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Photography News: This is what happens to a camera in a tornado

Afraid of missing out on the latest photo industry news while you’re out, well, actually taking pictures? Photography News of the Week is all the news you might have missed this week, published on the weekends. Alongside the biggest stories of the week, like Flickr’s latest changes, the new Leica Q2, and Skylum’s photo editor for drones, find briefs on the latest in accessories and photography news from this week.

What happens to a camera in a tornado? It turns into a 264 mph projectile

Tornados can turn random objects into hazardous projectile — even cheap point-and-shoot cameras. Researchers at the Texas Tech University Debris Impact Facility recently used tornado debris canons — yes, there’s such a thing, designed for tornado research — to fire a Canon Sure Shot to see what happens.

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Watch the video on Vimeo to see what happens. The end result isn’t good for the camera — but the camera also broke speed records at the facility, hitting the wall at 264 mph. Ouch.

The project was initiated by Martin Lisius, the founder of StormStock and a filmmaker that frequently chases storms. “Normally, the guys at Texas Tech use their pneumatic cannon to fire two-by-fours at building materials for survivability testing,” he said. “I wanted to try common objects we have in our homes, something we don’t normally think of as potential tornado projectiles. My goal is to show people that practically anything can be picked up by a tornado and become dangerous.”

The test footage will be part of an upcoming documentary by Lisius.

Meike’s latest lens is an 85mm f/1.8 designed for background blur

The Hong Kong-based Meike launched its latest lens — the Meike 85mm f/1.8 is a bright Sony E Mount prime. The company says the lens is designed for portraits as well as landscape photography.

The lens is designed with a nine-blade circular aperture to mix with that f/1.8 for better background blur. Designed with nine pieces in six groups, the lens is missing an autofocus motor, working as a manual focus only lens. The lens focuses as close as 3.3 inches from the front of the lens. The lens also uses an electronic connection to keep the Exif data intact.

There’s no word yet on pricing or availability, but as a third-party manual focus lens, the upcoming Meike could be an option for limited budgets.

Sony says the E-mount could support lenses as bright as f/0.63

Part of the reasoning behind Nikon and Canon’s new lens mounts for their mirrorless cameras is a design allowing for even wider apertures. Now, Sony says that while the E-Mount may be older, the design is still capable of handling lenses with apertures as bright as f/0.63.

A wider aperture requires a wider mount size, which means the lens aperture could be limited by the camera body. So will we ever see a Sony f/0.63 lens? Possible doesn’t necessarily mean likely. Larger apertures also mean heavier lenses and an f/0.63 lens would have such a narrow depth of field that getting a tack-sharp photo would be tricky. Still, it’s nice for photographers to know that the system they are investing in won’t pose unnecessary limitations in the future — at least for aperture anyways. 

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