Tuesday, October 29, 2013

A lens I want, and two things that annoy me

I need another lens like I need another hole in my head, but a lens that does intrigue me is the new Sony E PZ 18-105mm f/4 G OSS Lens ($598). It's an E-mount lens, and it has at least four intriguing features:
  • constant f/4 maximum aperture
  • Optical SteadyShot image stabilization
  • internal zoom operation
  • powered zoom
If you have a still camera, this lens probably won't excite you, but if you have a video camera such as the Sony NEX-VG30, NEX-EA50, NEX-FS100 or NEX-FS700, this lens could be just what you're looking for.

I have the NEX-EA50 camera, and it comes with the 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 PZ OSS Alpha E-mount Lens (as does the other cameras.) It's actually not a bad lens; zooms nicely, focuses pretty quickly, and it's nice and long.

BUT, though it starts at f/3.5, it closes down to f/6.5 as you zoom. It also does something else when you zoom; it almost doubles in physical length. I don't know about you, but having a lens that extends as you zoom can be problematic; it also looks rather silly.

So this lens looks good, and it will be interesting to see how it performs.

News Shooter has some more pics of the lens.

Two Things To Annoy Me

I saw these two articles over the weekend. One is about extending the term for copyright, and whether Disney (and other companies and interests) will work to extend the copyright law again before the current extension runs out. I really hope that Congress doesn't do this; 

15 years ago, Congress kept Mickey Mouse out of the public domain. Will they do it again? | The Washington Post
It was a windfall to the families and corporations that owned these lucrative copyrights. But it meant these iconic works would be off-limits to those who wanted to reuse or reinvent them without permission. And hundreds of thousands of lesser-known works aren’t available at all, because there's no cost-effective way to obtain permission to republish them.

And this piece is the perfect counter-point; somehow we've moved to a world where the things people are creating today are considered value-less:

Slaves of the Internet, Unite! | The New York Times
In fairness, most of the people who ask me to write things for free, with the exception of Arianna Huffington, aren’t the Man; they’re editors of struggling magazines or sites, or school administrators who are probably telling me the truth about their budgets. The economy is still largely in ruins, thanks to the people who “drive the economy” by doing imaginary things on Wall Street, and there just isn’t much money left to spare for people who do actual things anymore.

NOTE: In yesterday's post one of the video clips wasn't included. That has now been fixed.

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