John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences/Harvard UniversityA titanium dioxide metamaterial lensIt might be small, but it s a big feat.In a normal lens, a curved glass surface a few millimetres or even centimetres thick redirects light rays to a common focal point.To improve the image – say, to take out distortions, or make sure different wavelengths of light all get focused correctly – you have to keep adding glass layers.As a result, cameras, microscopes and telescopes are limited in part by the size and heft of the lenses they require.Tiny StonehengeUsing a beam of electrons, the team carved nanofins – 600-nanometre-tall blocks that together resemble the world s smallest Stonehenge – out of a block of titanium dioxide.Each could focus light more sharply than a 55-millimetre-thick Nikon microscope lens with similar optical properties – even though the 600-nanometre-thick metamaterial lens was 100,000 times thinner than the Nikon.
Just 2mm across and finer than a human hair, the tiny device can magnify nanoscale objects and gives a sharper focus than top-end microscope lenses."The conventional fabrication of shaped lenses depends on moulding and essentially goes back to 19th Century technology.Electronics manufacturers making microprocessors and memory chips routinely craft components far smaller than the pillars in the flat lenses.There are many other potential uses: mass-produced cameras for quality control in factories, light-weight optics for virtual-reality headsets, even contact lenses.The precise character of the lens depends on the layout and composition of the pillars.It is also cheap.
Credit: DynaOpticsA Silicon Valley startup says it's developed a better lens for smartphone photography -- one that produces clearer images without the distortion often seen in photos from competing lenses.The secret to DynaOptics' Oowa lens is a proprietary manufacturing process that produces what the company calls a freeform lens.Typical lenses produce a circle, which in many cases can cause distortion around the edges of images.She took handheld photographs of a target with three competing lenses - from left: a cheap $20 clip-on lens, the more expensive OlloClip lens, and a lens from Moment.Li Han Chan Close ups of the top left circle from each of the test images.This isn't a conclusive lab test, but I tried it several times with Chan and the results were the same each time.
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Good cameras are bulky, mostly due to the large lenses required to take high-quality pictures.The technology needed to digitally process photos has shrunk down quite a bit since the first digital camera, but until now, the lenses haven't scaled down equally.Researchers at the University of Stuttgart used 3D printing technology to create a triple-lens system about 0.004 inches or 0.1mm wide.That's about the width of a strand of hair or piece of paper.Research, spotted by Forbes, was conducted by Timo Gissibl, Simon Thiele, Alois Herkommer and Harald Giessen and published Monday in Nature Photonics.The research describes several uses for lenses this small, including the capturing of images in endoscopic procedures.
Sony is pulling out all the stops in its quest for image quality.The full-frame sensor in its mirrorless Alpha A7R II is one the best in the world, and Sony aims to match it with some of the world's best lenses.The new Zeiss 50mm f/1.4 might look an odd choice, though, given that the range already includes a Sony 50mm f/1.8 and a Zeiss 55mm f/1.8.Zeiss and Sony, in case you're wondering, have been collaborating in lens design and manufacture for 20 years, and Zeiss lenses for Sony cameras can be considered part of the Sony stable, sitting alongside Sony's own, cheaper lenses and, more recently, its top-end G-Master optics.The new lens is big, bold and beautiful, though with lenses this big, you have to wonder why Sony puts so much effort into making its A7-series bodies so small.The new 50mm lens comes with ring-drive SSM supersonic motor autofocus for speed, responsiveness and silent operation – vital for movies – and a traditional aperture ring, with an A setting for automatic aperture control and click-stops for manual aperture settings.
To go bare lens or not to go bare lens?That s the question that many photographers ask when buying a new lens, with many insisting that a UV filter wards off scratches while others say glass that thin can t really offer much protection.A new Kickstarter project could help finally answer the question with Gorilla Glass UV filters that are four to eight times stronger than traditional protective filters.The product is being launched alongside a Gorilla Glass circular polarizing filter CPL by Aurora Aperture.While digital cameras don t need to filter out UV rays, they ve stuck around because they can act as a scratch barrier while having very little effect on image quality.Many though are still designed as UV filters with glass that s pretty thin.
Last week we shared that Korean optics company Samyang had teased that for the next five Mondays, starting with July 18, it would be announcing new lenses.The Korean optics firm teased the event as Samyang Summer Blockbusters, and it made good on that promise, on Monday announcing the new Xeen 135mm r/2.2.If Xeen doesn t ring a bell, it s likely because this is Samyang s video-focused cinema lens line meant for use in professional video production though in reality, nothing would prevent you from using them as still photography lenses .Just as with the previous lenses in the Xeen line, the 135mm t/2.2 will ship with compatibility for a wide range of camera mounts including PL, EF, F, E, and MFT — with the notable omission being Fuji s X mount though given that their latest cameras only just started taking video seriously, it s not surprising Samyang is not supporting them at launch .T/2.2 is not a typo either, if you are unfamiliar with it; that is because most stills/photo lenses reference an f-stop which represents the amount of light a lens lets into it — and does not take into account light lost as it passes through the glass elements.A t-stop differs in that it measures the actual amount of light that makes it through the lens, and as such is technically the better number to reference if you need to recreate shots and exposures with different gear, or at different times or locations.
You could reach for compact camera or DSLR – but given the connectivity and ease of use of your iPhone, and the fact that you're more likely to have it with you most of the time, getting better results from your phone is preferable to lugging a camera around.Cheap and cheerful option with four lensesSensor: N/A Lenses: Fisheye, wide-angle, 10x Macro, 15x Macro Connectivity: Wi-Fi Movies: N/A Storage: N/A User level: BeginnerProvided you're not using a case or any sort of plastic film protector, the 4-in-1 slides easily onto the corner of your iPhone there are options for different iPhone models ; Olloclip also sells its own iPhone case, which gives you easy access to the volume-as-shutter-button.Offering four lens adapters fisheye, wide-angle and two macro lenses , its incredibly simple to use.Don't expect too much in the way of image quality though, with distortion at the edges of the frame.
Japanese optics manufacturer Tamron is hoping to show the world that third-party lens manufacturers can keep up with the big names in the industry.Much as Sigma has done with its Global Vision lens series, Tamron has released an onslaught of its award-winning SP lenses, and it continues to crank them out.The latest in the series is its brand new SP 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro lens designed for Sony s A-mount camera system, following behind the already-released Canon and Nikon editions.The design of this lens is inherited from Tamron s previous macro lens, but improves upon the design with more specialized glass elements.Constructed of 14 elements in 11 groups, the SP 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro lens includes one low dispersion LD and two extra low dispersion XLD elements for keeping chromatic aberrations and light dispersion to a minimum.It s not only the glass that s specialized either.
Hasselblad True Zoom hands-on – Has the Moto Z got the ultimate camera add-on?Companies have been trying to make the ultimate smartphone camera for over a decade, with things really hotting up after Nokia launched the Pureview 808 in 2011.Noble efforts, including the Galaxy K Zoom, the Sony DSC-QX100 attachable camera and the Huawei P9 have worked hard to innovate, but all universally fallen short of their creators' lofty photography claims.The K Zoom may have had optical zoom, but the main sensor wasn t up to scratch.The True Zoom is Motorola s attempt to rectify the situation and finally deliver the ultimate camera-phone experience.As a result, it s no surprise the module packs some pretty awesome hardware.
Here are a few things to consider.If you re a serious photographer, you know that the quality of lenses matters hugely with a DSLR or mirrorless.That s true with tiny add-on iPhoto lenses as well.All lenses can suffer from several kinds of problems across the entire imaging area or at the edges.However, I did see across most lenses one of several known aberrations that occur based on design choices.Chromatic abberation appeared most commonly, where colors start to separate and spread the farther from the centerpoint of a lens.
I tested each system with an iPhone 6s, which has an f/2.2 aperture, 29mm 35mm equivalent focal length, and 12-megapixel camera system.To test systems, I assembled bags full of the cases and other adapters combined with the lenses and shot a number of the same scenes in the field and in a studio with each kind of lens from each system.This involved a lot more work than nearly any iPhone photographer would want to engage in: removing a case, putting a new one on, and cleaning the iPhone lens and add-on lenses.Because not every kit includes a tripod mount, a tripod, or a monopod—or offer some of those as add-ons or in certain more expensive kit configurations—I shot everything freehand to simulate the conditions most people would engage in, but also in circumstances with sufficient light that shutter speed and focus didn t become issues.Lack of lens aberration, which causes color spreading, object distortion, and other effects.We decided to focus sorry on three categories of lenses.
Leica s special edition options that the luxury camera brand is known for have now been extended to lenses.Announced today, the limited edition lens wraps up the quality of the Leica APO-Summicron M 50mm f/2 ASPH lens in a red anodized finish.The lens is the company s first lens to receive the special edition designation.As a special edition with a limited production run, the lenses will sell for $8,950 each.The eye-catching red finish is accompanied by a matching lens cap.Leica is also pairing the pricey new lens with a gray cowhide lens case.
Prescription lenses for Spectacles, Snap's video-camera glasses, have arrived.Rochester Optical, a lens manufacturer based in Rochester, New York, is now cutting and selling prescription lenses for Spectacles, the company announced Thursday.The lenses start at $99 and cost depends on prescription strength, lens type and coating.The lens types include standard plastic, high-index, polarized Rx Sun or photochromic.Turnaround will depend on the complexity of the prescription, but a safe estimate for processing is two to three days plus one day for shipping not including the time it takes for the Spectacles to arrive at the lens manufacturer .Rochester Optical was the first company to sell a prescription lens solution for Google Glass back in 2014.
Rokinon is filling a gap in its prime lens lineup with two new lenses, a Digital Photo 20mm f/1.8 and a cinema variation, the Cine DS 20mm T1.9.Along with being offered for Canon, Nikon, and Sony full-frame cameras, the still photo version is also available in mounts for to Micro 4/3 systems, Pentax K mounts, and Fujifilm X with a crop factor narrowing down that angle of view.The cinema version is available in Canon, Nikon, Sony E, and Micro 4/3 mount options.More: Kipon makes using a lens converter more fun with built-in variable ND filterRokinon says the 94.8-degree field of view is ideal for shooting landscapes, interiors, and architecture.Before the announcement, the company s prime lens line-up jumped from 14mm to 24mm.
Traditional camera lenses like the ones above are made from glass, but silicon lenses could mean some pretty tiny lenses.The lenses inside the next generation of smartphones could be thinner than a strand of human hair.A team of researchers from Caltech and Samsung recently successfully created a flat lens that can be stacked on top of a digital sensor to create a tiny camera combo.A traditional camera lens focuses the image by redirecting the light with multiple pieces of glass — a lens concave shape allows the light to pass through the thick middle faster than the thinner edges.Passing the light through several pieces of glass at varying distances to the other pieces in the set creates an in-focus image.These collections of cylinders, called a metasurface, can be adjusted so that the diameter of each cylinder varies.
A team of engineers has developed a pair of eyeglasses that automatically adjust focal length based on what the wearer is looking at.The so-called adaptive eyeglasses contain special liquid lenses and sensors that make them capable of focusing on both nearby and faraway objects, without the wearer having to switch frames.The 'smart glasses' have been developed by a team of engineers at the University of Utah and could do away with the need for bifocals entirely.And, because the lenses continually adjust to the wearer's eyesight, there's no need to continually change prescriptions as eyesight deteriorates with age: all the wearer has to do is programme in their prescription using a smartphone companion app and they're set for life.Work on the glasses was published in a recent edition of optics journal, Optics Express.Carlos Mastrangelo, the University of Utah professor who led the research team, told Phsy.org: "Most people who get reading glasses have to put them on and take them off all the time.
Optometrists don t make it easy to buy new lenses for a favorite old pair of glasses or shades.Lens replacements through an optometrist can cost more than a new pair altogether, especially when it comes to sunglasses.A new startup out of Westwood, Calif. called Lensabl is on a mission to keep your favorite frames on your face.Whether the old lenses are damaged, you need a new prescription or you want to switch to a different tint, the company s site lets you swap out lenses for a direct replacement or something new.The Lensabl site asks users to select exactly the kind of lenses they want, including prescription, reading or plain lenses and tints, including a range of colors, polarized, transitional and mirrored lenses.After customizing a pair to your liking, you give Lensabl your prescription data through a form on the site, including details like the strength of each eye and pupillary distance.
Samyang's cinema lenses are designed for easy swaps and high quality -- and now there's one more focal length to choose from.Samyang s pro-level cinema lens line is filling out — on Monday, the company announced the eighth lens in the series, the XEEN 20mm T1.9.Like the other seven lenses in the series, the XEEN 20mm T1.9 is designed for high-end video, particularly for pairing with cameras hitting or exceeding that 4K resolution.Samyang says that all the lenses in the series have declicked gear rings in the same exact locations — so swapping out lenses when using video rigs with follow focus isn t so much of a hassle.The 20mm addition to the series captures a 94.8-degree ultra-wide angle on a full frame camera, but since the lens is designed to cover a 24mm x 36mm area, it s compatible with five different sensor sizes.On a Super 35, the lens covers a 75.31-degree angle but will adapt all the way down to a micro four-thirds sensor with a narrower 56-degree angle of view with a different mounting system.
Zoom lenses are undeniably great when it comes to convenience and versatility, delivering a wide range of focal lengths at the flick of a wrist.However, they demand a compromise in terms of outright image quality.Sharpness is often the first casualty, and barrel and pin-cushion distortions often appear at the wide-angle and telephoto ends of the zoom range respectively.Switch to a high-quality prime lens, and distortion and vignetting should be much less noticeable.Switch to a 50mm f/1.4 prime lens and the largest available aperture is four stops faster.In low light you'd be limited to a shutter speed of, say, 1/15 sec with a typical zoom (unless you increase your ISO setting).
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