Staff Blog

Archive '2018'

img:Review of Kenko RED ENHANCER No.1 By Alireza Vafa
Jul 12, 2018

Review of Kenko RED ENHANCER No.1 By Alireza Vafa

Title picture – Credit: Alireza Vafa The advent of Digital photography and post processing tools strongly challenged the implementation of some photography filters. But there are many reasons which are carefully considered by professional photographers to keep using filters toward creativity and capturing unique photos. Kenko Red Enhancer filter’s effect and influence on picture are among those ones which is not possible to reproduce in post processing stage or with any settings or retouching tools. Figure 1- Light transmittance of Kenko Red Enhancer No.1 filter. Credit: Kenko Global As transmittance curve of this filter is shown in figure 1, Kenko Red Enhancer No.1 heavily blocked wave lengths between 560nm to 600nm due to the specific material it is made of: Didymium. By using this filter, the light changes its physical nature before reaching the sensor, so this selective blocking is out of reach for any post processing techniques. In general, the results would be enhancing red color so that it appears much more vivid and saturated. As you can see on Picture 1, the red color of tulips exposed is much more prominent through the filter. Picture 1- The effect of Kenko Red Enhancer No.1 on how to manipulate light in order to create rich red colors. Credit: Alireza Vafa However, this particular manipulation of light passing through the specific mean of this filter could serve in a wide range of applications. Nowadays, at night we make use of a wide range of different types of artificial lights to light cities and places and in fact these lights invade the beauty of night sky. Such lights emit photons in different wavelengths and distributions as shown in Figure 2. Figure 2 - Spectral Power Distributions of Various Light Sources. Credit: lamptech.co.uk The distribution of emitted lights by these lamps are different, but there is a specific range of wave lengths which is matching in all graphs; the Yellow-Orange region (570nm-600nm). Didymium, the material used in Kenko Red Enhancer filter targets exactly this part. As a result, this filter could also be used under artificial lights to produce different results. Picture 2 – Under artificial lights, the true colors of subjects ruined due to uneven distribution of light spectra. This effect could greatly improve by Kenko Red Enhancer No.1  filter. Compare how this filter recover colors in the image of this ancient red Persian carpet which under artificial light. Left image...

img:Testing Kenko Teleplus HD DGX 2.0x tele converter in Aeroplane Spotting - a review by Juan Pablo Muñoz
May 22, 2018

Testing Kenko Teleplus HD DGX 2.0x tele converter in Aeroplane Spotting - a review by Juan Pablo Muñoz

Next time you visit an airport or the surroundings look closer and you will probably find one or few photographers taking pictures of the airplanes arriving or departing the terminal.  Aircraft or airplane spotting is a hobby of tracking aircraft, nowadays usually accompanied by photos of the airplanes.The origins of the hobby came from World War II when some countries encouraged citizen to observe and track airplanes as they were a public security threat, because usually they came as part of a bomb attack or similar.  That tracking slowly went from a security action to a hobby, and recently has gained more enthusiasts because of the opportunity to practice photography of planes and publishing in sites like www.airliners.net, www.jetphotos.com or www.airplane-pictures.net, which are highly specialized in the hobby and focused on the quality of the photos. Those websites have created procedures to review the photos and accept the publishing of them depending on the technique and certain line-ups that guarantee the quality of the picture.  Horizon, sharpness, noise and composition are just few criteria considered   for a photo to be screened and latterly published in these websites.Getting images of airplanes could be difficult depending on different factors which usually we need to consider: heat over the runway, speed during landing or take off, natural light, composition and, of course, distance between the aircraft and the spotting location.Because of the last one, usually the pictures for this hobby are done by using telephoto converters.  Here is where the Kenko Teleplus HD DGX 2.0X is of great help to increase the focal length of the lens, allowing you to shoot from a longest distance without losing quality.Depending on the spot chosen for taking the photos, the distance will allow you to get better details of the action over the runway or to just take the opportunity to get a great photo using sunlight over the aircraft. The Telephoto Converter The unboxing of any photography item is really great feeling and experience and for Kenko telephoto converter in particular the quality will not disappoint you.  In my particular scenario I used Nikon gear, so the version selected was for Nikon mount. However Kenko has options available for Canon mount too.The telephoto converter comes with a convenient black pouch that let you storage and have your telephoto converter safe anytime, reducing the chances of getting dust over the lens or any scratch that could...

img:Smartphone photography with REAL PRO Clip Lens Macro&Wide120°- Impressions by Shizuyo Saito
Mar 10, 2018

Smartphone photography with REAL PRO Clip Lens Macro&Wide120°- Impressions by Shizuyo Saito

Hello everyone! My name is Shizuyo Saito and in this review I would like to share with you my impressions about experiencing smartphone photography with REAL PRO Clip Lens Macro&Wide 120°. Kenko REAL PRO Clip Lens Macro&Wide 120° comes in a 2-lens structure of combinable and detachable macro and wide lenses. So if for example you fancy shooting macro, you can screw out the external wide lens and shoot with only the macro lens on. Usually, when shooting with standard smartphone built-in camera lenses, the closest you can get is around 10cm. With this macro clip lens on, though it may slightly differ depending on your smartphone model, you can get up to 1.5cm close to your shooting subject. This time, I used this macro clip lens to shoot some flower arrangements I bought for my apartment. When I tried to get closer to that rose and daisy right in the center of the flower pot, this is what I got with this macro clip lens. All the shots were taken indoors, in the evening, under a fluorescent light and in no special shooting environment. Indoor shooting can always be fun even if it’s raining or snowing outside. And the daylight rays entering the room from the window will provide enough light. As my personal hint, if you like buying and shooting flowers, I would recommend to take your shots within the same day you bought the flowers. Otherwise, those parts of the flowers that started withering over time will show up in your close-ups. You can try with any flower, from those you usually buy for yourself, to a given bunch of flowers or spontaneous flowers in the neighborhood...all of them will give you the chance to challenge your smartphone shots with this macro clip lens. When preparing your equipment for macro photography with DLSR or mirroless cameras, you may feel intimidated by the “arsenal” of necessary gears. On the contrary, by clipping this macro clip lens on your smarthpone, macro shoots will be easy, quick and as much impressive as the pictures I showed you above. In addition, even with both the macro and wide lenses installed, the total weight of a clip lens will be only about 6g! Pretty convenient to be carried on, isn’t it? Only one advice, though. As said before, with this macro clip lens you can get close up to 1.5cm to your...

img:CP+ 2018 @ Yokohama, Japan Photo Report of Kenko products display
Mar 7, 2018

CP+ 2018 @ Yokohama, Japan Photo Report of Kenko products display

CP+2018 is the biggest photo and imaging show in Asia, a comprehensive exhibition that pursues to push for evolution in all aspects (technology, culture and industry) of camera and photo accessories. Every year, it collaborates with the international City of Yokohama to give a mutual contribution to the development of photo imaging culture and society. This 2018 exhibition was held in Yokohama (Japan) at Pacifico Yokohama exhibition center on the 1st -4th of March and, as for the previous editions, we were glad to meet you all at Kenko Tokina booth. We hope you will enjoy having a look again at the most popular products of our brand, and for those who couldn’t make it, we hope you will enjoy discovering the news displayed at the booth with this report.Enjoy! Kenko Tokina booth - Overview Filters corner Speaking of news, the left side on the frontal part hosted three brand new filter products. NEW FILTERS corner From left to right, the new Kenko ADVANCED DRONE FILTERS IRND KIT, a set of four filters compatible with drone models like the DJI Phantom 4 Pro/Advanced, that will perform smooth motion and optimal exposure, thus bringing drone footage to the next level. NEW ADVANCED DRONE FILTERS IRND KIT – Estimated release on April, 2018 NEW ADVANCED DRONE FILTERS IRND KIT – Estimated release on April, 2018 Following on, ZX CP-L filters for Kenko ZX series, a new series of filters with “floating frame technology”, that secures the filter glass to remain flat, not distorted or twisted inside the frame, thus providing sensational results in resolution performances.Incorporating a completely new high-transmittance polarizing film, this new ZX C-PL filter has no slightly visible yellowish tint that usually other C-PL filters have, thus providing excellent color balance. NEW Kenko ZX CP-L Also, a new prototype of rectangular soft effect filter, the Half PRO SOFTON A, particularly suitable for starry-sky photography, as it will soften the light from the stars while keeping sharp the landscape below. NEW Half PRO SOFTON A – Estimated release on May, 2018 Filters corner also displayed numerous Kenko filters series. Kenko C-PL filters Kenko ND filters Soft effect filters Cross effect filters Colored Filters Protector Filters Binoculars corner Amazing news was also showcased at the binoculars corner, with the new Kenko VcSmart binoculars with Vibration Control technology. As you can see from the picture below, we attached a vibration simulation device to...

img:Gift Show 2018 @ Tokyo Big Sight 7th - 9th February
Feb 14, 2018

Gift Show 2018 @ Tokyo Big Sight 7th - 9th February

As a consolidated tradition, this year as well Kenko Tokina took part in the Tokyo Gift Show exhibition, one of the most famous events in the gift product industry that every year draws visitors from all over the world.Held in Tokyo Big Sight building, the biggest convention center in the Japanese capital, the Gift Show represents the wonderland of gift ideas, when you really can’t help to be spoiled of choice.Kenko Tokina took part in this event on the 7th-9th of February and, as for the previous editions, we would like to show you around through our booth with this photo report.Please, enjoy! Kenko Tokina Booth entrance – East Hall #5 One of the main protagonists of our booth was one of our most popular product nowadays and most suitable gift for smartphones and photography lovers: Kenko REAL PRO Clip Lenses. New entry in the line-up, Kenko Double Super Lens KIT and prototypes for a 4K HD 0.6x wide angle lens and a 4K HD 2x tele lens that promise to be a must have for any smartphone photo and cinematographer. Speaking of news, a central section of the booth was dedicated to Kenko VcSmart binoculars, the smallest pair of binoculars with Vibration Control technology. The binoculars corner continued with a wide range of the most “gift suitable” binoculars series. Ceres series Ultraview M series MIYABI series Mirage series Pliant series Particular care has been given to innovation with a double corner dedicated to LUME CUBE and Beast Grip. Another corner was dedicated to science and education, both for children and grown-ups. Kenko Do・Nature STV-120M And, among the several gift suitable optical goods we couldn’t forget our versatile magnifying glasses. Last, but not least, two different corners hosted two special collaborations: a series of educational optical goods featuring the famous and beloved character DORAEMON and a series of binoculars for nature lovers featuring NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC. That’s all from Gift Show 2018. We hope you enjoyed this photo report and look forward to meeting you next year!...

img:Shooting horse races with Teleplus HD by Okada Yuki
Feb 5, 2018

Shooting horse races with Teleplus HD by Okada Yuki

Kenko Teleplus HD (referred to hereafter as Teleplus HD) is a tele converter that, when installed between the camera body and a master lens, will expand the lens’ focal length.Teleplus HD series comes in two magnifications, the 1.4x and the 2.0x. When installed, it can multiply the focal length of your lens by 1.4x or 2x respectively. Also, as compensation for the expanded focal length, the aperture value will get 1 stop darker with a 1.4x Teleplus, and 2 stops with a 2.0x Teleplus.It is true that other manufacturers’ genuine tele converters already exist on the market, but usually most of them can be installed on expensive super tele lenses only.This time, the reason why I became interested in and particularly attracted by Kenko Teleplus tele converters is their strong merit of being attachable to almost any lens.By the way, for Canon users, when installed on a EF-S lens Telepluses make it possible to use full frame cameras, therefore playing the role, so to speak, of a converter from EF to EF-S format. My occupation brings me sometime to shoot at horse races, and the equipment I usually bring in such places consists basically of a Nikon D5 camera and a Nikkor 400mm/F2.8 fixed lens. This time I opted for a Nikon D500 sub camera in set with the Nikkor 55-200mm f/4.5-5.6 lens of the so-called “Double Zoom Kit”, and got interested in what kind of shots I could make when combining them with a Teleplus HD. So I went there as if for any usual shooting session and tested the power of the Teleplus when shooting at horse races. The setting for this test was a horse race, shot from twilight to night-time: though it can’t be said I had great expectations due to these strict shooting conditions, my bad expectations were betrayed by some good results I’m going to show you in this review. First, I would like you to look at the below pictures. Equipment used: Nikon D500Nikkor 55-200mm f/4.5-5.6With Teleplus HD 2.0x Equipment used:Nikon D500Nikkor 55-200mm f/4.5-5.6With Teleplus HD 2.0x These two pictures were taken using my beloved D500 camera with a 55-200 f/4.5-5.6 lens and the 2.0x Teleplus. Here, the angle of view got equivalent to 600mm, the aperture value at F5.6 lost two stops turning into F11 and, therefore, the AF didn’t work (AF operations are possible from 5.6 or larger aperture). But in...

img:Enjoying Macro Photography with Tele Lenses and Digital Extension Tube - Review By Kunimasa Hiroshi
Feb 5, 2018

Enjoying Macro Photography with Tele Lenses and Digital Extension Tube - Review By Kunimasa Hiroshi

"Waking up" "Awaken to the dazzling sunlight" – Shot with Tokina AT-X M100 PRO D Are you enjoying macro shooting? The spring season with its vivid and colorful flowers is approaching, and will be a great chance to challenge yourself with some macro shots. Speaking of, I’m sure you’ve faced the situation of trying shooting at flowers or plants that are a bit too out of reach. Botanical gardens are full of fences that make good spots unreachable, and that little flower you are resolute to shoot at is too high on a branch to be caught with your lens. Even if you try shooting as close as possible with a macro lens, you won’t shoot big enough to make the main protagonist of your composition standing out, and the surroundings will be confused and blurred anyway. In such a situation you may think it’s a great idea to replace your macro lens with a tele photo lens and that’s it! You will shoot bigger for sure! But you’ll soon find out that if you try looking through the viewfinder as you would with a macro lens, you won’t be able to bring the subject into focus!Right, that’s because, compared to macro lenses, tele lenses have a shortest focusing distance considerably much longer. Most of these lenses are around 1.5m, though there are some of 1m. So, getting closer and trying shooting as if with a macro lens will be quite difficult. You then try stepping back little by little until the subject gets in focus. You check it and…yes, it’s still in focus! You may think you finally did it, but the truth is that, compared to when using a macro lens, in some situations if you move too much backward your subject will appear quite small on your final image.You expressively used a tele lens to shoot bigger, but that’s all you get. It’s such a killer, indeed. But it’s too early to give up!It’s now time to take out that Digital Extension Tube that’s being hidden in your bag. For those who may not remember how it works, a Digital Extension Tube is a ring element without optics that, by simply installing it between the camera and the lens, can reduce the shortest focusing distance of your lens, thus allowing to shoot closer to your target object.Of course you can install it on your tele lens, too,...