Latest Gear at BorrowLenses – September Edition

Latest Gear at BorrowLenses – September Edition

In a shocking move, Sony have released new gear, Atomos unleash a killer product, we’ve got something that will let you paint with light, and… is that an iPad on your tripod? It’s that time of the month again folks: here’s the September edition of all the fresh, new gear at BorrowLenses!

Nikon AF-S 200–500mm f/5.6E ED VR Lens

Nikon 200-500mm lens

Nikon 200-500mm lens

We start this month’s roundup with Nikon, who’ve decided to jump into the budget superzoom game with the 200–500 f/5.6 lens. If you’re shooting Nikon, this lens has a few advantages over similar offerings from Sigma and Tamron in that it has a constant f/5.6 aperture throughout the zoom range. Moreover, if you shoot this with a crop-sensor camera like, the Nikon D7200, you end up with a very nice zoom range of 350–750mm. Throw in some weather sealing, a nice Vibration Reduction system, compatibility with Nikon’s 1.4x and 2.x extenders and you have a very capable wildlife and sports outfit.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX8 Mirrorless Micro 4/3 Camera

Pansonic Lumix GX8

Pansonic Lumix GX8

The GX8 packs a bunch of bells and whistles, and they’re enough that video shooters working with the GH4 might want to consider this camera as a very capable “B” cam. For starters, you know that Panasonic have got 4K in-camera recording – they were, after all, the first put to that feature into a tiny mirrorless body. This one packs that, along with increased ISO sensitivity, double the autofocus points, and an AF system that will let you keep autofocusing down to -4 EV. The feature we loved from the GX7, that tilting viewfinder, is back in this iteration, as is the articulating LCD. Bonus for you video mavens: there’s a port for an optional microphone, too!

Pixelstick LED Lightpainting Tool

The BL logo, rendered with a Pixel Stick

The BL logo, rendered with a Pixel Stick

Okay, this one had me scratching my head. How do you expand the description of… a tool… that lets you paint… with light? I mean, all of that stuff is right there in the name of this thing. So, look: we’re just gonna show you a pretty picture of what this thing can do, okay? Also, if gifs are your thing, Pixelstick have a nice gallery of their favorites.

iPad Air On-The-Fly Padcaster Filmmaking Kit

iPad Padcaster Kit

iPad Padcaster Kit

Is that an iPad on your tripod or are you watching a movie instead of making one?

If you watched Apple’s iPad commercials from last year, you might have caught sight of something like this. What we have here folks is tacit acknowledgement that mobile devices can make some pretty darn effective movies. This kit was created to let you shoot, edit, and distribute movies right from one device. Using an iPad Air mounted in a sturdy aluminum frame along with some accessories like an add-on lens, microphone, and tripod mount, this is the kit you want if you’re looking for a multirole mobile broadcasting unit. The included iPad Air has 128GB of storage, so you’ve got plenty of room for that crisp 1080p HD footage.

Atomos Ninja Assassin

Atomos Ninja Assassin

Atomos Ninja Assassin

Here’s the recipe: Take a well-regarded and fantastic unit like the Atomos Shogun, take out a few high-end features like SDI input, and you have the Ninja Assassin. This 4K recorder and monitor is what I would’ve likely bought if it was available first (and saved myself a nice $800 in the process). The Ninja Assassin packs the same gorgeous 7″ IPS touch-screen display with Full HD 1920 x 1200 resolution, has 8 channels of audio, records to commonly available SSD drives, and has loop-through HDMI in case you need that. To compound all the goodies, it also includes a bright, shiny, red bumper to protect the unit.

I want that bumper.

And now it’s time for – you guessed it! – the Sony segment of this program.

Because really, what would a new gear post be without something fresh from Sony. Betcha there’s an announcement in next month’s edition too.

Sony Alpha a7RII Mirrorless Digital Camera

Sony Alpha A7R II

Sony Alpha A7R II

This camera is being hailed as the end-all, be-all unit if you’re a Sony fan. To be fair, there’s good reason behind it; it’s a full frame sensor that shoots 4K movies and apparently does an even better job when you drop it down to Super35 mode, and it will capture massive still photos at 42MP, making it the second-most-megapixel-y camera in the 35mm sensor category. Moreover, with Sony’s upcoming firmware patch, this beast will shoot those aforementioned 42 Mega™ Pixels™ [sic] in an SD-card-squeezing uncompressed RAW format. Expected file sizes are around 80 Mega™ Bytes™ [sic].

In fact, if you have any investment in Sony glass and were looking for a “one size fits all” camera, this is about as close as you’re likely to get.

And if you don’t have an invetment in Sony glass, Sony have you covered for that because they’re on a tear with releasing new lenses too, such as…

Sony 50mm f/1.8 OSS E Mount Lens

Sony 50mm f/1.8

Sony 50mm f/1.8

I want to call this Sony’s version of the nifty fifty. I really do, but I don’t think it fits. For one, it’s got a quiet stepping motor that lets you autofocus silently while shooting video. For another, it has built-in Optical Steady Shot, Sony’s version of image stabilization. Though this isn’t an “FE” mount lens, which means that mounting it on a7-series cameras will cause them to drop down into crop sensor mode, it’s still a very nice addition to Sony’s lineup.

Sony 35mm f/1.8 OSS E Mount Lens

Sony 35mm f/1.8

Sony 35mm f/1.8

And just in case the 50mm lens got lonely, Sony decided to come out with a 35mm version, one that is actually closer to an effective 50mm on a crop-sensor body. It has all the bells and whistles of the 50mm, at the focal length that most people will reach for when they want that “normal” field of view on a crop-sensor system.

Sony E Mount 55–210mm f/4.5–6.3 OSS Lens

Sony 55-210mm lens

Sony 55-210mm lens

Having a general travel telephoto zoom is something just about every system has and now Sony have provided one for their E mount systems. Ideal for travelers with cameras like the a6000, this lens also features Sony’s OSS image stabilization and that same linear focusing motor. It is something of a “slow” lens at f/6.3 on the telephoto end, but Sony’s cameras have pretty decent low-light performance, so it shouldn’t be a problem.

Sony Distagon T* FE 35mm f/1.4 ZA Lens

Sony 35mm f/1.4 FE Lens

Sony 35mm f/1.4 FE Lens

And just in case you thought Sony had no love for their full frame cameras, here’s one of the staples that every system ought to have (more than a 50mm, in my humble opinion). The Distagon 35mm f/1.4 lens borrows from their association with Zeiss, presenting world-class optics inside a sleek body meant to be mounted on the a7 series. In a nod to that series’ movie-making roots, the Distagon 35mm’s aperture ring can go from clicked to de-clicked with the flip of a switch. No OSS here – you’ll have to use it with the mark II models of the a7 series to get image stabilization but that’s a really small price to pay.


That’s it for this edition of the Latest Gear at BorrowLenses. Check out other months’ latest gear lists:

August 2015
July 2015
• June 2015
May 2015

The following two tabs change content below.
Sohail Mamdani is a writer, filmmaker, and photographer based in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *