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  • Meyer Optik is reviving Dr. Rudolph's APO Plasmat 105mm F2.7 lens

    Meyer Optik has announced its new APO-Makro-Plasmat 105 F2.7 lens, a modern version of one of the classic Plasmat lenses developed by Dr. Paul Rudolph 105 years ago. As with previous Meyer Optik revivals, the company is funding its product on Kickstarter, where it explains that the new Plasmat 105 "offers natural sharpness, unbelievable color reproduction, and a glowing bokeh united at every step of the aperture."

    The name Makro, Meyer Optik explains, was chosen by Rudolph in reference to the Makro-Plasmat's suitability for 35mm, not macro, photography. The company says that while its revamped version of the lens offers performance that's "in the spirit of the Plasmat lenses," it created the model with modern camera gear in mind.

    The APO-Makro-Plasmat 105 has a 105mm focal length, 60mm width, an F2.7 - F22 aperture, 1.1m / 3.6ft minimum focusing distance, manual focusing, 6 elements in 5 groups, as well as 15 steel aperture blades with an anti-reflex coating.

    As with the original Plasmat lenses, Meyer Optik says its remake offers a unique combination of glow, bokeh, plasticity, and sharpness, explaining:

    The lens is sharp but it takes away the razor cut, sterile, microscope like sharpness and replaces it by an even sharpness around the subject that flatters it and pleases the eye of the spectator. Thus the lens fills the whole space with amazing depth and at the same time with a smooth transition from focus to softness.

    The company plans to offer APO-Makro-Plasmat 105 for 35mm cameras in the following mounts: Canon EF, Nikon F, Sony E, Fuji X, and Leica M. A model will also be released for medium-format mirrorless cameras in both Fuji GFX and Hasselblad X1D mounts.

    The lens has already reached nearly three times its funding goal on Kickstarter, where backers who pledge at least $1,050 USD (offer expires in the next 17 hours) are promised an early bird lens with a serial number that matches where they fall on the backers' list—the first person to pledge will receive serial number 001, the second person will receive 002, and so on. Once this first early bird offer is gone, backers will be able to get the lens for $1,100, $1,150, and eventually $1,300 when all early bird deals are gone.

    Initial shipments to backers are expected to start in February 2019; shipping costs depend on region. To learn more or secure your own, head over to the Kickstarter campaign page.

  • Sony's updated 3D Creator app can use your smartphone's front camera to scan your face

    Sony's 3D Creator app with its 3D-face-scanning function was first introduced with the Xperia XZ1 and XZ1 Compact last year. Now the Japanese manufacturer is rolling out the update to version 2 of the app.

    The most important upgrade of the new version is the ability to create 3D models of your face with your smartphone's front camera. This means, unlike with the previous version, you don't need the help of another person to create a 3D-model of your face and head. Of course, the option to use the main camera and get someone else to do the job is still available.

    The updated app also lets you share the results straight to Facebook or order a 3D-printed copy of your model. And version 2.0 also comes with "post-scan cloud processing," which allows you to render 3D models with 4K resolution textures for better detail and realism.

    3D Creator 2.0 is compatible with the Xperia XZ1, XZ1 Compact, and XZ Premium. If you're lucky enough to own one of these devices, you can download the newest version of the app from the Play Store now. If you are an iPhone X user, check out the Bellus 3D app for similar face scanning capabilities.