Special Report: photokina
New Lenses For 35mm And Digital SLR Cameras Page 3

Tokina (www.thkphoto.com) has also entered the ring with a digital-only contender, the first in their new DX series. According to a company rep, the new AF 12-24mm f/4 AT-X PRO DX (18.6-37mm equivalent) zoom was "designed to ensure that light strikes the CCD or CMOS sensor at as close to a 90Þ angle as possible, even out toward the edges and steps have been taken to control internal flare caused by silicon sensors." This one features a constant f/4 maximum aperture so it's slightly large/heavy (77mm filter size; 20 oz). It features an advanced optical design utilizing two all-new aspherical elements, two high refraction/ low dispersion elements, and one special FK03 glass element. (List price, $899.)

Canon (www.usa.canon.com) continues to expand its EF-S series lenses now that they're compatible with two cameras: EOS Digital Rebel and the new EOS 20D. Most future consumer-grade Canon digital SLRs should also accept the smaller EF-S lenses. The new 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM zoom (27-136mm equivalent) is particularly interesting since it features two "firsts": it's the shortest zoom to incorporates an optical Image Stabilizer for sharper photos in handheld shooting and the first Canon zoom to include a glass-molded aspherical lens element for high image quality. Photographers who want an ultra-wide zoom will prefer the shortest EF-S lens, the new 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM model (16-35mm equivalent); this boasts one Super-UD plus three aspherical elements. (Street price, $599 and$799, respectively.)

Pick Of The Show
Lenses with built-in Image Stabilizer are available from several manufacturers, but Konica Minolta is the only company to date to offer an SLR camera with a built-in camera shake compensating system. Available only in the Maxxum 7D, the CCD-shift Anti-Shake system is a brilliant concept, because the mechanism works with virtually any Maxxum AF lens (except the 6mm Fisheye and Macro Zoom 3x-1x). That precludes the need to buy special lenses with built-in Image Stabilizer mechanisms.

The Maxxum 7D employs the CCD-shift technology previously available in some DiMAGE-series cameras with built-in lenses. This system instantly shifts the CCD to compensate for vertical or horizontal camera shake, allowing us to shoot at shutter speeds up to three times slower, when compared to conventional camera equipment. Useful especially in low light, Anti-Shake allows for using lower ISO settings for clean images without the image-degrading noise that creeps in at high ISO sensitivity.

As expected, this is also a highly versatile 6-megapixel camera that's loaded with automatic, semiautomatic, and manual options for simplicity and full creative control. It's also quite fast, thanks to a high-capacity buffer memory and new CxProcess III image processor that allows for shooting long sequences of JPEG, raw, or raw+JPEG images at 3 fps. The rugged body (with magnesium-alloy parts) resembles the conventional Maxxum 7 and features many similar dial and lever controls that facilitate the switch to digital photography. Naturally, the new camera also sports various additional controls and an oversized 2.5'' LCD monitor. All in all, this Konica Minolta digital SLR camera is highly competitive with many models of other brands and it deserves to become a best seller, especially among photographers who own Maxxum lenses.