Photography News: Laowa 2x Macro Lens Announced, MacBook Pro Sale

Tips & Techniques

For the next couple of weeks, I’ll be writing our weekly news in place of Libor as he travels to – you guessed it! – South America. I understand that he has some of the backordered Nikon Z telephotos with him, so keep an eye out for reports on those lenses when he returns. Now for the news!

Bison in the water Yellowstone
NIKON Z 9 + NIKKOR Z 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 VR S @ 400mm, ISO 400, 1/1250, f/5.6

Recent Announcements

  • Tamron 150-500mm f/5-6.7 for Fuji X cameras: A very long, slow lens with a full-frame equivalent focal length of 225-750mm (and a full-frame equivalent aperture of f/7.5-10, because equivalence also includes aperture). At $1500, it could be a tempting choice for some Fuji X wildlife photographers.
  • Laowa 58mm f/2.8 2x macro: This $500 lens continues Laowa’s popular line of macro lenses that go beyond 1:1 magnification. I’ve found the Laowa 100mm 2x macro lens to be one of the two sharpest macro lenses I’ve ever tested (alongside the Nikon Z 105mm f/2.8 MC), so the 58mm version could be a winner if it has similar performance. The working distance of about 2.5 inches / 6.5 cm is pretty good, but note that this is a fully manual lens with no electronic contacts. Available for Nikon Z, Canon RF, Sony E, and Leica L.
  • Nikon Z 17-28mm f/2.8 lens: In case you didn’t see my announcement post earlier this week, this is a rebadged Tamron lens that was originally made for the Sony E mount. It has a good reputation, but the Nikon version is launching at a higher-than-expected price of $1200 ($300 more than the Tamron’s list price). Nikon also added more information to its lens roadmap this week.

The Rumor Mill

NiSi 9mm f/2.8 APS-C lens to be released shortly

The mystery wide-angle NiSi lens that Libor told you about a couple of weeks ago has already been announced in China as a 9mm f/2.8 lens for APS-C cameras. The rumored release date for the rest of the world is September 28. It’s manual-focus only, but it fills an important gap for many APS-C users. It will support Nikon Z, Canon RF, Sony E, Fuji X, and Micro Four Thirds.

Via Photo Rumors

Yongnuo rumored to announce 12-35mm autofocus lens

Although this would make a very interesting full-frame lens, odds are that we’re looking at an APS-C lens, or even Micro Four Thirds (at which point it would be a 24-70mm equivalent). In any case, this would not be the first autofocus lens from Yongnuo, which is slowly filling in its line of AF lenses as it tries to take a bigger bite out of the third-party market.

Via Sony Alpha Rumors

A few details about the Canon EOS R1 that we probably already knew

Rumors are that the Canon EOS R1 will support 8K video and be Canon’s highest-resolution camera yet. There’s no firm release date attached to this rumor, but “second half of 2023” is the estimate for the camera’s shipment date. None of that is exactly surprising. (It was a slow week for rumors, folks.)

Via Canon Watch

Photo Contest Corner

Budapest Foto Awards

  • Topic: Multiple categories representing most genres of photography (listed here)
  • Fees: $10-50 per entry depending on category and profession of photographer
  • Prize: $3000 grand prize (pro), $2000 grand prize (non-pro), $200 category prizes
  • Deadline: October 2, 2022

Color Awards 2022

  • Topic: Any color photos
  • Fees: €30-60 depending on number of entries
  • Prize: €1000 grand prize; 100 finalists published in book
  • Deadline: September 30, 2022

Well with Nature

  • Topic: Four categories – air, water, land, and sound. Must live in the EU (or one of a few other European countries) and have taken the winning photo there.
  • Fees: Free, can submit five entries
  • Prize: €1000 for best photo per category; €500 public choice award; €500 youth prize (18-24)
  • Deadline: October 1, 2022

Ocean Art 2022

  • Topic: Underwater photography (14 different categories)
  • Fees: $10 per image
  • Prize: $100,000 of total prizes; winners choose their favorite prize in order of placement in the contest
  • Deadline: November 30, 2022

Good Deals and New Sales

Impact is having a large sale on almost all of its light stands today, anywhere from about 10-45% off. If you needed a new light stand, almost every type is on sale.

One of the best laptops on the market today, the 16″ MacBook Air M1, is on a rare sale for $400 off (now $2500). Recent Apple laptops rarely see a sale this large, so if you’ve been looking for a new high-end photo or video editing machine, I’d pay close attention to this deal.

An RRS alternative carbon fiber tabletop tripod, the Robus RCTT-200, is on sale for $100 ($40 off). A ballhead is included at that price. I’ve never been the biggest fan of tabletop tripods in general, but people seem to like them. This one appears well-built for the price.

Other Pages of Interest

  • Do you think your Lightroom library is big? What about taking 600,000 photos of the same subject? That’s how many pictures astrophotographer Andrew McCarthy took (and subsequently stacked) for his remarkable photograph of Jupiter. It’s not easy to beat that level of detail from the ground.
  • In another bit of space photography news – albeit with a camera that might be slightly over budget for most of us – the James Webb Space Telescope captured the clearest image of Neptune since Voyager 2 flew past it in 1989. This is also the first infrared photo of the planet to show its fascinating rings.
  • To feast your eyes on some magnificent photos, look at this year’s winners of the reFocus One Shot Awards. With over a dozen categories and some mesmerizing winners, it’s clear how powerful photography can be even when telling stories in “one shot” instead of a photo series (which is the contest’s theme). I’m partial to some of the aerial and abstract winners.

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