Imaging news was fairly light, which means we get to spend a little more time highlighting some other types of products. Before we do so, we need to talk about a pair of “ultra” wide-angle lenses from Leica, for the SL System. A Super-APO-Summicron-SL 21mm f/2 ASPH. and Super-Vario-Elmarit-SL 14-24mm f/2.8 ASPH. expand Leica’s prime and zoom lineups. The other items we get to discuss include the lightweight and ultra-portable Elinchrom THREE Off-Camera Flash and the revamped Wacom Cintiq Pro Pen Display line.
In news for computer nerds, we have the release of next-gen AMD and Intel® CPUs. Definitely check those out if you are looking to build a new editing station.
Leica makes “Super” SL 21mm and 14-24mm wide-angle lenses
While the L-Mount has a healthy range of lens options, Leica itself hasn’t quite gotten into the ultra-wide game—until now. Leica is entering “super” territory with the Super-APO-Summicron-SL 21mm f/2 ASPH. and Super-Vario-Elmarit-SL 14-24mm f/2.8 ASPH., its widest prime and zoom L-Mount lenses, respectively.
These are both full-frame-ready optics and will provide an ultra-wide field of view. The 21mm, in particular, is a newly developed Leica lens that has been purposefully designed to suit the latest L-Mount mirrorless cameras. The apochromatic designation also puts this lens in a league of its own because it is the first 21mm to achieve this goal. Imagery from this lens promises to be free of chromatic aberrations and provide outstanding sharpness out to the edges.
It is relatively fast, at f/2, and has the same Dual Synchro Drive AF system as Leica’s other Summicron-SL prime lenses. This lens will be useful for landscape, low-light, architecture, studio, and street photography.
The other lens, the 14-24mm f/2.8, may look familiar to some of you L-Mount fans. This ultra-wide zoom provides an even wider option, compared to the 16-35mm already in Leica’s lineup. For those who desire the widest field of view, this is the lens that will deliver—and it was engineered to keep a fast, constant f/2.8 maximum aperture.
Besides being a versatile wide-angle zoom, the fast aperture lends itself to use in astrophotography, in addition to landscape and architectural use. It’s a great addition to Leica’s lineup.
Elinchrom THREE off-camera flash packs more power in a smaller size
We had the ONE, then we had the FIVE, and now it’s time to split the difference with the THREE. Elinchrom has been refining its lineup with more consistent nomenclature and an emphasis on lightweight, yet powerful lighting equipment for photographers. The THREE Off-Camera Flash fills a great middle ground between a speedlight and monolight with advantages pulled from both ends of its lineup.
Simply stated, the THREE is a 261Ws battery-powered flash with built-in wireless support. This sits between the ONE, which is rated for 131Ws, and the FIVE, which tops out at 522Ws. By giving up that stop of light, included in the FIVE, the THREE is able to shed a couple of pounds, making it only a touch heavier than the ONE.
It’s also only a little bit larger than the ONE, overall, but the THREE gives you a stop more power and still is able to deliver 525 full-power flashes. You’ll probably see this more as a more powerful ONE than a smaller FIVE.
Elinchrom does make sure it has a built-in receiver for compatibility with the Transmitter Pro, including High-Speed Sync (HSS) at up to 1/8000 second. It also has the OCF mount for using the latest modifiers and comes with an EL-Profoto adapter for using any of your existing modifiers, such as those you might have for the FIVE.
It’s a nice, portable flash that should be appealing to photographers on the go.
Wacom revamps Cintiq Pro line with 17" and 22" pen displays
Wacom has been the name in pen displays and tablets for creatives for a long time. The products are reliable and loved by many photographers for the more intuitive control with which you are endowed over your edit—I have one at home for working with photos. The displays kick things up a notch by letting you work directly on the image, and Wacom has made the lineup even better with the revamped Cintiq Pro 17 and Cintiq Pro 22.
Featuring a similar design to the somewhat recent Cintiq Pro 27, the new 17" and 22" versions provide smaller, more desktop-friendly options for creatives. Wacom has been increasing the number of display offerings in its catalog, although the Cintiq Pro separates itself from the others with the quality of its display. We have 4K resolution on every size option, along with 10-bit color support, 99% DCI-P3 and 88% Adobe RGB color spaces, 120Hz refresh rate, and HDR. That’s an impressive display even without the pen functionality.
These specs are ideal for creatives because they cover common color spaces for photo and video applications. The tactile experience has been upgraded over past models in this size range. The Pro Pen 3 has an adjustable grip size and button configuration. The displays also have a grip on the sides with the eight ExpressKeys for quick access to shortcuts.
If you want a pen display, then you probably already know of Wacom. Its latest are, without a doubt, some of the best in the business.
In other news…
Intel®’s 14th-Generation CPUs, the Raptor Lake Refresh, are here. While a smaller update overall, this generation promises excellent performance for creatives and streamers.
AMD couldn’t let Intel® have all the fun. New Ryzen Threadripper and Threadripper PRO 7000 series processors have hit the market. With up to 64 cores, these are looking like some of the most powerful desktop CPUs around.
Adobe Photoshop Elements and Premiere Elements 2024 are now available for download.
A more affordable Apple Pencil with USB-C has hit the market; a natural next step in Apple’s shift to the USB-C standard on its mobile devices.
We had some fun with the Sony C-80 and C-100 microphones, taking them to a studio to see how they sound. Just how close to the legendary C-800G can they get?
In other audio tests, we finally went hands on with the RØDE Wireless PRO to see how much of an upgrade it is for the series.
See you next week!