Veydra LLC, Maker of Affordable Manual Focus Mini Prime Cinema Lenses, Is Dead. What Now for Lenses in Their Class?

Veydra LLC, maker of the Veydra Mini Prime manual-focus cinema lenses for Micro Four Thirds, Sony E-Mount and Fujifilm X-Mount cameras, is no more. 

Veydra’s Ryan Avery recently announced the company’s demise on its Facebook page, bringing to an abrupt end the story of this doughty little lens maker, throwing into confusion affordable native geared cinema prime lens choices for independent moviemakers. 

With its mission statement being “Veydra lenses are designed to be premium quality cinema lenses at the absolute minimum retail price”, Veydra gave thousands the opportunity of using cinema lenses instead of the more common stills-oriented  non-cinema zoom and prime lenses we have come to rely upon despite their shortcomings for video use. 

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Veydra 50mm and 25mm Mini Prime Cinema manual focus lenses with imperial or metric markings, made by Veydra LLC.

Veydra LLC has gone out of business due to the conclusion of ongoing litigation between the founders of the company.

I offer special thanks to everyone involved in the success of Veydra; first and foremost all Veydra Kickstarter backers and customers. Specific thanks to those who made it possible from the start; Phil Holland, Illya Friedman, Matthew Duclos, Joshua Brown, Alex Jacobs, and all the supporters too numerous to mention here.

It’s been a wonderful journey and I thank you all for your support and kindness.

—Ryan Avery
Co-Founder

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Veydra Mini Prime colour-matched, geared manual-focus cinema prime lenses, from left, 12mm T2.2, 16mm T2.2, 19mm T2.2, 25mm T2.2, 35mm T2.2, 50mm T2.2 and 85mm T2.2 for Micro Four Thirds and APS-C sensor cameras.

Social media rumours have it that there was some conflict at Veydra about one partner licensing his lens designs out to another company, Meike, but another factor leading to Veydra’s end may have been the theft of US$200,000 worth of lenses from the company’s warehouse in 2017, after which the company seemed to drop off the radar.

There are cinema prime lens alternatives, however, with SLR Magic releasing an intriguing set of lenses for Super 16 and Super 35  digital cameras in M43, E-Mount and X-Mount.

Another option is Fujifilm’s impressive MKX cinema zoom lenses available in two focal length ranges and now in the same there mounts.

Should Fujifilm continue delivering on its promise to radically improve video functionality on its XF APS-C/Super 35 cameras,  SLR Magic’s seven lens collection appears attractive with the lenses’ 18mm, 22.5mm, 27mm, 37.5mm, 52.5mm and 112.5mm equivalence in the 35mm sensor format.

So far Meike has only released three cinema prime lenses and not in all three mounts, in 12mm, 16mm and 25mm focal lengths, so time will tell whether the company is fully committed to supplying a full set of primes in three mounts.

A prime lens alternative? SLR Magic MicroPrime Cinema Lenses for Micro Four Thirds, Fujifilm X-Mount and Sony E-Mount.

A cinema zoom alternative? Fujifilm Cinema Zoom Lenses for Micro Four Thirds, Fujifilm X-Mount and Sony E-Mount.

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WARNING! Peak Design Everyday Camera Bags and Backpacks Are Susceptible to Mould Infection

I was recently prepping for a shoot in the city the next day so one of the first things was to decide which camera bag or backpack to carry my gear in.

I opened the big closet in my storage room where Peak Design, F-Stop Gear, Think Tank Photo and MindShift Gear camera bags and backpacks are kept, took a Peak Design Everyday Backpack out into the sunlight and, lo and behold, found it was infected with mould.

I then took out two Peak Design Everyday Messenger bags out into the light to find that they, too, are infected with mould.

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I recently discovered that two Peak Design Everyday Messenger bags and one Everyday Backpack were infected with camera and lens destroying mould while camera bags and backpacks by other manufacturers that were stored in the same large equipment storage closet remain untouched by mould.

None of the Think Tank Photo, MindShift Gear, Cosyspeed, and F-Stop Gear bags and backpacks appear to have been infected with mould.

For safety’s sake I had no choice but to immediately throw out all three Peak Design camera bags and backpack and luckily there was a trash collection tomorrow morning in order to get them out of the building.

I was saddened by having to do so as I applaud the creativity and innovation inherent in Peak Design’s products and have enjoyed using all three in the way for which they are designed, for daily carrying of the more mundane items of life and work along with camera, a lens or two and other smaller photographic items.

I have a large collection of Peak Design camera straps but almost all of them are stored attached to cameras in reasonably well-sealed plastic boxes with silica gel packs inside, and so far I have not found evidence of mould on any of them.

None of the Peak Design bags and straps had leather trim on them; they were all in the Charcoal colourway that is trimmed with synthetic materials whereas the Ash colourway is trimmed with leather.

As soon as I threw out the Peak Design bags I checked the straps on my cameras as well as two other boxes containing several spare straps and accessories.

Ever since the climate here in Sydney started becoming progressively more subtropical several years ago I have been conscious of the possibility of mould infection in leather products after discovering mould on a leather jacket, leather boots and leather-trimmed shoes.

I tried out several brands of anti-mould sprays on them but the mould eventually returned so the jacket and footwear had to be thrown out.

Then I discovered that certain types of plastics can also become infected with mould, most notably several Hedgren shoulder bags made from synthetics.

I have been progressively  swapping over to shoes and other products made from synthetics rather than leather but it is clear that certain synthetic materials can also be a threat.

Mould infection on two Peak Design Everyday Messenger Bags and one Everyday Backpack

Visual ArtsHub: A new foundation for Australian women’s art

https://visual.artshub.com.au/news-article/news/visual-arts/visual-arts-writer/a-new-foundation-for-australian-womens-art-258076

Sheila: A Foundation for Women in Visual Art was officially launched in Perth yesterday (28 May). The initiative comes out of a swelling need for greater gender equality within the visual arts.

‘According to The Countess Report (a Sheila-funded project) women are 75 per cent of art school graduates but only 34 per cent of artists exhibited in our state museums and galleries. Gender inequality is apparent in art prizes, representation of female artists in media and the proportion of female artists represented in exhibitions at state museums,’ reminded Sheila Cruthers on the occasion of the launch.

Sheila aims to redress that in a multi-prong way: to provide scholarships for art historians and curators, assist the purchase and commission works by women artists, and run annual lecture and symposiums focused on women’s art….

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Adobe: What’s new in Camera Raw: Adobe Camera Raw 11.3 | May 2019

https://helpx.adobe.com/camera-raw/using/whats-new.html

“The May 2019 release of Adobe Camera Raw (version 11.3) rolls out a new feature – Texture slider, adds support for new cameras and lenses, and fixes issues.”

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Philip Ruddock, Mayor of Hornsby, surveys photographs by local artist Nathalie Hartog Gauthier during opening of her photography exhibition at Wallarobba Arts and Cultural Centre, Hornsby, 4th May 2019. Before applying Texture, the fabric of the Mayor’s jacket was less clear than it is here and the details of each framed image less distinct. I could have applied Clarify or Sharpen for a not dissimilar effect, but Texture works without adding the artefacts that the other two options often carry with them.
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Texture effect applied at 100 to casual portrait shot with Panasonic Lumix DC-S1R camera and Panasonic Lumix S Pro 50mm f/1.4 prime lens wide open. Raw file processed in Adobe Camera Raw 11.3 followed by Alien Skin Exposure X4 with Copper preset to emulate the chemical copper toning I sometimes applied to prints for magazine reproduction during my magazine editorial portrait photographer days. Using Texture is as if I had stopped the lens’ aperture down one or more stops, now focussing on more than just one of the subject’s eyes. My interest in the Panasonic Lumix S1R is primarily as a portrait camera for producing really big prints to gallery standard, and Texture may well further enhance the possible sense of looking into the subject’s actual eyes when standing face-to-face with a big blow-up of the photograph.
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Same raw file but with both Enhance and Texture applied, then blue and copper split-toning applied in Alien Skin Exposure X4 to resemble another way I often chemically toned ultra-close-up portraits for magazine editorial clients. This look strongly reminds me of shooting full-face close-up portraits on my 4″x5″ sheet film cameras using Polaroid Type 55 positive/negative film.

Commentary

Just for fun and to see how far one can go with this approach, I added a Polaroid Type 55 film simulation and frame and am sharing the image here at 100% uncropped, making for a 6.3 MB 60% quality JPEG file. Best downloaded and viewed at 100%. 

Adobe has updated its Adobe Camera Raw engine plug-in for Photoshop and Lightroom to version 11.3 with a brand new feature, Texture.

Until now many photographers needing a little extra detail from their raw files have chosen to sharpen or add clarity via ACR but now they may wish to explore the creative possibilities of the Texture slider.

Like sharpening and clarity, the texture feature can be used in a negative or positive manner, applied overall or in selected areas of the image.

I have applied texture to both the images above, at a setting of +50 to the top image and at +100 to the lower image, and I can see its expressive capabilities already.

Intriguing!

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Fringer: Fringer EF-FX Pro II is released

https://www.fringeradapter.com/blog/fringer-ef-fx-pro-ii-is-released

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Fringer EF-FX Pro II adapter for mounting Canon EF-Mount lenses on Fujifilm X-Mount cameras.

Main improvements of the 2nd generation of EF-FX Pro include

– Redesigned aperture ring for more convenient operation

– New MCU (more powerful, more resources for firmware update)

– Better light absorbing design

The functions and performance of gen1 and gen2 are the same….

Fringer EF-FX Pro II lens adapter for mounting Canon EF-mount lenses on Fujifilm X-mount cameras

Commentary

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Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM Art zoom lens for APS-C sensors and for adapting to M43 with Metabones SpeedBoosters, lens available in Canon EF or Nikon mounts.

Gaps still remain in Fujifilm’s native X-mount lens collection for the company’s APS-C sensor format cameras such as the X-T3, X-H1, X-T30, X-Pro2 and the rest so some cinematographers, wishing to take advantage of Fujifilm’s recently upgraded video capabilities, have been exploring adapting third party lenses like Sigma’s 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM Art zoom lens.

With Smart Adapter and Speed Booster stalwart Metabones missing in action when it comes to adapting Canon EF-mount lenses popular with moviemakers, space was created for formerly unknown adapter makers like Fringer to enter the fray with its Fringer EF-FX and Fringer EF-FX Pro smart adapters.

If I were contemplating doing the same as several cinematographers of my acquaintance, I would choose the Pro version given its built-in aperture ring and better yet, Fringer’s EF-FX Pro II with its much-needed hardware and firmware improvements.

I have just one Canon EF-mount lens remaining in my collection, a Canon RF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM kit zoom lens suffering from the far-too-common detached internal ribbon connector problem that renders it completely unusable so have been treading water on an EF-to-X-mount adapter until I can afford Canon’s over-priced repair bill for this problematic though popular lens.

I have been considering investing in a Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 zoom lens but was not quite convinced by Fringer’s EF-FX Pro version 1 adapter.

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Canon EF 24-105mm f/4.0 L USM zoom lens, prone to the all-too-common aperture control ribbon cable failure that can apparently cost a small fortune to have fixed in Australia. Bundled as a kit zoom lens with some Canon DSLRs and popular amongst videographers despite not having the most amazing optical or mechanical qualities.

The imminent release of the Fringer EF-FX Pro II may well tip the balance.

A Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 with smart adapter would give me access to one of the documentary photographer’s and photojournalist’s most-needed focal lengths, 18mm in APS-C which is equivalent to 28mm in the 35mm sensor format, as well as one of the most useful focal length ranges for documentary moviemaking.

On the other hand, Fujifilm’s Fujinon XF 18-55mm f/2.8-4.0 R LM OIS has its uses for stills and video and adds optical image stabilization to both, a benefit I do not have on any of my current Fujifilm lenses.

And then there is the coming Fujinon XF 16-80mm f/4.0 R OIS zoom lens, to be released sometime late this year according to rumours, with its highly useful additions to the wide and long ends of the scale.

Time to do some number crunching and crystal ball gazing, methinks, and hope for the best.

Native glass often proves to be the best solution given third-party adapters can have their downsides.

The upside of EF-mount lenses adapted for use on APS-C and Micro Four Thirds cameras such as those made by Fujifilm, Panasonic and Blackmagic Design is that they can be pressed into maximum service and prove their value in a wide range of applications.

Imagine a Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM Art, or a Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM zoom lens for that matter, really proving its value for shooting Blackmagic Raw cinematic video on a Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K, Super 16 HLG video on Panasonic’s MFT cameras, Super 35 HLG video on the Fujifilm X-T3, and documentary stills and portrait photography in a number of different sensor formats.

As a self-funded independent documentary photographer and video-maker, obtaining maximum value from minimum expenditure is a constant battle especially in this economic climate when the Australian banks are all-too-ready to screw-over regular folks like us, wrecking our plans and financially throwing us to the wolves, hence all this rumination over how to get the most out of my gear while spending as little as possible to add extra functionality.

Focal lengths longer than 85mm in equivalence would come in handy right now for portraiture on my Fujifilm APS-C cameras, as would a stabilized zoom lens with equivalent focal lengths from 36mm through to 157.5mm for handheld Super 35 video.

I could do with something similar for my M43 cameras, providing equivalent focal lengths of 48mm through to 210mm for portraiture and video as well as macro product photography.

Add a Metabones Speed Booster to my current Metabones Smart Adapter and even more focal lengths would become available on those cameras as well as a Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera 4K, the cheapest option now available for cinematic raw video.

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Fuji Rumors: Fujikina 2019 Tokyo, May 25/26: Fujifilm GFX 100 Launch Party and More?

https://www.fujirumors.com/fujikina-2019-tokyo-may-25-26-fujifilm-gfx-100-launch-party-and-more/

“”FUJIKINA 2019 TOKYO” will be held on May 25th-26th 2019!

This event is a must-go for all GFX and X Series users. You will be able to try the latest range of GFX and X Series cameras and lenses. There will be live talks, studio demos and photo galleries showcasing the works of the professional photographers and creators from all over the world. Quick maintenance service and loan programs will be available free of charge (reservation required).

There will also be public shooting of music videos on site. The production team led by Pål Laukli will only use GFX and X Series models to complete the music video and stills. This is a rare opportunity to witness the professional at work!…”

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Fujifilm GFX 100S with Fujinon GF 32-64mm f/4 R LM WR zoom lens. This lens is equivalent to 25-51mm in the 35mm sensor format.

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There is Now a DJI Drone and Gimbal Store in World Square, Sydney, Australia

I accidentally discovered that a DJI boutique has opened in the Sydney central business district – aka CBD – at World Square while on the way back to the ‘burbs from an International Women’s Day event that I had been covering. 

Two handheld gimbals were on display as well as several drones of various sizes.

One gimbal was the recently released Ronin-S, a product in which I am interested, but did not dare pick it up and try it out as the Canon DSLR mounted on it had a defective lens mount lock and the Canon EF 24-105mm kit zoom lens looked like it was in danger of dropping off at any moment. 

It is great that a standalone store is now showing off and selling DJI products in Sydney now.

Although a subset of DJI products and other brands of drones and gimbals can be found in some city and suburban camera stores, none so far have a a substantial collection of such products to see, try and buy.

I would love to find a place that stocks Zhiyun-Tech handheld gimbals so I can try them out as well, in order to make an informed purchasing choice and so I can make informed recommendations to readers of ‘Untitled’.

It would also be terrific to find a store where the staff do not ignore me as if I were invisible.

Do they assume that an unaccompanied female cannot afford to buy their products?

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Meyer Optic USA: Bring back the Fabulous Wonder Bokeh Lens: P 58 f1.9 – Updates: Sad news

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/meyeroptik/bring-back-the-fabulous-wonder-bokeh-lens-primopla/posts/2256824

“A few weeks ago, our founder, CEO and main investor Stefan Immes had a serious traffic accident, which he barely survived. Although we have been able to talk to him and although, for a very short time of the day he has become the astute, humorous and positive entrepreneur we know, it is now clear that due to the severity of the injuries he will not be able to continue running the company in the foreseeable future.

For a company of 15 employees only, this entails a large number of changes. Currently, we are in the process of reorganization and are trying to establish a working system as no successor regulation can yet be found for the Net SE Group. For this reason, we are currently undergoing a restructuring process with an as yet unknown outcome for the individual divisions….”

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Meyer Optik Görlitz Primoplan P58 58mm f/1.9 Art prime lens for Canon EF mount, M42 mount, Nikon F mount and Pentax K mount.

Other Meyer Optik Görlitz lenses as of August 2018

Commentary

Sad news indeed about Meyer Optik Görlitz CEO Stefan Immes and I hope that the company can successfully reorganize and get back into full production of its innovative and revived art lenses.

I wish to see more, not fewer, makers of these characterful lens types in the world and would hate to see the end of the Meyer Optik Görlitz initiative especially given their aims as stated in their latest Kickstarter campaign:

We restored the Meyer-Optik brand to build lenses that are distinguished in their uniqueness. Today, our lenses are made for those who want more than standard shots for their everyday photography. These lenses are special hand-made optics designed for the artistic photographer who craves a special unique look.

Although I appreciate the precision of most contemporary lens designs, I have had practical firsthand experience of antique and revived historical lenses aka “fine art” or “art” lenses and know there is a place for them in almost every photographer’s and moviemaker’s gear kit.

I wish the Meyer Optik Görlitz company the very best in their reorganization, and look forward to them reviving and updating many more famous and historical lenses in future.

Meanwhile I am glad to know that other companies such as Lomography are also on the classic lens revival trail and look forward to one day being able to try out a cross section of such lenses.

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Novoflex Nikon F to Fujifilm G lens adapter on Fujifilm GFX 50S camera.

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  • Lensbaby lensesB&H
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  • Metabones Nikon F Lens to Sony E-Mount Camera T Adapter IIB&H
  • Metabones Speed Booster lens adapters for Nikon lenses to various camerasB&H
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  • Novoflex Adapter for Nikon F Lens to Sony E-Mount CameraB&H

Camera Accessories Maker SmallRig Sets Up Its Own Amazon Australia Online Store

With the side effects of the Australian Federal Government’s demand that foreign online retailers sign up to become government goos and services tax collection agents yet to become clear and obvious this soon after the scheme’s July 1 commencement date, Chinese camera accessories maker SmallRig has dodged the bullet by setting up a dedicated SmallRig store on Amazon Australia

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SmallRig now has a store at Amazon.com Australia.

Amazon.com CEO Jeff Bezos responded to the Federal Government’s demand that Amazon UK and Amazon USA become unpaid tax collectors by refusing to sell Australian customers at all from those two sites from July 1, instead bouncing them to the controversial Amazon Australia website, often criticized for having too little stock and too high prices.

SmallRig’s Australian Amazon store does not appear to offer the vast selection found on SmallRig’s website nor its unique Co-design and Pre-order functions but it is at least, a start and seems to contain some of the more popular item categories for which SmallRig has become famous since its founding in 2007, cages, handles, quick release plates, clamps and more.

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This item is on my wishlist and I may try out SmallRig’s Amazon Australia store by purchasing it and other items there soon.

I recommend that Australian readers make their purchases through the Amazon Australia SmallRig store to encourage SmallRig to add more of their products to it.

I have not yet made any foreign online purchases since July 1 from retailers that have refused to sign up to the Australian Government’s GST collection scheme, so have not put the new system to the test.

I hope, though that the Government is offering a fallback for purchases from those stores such as routing them through the Australian Customs service for GST collection on items where it has not been charged at point of sale.

Prior to July 1, the Australian Government only required 10% GST to be paid on items costing $AU 1,000.00 or greater.

Now all items purchased by Australian residents from overseas suppliers are required to have GST collected.

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