This week in the news: Nikon announced the AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6G lens, the SB-300 AF Speedlight, and the COOLPIX L620 point-and-shoot; Samyang announced a new 16mm f/2.2 cine lens; Zeiss announced a new 55mm f/1.4 lens on their company blog; and Instagram updated their iOS app to allow video importing.
This is your B&H Photo Pulse News Roundup for August 9, 2013. Be sure to follow us on Twitter for the latest news as it breaks.
One of the more interesting VDSLR-related sidebar stories has been the "rediscovery" of manual-focus lenses among VDSLR shooters. Most manufacturers long ago pulled the plug on manual focus lens R&D in order to concentrate their energies into improving AF technologies. And then video came along and lo and behold, all of these AF speed queens turned out to be less than ideal, not to mention too noisy, for shooting anything other than stills.
In the right hands, almost any lens—including a fisheye lens—can be used for portraiture. Wide angle, normal, even super-telephoto lenses can be used successfully for portrait work. But if you had to narrow them down to select an optimal focal length for shooting portraits, it would have to be a lens in the range of 85 to 105mm.
Regardless of the focal length of your favorite lens, I'd venture to say you've been in situations where you've tried to focus in tight on your subject and inevitably hit the wall—the minimum focus point of your lens. Sure you can crop, but in a perfect world it would be swell if each of our lenses would focus as close to our subjects as our mind's eye focuses. Alas, the world isn't perfect... but we do have macro lenses.