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Sony introduces the long-awaited 400mm F2.8 G Master™ Prime Lens

Press release issued by Sony:

New Large Aperture Super-Telephoto Prime Lens is World’s lightest in its class, with outstanding AF performance, innovative optical design and exceptional image quality

Sony today announced the highly anticipated FE 400mm F2.8 GM OSS large aperture super-telephoto prime lens (model SEL400F28GM).

The product of extensive research and testing, Sony’s new FE 400mm F2.8 GM OSS lens is the first large aperture super-telephoto prime to join the E-mount line-up. This exciting new lens produces brilliant image quality, extraordinary focusing speed and precision while also boasting the lightest weight in its class[i] and an extremely balanced design. It’s the ideal choice for professional sports, wildlife and nature photographers, and a perfect complement for Sony’s extensive line-up of high-speed E-mount bodies including α9, α7R III and more.

World’s Lightest 400mm F2.8 Prime with Ideal Balance for Monopod or Handheld Shooting

Weighing in at only 2897g, the new FE 400mm F2.8 GM OSS lens provides a level of portability and handheld manoeuvrability that has never before been achieved in a lens of its class. The remarkably light weight of this lens is achieved through an innovative optical design that includes three fluorite elements, with a reduced number of elements deployed at the front of the barrel, as well as the liberal usage of durable magnesium alloy components.

Additionally, repeated field tests and evaluation by professional photographers across the world have led to a lens design that is not front-heavy, reducing moment of inertia that resists rotation by up to 50% as compared to the SAL500F40G.[ii] This ensures that quicker, more precise panning is available, whether shooting handheld or on a monopod.

Fast, Precise Autofocus

To best take advantage of the rapidly evolving shooting and focusing speeds of Sony’s latest cameras, the FE 400mm F2.8 GM OSS lens features two newly developed high-speed XD (extreme dynamic) Linear Motors that drive the lens’ focus group, achieving up to a 5x improvement[iii] in moving-subject tracking performance. These motors are supported by specially developed motion algorithms to minimise lag and instability and control noise levels, resulting in exceptionally quick, accurate and quiet autofocus performance. This allows the lens to capture dynamic, fast moving athletes or wildlife with ease.

G Master Image Quality and Bokeh

A member of the Sony’s flagship G Master Series lenses, the new large aperture super-telephoto prime lens features an incredible level of image quality and detail, with outstanding contrast and resolution maintained all the way to the corners of the image. The unique optical design includes three fluorite elements that help to minimise chromatic aberration and suppress any amount of colour bleeding. The lens has also been coated with Sony’s original Nano AR coating to suppress any unwanted reflections, glare, or ghosting.

In addition to the impressive resolution, the lens features an 11-blade circular aperture mechanism that allows it to produce extremely natural and beautiful background defocus or bokeh’. Each lens is also individually tested and adjusted at manufacturing stage to achieve maximum image quality and ‘bokeh’.

The new FE 400mm F2.8 GM OSS is compatible with Sony’s 1.4x and 2.0x E-mount tele-converters, producing outstanding imaging performance at extended focal lengths[iv] while maintaining fast, precise AF performance.

Durability, Reliability and Control

To withstand the harsh conditions of sporting events and wildlife photography, Sony’s new FE 400mm F2.8 GM OSS is built with a durable magnesium alloy and a strong, lightweight carbon fibre hood. The lens is also dust and moisture resistant[v], and its front element is coated with fluorine to resist dirt and fingerprints.

There is also an ample amount of hard controls on the lens, including a ‘Full-Time DMF’ switch to immediately engage manual focus at any point, customisable focus hold buttons in four different locations on the lens barrel – allowing easy access of an Eye AF for example, and a focus ring that features Linear Response MF for fine, responsive manual focus. The new lens also features built-in optical stabilisation for dynamic sports action and three different ‘Mode’ settings, including a brand new Mode 3[vi] setting with an advanced algorithm that ensures easier framing when following moving subjects. The new model includes a function ring with selectable ‘Preset’ and ‘Function[vii]’ settings, further adding to the customisability, a first for any Sony lens.

The FE 400mm F2.8 GM OSS includes a drop-in filter slot[viii] that accepts ø 40.5mm ND and other filter types, as well as the optional VF-DCPL1 Drop-in Circular Polarising Filter. The VF-DCPL1 filter can be rotated to achieve the desired polarisation while installed in the lens.

α9 System Software Update to Support FE 400mm F2.8 GM OSS[ix]

The latest system software update (Version 3.00) for α9 (ILCE-9) provides support for the new FE 400mm F2.8 GM OSS (SEL400F28GM) lens to optimise optical image stabilisation performance and enables continuous shooting with auto focus tracking even when aperture is greater than F11.

The update also provides added option to input camera serial number to the Exif data, a feature that has been strongly requested by professional sports photographers and photojournalists. Additionally, several other updates to the α9 camera have been implemented with the new firmware, including improved auto focus speed in low light conditions, enhanced continuous AF performance when tracking a moving subject, and reduced release time lag when shooting with flash.

Pricing and Availability

Built to order, the new FE 400mm F2.8 GM OSS will ship in Europe in September 2018,priced at approximately £10,500. The optional Drop-in Circular Polarising Filter (model VF-DCPL1) will ship in Europe in December 2018, priced at approximately £420.

A product feature video and testimonials by Nick Didlick and Bob Martin are now available at Sony Camera Channel on YouTube, and the new sample images are also posted at the global Sony Photo Gallery

Please visit Sony.co.uk for more information: http://www.sony.co.uk/electronics/camera-lenses/sel400f28gm

[i] Compared to 400mm F2.8 lenses for 35mm full-frame format cameras, as of June 2018, Sony survey

[ii] When mounted on the α9 with VG-C3EM grip. Compared to the α99 II + SAL500F40G, Sony tests

[iii] When mounted on the α9. Compared to the SAL300F28G2 mounted on the α9 (via LA-EA3), Sony tests

[iv] Maximum aperture with the 1.4x (SEL14TC) and 2.0x (SEL20TC) tele-converters is F4 and F5.6, respectively

[v] Not guaranteed to be 100% dust and moisture proof

[vi] α9 software must be updated to the latest version to activate Optical SteadyShot MODE 3 when this lens is used with the α9. Refer to the Sony support site for camera body compatibility information

[vii] Functions can be assigned via a camera body menu. Power Focus is assigned by default. APS-C/Full Frame Select can be assigned by updating α9 software to the latest version. Refer to the Sony support site for up to-date function and camera body compatibility information

[viii] A normal filter is initially installed in the filter slot. The filter is part of the lens’s optical system, and either the normal filter or circular polarizing filter should always be in place when using the lens. Be sure that filter is installed before memorising the focus point for the preset focus function

[ix] System software update for α9 is scheduled soon. For more information, please visit Sony support site. https://www.sony.co.uk/electronics/support/e-mount-body-ilce9-series/ilce-9#downloads

Sony opens first Imaging Pro service centre in London

Sony partners with Fixation to launch first authorised SONY Imaging PRO support walk-in centre

Sony today launched its first SONY Imaging PRO support walk-in centre, which officially opens its doors to the public on the 1st September, 2017. The first of its kind, customers will be able to get their Sony equipment[i] serviced and repaired at the new support centre based at Fixation in London. The centre offers rapid turnaround times for diagnosing issues, on-site repairs and servicing. Customers will also be able to rent Sony products at competitive prices while their kit is being repaired or to assist with purchase decisions or short term projects. All rental equipment is professionally cleaned and tested by Fixation’s own technicians to ensure best performance before any loan period.

The centre will also provide enhanced services in line with the Sony Pro Support Programme, to reinforce Sony’s commitment to the growing pool of professional photographers buying into Sony systems. In addition to the dedicated telephone help desk offered as part of the PRO Support service, members now have the chance to receive personal advice and support regarding their α camera equipment in the new walk-in centre. Instead of sending off units that require servicing, including twice-yearly sensor cleaning and firmware check-ups, equipment can now be quickly checked and repaired at the Fixation centre. For further information on PRO support and membership please check here.

Arnaud Gutleben, Head of Imaging for Sony UK and Ireland, said: “Following the recent launch of the α9, Sony is increasingly focusing its attention on addressing the needs of professional photographers. We understand that service and support are essential to any pro photographer, hence we are taking this opportunity to strengthen and build on the Sony Imaging PRO SUPPORT programme that we launched in the UK in September 2016. Thanks to our new partnership with Fixation, we are now able to offer a walk-in service centre in the UK where members of our Pro Support programme and professional photographers can get their RX series and α e-mount cameras and lenses serviced to the highest standard We believe this partnership will be instrumental in meeting and ultimately exceeding the expectations of all pro photographers using Sony cameras.”

David Garratt, CEO of Fixation’s parent company Wex Photographic, commented “We are absolutely delighted to have been appointed as the UK’s first Sony Authorised Service Centre dedicated to supporting Sony’s innovative range of pro-focused imaging products. Fixation has a long history of supporting professional photographers with first class service and we look forward to working with Sony to extend the range of imaging products we can support”.

To check the range of services offered at Fixation, please click here.

Fixation is a professional photographic service centre based in London, dedicated to providing authorised repairs, rentals and sales to photographers across the UK. Established in 1988 by one of the leading names in the industry, Fixation has become the trusted brand for professionals, having developed a reputation for unrivalled technical expertise and excellent customer service. Fixation entered a new phase of development in 2015 being acquired by Wex Photographic, the UK’s largest online photo retailer. http://www.fixationuk.com/about-us/

[i] The services and repairs are currently only available for Sony’s range of RX compact cameras and α e-mount interchangeable lens cameras and lenses.

World’s most photographed landmarks revealed

World’s most photographed landmarks revealed; but we’re starting to tire of identical Instagrams

Eiffel Tower tops list as most photographed landmark but over a third of snaps are exactly the same; the Burj Khalifa ranks higher than the Colosseum

  • The Top 30 landmarks, compiled using Instagram data, has been topped by the Parisian icon; with Big Ben in London a close second. The Burj Khalifa has been snapped and shared more times than the Colosseum in Rome
  • Award winning travel photographers from around the world have captured an incredible photo series, on the Xperia XZ, showing how different landmarks can look, whether in low light or using a hint of colour
  • 85% of photos taken of Machu Picchu are from the same spots, creating nearly half a million identical images on Instagram
  • There is an increasing desire to see new and original photography, with 47% of people bored of seeing the same shots, and 52% of people more likely to ‘like’ a composition they’d not seen before.

18 May 2017 00:01 (CEST): New pan-global* research released today by Sony Mobile has revealed the top 30 most photographed landmarks worldwide – a list topped by The Eiffel Tower and including Alhambra, The Colosseum, The Burj Khalifa and Big Ben.

The #XperiaNewPerspectives research revealed that more than half of the Top 30 landmarks are shot from the same three angles. With 55% of travellers saying they would plan their itinerary based on photography opportunities, it looks like we need to up our holiday photography game to avoid boring our friends as 47% of people said they were bored of seeing the same three shots. Whilst 52% were more likely to ‘like’ an image of a landmark if it was interesting and something they’d not see before.

The Eiffel Tower’s presence at the top of the list may not surprise, but the data that shows 35% of photographs of the landmark were taken from the same three angles is eye-opening. Other notable landmarks that follow this trend include Christ the Redeemer in Brazil where 71% of shots are from the same three angles, Trevi Fountain in Italy (74%), Mount Fiji in Japan (77%) and Machu Picchu where 85% of all Instagrammed images are taken from the same few spots.

Research also concluded that half of those surveyed pick their holiday based on others’ holiday snaps and a further 45% look to Instagram for inspiration of where to photograph and visit.

Sony Mobile has partnered with three award-winning travel photographers from across the globe and equipped them with the Sony Xperia XZ to visit some of the leading landmarks and capture them from new perspectives. From low light shots of the Colosseum to blur-free crowds of the Eiffel Tower showing off the capabilities of the Xperia XZ’s camera.

“This research has given us real insight into how important photography has become to our holidays and how the two are inextricably linked, said Sony Mobile. “Photography has become a vital part of any trip – whether city break, adventure or simply lying on a beach. With the quality of the camera in our Xperia XZ, travellers can experience blur-free images with ‘true-to-life’ colour image capture, and superb low-light capability. We hope to inspire a new generation of photographers to capture a new perspective on their travels.” 

Commenting on the fantastic imagery created on Xperia XZ and the New Perspectives report CEO of World Photography Organisation, Scott Gray, said: “The photography landscape has changed dramatically over the past decade and this is ultimately down to the accessibility and quality of cameras. This accessibility is even more pronounced with smartphones, the technology within these camera phones enable people to improve their photography but also, very importantly, have a high enough resolution to be able to actually do something with that image. This ability to capture the spontaneous can really help challenge the photographer’s creativity whilst providing a unique image for the viewer.

It is absolutely fantastic that photographers are using different techniques and filters but these more unique images, whilst they may require editing, should suffice without heavy touching up and therefore produce a more natural photograph.”

Award winning travel photographer, Lluís Salvadó, offers his top tips for capturing photography with a new perspective this summer –

  1. Play around with colours and brightness, it’s amazing how different one scene can look with some clever camera tricks
  2. If you’re struggling to get an original shot play around with reflective surfaces, a famous landmark can be transformed by a little water
  3. Look for beauty in the architecture around you, not just the landmark as a whole. There can be a very artistic quality to structural things
  4. Try out a new perspective and get some shots from high above or below the subject, don’t be scared to experiment with compositions
  5. Use people and their silhouettes to give a shot a sense of place and time, and play around with forced perspective too

– Ends – 

Notes to Editors

For more about Xperia XZ

Xperia XZ perfects the fundamentals of a standout smartphone. Key features:

  • 23MP rear camera with triple image sensing technology for blur-free pictures and true-to-life colour
  • 13MP front camera with superior low-light capabilities for sharper selfies
  • 5.2” Full HD display with curved glass
  • Stunning loop surface design
  • Fast Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 820, 64-bit processor

About Sony Mobile Communications

Sony Mobile Communications is a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Sony Corporation, a leading global innovator of audio, video, game, communications, key device and information technology products for the consumer and professional markets. With its music, pictures, computer entertainment and online businesses, Sony is uniquely positioned to be the leading electronics and entertainment company in the world. Through its Xperia™ smartphone and tablet portfolio, as well as innovative smart products, Sony Mobile Communications delivers the best of Sony technology, premium content and services, and easy connectivity to Sony’s world of networked entertainment experiences. For more information: www.sonymobile.com

About the Top 30 list

Rank Landmark Location No. of Instagram images % from top three angles
1 Eiffel Tower France 4,654,699 35%
2 Big Ben UK 2,435,223 50%
3 The Louvre France 1,740,908 43%
4 Empire State Building USA 1,570,167 45%
5 Burj Khalifa UAE 1,446,682 43%
6 Notre Dame Cathedral France 1,330,688 53%
7 St Peter’s Basilica Vatican City 1,131,705 30%
8 Time Square USA 1,100,344 54%
9 Sagrada Familia Spain 936,216 55%
10 Colosseum Italy 860,248 66%
11 Statue of Liberty USA 813,930 74%
12 Machu Picchu Peru 745,815 85%
13 Alhambra Spain 745,716 35%
14 Borobudur Indonesia 667,086 50%
15 Red Square Russia 591,430 52%
16 Christ the Redeemer Brazil 581,523 71%
17 Taj Mahal India 571,070 38%
18 Burj Al Arab UAE 534,562 56%
19 Mount Fuji Japan 533,696 77%
20 Buckingham Palace UK 498,280 58%
21 Tokyo Tower Japan 485,744 44%
22 Ha Long Bay Thailand 475,390 57%
23 Arc de Triomphe France 449,856 49%
24 Berlin Wall Germany 434,869 21%
25 Trevi Fountain Italy 427,708 74%
26 Great Wall of China China 412,603 72%
27 Sydney Opera House Australia 408,919 44%
28 Table Mountain South Africa 386,723 61%
29 Park Güell Spain 383,853 32%
30 Sacré-Cœur Basilica France 376,730 59%

 

About the ‘New Perspectives’ report (full report available)

The report has combined the work of OneFifty, a digital data and strategy consultancy; with market research company OnePoll who conducted survey / data research around the world. The statistics within the report are a collective of 5,352 respondents across five territories – UK, Germany, France, Spain and UAE.

*A note about the statistics throughout the report

All statistics in the report are not representative of the general population but are of those surveyed. A sample size of 5,352 across four European markets (UK, Germany, France, Spain and UAE) were polled. 

About the photographers

Lluís Salvadó (http://lluissalvado.com)

Lluis was born in Granollers, near Barcelona. In 1998 he began learning about photography while studying Audio-visual Communications. After some years working as a sound system technician, he decided to make a radical change in his life and began working as a photographer full time in 2004.

His passion for travelling and capturing stories with a camera led him to co-create Bisual Studio in 2013. Since then, he has not stopped traveling and living great adventures to tell stories that deserve to be told through a lens. In 2016, Lluís won best single image in the ‘Journeys and Adventures Portfolio’ category at the Travel Photographer Of The Year awards.

Lluís photographed Alhambra 

Achim Thomae (https://www.achimthomae.photography)

Achim loves and lives for photography, he lives in southeast Munich (Bavaria / Germany) – the perfect location for the short walk to some of the most stunning scenery in Europe. He states that the mountains, lakes and landscapes of Upper Bavaria and the Alps are his ‘preferred “hunting ground” in particular, the special lighting effects’.

Shortlisted in the Sony World Photography Awards competition in the Open Competition for Travel. He now works as a freelance photographer for Getty Images – the world’s leading providers of digital media. To date his Getty Images portfolio has over 800 photos.

Achim photographed the Colosseum  

Mikael Buck (http://www.mikaelbuck.com)

Mikael Buck is an editorial photographer based in London, UK and his work focuses on portraiture and travel. He began his career as a photojournalist and has worked on commission for every daily national newspaper in Britain, including, The Times, Guardian, Daily Mirror and The Daily Telegraph as well as being published in countless international publications. Mikael has received critical acclaim for his photographs of iconic landmarks such as St Paul’s cathedral and his landscape work in Iceland and The Isle of Man.

Mikael photographed Big Ben, the Eiffel Tower and Burj Khalifa

4.5:1 Super Macro Lens from Mitakon

Zhongyi Mitakon 20mm f/2 4.5X Super Macro Lens

ZY Optics releases the Zhongyi Mitakon 20mm f/2 4.5X Super Macro Lens for high magnification shots

Shenyang China, Dec 19, 2016 – Zhongyi Optics (ZY Optics) has released a new compact Super Macro Lens for full frame cameras, the Zhongyi Mitakon 20mm f/2 4.5x Super Macro Lens and it features a high reproduction ratio up to 4.5:1.

Zhongyi Mitakon 20mm f/2 4.5X Super Macro Lens is very compact in its class which allows photographers to capture extremely fine details or patterns with ease. The lens is capable of creating unbelievable macro images ranging from 4x to 4.5x magnification. Users no longer need to DIY or use any extension tubes to reach high magnification shooting. It incorporates a 6pcs of elements in 4 groups structure which delivers impressive resolution from corners to corners. Weighing merely 0.5 lbs (230g) and 6cm long, it is a perfect companion for wildlife and outdoor shooting. The wide angle of view and close focusing distance allows you to compose creative images with more information included into the frame. Greater magnification (up to 13:1) can also be achieved by stacking extension tubes or bellows. The high magnification is also extremely useful for scientific purposes.

The enclosure of the lens is made of metal to strengthen its durability. Canon EF, Nikon F, Sony FE, Sony Alpha, Pentax K, Sony E, Micro Four Thirds, Fuji X mounts are available.

Pricing & Availability

Zhongyi Mitakon 20mm f/2 4.5X Super Macro Lens is now available to ship and purchase at ZY Optics authorized resellers and at our official website (http://www.zyoptics.net/). The Recommended Retail price is USD 199.

Fotodiox announces Nikon to Sony FUSION Adapter

Fotodiox Pro, creator and distributor of several lines of specialty solutions for videography, cinematography and photography, has announced their new Nikon to Sony FUSION Lens Adapter. Available now on Fotodioxpro.com, the Nikon to Sony FUSION Adapter allows photographers to mount Nikon lenses onto Sony cameras and maintain electronic communication between the two, delivering decades of legendary Nikon imaging expertise to the hands of full frame or APS-C Sony E-Mount camera users.

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