CP+ last year was awesome, in large part because Elliot Erwitt is as good at speaking as he is at photography. The other big event last year was the debut of the D4 and D800. The Nikon booth was mobbed by the masses that weren’t willing to wait another week and see the cameras on the counters of every big chain camera shop. Mostly I just giggled at the madness of waiting three hours to see a camera that you couldn’t buy(and imagine the germs!).
This year lacked the big announcements – and thus, was much, much more low key. It was a good thing. It seemed like, along with the big cameras, there were tons and tons of gimmicky garbage. This year, though not entirely lacking in silly things(see photo to left), there was mostly booths displaying the new upgrades, the gradual improvements on the tried-and-true. The new solid-state drives and flash memory, a new lens or two, and all the bags and tripods you could lean on.
The Tamron booth was someplace that I wanted to check out. I wanted to see how their 70-200 felt in my hands. Tamron gets it’s fair share of hate, but I’ve owned two Tamrons that have been fantastic to me, the 17-50 that I got for my D200, and the 24-70 that I got for my full-frame cameras. I was really happy with the feeling of the lens. I think the common “plasticy” complaint is a bit silly – new lenses will not be the heavy metal of old. They will be plastic. But it was solid, good plastic. I’ll reserve the plasticy label for the really cheap lenses.
I also wanted to check out the 180mm f/3.5 macro. At 100,000 yen cheaper than Nikon’s 200mm f/4, I thought it was worth a look, and I enjoyed my brief time with it. Here on the right is a 100% crop at f/3.5 at minimum focus distance with that lens. You’ll have to forgive that it was the sales flyer, as there were no cool bugs around. I love my 105mm Nikon, and I really love my extension tubes, but if I had a bigger budget, this lens would probably be on my shopping list.
One cool new thingie was Pentax/Ricoh’s 360˚ camera. It’s designed to be compact, but it looks like ridiculous fun. I’d like to see what I could do with it.
The booth that wins the cool-but-ultimately-not-really-a-game-changer prize is Carl Zeiss. They had a whole bunch of lenses cut in half. I can’t imagine destroying all that glass just to make a display, so let’s hope that these were all factory rejects that got a second life as a display piece. I couldn’t help but snap a photo of the 50mm Planar T, which I own.
One final thing that stood out to me was that GE had a booth, and was showing off it’s line of point-and-shoots. I had no idea that GE made cameras. I’d be curious to know more about these cameras, and how they came into being. But perhaps that’s just because I have done some work for their medical devices division. It’s something that I will be looking into.