src=" The Photography Show 2016 Round-Up – Laowa 105mm, Leica 90-280mm, Panasonic 12-60mm and more
Mirrorless News

Date: 22/03/2016 | By: Mathieu

The Photography Show 2016 Round-Up – Laowa 105mm, Leica 90-280mm, Panasonic 12-60mm and more

iPhone 5s, 1/100, f/ 22/10, ISO 500

The Photography Show 2016 Round-Up – Laowa 105mm, Leica 90-280mm, Panasonic 12-60mm and more

On Sunday and Monday, we had a very enjoyable time browsing around The Photography Show in Birmingham and had the opportunity to see many of the new products announced over the past few months. As is common with these kinds of shows, there isn’t much you can do with the gear since there isn’t a lot to photograph and some of the products were either mock-ups or pre-production samples.

Instead of writing separate posts, we thought it would be more interesting to share a round-up of the most interesting products accompanied by a few first impressions. We will test most of them in the coming months.

Venus Optics Laowa 105mm f/2 (T/3.2) Smooth Trans Focus

The E-mount version of this lens will be available in April. We tried the Canon EF version with an adapter since the E-mount version wasn’t available. The combo (including the adapter) gives you a good idea of the final size of the E-mount version. The optical quality will of course be the same.

venus laowa 105mm f/2
The Laowa 105mm f/2 lens on the Sony A7r II

The lens is manual focus. It has full mechanical rings but doesn’t include electronic contacts so EXIF data can’t be recorded. The rings are nice and smooth. In addition to the focus and aperture ring (clicking type), there is a third ring that controls a second iris diaphragm. That’s right: the lens has two iris mechanisms.

The first is controlled by the f/stop aperture ring (f/2 to f/22). The iris has 8 blades and is useful as a traditional aperture ring to control depth of field and work with the effective f-number.

The second iris (controlled by the non-clicking T-stop ring at the centre) is useful for videographers who prefer to work in T-stops (real light transmittance of the lens). This second iris has 14 blades to produce a better bokeh. The latter is also enhanced by an apodization element inside the lens.

As you can see from the sample image below, the bokeh looks quite promising. The sharpness at f/2 is not bad either.

venus laowa 105mm sample image
A7r II, 1/50, f/2, ISO 400

Leica APO-Vario-Elmarit-SL 90–280 mm f/2.8-4

We made a quick stop at the Leica booth to see the new “monstrous” 90-280mm f/2.8-4 telephoto lens for the SL system. As you can see from the images, it is large and believe me, it is heavy (almost 2kg)!

leica sl 90-280mm f2.8-4
The Leica 90-280mm on the SL camera.

As usual, the build quality is excellent. The sharpness at 90mm seems excellent but I wasn’t impressed by the optical stabilization at the longest focal length. However the shooting conditions weren’t ideal either: the camera/lens combo was securely connected to the desk with a cord and I couldn’t lift the camera to the desired height (I’m tall which doesn’t help). The camera’s AF wasn’t always accurate either.

leica 90-280mm sample image
Leica SL (Typ 601), 1/100, f/2.8, ISO 320 – 90mm
leica 90-280mm sample image
Leica SL (Typ 601), 1/100, f/2.8, ISO 320 – 280mm

Panasonic 12-60mm f/3.5-5.6 Power O.I.S.

At the Panasonic booth we had a play with the new 12-60mm f/3.5-5.6 lens that will be available on its own and as a kit with selected cameras like the GX8 and G7. The lens is small, light and fits cameras like the GX8 perfectly. It features Power O.I.S. and is compatible with Dual IS on the GX8. The AF motor is fast on the GX8.

panasonic 12-60mm 3.5-5.6
The Panasonic 12-60mm on the Lumix GX8

Panasonic’s booth was one of the most dynamic of the entire show and all the Lumix ambassadors were there for the four days to provide personal insight and assistance. It’s definitely the booth where we spent the most time chatting with people!

I also had the chance to check another pre-production sample of the 100-400mm. Unfortunately there weren’t any final versions but the one I tried has a better zoom ring than the one I tested on MirrorLessons.

panasonic 12-60mm sample image
GX8, 1/13, f/3.5, ISO 200 – 12mm
panasonic 12-60mm sample image
GX8, 1/500, f/3.5, ISO 4000 – 13mm
panasonic 12-60mm sample image
GX8, 1/25, f/5.6, ISO 800 – 60mm
The lens can focus as close as 20cm.

Sigma SD Quattro, MC-11, 50-100mm f/1.8 Art and 30mm f/1.4 C

There were lots of new products to check out at the Sigma booth and it’s always a pleasure to meet the lovely and enthusiastic UK team. We had a look at the new SD Quattro H camera (Foveon sensor) but unfortunately it was only a prototype that couldn’t be powered on. The camera is lighter than I would have thought but I can’t really add any more insight unfortunately. It won’t be available for a long time (probably the end of the year).

We saw a non-working prototype of the 50-100mm f/1.8 APS-C lens. It is designed for DSLRs but I am curious to test it on the a6300 with the adapter. The lens is not too large considering the fast constant aperture but it is bulky and heavy.

sigma 50-100mm 1.8
The Sigma 50-100mm f/1.8 Art

I briefly tested the MC-11 adapter too but it is a pre-production model. The performance was slower on the a6300 but much faster on the A7 II. The final version should work fine on both cameras and we will test it on the A7r II as well. I really like the build quality of this adapter – it might be the best I’ve seen yet. As reported by DPreview already, the adapter also allows you to use AF functions that are unavailable with other adapters such as Zone AF and Lock-On AF.

E-M1, 1/125, f/ 28/10, ISO 800
A Sigma Art 50mm 1.4 on the Sony a6300 with the MC-11 adapter

I can also clarify some of the information found on Sigma’s website about this new adapter, where it is stated that Continuous AF is not compatible. Sigma doesn’t officially state full compatibility (Canon EF lenses included) because performance can vary depending on the lens used. However in the real world it should prove more than reliable. I guess it’s up to the reviewers to find out how far this new adapter can be pushed in C-AF and with Canon lenses in comparison to other products such as the Metabones mark IV.

E-M1, 1/125, f/ 28/10, ISO 800
The Sigma 30mm f/1.4 Contemporary on the a6300

We then took a few shots with the new 30mm f/1.4 contemporary lens on the Sony a6300. The performance at 1.4 seems promising as far as sharpness and bokeh are concerned. The AF was very fast on the a6300. The lens will also be available for Micro Four Thirds.

sigma 30mm 1.4 C sample image
a6300, 1/100, f/1.4, ISO 200
sigma 30mm 1.4 C sample image
a6300, 1/100, f/1.4, ISO 200

Voigtländer E-mount lenses

Finally, we had a look at two of the three Voigtländer E-mount lenses: the 10mm f/5.6 and the 15mm f/5.6 III. As with the VM lenses, the all-metal construction and mechanic rings are excellent. You can also de-click the aperture ring with a third ring that needs to be unlocked and turned 180° (like the Voigtländer m4/3 lenses).

The 10mm is the world’s widest rectilinear wide-angle lens designed for full-frame sensors. The sharpness of the lens seems very promising. The lenses have electronic contacts and the camera can record full EXIF data from the lens.

With both lenses we had time to walk around the show for a couple of minutes to get more samples. You can notice some chromatic aberration in some images and some loss in sharpness at the corners but overall both lenses seem to perform well.

voigtlander 10mm sample images
A7r II, 1/25, f/5.6, ISO 320 – 10mm
voigtlander 10mm sample images
A7r II, 1/25, f/5.6, ISO 320 – 10mm
voigtlander 10mm sample images
A7r II, 0.4s, f/8, ISO 100 – 10mm
voigtlander 15mm e-mount sample images
A7r II, 1/50, f/5.6, ISO 800 – 15mm
voigtlander 15mm e-mount sample images
A7r II, 1/50, f/5.6, ISO 640 – 15mm
voigtlander 15mm e-mount sample images
A7r II, 1/50, f/5.6, ISO 400 – 15mm

Is there anything here that interests you in particular? Let us know in the comments section below!

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About the author: Mathieu Gasquet

Mathieu Gasquet is a professional photographer with French and Italian origins. Besides running his own video and photography studio 3Dit Lab, he is also the official photographer for the National Cinema Museum in Turin. You can follow him on Google+, Twitter or Facebook!

  • Mathieu

    Yes, actually I’m planning of spending one day at the Comic Con next time and bring back lots of portraits! :)
    We both like the idea of the GX80 because we loved the form factor of the GX7, something that was lost with the larger GX8. Enabling the Dual IS for video is a natural evolvement and I am sure next Lumix cameras will have the same technology (at least the most important models). Perhaps they can bring a firmware upgrade for the GX8 to enhance its dual IS too although it’s not 5 axis.

  • NC

    Hi Mathieu, I was there on the Sunday and really enjoyed it.. great fun also that Comic Con was on at the NEC. Some great outfits!… Visited and spent a little time on the Panasonic stand.. of course no word at that stage of the new GX80!? What do you think of it? Odd really given the GX8 hasnt been out that long and to make a great step forward for video stabilisation especially.. now I can use my Olympus primes like the 25mm f1.8 and 75mm f1.8 for video work! Cant wait to see your first look / review…

  • Mathieu

    We will test the lens soon so I thought it was better to wait and conduct a proper test with a final production sample of the lens and in better conditions.

  • Ayoul

    Nice, you are one of the first to get full sample pic of this lenses I think.

    However, I would have liked to see more samples at smallest apertures to judge if corness sharpness improves at f/8 f/11, (even at the expense of the noise because of the indoor situation), you’ve got just one sample of the 10mm at f/8

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