According to DPReview, Tamron announced the SP AF70-200mm F/2.8 Di LD (IF) Macro at PMA 2008. It seems to be an interesting addition to the camp of Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 EX DG Macro and Tokina AT-X 828 AF Pro 80-200mm f/2.8 as a low cost alternative to the expensive OEM counterparts. Although not mentioned in the DPReview coverage, the Nikon mount version will have a built-in auto focus motor so it works on all Nikon DSLR cameras including D40/D40X/D60, which do not have in-body AF motor. Quoting from the product overview from Tamron:

While overall dimensions are confined to the absolute minimum, the new SP AF70-200mm F/2.8 zoom lens is packed with features that allow stress-free photography: a versatile MFD of just 37.4″ over the entire zoom range; best-in-class maximum macro magnification ratio of 1:3.1 at f=200mm; and an advantageous internal focusing (IF) system. The new tele-zoom lens covers a desirable focal length range of 70mm medium telephoto to 200mm telephoto when mounted on full-size format SLR cameras and a focal length range from 109mm to 310mm* ultra telephoto when mounted on a DSLR camera with an APS-C sized imager.

Posted in Digital SLR Cameras, Lens on February 7th, 2008. No Comments.

Being a owner of five quality Sigma EX lenses, I am happy and impressed with the latest Sigma lenses announcements at PMA 08. The gigantic green beast Sigma 200-500 f/2.8 EX DG is a showcase of Sigma’s achievement in the photography lens market. Labeled as the “ultimate wildlife lens”, APO 200-500 f.2.8 is “the world’s first lens to offer an f/2.8 aperture at 500mm focal length”. It was actually displayed at PMA 2007 as prototype. Read More…

Posted in Digital SLR Cameras, Lens on January 31st, 2008. No Comments.

Tamron just announced at PMA 2008 three new lenses with built-in AF motor for Nikon mount SLRs. This is a great news for users of Nikon D40(x) and future users of the newly announced D60, which do not have a AF motor in the camera. The press release is posted at Tamron USA website with the specifications.

  • AF18-200mm F/3.5-6.3 XR Di II (model A14NII)
  • SP AF17-50mm F/2.8 XR Di II (model A16NII)
  • 70-300mm F/4-5.6 Di (model A17NII)

The first two are designed for cameras with APS-C sized (DX) sensors (labeled as “Di II” lens) and the last one also works for camera with full frame (FX) sensor. No word on availability yet.

Previously, Tamron announced AF18-250mm F/3.5-6.3 Di-II LD Aspherical (IF) Macro with built-In auto focus motor for Nikon. Sigma also has a similar 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 DC with a built-in motor for Nikon.

Many have seen over-exposure problems with the 17-50 f/2.8 in TTL-BL flash mode that might be a design flaw. I hope this new version brings a fix to it.

Posted in Digital SLR Cameras, Lens on January 30th, 2008. No Comments.

Nikon has just announced the D60 DSLR that appears to be a replacement for the D40(x) models and an array of SLR lenses. Read the details by following the links below.

I am a little disappointed by the D60 because I was expecting a D80 replacement. The new lenses are a little boring as well. Nikon’s consumer grade zoom lens lineup just became even messier with the introduction of the DX Nikkor 16-85 f/3.5-5.6G ED VR. The other two lenses are more targeted towards professional photographers in an effort to revamp Nikon’s aging full frame lens offerings. I guess it becomes necessary with the recent introduction of the D3 full frame (FX format) DSLR camera.

Posted in Digital SLR Cameras on January 28th, 2008. 1 Comment.

DPReview got some juicy details of the new Canon EOS 450D, aka Rebel XSi. It has many first time features on the entry level Canon DSLR, such as Secure Digital (SD) format flash card, spot metering (4% at center), verification data (original decision data), highlight tone priority (“expose-to-the-right”), ISO in viewfinder, custom settings menu (My Menu), high ISO noise reduction (NR), etc.

With its low price of $800 (body only) and the nice set of features, the new Canon EOS 450D/Rebel XSi will put some pressure on Nikon’s aging D80. Since D80 has been out for more than a year now, I’d imagine the successor to D80 will be out soon (want some rumors?).

Read more details of Canon EOS 450D:

Posted in Digital SLR Cameras on January 24th, 2008. No Comments.

Nikon’s flagship Digital SLR camera is reviewed by Bjørn Rørslett. Read it here. This is a great review that is totally different compared to the typical DPReview reviews. It has a comparison of DX vs. FX sensor format using Nikon D300 and D3 I found very interesting.

Posted in Digital SLR Cameras on January 1st, 2008. No Comments.

Sigma recently updated its 18-200mm super zoom lens to be D40/D40x friendly with a built-in auto focus motor. The press release states,

Sigma Corporation is pleased to announce the launch of the new 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 DC for Nikon. This high zoom ratio lens, designed exclusively for digital SLR cameras, covers wide angle to telephoto focal lengths. The built-in motor is capable of autofocusing with all Nikon DSLR cameras. Two SLD (Special Low Dispersion) lenses and two Aspherical glass elements provide excellent correction for all types of aberration. Sigma’s super multi-layer coating reduces flare and ghosting and provides high image quality throughout the zoom range. The compact and lightweight construction of 70mm (2.8″) in diameter, 75.6mm (3.0″) in length and 395g (13.9oz) makes it ideal for field work. This lens has a minimum focusing distance of 45cm (17.7″) and a maximum magnification of 1:4.4. An inner focusing system also eliminates front lens rotation, making this lens particularly suitable for using the petal lens hood and circular polarizing filters. A zoom lock switch mechanism is provided to prevent the lens from creeping due to its own weight.

This is apparently not a professional grade lens (lack of the EX label), but it should a good candidate for people who are looking for a light weight super zoom intended for walk-around and travel lens. For people who wants more reach, the Tamron AF18-250mm F/3.5-6.3 Di-II LD Aspherical (IF) Macro, which also has a built-in AF motor and is D40/D40x friendly, is also worth considering.

Sigma actually has four different 18-200mm zoom lenses. If you are confused by the Sigma’s lens offerings, you may want to check out its complete lens line-up.

Posted in Digital SLR Cameras, Lens on December 22nd, 2007. No Comments.

Like always, most people seem to be very happy about their Nikon D300 but there are some that are not. Here is a collection reviews of the Nikon D300 digital SLR.

This list will be continuously updated as more reviews come out. Last updated: December 14, 2007.

Posted in Digital SLR Cameras on December 14th, 2007. No Comments.
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