size of the lens image circle to be proportionate to the sensor. The Pentax Q also makes use of a compact camera-sized sensor and sacrifices the onboard optical viewfinder, mirror box, focusing plate and autofocus sensor to help keep proportions to a minimum - making it about the same size as my Umbra credit card case. Other features of note include a programmable dial on the front for quick access to frequently-used settings, the ability to shoot full high definition video and a built-in flash that can pop up to help reduce red-eye.  Read More

Mark Stevenson has designed a simple solution to allow photographers to secure a lens cap ...

While I've been lucky never to have actually misplaced a lens cap for my digital SLR, there have been times when I've been lost for somewhere to put it between shots (no suggestions please). Chicago's Mark Stevenson has designed a simple solution to allow photographers to secure the wandering lens cap to a camera strap or camera bag.  Read More

The IC Safety System consists of outer protective glasses, and an inner foil that incorpor...

Those of us who need to wear glasses face a bit of a quandary when it comes to protective eyewear. We can put big safety glasses on over top of our prescription glasses, although these can be bulky, uncomfortable, and a little funny-looking. Those drawbacks can be avoided by getting safety glasses with prescription lenses, but given the conditions under which such glasses are typically worn, it’s entirely possible that their custom lenses will get scratched. This leaves users on the hook for an expensive new pair, which they will have to wait several days for. Australian inventor Andreas Mehringer, however, has created what could be a better alternative, in the form of his IC Safety System.  Read More

The Lensbaby Composer Pro - drop in an optic and tilt away to your creative heart's conten...

Lensbaby is an odd company making distinctly analogue products to suit modern digital SLR cameras. The Composer Pro is a lens body that features a tilting head which bends light and distorts the focal plane of whatever lens optic you drop into it, giving you a bunch of ways to creatively mess with your photography in-camera for some pretty striking and evocative effects. It feels like a strange thing to do, putting such low-fi and distorted lenses on your ultra-sharp DSLR – but then again, hey, if it feels good, do it! Click through to see some example photos.  Read More

The Mini Microscope for iPhone allows the camera of an iPhone 4 to get close-up images of ...

It's all very well and good that iPhones can give you directions, let you surf the web, and do about a thousand other things, but what if you want to get a close look at something really tiny? Well, the phone can't help you with that on its own, but it can if you equip it with the Mini Microscope for iPhone. Like the University of California, Davis' more clinical CellScope, it mounts over the lens of the phone's camera. Once in place, you can use it to inspect your thumb, get to know the insects in your neighborhood, or even to detect counterfeit currency.  Read More

Engineers have created a single fixed lens that allows microscopes to capture three-dimens...

Engineers from Ohio State University have developed what they say is the world’s first microscope lens capable of obtaining three-dimensional images. While 3D microscopy has already been achieved, it has previously required the use of multiple lenses, or of a single camera that moves around the object being imaged. The new device, however, is just a single lens that sits in place on an existing microscope.  Read More

A mock-up of Ricoh's new GXR Lens Mount Unit on display at the CP Camera and Photo Imaging...

Since introducing its modular GXR camera system towards the end of 2009, Ricoh has kept its promise of regularly adding new interchangeable units to the setup. The line now includes four units which between them offer a broad range of different lens and sensor configurations. Now, the company is branching out a bit with the announcement of an expansion unit that will give users the freedom to use different lenses.  Read More

The Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM EXTENDER 1.4x lens with built-in 1.4x focal length exte...

Fiddling with lenses and focal length extenders to get the effects we want is an annoying necessity for photographers – but the latest announcement from Canon has the potential to make all the company's lenses at least twice as useful. The Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM EXTENDER 1.4x is the first lens Canon has made with a built-in focal length extender. At the flick of a switch, it goes from 200-400mm to 280-560mm while maintaining its presumably stellar L series optics through the whole zoom range. That's one less fiddly lens change for wildlife and sports photographers, and one heck of a great idea!  Read More

PixelOptics' emPower! electronic focusing glasses

We have previously reported on the development of prototype adaptive focus glasses at the University of Arizona (UA) that were able to switch focus electronically. Unlike manually adjustable focus glasses, such as TruFocals, that place a flexible liquid lens between two rigid lenses, the lenses of the prototype glasses consisted of a layer of liquid crystals sandwiched between two pieces of glass. By applying an electric charge, the orientation of the liquid crystals – and therefore the optical path length through the lens – was able to be changed, resulting in glasses that changed focus electronically. This technology is now on its way to consumers with PixelOptics showing its emPower! glasses at CES 2011.  Read More

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