I have written a lot about the Garmin Fenix 3 Sapphire watch, please check out the review page. For those interested in geotagging photographs, it’s the ideal companion. I will update the review to include more of its other features at some point, but my main priority was to demonstrate how easy it is to geotag photographs with a DSLR or mirrorless camera with Adobe Lightroom.
I am expecting Zeiss to announce a new Zeiss telephoto Loxia lens within the near future. I’m guessing around September time. I believe manually focusing with a mirrorless camera is much, much easier than manually focusing a lens using a DSLR. I also believe that manual focus is essential for macro lenses. As such, it would be quite nice if we could see a macro Loxia lens. In my opinion, a Sony a7rII and a Loxia macro lens could arguably be the best macro setup possible with the cameras currently on the market.
I think Zeiss would be foolish not to release some macro lenses soon. However, the focal length runs in line with a portrait lens. In my opinion, this creates a certain dilemma for design choices. For example, Zeiss already have the design for an extremely small 85mm f/4.0 lens where the back focal distance is suited to sensors closer to the lens mount than on a DSLR. They wouldn’t have to change the optical formula much to make it suitable for the Sony mirrorless e-mount system. If they could create a Loxia macro lens based around this design, it could be small–in keeping with the Loxia idealogy–and it could also be fairly lightweight.
For a lot of macro photography, I do not believe an aperture of f/2.8 is required. When photographing bugs for example, you get very little in focus with an aperture of f/2.8. There are obviously situations in macro photography where a large aperture is required (jewellery photography for example) but I think it would still satisfy a lot of people if the maximum aperture wasn’t that large. However, for portrait photography, an 85mm f/2.8 lens isn’t considered to be a large aperture lens. Many photographers like to use smaller apertures for portrait photography, but it’s still generally assumed that a portrait lens should have a large aperture.
Zeiss make a 100mm f/2.0 lens but there lies a problem with these for mirrorless cameras. They’re designed for DSLRs, so an extender would need to be added if the same design was used. It’s a heavy lens, and it’s quite large.
I think it’d make sense for Zeiss to create a 135mm f/2 Batis lens and an 85mm f/4.0 Loxia Macro lens but I certainly wouldn’t bet on them doing that. Their 100mm f/2 lens is stellar and it’d almost be a shame not to see a similar lens available for the Sony e-mount system. My main gripe with that lens is it is not a 1:1 macro lens, it has a 1:2 maximum magnification.
In some ways, I’d like to see a 100mm f/2.0 Zeiss Loxia Macro lens, an 85mm f/4.0 Zeiss Loxia Macro lens, and a 135mm f/2.0 Zeiss Batis non macro lens. It might not be a wise business choice for them to announce all three lenses with similar focal lengths at the moment though. There’s one further advantage with a smaller aperture lens and that’s that they can keep their trend of 52mm filters. It’s somewhat hard to guess as to what they’re going to release. I just really, really hope they release a macro lens for the Loxia lineup and not necessarily the Batis (a Zeiss 100mm f/2.0 Macro Batis lens sounds nice though!)
We must wait and see :).
My Breakthrough Photography X4 6 Stop 52mm ND Filter has arrived. I haven’t tried it yet, so I can’t comment on how good it is. I’ll report back soon :).
I’ve also received a Garmin Fenix 3 Sapphire watch and it’s incredibly easy to create and export GPX files with it. It seems to be the easiest and most battery efficient GPX logger for the time being.
It’s not a thing of beauty but it looks functional; it’ll probably add heat to the body unfortunately.
I’ve written various pages about GPS, batteries, storage and whatnot for travelling with cameras; however, I simply don’t have access to lots of Android or iOS phones to examine the transfer speeds of each device.
For this reason, I posted on the sdpcommunity forum, and I was informed about a product I had not heard of. It’s always fun to find new gadgets to potentially buy or play with.
The RAVPower Filehub Plus is a 6000mAh battery bank, to charge items via USB but it also lets your copy data from one storage medium to another. It does not have an internal hard drive, but this is a good thing because it keeps the weight down. It weighs 5.4oz or 154g but most of that weight is its 6000mAh battery. A typical standalone 6000mAh battery without any additional features usually weighs about 130 grams, so it’s not much heavier. I’m certainly considering getting one. If its speeds are the same as a phone, then it’s probably not worth me considering, but I’ll keep doing some research.
The sdpcommunity site is owned by Tony and Chelsea Northrup. They have a YouTube channel and do live broadcasts every week. They’re one of my favourite channels I like to watch :).
I’ve ordered the Solar Paper. It was slightly out of budget, so I don’t know what I am going to do about that yet. It looks awesome though :).