7 August 2013

New Nikon 18-140/3.5-5.6 DX VR lens and SB-300 speedlight

Nikon has just announced a new 18-140 DX VR lens and a small SB-300 speedlight.

The NIKKOR AF-S DX 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR lens is an all rounder lens for Nikon's DX cameras. Given its versatility, it could very well end up becoming the new kit lens.

The new SB-300 speedlight is a very small flash, meant as a starter's flash, or when you want to travel light but still want to be able to use flash every now and then. The SB-300 is compatible with Nikon's i-TTL flash technology and can be used with all Nikon D-SLR cameras as well as COOLPIX cameras equipped with an accessory-shoe.

Specifications of the NIKKOR AF-S DX 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR lens:

Focal length18-140 mm
Maximum aperturef/3.5-5.6
Minimum aperturef/22-38
Lens construction17 elements in 12 groups
(including one ED glass and one aspherical lens elements)
Angle of view76° - 11°30'
Minimum focus distance0.45 m/1.48 ft from focal plane
Maximum reproduction ratio0.23x
No. of diaphragm blades7 (rounded)
Filter-attachment size67mm
Diameter x lengthApproximately 78 x 97 mm/3.1 x 3.8 in.
WeightApproximately 490 g/17.3 oz
Accessories67 mm snap-on Front Lens Cap LC-67,
Rear Lens Cap LF-4, Bayonet Hood HB-32 (optional),
Flexible Lens Pouch CL-1018 (optional)

Specifications of the SB-300 speedlight:

Electronic constructionAutomatic Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistor (IGBT) and series circuitry
Guide number (20°C/68°F)18/59 (ISO 100, m/ft)
Angle of coverageCovers angle of view of 27 mm lens (FX format) or 18 mm lens (DX format)
Effective flash range (i-TTL)0.6 m to 20 m (2 ft to 66 ft); varies with ISO sensitivity, bounce angle, and aperture
Options available using camera controlsFlash control mode: i-TTL, manual
Flash mode: Fill flash (front-curtain sync), front-curtain with slow sync, rear- curtain sync, and rear-curtain with slow sync
Bounce angleFlash rotates vertically up to 120° with stops where the flash is pointing directly ahead and at 60°, 75°, 90°, and 120°
Device on/offPower switch used to turn SB-300 on and off
Power sourceTwo AAA alkaline or NiMH batteries
Flash-ready lightCharging complete: Lights
Warning: Blinks
Flash durationLights for about 1/1650 s when fired at full power
Battery endurance and flash recycling time*1Battery typeMinimum recycling time*2Endurance*3/recycling time*2
AlkalineApprox. 4.0 s70 or more uses/4.0-30 s
NiMHApprox. 3.5 s110 or more uses/3.5-30 s
Mounting foot lock leverLocking pin prevents accidental detachment
Other optionsThermal cut-out, firmware update*4
Dimensions (W x H x D)Approx. 57.4 x 65.4 x 62.3 mm (2.3 x 2.6 x 2.5 in.)
WeightApprox. 120 g (4.2 oz), including two AAA alkaline batteries
Approx. 97 g (3.4 oz), body only
Supplied accessoriesSoft Case SS-DC1
*1 Figures are for fresh batteries; actual results may vary with performance and other factors even among batteries of identical ages and makes.
*2 Time between flash firing at full power and flash-ready light illuminating when flash is fired once every 30 s.
*3 Number of times flash can be fired at full power with flash-ready light illuminating within 30 s.
*4 Firmware can be updated from camera.

1 August 2013

Sigma announces Mount Conversion Service and 4 years warranty

Sigma today announced a revolutionary new service that will enable owners of Sigma “Global Vision lenses” to change their lens mounts for use on different camera systems. The mount change will costs between $80 and $250 (plus shipping) depending on the lens in question.

The Mount Conversion Service will be operational as of 2 September this year. All current Sport, Contemporary or Art DSLR lenses are applicable for service and can be refitted to either a Sigma, Sony, Pentax, Nikon or Canon mount. Global Vision category lenses for mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras can be updated to either a micro four thirds (MFT) or Sony E-mount.

This service is really good news for people who invested heavily in Sigma lenses but are now facing a camera system change (e.g., from Canon to Nikon or vice versa); the fee for the service will be likely (much) lower than the the loss incurred when selling the lens with the old mount and re-buying it with the new mount!

In the same message, Sigma also announced they increased the warranty period of all Sigma products (including cameras, lenses, accessories, etc.) bought after 1 July 2013 to 4 whole years.