Don’t get hit by the falling pound!


You may have noticed that the result of the EU referendum was to leave the EU, which caused the pound to drop significantly.  We are beginning to get price increases from our suppliers, the key one being Sony who recently sent us this:

“2016 has been a challenging year so far. After an extremely encouraging start, the earthquakes in the Kumamoto region of Japan and the damage they caused to the Sony Kumamoto Technology Centre put significant pressure on our digital imaging business. We have been working around the clock to restore production capacity and fulfil the orders that we have committed to deliver and are very happy that wafer processor operations, testing and assembly have been increasing steadily since May. Throughout this process, we have minimised the financial impact of this incident to our customers.

However, with the recent economic turbulence and extreme fluctuations in currency exchange rates between Japanese yen and European currencies, particularly the pound, we have had to revisit our pricing structure as of the 1st August 2016 we will be adjusting the list prices of our digital imaging products.

We do not do this lightly and have carefully considered the implications for all parties.”

Increases on key Sony lines are in the order of 20%.  We are also seeing increases from Canon, Nikon, Sigma and Tamron.

We will continue to monitor our costs and selling prices on a daily basis to ensure we offer you the best possible value.

The team at Castle Cameras

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Extra savings on DSLRs and lenses to reduce stocks


We wanted to let our valued customers into our little secret.  We are reducing many different items each week.  This week we have some big reductions on DSLRs, Lenses and Accessories. The offers are running Saturday to Saturday.  Just click on the Clearance Offers box to see them all.

Some of the highlights this week are

Canon customers…

Canon EOS 80D, 100-400 Mk II  with £185 rebate from Canon UK until January 31st, 2017 and an extra £200 saving this week to clear and finance available.

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FINANCE OPTION AVAILABLE
Interest Free Finance (12 Months)
0% APR with 10% Deposit

Canon Macrolite MR-14EX II £429 Normally £449. Extra £20 saving this week to clear

 

Nikon customers…

Nikon AF-S 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR lens for DSLR £1749 Extra £50 saving this week to clear and a Free Hoya UV filter worth £59.90

 

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Nikon D7000, 18-105VR Refurbished now only £399.00, an extra £50 saving this week to clear.

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Pentax customers…

We have the  HD D-FA 150-450mm f4.5-5.6 ED DC AW £1449, normally £1699. Extra £250 saving this week to clear

d2418fb6-9ddb-4b6e-ab10-c28ea03cb77b-cj22696Pentax 43mm f1.9 Limited SMC DA, Black, £499, normally £566. Extra £67 saving this week to clear.

Pentax 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 AL WR SMC DA, £99 Normally £159. Extra £60 saving this week to clear.

 

Sony customers…

Zeiss Vario Sonnar T* 16-35 F2.8 ZA SSM £1399 Extra £100 saving this week to clear and Free Sony Extended Warranty activation card worth £50

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Sony DSLR Lens, 135mm F2.8 [T4.5] STF £829 Extra £70 saving this week to clear and Free Sony Extended Warranty activation card worth £50

sal135f28-aa16076Have a look at the website for nearly 100 clearance items.

Next week Square Filters and Studio Accessories!

Castle Cameras

 

Sigma MC-11 super test! 24 Canon fit lenses tested


Welcome to our super test of one of the most exciting new products from Sigma, the MC-11 EF to Sony E mount adaptor.

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The Sigma MC-11

This great piece of kit from Sigma is designed to allow fully compatible use of the Sigma lenses in Canon EF on Sony E mount cameras, including full frame FE mount cameras like the Sony A7SmkII, A7RmkII and A7mkII.

Greg Thurtle from TP Photography, who helped me complete this mammoth test, joined me in store as we went through many Canon L series lenses and other third party lenses to see how well they perform. As this adaptor is not supposed to support these lenses, the results would be very interesting. If it worked well, the MC-11 could be a much more cost effective alternative to the popular Metabones adaptors. The list of lenses tested is listed below, watch the video to see how well they performed!

Full Frame Lenses

Canon EF 35mm f/1.4 L USM

Canon EF 24-70mm f/4 L IS USM

Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 L IS USM

Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 L IS II USM

Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8 L II USM

Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM

Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 L IS USM MACRO

Canon EF 85mm f/1.2 L II USM

Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8 L II USM

Canon EF 17-40mm f/4 L USM

Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8 L II IS USM

Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM

Canon EF 135mm f/2.0 L USM

Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM

Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6 DG Macro EOS

Tamron 70-300mm f/4-5.6 Di EOS

Sigma 70mm f/2.8 EX DG Macro EOS

Tamron 15-30mm f/2.8 VC USD EOS

Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 VC USD EOS

Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 EX DG OS HSM EOS

Crop Lenses

Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM-C

Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8 EX DC OS HSM

Sigma 8-16mm f/4.5-5.6 DC HSM

Sigma 50-100mm f/1.8 DC HSM ART

 

As you can see from the video, only two of the lenses we tested failed to work and many of them worked flawlessly. This adaptor from Sigma is an absolute game changer and is a strong contender for our product of the year! The Sigma MC-11 and all of the lenses tested are  available from Castle Cameras now.

Sigma MC-11 Canon EF to Sony FE mount converter


At a glance

Mount Converter MC-11

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SIGMA QUALITY MEETS SONY CAPABILITIES

Accessories

  • Adapt Sigma Canon Mount or Sigma mount to Sony FE system
  • Easy to use interface, updatable with USB Dock
  • Accessories Included: Front and Rear cap

Product video

Product Detail

The Sigma MC-11 Converter is a revolutionary product designed to allow compatibility between Sony FE and APS-C cameras and Sigma Canon EOS mount and Sigma mount lenses. Utilising the latest technology, the MC-11 supports fast and accurate autofocus and will work in conjunction with in-camera stabilisation and in-lens stabilisation. An LED display on the adapter show the user if their will work in conjunction and the MC-11 is also updatable with Sigma’s USB docking station. Flocking inside of the converter allows the image to be maintained while the internal electronics record all data from the image for later review. Like all SGV products, each lens is hand crafted in Aizu, Japan.

The converter supports autofocus for compatible lenses, as well as camera functions that control brightness, aberration, distortion and more.

We have no idea as to whether this adaptor will work with Canon EF lenses, but if it does it will make a very attractive alternative to other converters currently on the market. As soon as we have one in stock, we will test with our range of Canon L series lenses and report back!

Coming very soon with an expected retail price of £219

 

New products from Sigma


Following on from all the other camera manufacturers to announce new products at the CES show Sigma have announced two new lenses The 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM A and the 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 DC Macro OS HSM C. Both lenses feature the new modern design and more importantly the high build standard that the latest lenses from Sigma have offered. No details on pricing or availability dates yet.

The Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM A

The Sigma 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 DC Macro OS HSM C

Premium Sigma wide and macro lenses for just £399


We are pleased to be able to offer you two fabulous special purpose lenses from Sigma that have had their price slashed to just £399.

Sigma 105mm F2.8 Macro EX DG OS

This superb lens offers premium optical quality, a fast aperture, optical image stabilisation and real 1:1 macro close focusing ability.

Sigma’s medium telephoto macro lens incorporates Optical Stabilisation allowing the use of shutter speeds approximately 4 stops slower than would otherwise be possible. SLD glass provides good control of aberration and the floating inner focus system ensures high rendering throughout the focusing range. By using Sigma’s APO Tele Converters, it is possible to take photos at greater than 1:1 magnification. HSM ensures a quiet and high speed AF as well as full-time manual focus override. This lens has a rounded 9 blades diaphragm which creates an attractive blur to the out of focus areas.

I took this lens out at the weekend to see what it could do. It works with both full frame and cropped sensor cameras. I used a Nikon D7100 here to show you  just how close you can get:

Focused at around 1:5, (approx 40cm)

Then the same setup shot at 1:1 (minimum focus distance) this is a full sized image, not cropped in any way!

This ten pence coin is also shot at 1:1

The detail this lens can render is marvellous, this shot is straight out of camera with no adjustments

It also makes a good portrait lens, with great sharpness and beautiful background blur

This great lens is available in Nikon, Canon and Sony fit all for just £399

Sigma 10-20mm f3.5 EX DC HSM

Another premium lens from Sigma, this wide angle lens for cropped sensor cameras offers amazing wide angle shots with superior sharpness.

It’s wide-angle of view from 102.4 degrees produces striking images with exaggerated perspective, enabling photographers to emphasise the subject. ELD (Extraordinary Low Dispersion) glass, SLD (Special Low Dispersion) glass and Aspherical lenses provide excellent correction of all types of aberrations. The Super Multi-Layer lens coating reduces flare and ghosting and creates high image quality throughout the entire zoom range. The HSM (Hyper Sonic Motor) ensures fast and quiet autofocus, while allowing full-time manual focus override.

I also took a few shots using this lens and a Nikon D7100. I was out around Poole Harbour for sunset which provides the kind of shooting conditions this lens thrives in. Once again these shots are all straight from the camera with no post production or cropping.

I think you’ll agree it gives impressive results and an interesting perspective over a standard zoom lens. This lens is available in Nikon, Canon, Sony and Pentax fit for just £399

Sigma launch new 18-35mm f/1.8 lens


Get ready to replace that kit lens.

Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 Head on

Building on the huge success of the Sigma 35mm f/1.4, Sigma have announced a fast zoom to it’s newly re-designed lens range. The Sigma A 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM is optimised for APS-C sized sensors and offers a versatile zoom range combined with huge f/1.8 aperture, a first among this type of lens. When you look at Canon and Nikon’s top level lenses, even these max out and f/2.8, the Sigma offers over 1 stop advantage for shooting in low light or with shallow depth of field.

The lens itself features a re-designed AF/MF switch, new lens hood with a rubber connector, a brass lens mount as well as Sigma’s top end optical setup.

Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8

Sigma are really working hard to offer something new and worth while, the technological advancements that have been made are displayed here in a beautiful style. When Sigma announced their initial re-designed lens range there was much speculation around the web, the Sigma 35mm f/1.4 has walked all over the competition and set a new benchmark for optics, here it’s shown that they may have just done that again.

If you use APS-C sized sensors then this lens is going to be an easy decision to add to your kit bag when it’s launched. We’ll keep you up to date with release dates and pricing as we get it. Make sure to Like the Facebook page and follow @Castlecameras on Twitter.

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