Back in the mid-70s Nikon made a 6/2.8 fisheye lens that captured a 220° circular image, which is 40° wider than the standard-issue 180° fisheyes manufactured today. Weighing in at 11 lbs, it had a front element the shape and size of a small goldfish bowl (9.3") and all-but-dwarfed the Nikon F hanging off the back of it. You could actually see behind the camera. And it could be had for about $13,500 in 1975 Yankee dollars.
Fast forward 35 years and I find myself palming a Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX1, a sub-compact bridge camera with a 9.1Mp Super Exmor CMOS sensor (1/2.4"), full-res burst-rates of up to 10 fps, a 20x Sony G-series optically-stabilized zoom lens, and a long list of features you'd expect to find nowadays on bridge-style digicams.
As I prepare for another dive off the Island of Roca Partida, everything is perfect, as it has been the past five days. It is a beautiful day, sea conditions are ideal, and I am thinking about the wonders I will photograph as this amazing trip is coming to an end. I check all my life support equipment and camera gear before boarding the Zodiac (rubber raft type boat).
Continuing our discussion of the year's most interesting lenses, let's revisit those exciting announcements as they pertain to digital SLRs. In 2008 we had PMA, Photokina and PhotoPlus - the trifecta of photographic expositions. These shows brought forth a plethora of delectable tools for both the serious and budding photographer. The following overview is in reverse-alphabetical order (as a change) so we begin with Sony.
When aspiring filmmakers watch a Hollywood movie, they don't just see actors, camerawork, editing and effects. They see the dreamy richness of images shot on film. They see a depth of color and space that goes beyond the mantra of "progressive imaging, 24-frames-per-second" so often whispered, siren-like, in their ears.
Soon after receiving a Nikon D90 to play around with I slipped off to shoot images along
the Delaware River. Nearby was a family of kayakers who had stopped for a breather and a bite of lunch. It wasn't long before 'Dad' moseyed up along side me for a closer look at what I was doing.
"I own a D300 and I thought that's what you are using… but that camera looks smaller and you're shooting video with that thing and my D300 doesn't do video… at least I don't think it does. Is that the new one I keep hearing about? If it is… I want one". I told him it was, and that he should, and he told me he was going to order one from B&H, which – don't ya' know - happens to be where he gets all of his camera gear. And yes… this really happened.
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