Two next-gen Pentax lenses coming in 2018

Ricoh has announced a new generation of high-performance Star-series lenses optimized for super high-resolution photography and high megapixel DSLRs. The first two lenses are the HD Pentax-D FA* 50 mm f/1.4 SDM AW and the HD Pentax-DA* 11-18 mm f/2.8, although final names, specs and pricing will not be released until next year.

The K-mount lenses will embody exceptional toughness and outstanding operability, achieved through the development of a dustproof, weather-resistant construction, says the company.

The 50 mm lens will employ a newly developed ring-shaped SDM (Supersonic Direct-drive Motor) for faster, quieter AF operation. Minimum shooting distance will be 0.4 m.

The lens is scheduled for next spring.

The 11-18 mm lens is scheduled for next summer.


Perfectly Clear v3.5 software arrives

Version 3.5 of Athentech Imaging’s image correction software, Perfectly Clear, is now available. The standalone application – which the company pointedly notes you buy and own – offers graduated filters for landscape and portrait photographers allowing greater creativity and control, and even smarter automatic intelligence for more robust corrections.

What’s new in v3.5? Besides being a standalone app, it has a filmstrip for easy navigation, undo/redo, visual presets and preview, manual finishing controls, graduated filters, stylistic vignette and radial filters, more robust automatic colou restoration, and more automatic tint removal controls.

Perfectly Clear v3.5 is listed at US$129. For current Perfectly Clear v3 users, it is offered as a free upgrade. A customer appreciation discount is granted to those with v1 and v2 and all Lucid owners for $89.

Nik lives!

DxO has acquired the Nik Collection assets from Google. Google, when it acquired the editing software, said it was going to let it die. DxO says it plans to continue its development. The current version will remain available for free on DxO’s dedicated website, while a new “Nik Collection 2018 Edition” is planned for mid-next year.

The Nik Collection is composed of seven desktop plugins for Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop that provide a powerful range of photo editing capabilities – from filter applications that improve colour correction, to retouching and creative effects, to image sharpening that brings out hidden details, to the ability to adjust the colour and tonality of images.

The current lineup of the Nik Collection:

  • Analog Efex Pro: Applies film-era camera, lens, and film simulations to digital images
  • Color Efex Pro: A comprehensive set of filters for color correction, retouching, and creative effects
  • Dfine: Noise reduction software for camera-specific digital images
  • HDR Efex Pro: Specialized program for processing HDR pictures
  • Sharpener Pro: Image sharpening for digital images
  • Silver Efex Pro: Black & White conversion of images with darkroom-inspired controls
  • Viveza: Selectively adjusts image color and tonality without complicated masks or selections


Sony 400 mm lens here next summer

Sony has announced it is currently working on the FE 400 mm f/2.8 GM OSS lens, with a target launch date of next summer.

The company says the lens will feature the high-resolution and bokeh of Sony’s line of flagship G Master series lenses, and will be aimed at pro sports, news and wildlife photographers.

Details will be released later, says Sony.