Sony Alpha A10 and More Nikon D3 Rumors

Well, here goes the rumor mill again. Remember the earlier reports about Sony offering a high amateur and pro body? Clearly, Sony gave us some official dirt on that from their PMA release.

Now, we’ve got some unconfirmed details on the specs:

source from SONY at shanghai general office. A10 made in China, will replace the KM A7D, A1 made in Japan(1.0X full frame). the same sensor will sold to Pentax and Nikon soon. Pentax K10D’s upgraded version K10DS or successor K20D may use it…

not 10M not 24M, it is 1.25X, 12M. Anti-shake image sensor.

Found on the Club Snap forums. Take it for what it’s worth. When I dig up more dirt, I’ll pass it along. Also, you can check out another Sony rumor thread over at that’s been cooking since December 2006.
Also, note that the same poster in the thread suggests a May ’07 release for the Nikon D3 rather than the July 5, 2007 release I noted earlier.


How to Use Your On-Camera Flash

my brand new camera…..flash

Originally uploaded by rougerouge.

I was stumbling around the web today and came upon PlanetNeil. Neil van Neikerk is a pro photographer in NJ. You should really check out his blog and photos. He’s got a creative vision that really shows in his work.

You’re wondering about the whole on-camera flash bit, right? This is where the stumbling comes in. I landed on his FAQ for flash techniques, specifically, the use of on-camera flash. Solid stuff. His FAQ is very well written with nice example photos of what he’s talking about. If your photos just look plain wrong when your shooting with your on-camera flash, head on over now to learn how to do it right. That said, if you think you know how to bounce your flash and you’re still reading this post then you need to read it too – go now.

Thanks for the great article Neil and thanks to rougerogue on flickr for opening blogs on the cool shot above.


Tamron 70-200 f/2.8Looks like Tamron is joining the popular and crowded 70-200 f/2.8 market. If it’s priced in the same range as the Sigma (about $800), this may be another good alternative to the pricey 1st party 70-200 f/2.8 lenses out there. For the details on the new lens, read the press release below.

Mr. Morio Ono, President of Tamron Co., Ltd., has announced the development of the SP AF70-200mm F/2.8 Di LD (IF) MACRO, a lightweight, high-performance and fast tele-zoom lens designed for SLR cameras with full-size image sensors.

The new SP AF70-200mm Di LD (IF) MACRO (Model A001) is an F/2.8 fast tele-zoom designed for full-size format SLR cameras. It inherits the product concept of the award-winning SP AF28-75mm F/2.8 XR Di (Model A09) standard zoom lens that is highly acclaimed for its compactness and speed, which lets photographers enjoy a high cost to performance uniqueness.

While overall dimensions are confined to the absolute minimum, the new SP AF70-200mm F/2.8 Di LD (IF) MACRO zoom lens is packed with features that allow stress-free photography: a versatile MFD (minimum focusing distance) of just 0.95m (37.4) over the entire zoom range; an excellent maximum macro magnification ratio of 1:3.1 at f=200mm; and an advantageous internal focusing (IF) system. The new tele-zoom lens enables the user to cover 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 equivalent* ultra telephoto (7°59′ angle of view) when mounted on a DSLR camera with an APS-C sized imager.

(*) The ratio Tamron uses to convert from full-size to APS-C focal length is 1.55X.

1. 0.95m (37.4) MFD over the Entire Zoom Range for 1:3.1 Maximum Magnification Ratio
This zoom lens, designed for use with full-size format SLR cameras, boasts a fast maximum aperture of F/2.8, yet it allows close-focusing down to 0.95m (37.4) over the entire zoom range. The maximum magnification ratio is 1:3.1 at the 200mm tele-end. The filter diameter is confined to φ77mm as a result of the use of an advanced optical design pursuing optimum optical power distribution.
2. Soft Out-of-Focus Effect and Sharp Depiction
In order to realize soft out-of-focus effect and sharp depiction performance at the same time, the zoom lens uses three LD (low dispersion) elements. As a result, the optical system effectively compensates for lateral and on-axis chromatic aberrations that are major image-degrading factors in telephoto photography, in order to provide edge-to-edge sharpness and high-contrast image quality with flat-field characteristics over the entire zoom range in various photographic situations.
3. Lightweight, Yet Fast F/2.8 Maximum Aperture
The lens features a fast maximum aperture of F/2.8, yet it weighs a mere 1,112.6 grams (39.2oz.)*, since it uses barrel parts made of engineering plastic materials having excellent dimensional stability and sufficient strength for professional use and even industrial applications.
(*) As of February 2007, based on Tamron’s research of lenses in the same class, excluding the tripod base.
4. Internal Surface Coatings Minimize Ghosting and Flare
Through the use of “Internal Surface Coatings (i.e., multiple-layer coatings on cemented surfaces of plural elements) and multiple-layer coatings to prevent reflections from lens surfaces, ghosting and flare due to reflections that occur when light enters through the front element as well as reflections caused by the imager itself in the mirror box are reduced to the absolute minimum.
5. One-touch AF/MF Switchover mechanisms (for Canon and Nikon only)
The models for Nikon and Canon cameras are equipped with AF/MF switchover mechanisms to allow one-touch switchover from AF mode to MF mode or vice versa electronically and mechanically by simply sliding the button. (Sony and Pentax systems require AF/MF switchover operation on both the camera and lens.)
Since the lens uses an IF (internal focusing) system, the focusing ring does not rotate during focusing, which ensures good holding balance at all times. In the MF mode, focusing is performed as easily and comfortably as with an MF lens. Since the overall length of the lens does not change due to zooming or focusing, it offers excellent operability and holding balance.
6. Detachable Tripod Grip Ring
The lens is supplied with a lightweight and rigid aluminum removable tripod socket.
7. Flower-shaped Lens Hood
A flower-shaped lens hood is included as a standard accessory. The special hood provides optimum shading of superfluous light rays that enter from the rectangular frame outside the image field.


Model Name A001

Focal Length 70-200mm

Maximum Aperture F/2.8

Angle of View 34°3′ – 12°3′

Lens Construction 18 elements /13 groups

Minimum Focus Distance 0.95m (entire zoom range)

Maximum Mag. Ratio 1:3.1 (at f=200mm, MFD=0.95m)

Filter Diameter φ77mm

Overall Length 194.3mm *

Maximum Diameter φ89.5mm

Weight 1112.6g* (without tripod holder)

Diaphragm Blades 9 blades

Minimum Aperture F/32

Standard Accessory Flower-shaped Lens Hood

Compatible Mount Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Sony


* values given are for Nikon AF-D cameras.

* The cosmetic design and specs are subject to change without notice.


Post-PMA Nikon D3 Rumors

Well, I guess we all know now that the Jim Seaholm rumors are bogus. For those of you that didn’t follow that story, you can catch up here on the Pre-PMA Nikon D3 release rumors. Now it seems that a UK based photography site is alleging that the Nikon D3 will be released on July 5, 2007 (whether that’s worldwide or Europe based I don’t know). They give no sources for their info, but it is new info nonetheless. If you don’t follow rumors, fair enough. But if you’re a gadget geek like me and want to know (or think you know) all about the next big thing, then take a look at some of the “possible” specs that they list for the Nikon D3: [Read more…]

What does “Crop Factor” mean?

. . . and why does it matter?  Crop factor is a term used loosely in the DSLR world when referring to lens focal length.  There’s often a lot of confusion and misunderstanding surrounding the term for folks that are new shoppers or users of DSLR cameras.

It’s not so scary folks.  If you want a no nonsense explanation of what it means and why it may be important to you, head on over to Rich Legg’s recent post on the topic.  He explains it for the average Joe and even gives us some photos to illustrate what crop factor does.  What are you waiting for?  GoNow.


I’m going to address a debate that there is no clear answer to . . . actually, there is an answer: “It depends.”

Ask a handful of photographers which file format you should shoot with and you’ll get some strong opinions on both sides of the debate. Each side has some good points. The problem with the debate is that some folks with strong opinions believe there is only one way – JPEG or RAW. I tend to think that this depends on each photographer’s particular circumstances. [Read more…]