Noctilux 75 mm lens is for M-series Leicas

We used to say the Noctilux 50 mm f/0.95 (and that’s no typo), a big lens on an M-series Leica camera, was for shooting black cats in coal bins. Now, there’s a companion lens, the Leica Noctilux-M 75 mm f/1.25 ASPH. which, because of its focal length, delivers what the company delightfully calls “gossamer-thin” depth of focus.

Details are available on our companion site.

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Leica CL is new APS-C camera

With new 18 mm lens

Leica has brought back the CL designation, first used in the early ’70s on twin 35 mm cameras from Minolta and Leica – the Leica CL and Minolta CLE, both delightful cameras – expanding its APS-C system portfolio. Also new, and seen in the photo here, is the Elmarit-TL 18 mm f/2.8 ASPH. lens.

Details are available on our companion site.

Hasselblad expands the XCD lens range to nine

Hasselblad has updated the XCD lens roadmap for the X1D-50c with the XCD 135 mm and 80 mm lenses. By the end of 2018, X1D users will have nine lenses to choose from.

The XCD 135 mm f/2.8 lens will come with a dedicated 1.7x converter that extends the tele lens to 230 mm (f/4.8).

In addition to these two new lenses, the previously announced XCD 22 mm ultra-wide-angle lens has been updated to 21 mm to meet users’ demands.

Like the other XCD lenses, all new lenses have an integral central shutter offering a wide range of shutter speeds and full flash synch up to 1/2000 second.

Hasselblad has also released aperture details for the previously announced XCD 21 mm (f/4.0), the XCD 35-75 mm zoom (f/3.5-4.5), and the XCD 65 mm (f/2.8).

All new XCD lenses, other than the 80 mm, are expected to be available during the first half of 2018, while the 80 mm is planned for the second half of 2018.

In the meantime, with the demand for the previously announced 120 mm macro lens and the XH lens adapter apparently has exceeded Hasselblad’s expectations, production is now being ramped up and orders are being fulfilled globally, says the company.

Hasselblad says pricing and additional technical specifications of the new lenses will be provided closer to the availability of each lens.

Luminar 2018 available now

Back in the summer we wrote that Macphun had made a beta version of its Luminar photo editing software available. The finished product is now available for pre-order.

As its name implies, Macphun was aimed exclusively at Mac users. Not any more. Luminar 18 will work on both Mac and Windows machines (although Windows 10 is the default requirement).

Luminar 2018 offers new filters powered by artificial intelligence, major speed improvements, a dedicated RAW develop module and a digital asset management platform (due next year). Users will also benefit from the new intelligent Sun Rays filter, LUT support, and real-time noise removal. Adaptive workspaces are said to match styles of shooting.

Apparently Luminar 2018 has been re-built from the ground up for “dramatic” performance boosts, says the company. Existing filters deliver richer colours and depth in less time. A new streamlined user interface speeds up working with presets, filters, and masks. With full support of pro options like layers, masks, and blending modes, complex repairs and photo composites can be easily accomplished, the company claims.

Luminar offers a new RAW Engine that is said to handle high-quality images faster. Plus, it’s easy to solve image problems caused by camera lenses with Lens Correction features that resolve vignette, distortion, and colour aberrations. If the photo has unwanted perspective problems, a new Transform tool can solve them.

Luminar offers more than 40 filters to correct colour, sharpen details, and release creativity. New filters include the ability to enhance colour with Brilliance, selectively lighten or darken specific areas of an image with Dodge & Burn, as well as the ability to change the lighting in a photo with Sun Rays.

Lightroom users who rely on custom presets created for Lightroom can also easily convert those presets into LUTs (with a free third party tool) and use them inside Luminar 2018.

In 2018 a free update will provide a new image browser/digital asset manager to help photographers manage their image libraries.

Workspaces, Clone & Stamp, blend modes for layers, luminosity masking, flip and rotate, as well as some other tools and features will be available in the Mac version at launch, and arrive in the PC version with free updates by the end of the year.

Nikon blames smartphones for camera woes

Nikon is shuttering its Nikon Imaging (China) operations in Wuxi City, Jiangsu Province, and lays the blame squarely on the rise of smartphones. The Chinese factory manufactured digital cameras and lens units for digital cameras.

Because of smartphones’ popularity, Nikon notes, the compact digital camera market has been shrinking rapidly, leading to a significant decrease in operating efficiency at the closed factory and creating a “difficult business environment.”

The company’s Nikon Imaging (China) Sales subsidiary in Shanghai will continue in full operation, as do the rest of Nikon’s manufacturing and sales subsidiaries in China.