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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,...

img:Kenko 400 Mirror Lens Review by Vladimir Zatsarin
Oct 26, 2017

Kenko 400 Mirror Lens Review by Vladimir Zatsarin

“Mirror lens” is a special class of camera lenses with a construction similar to astronomical telescopes, which in their turn are a stand out in simplicity and reliability.They have small dimensions combined with long focal length, light weight, a simple construction and are not expensive. That’s why lenses of this class are still quite popular.The present-day lens of this class we will talk about is Kenko MIL TOL Reflex Lens 400mm F8. Contents  Brief lookSpecificationsWeighing Appearance and first impressionsPhotographing Summary Brief look Specifications Focal length 400mm Aperture F/8.0 Angle of view 6°8’ Autofocus No Stabilization No Minimum focusing distance 1.15m Lens construction 6 elements in 2 groups Filter size 67,77mm Dimensions 74x82mm Weight 340g Weighing w/o lens hood and caps with lens hood and caps Without lens hood, caps and lens adapter this lens weighs 350g, but combined with its lens hood and caps the weight increases 1.5 times. This is due to the metal lens hood (more detailed below in this article). Appearance and first impressions Mirror lens construction The optical system of Kenko MIL TOL 400mm F8 Reflex Lens consist of two mirrors, that result in more compact dimensions compared to classic optical lenses: this 400mm tele photo lens weighs less than 400g, while any equivalent lens with the same focal length made with traditional lens schemes will weigh several kilograms and have an impressive size that will require a special case or backpack to carry it. The small number of lenses and mirrors in the construction allows getting rid of chromatic aberrations, which is a common issue for usual tele photo lenses. In order to suppress distortions, designers included in the construction an expensive ED (Extra-low Distortion) lens, but it significantly affects the price of the lens. This lens is compact and lightweight, its body is in metal and almost covered with a wide rubber focus ring. Available in three colors: black, silver (the one tested) and white. An important feature of Kenko MIL TOL 400mm F8 Reflex Lens is its compatibility with most of the digital DSLR and mirrorless cameras: this lens has a threaded T-mount and, with an appropriate adapters can be used with a variety of mount systems - Canon EOS, Nikon F, Pentax K, Sony Alpha, Sony NEX, Micro 4/3 etc. This review is made using Micro 4/3 camera with crop factor 2, therefore the angle of view becomes equivalent to 800mm lens...

img:Macro Photography with Extension Tubes - Impressions and Expressions by Kunimasa Hiroshi
Oct 26, 2017

Macro Photography with Extension Tubes - Impressions and Expressions by Kunimasa Hiroshi

Are you enjoying macro shooting?From summer to winter, every season offers its various flowers blooming to be enjoyed and, of course, captured in your shots!  Macro photography’s first real charm is to be able to shoot as closer and bigger as we could possibly think.In this way, the usual scenery beyond us becomes a completely different new world…amazing, isn’t it! And when you get absorbed into such a world while shooting, you get eager to shoot even more and more big. So you move one step closer, then another step closer, closer and closer until you reach your target object and…you figure out you cannot properly focus! An unpleasant surprise everybody experienced, am I wrong? Although macro lens allows shooting closer and bigger compared to regular lenses, there are some limitations. But I think the desire to shoot closer still persists. Particularly, isn’t a common desire to shoot at small objects, like small flowers etc., to see them bigger? In such situations, as there are limits on how much you can get closer, you may think there is no other way but to give up, right?No, don’t worry: there are still different ways that will allow you to shoot closer and bigger. One of this, if you are using a full frame camera, is to replace it with an APS-C camera.For Nikon, APS-C cameras have a 1.5x crop factor that allows capturing distant objects, making them appear bigger. As the minimum focusing distance does not change, even if you shoot from the same distance, the subject will be enlarged accordingly (in practice, it is as if it was cropped) and shot bigger. Another way is the one I will talk about in this review.That is, shooting with Extension Tubes.An extension tube is a device that, once installed between the camera body and lens, allows shooting further closer at the subject than the lens minimum focusing distance. In few words, it is a device with the magical power of letting you shoot further closer and bigger at the subject you want to shoot.  Kenko Tokina has released an Extension Tube Set in 3 rings of 12mm, 20mm and 36mm respectively. Whether you use one ring at a time, or combine more rings together, this set allows you to shoot in 7 different ways. Being so, it seems you can finally get your chance to shoot as bigger and closer as you want! ...

img:A Beginner Guide to Long Exposure Photography by Andrew Leggett
Sep 19, 2017

A Beginner Guide to Long Exposure Photography by Andrew Leggett

A Beginners Guide to Long Exposure Photography  So, you’ve seen pictures of the silky smooth waters and the dreamy skies and you’ve made the decision to try and achieve this style for yourself. It’s time to plan! Before you decide to fly out the front door, some prior preparation is going to be required. What is it that you’re going to shoot? Cityscapes? Seascape? Waterfalls? Have you looked on Streetview for good vantage points or spoken to other photographers in the area? It pays to have a good understanding of the area, as sometimes chasing a shot can be time sensitive! There are phone Apps that can assist in planning for a shoot. PhotoPills would be the most popular App out there, but I have been supporting an Android app called PlanIt! for some time now. PlanIt! currently helps photographers plan for Milky Way Photography, Sunset & Sunrise, Meteor showers and much more! The next major thing is equipment! You will need to have a camera with a manual mode so you can manually control Shutter speed, aperture, ISO and focus. Another crucial piece of equipment are your legs, a nice and sturdy tripod is required to keep your camera locked in the same position over the duration of the shoot. The only items we require now are a remote trigger, and the star of the show, a neutral density filter. In this demonstration I will be shooting a sunset cityscape with the Kenko RealPro ND1000 filter. The ND1000 will provide me with a reduction of 10 stops. This reduction is how I will achieve the soft water and silky skies. Composition Once I arrive at the planned destination, I set the camera up and fire off my first shot in Aperture Priority Mode. I’m not too worried about settings at this stage. I am only interested in how the image is looking on the back of the camera. I’ll move around and take multiple shots from different angles. What I am looking for when I compose my shot is something in the foreground, silky smooth water, some city lights and a silky dreamy sky. As you can see below, my ‘something’ in the foreground is the yellow ladder. Camera Settings and Base Image I’m now happy with how the shot is looking, it’s time to dial in some settings. I’m shooting at about 25mm on my kit Nikon Lens. I...

img:My Experience with Kenko REAL PRO Clip lenses - by Mike Gorliak
Sep 13, 2017

My Experience with Kenko REAL PRO Clip lenses - by Mike Gorliak

My experience with Kenko REAL PRO Clip Lenses We usually do not use our smartphones to their full extent, as we end up using just the simple camera functions everyone knows. But if you try searching on the Internet, you’ll figure out that nowadays the most popular way of taking photos is shooting with smartphones. It is quite understandable - after all, smartphone cameras have become quite good in recent years. Also, the correct operation of a semiprofessional camera can be much more complicated for beginners than a quick shot with a smartphone camera. As a professional photographer, at the beginning I found rather difficult to face the limitations of a smartphone camera but, after all, I know how to use my camera to get certain pictures. Then I was amazed by Kenko REAL PRO clip lenses, and the more I use these lenses the most I like them. Shot with Kenko REAL PRO CLIP LENS Fish-Eye 180° Smartphones are equipped with a built-in camera and lens, and usually these lenses are supposed to have at least adequate specifications to let you take, under good shooting and lighting conditions, pictures of several genres, especially like flat-lay photos taken right up from a 90°position, or snaps and landscape pictures. In portraits you have to break your head, especially if the photos are to be more than a selfy. As it eventually turns out, smartphone cameras will not be able to replace mirror-reflex or mirrorless cameras for the time being. But at the very least, there are really good alternatives for making smartphone pictures more interesting an also from completely different perspectives like in macro photography, as you can see here: Shot with Kenko REAL PRO Macro 0.65x I have been a professional photographer for ten years and I know how beautiful the photography with a professional camera is – but even with only half of the equipment can be damn hard! If you are going to spend "only" one or two hours on a shooting session, you can still handle it. But then imagine the case you are going somewhere out on a journey with your family, and you want to bring of course your camera equipment with you, but there are also a lot of other necessities to fill up your backpack with, and you will inevitably get annoyed because there won’t be enough space for everything! Shot with...