April 29, 2011
Posted in deals

Nokton 25mm: Next production run in late June.

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Image source: review by Peter Lueck

According to Cameraquest (Click here) the next stock of Voigtländer Nokton 25mm f/0.95 lenses will arrive in late June only: “orders to the factory far exceeded the first production run“.

Form what we have seen during the last months Japan and Germany are the two countries that usually receive most of the produced lenses. Here you have more chance to find them in Stock. Right now you can find 13 lenses in Stock in german ebay stores. There are also a few lenses sold by asian resellers but the price is really to high. Here is the list:

– The german store SHphoto has 8 lenses in Stock on eBay (Click here). Price 899 Euro and worldwide shipment.
– The german store Fotomundus (I bought my Nokton lens from them and I highly recommend to buy from that store) has one lens for sale on eBay (Click here) for 897 Euro (Europe shipment) and three more lenses are in auction on eBay (Click here) for 932 Euro. Shipment worlwide.
– The german store Photoalps is selling one lens on eBay (Click here) for 899 Euro. Shipment worlwide.

If you want to know more about the lens here are a few useful links:
– A video about the handmade Nokton on 43rumors (Click here).
– A full review by Photozone (Click here).
– 43rumors readers reviews and ratings (Click here).
– Review at Lenstip (Click here).
– A review by DSLRmagazine (Click here to read the google english translation)
– A japanese test on DC.watch.impress.
– A korean review by SLRclub (Click here)

April 29, 2011
Posted in reviews

Panasonic 14mm review at Photozone.

Image courtesy: Photozone

How good is that tiny Panasonic 14mm f/2.5 pancake lens? Combined witht the Panasonic GF2 it makes the smallest digital mirrorless package of the world (The NEX camera itself is smaller but the 24mm Sony lens is huge compared to the Panasonic lens).

Photozone tested the Panasonic pancake and the conclusion is: “Such tiny and light-weight pancake lenses like the Panasonic Lumix G 14mm f/2.5 ASPH turn micro-four-thirds cameras into almost pocketable combo. This is surely the primary appeal of the lens because performance-wise it does not stand out. The resolution capabilities are only decent but not stellar for a fixed focal wide angle lens. The center quality is very fine whereas the border and extreme corners are generally on a good level except at f/2.5 where the corners are somewhat soft. The amount of vignetting is a bit on the high side at f/2.5 and you need to stop down a few stops to resolve the issue. Distortions and Lateral CAs are very well controlled and not relevant in the field – that’s at least true for the auto-corrected image files. The build quality of the lens is excellent despite the low weight of merely 55g. The focus-by-wire approach (manual focusing) may be odd at first but you should be able to used to it in no time. The AF performance is very good and AF accuracy is nothing to worry about either.
Read the full review at Photozone (Click here)

Click on those links to see the lens at Amazon, Adorama, B&H, J&R, eBay.

Thanks Joachim

April 28, 2011
Posted in reviews

New Panasonic GH2 firmware for hackers? (+ new review)


“Someone” just sent me a link to what appears to be a new Panasonic GH2 firmware. I didn’t try it on my camera because I don’t want to break it.
UPDATE: An anonymous soruce sent me a Panasonic GH2 firmware with the following text: “It is original Panasonic firmware for hackers. Without it you cannot modify anything in GH2 cameras. It’s latest 1.0D version.
Sounds like we have the firmware that italy the hacker was looking for! You can download the firmware at:  http://depositfiles.com/files/dbrd1rb3d. I repeat DO NOT INSTALL the firmware unlike you are a hacker!

Meanwhile ePhotozine (Click here) posted a new Panasonic GH2 review: “Someone looking for a more compact Digital SLR should look very seriously at the Panasonic Lumix GH2, as the size is great. The camera makes photography a lot of fun, and the system is arguably one of the best mirrorless cameras available with excellent usability. On top of this, image quality is very good, and the camera has the best HD video quality of any current camera. What more could you want? Highly Recommended!

Sadly the Panasonic GH2 is again out of Stock in US stores: Amazon, Adorama, B&H and J&R.

Maybe should took a look on the GH1 deals instead:
1) Panasonic GH1 with 14mm lens for $699 at Amazon (Click here). The lens alone costs $364. and if you would buy it separately with the GH1 it would cost you a total of $764. With that deal you save $64!
2) Panasonic GH1 with 20mm lens for $699 at Amazon (Click here). The lens alone costs $399. You save $99!
3) Panasonic GH1 with 45-200mm lens for $649 at Amazon (Click here). The lens alone costs $349. You save $100!
4) Panasonic GH1 with 14-45mm lens for $649 at Amazon (Click here). The lens alone costs $359. You save $90!
5) Panasonic GH1 with 14-42mm lens for $499 at Amazon (Click here). The lens alone costs $199. You save $100!
6) Panasonic GH1 body only costs $399 at Amazon (Click here).

April 28, 2011
Posted in news

Panasonic to cut 35,000 (overseas) employees! And Panasonic loosing money with Digital cameras.

Panasonic announced that they will reduce nine percent of the global workforce due to restructuring efforts. 35,000 people will loose their job. Engadget said: “The cuts will come over two years. The news comes as Panasonic reported a ¥40.7 billion ($499 million) loss for quarter, largely on account of a ¥61 billion ($748 million) restructuring cost. Panny says that its bottom line was also affected by a strong Yen, stiff competition in television sales, and the recent earthquake and tsunami.

That’s a terrible news for all the workers and maybe for Panasonic too. If you have to cut 9% of your employees means that something isn’t working very well inside your company. A wonder what kind of influence this will have on the Digital Imaging division and the future Micro Four Thirds products strategy.

UPDATE: Photoscala published the financial results from Panasonic. The bad news is that Panasonic had a 10% turnover drop on digital camera sales. The last quarter had the worst result since two years. See the image below (Image courtesy: Photoscala)

Doesn’t look good at all.

Via DCwatch

April 28, 2011
Posted in reviews

New C-mount wide angle test by Seb Farges

It’s always interesting to see how C-mount lenses do work on the Panasonic GH2 with 1:1 crop mode. Seb Farges tested three lenses:
This is a movie shot with three lenses, from 6mm to 3.5mm, which is 15mm to 9mm for micro 4/3 sensor (24X36 : 31mm to 18mm). 1st part with the 6mm (more info: vimeo.com/​20766631), some shot with polaroid variable ND filter. Second part, same lens but with a Pixco 0.45X lens converter, found for 16€ on ebay, it’s 40.5mm screw mount filter size lens is perfect for the Pentax. The third part is shot with a new lens I’ve found on Ebay for 46€, a C-mount Rainbow 3.5mm 1.6, perfect for the crop function ! It’s very wide, little fish eye effect, but I have a little focus problem with my copy, so I have to closed the aperture, but not too much because it seems I have problem of intern dirts, that can be viewed in more closed apertures.
I like this 3.5mm Rainbow C-mount lens, it’s fun and very wide. I hope you’ll enjoy the shots.

Links
C-mount Pentax 6mm 1.2 on eBay (Click here).
C-mount Rainbow 3.5mm 1.6 on eBay (Click here).
Pixco wide angle lens converter 0.45X on eBay (Click here).

Thanks Seb Farges!

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