Monday, November 26, 2007
New Tools Of The Trade
The H System, Part IV
Hasselblad is delivering its fourth-generation, completely digital medium-format D-SLR. Capture 22-, 31- or 39-megapixel images on the H3D-II, a brand-new camera system with CCD image sensors up to 48x36mm. In addition to capturing large-format images with high pixel resolution, better colors and improved detail rendering, the new body has a separate button for directly controlling white balance and ISO without scrolling through the menus. When used with Hasselblad HC and HCD lenses, the camera delivers full digital lens correction via its Digital Auto Correction function, fixing chromatic aberrations, distortions and vignetting. One of the most interesting features is a physical heatsink that's attached to the CCD and dissipates heat generated to the entire camera body, ultimately reducing image noise. Estimated Street Price: $33,995 (H3D-39II); $26,995 (H3D-31II); $24,995 (H3D-22II). Contact: Hasselblad, (800) 367-6434, www.hasselbladusa.com.
The 17-inch, wide-format Epson Stylus Pro 4880 delivers outstanding image quality, thanks in part to new MicroPiezo AMC print head technology that's designed to handle eight separate ink channels. The inch-wide head has 180 nozzles per channel, produces different-sized droplets as small as 3.5 picoliters to decrease print times and uses an ink-repelling coating to reduce nozzle clogging. This new head also controls the curvature of every ink droplet within each nozzle before it's released onto the paper. An enhanced version of Epson's UltraChrome K3 Ink includes a higher-density form of magenta pigments for a wider color gamut of blues and purples. Using a new algorithm that determines dot placement, the advanced AccuPhoto HD screening technology allows for a maximum resolution of 2880 x 1440 dpi and compensates for various ink densities between resolutions by delivering a single ICC profile per media type. Estimated Street Price: $1,995. Contact: Epson, (800) GO-EPSON, www.epson.com.
Three super-telephoto lenses were recently released from Nikon: the AF-S Nikkor 400mm ƒ/2.8G ED VR, AF-S Nikkor 500mm ƒ/4G ED VR and AF-S Nikkor 600mm ƒ/4G ED VR. All are designed for use with Nikon FX- and DX-format digital SLRs. The lenses include Nikon's VR II Vibration Reduction system that gives you up to four stops of compensation for minimizing image blur, while maintaining the high image quality expected from Nikon glass. A new A/M focus mode delivers fast and secure switching between Auto and Manual focus operation. To reduce weight, the lens barrel is constructed from a magnesium die-cast while preserving a rugged design that's resistant to dust and moisture. All three lenses have three ED (Extra-low Dispersion) glass elements that reduce moiré and a Nano Crystal Coat that gets rid of internal lens element reflections across a wide range of wavelengths. Estimated Street Price: $8,799 (400mm); $7,899 (500mm); $9,499 (600mm). Contact: Nikon, (800) NIKON-UX, www.nikonusa.com.
Ideal for many types of photography, including in low-light conditions whether indoors or out, the ultra-fast Zeiss Distagon T* 2/28 has a maximum aperture of ƒ/2 and a 28mm focal length. The lens fills in the gap between the existing 25mm and 35mm wide-angle lenses. The lens uses floating elements to ensure high-quality images throughout the entire aperture and focus range. The focusing range is 9.45 inches to infinity, the angular field (diagonal/horizontal/vertical) is 74 degrees/65 degrees/46 degrees, and the close range magnification ratio is 1:5. It's available in two versions: the Distagon T* 2/28 ZF for cameras with an F-bayonet mount and the Distagon T* 2/28 ZK for a K-bayonet mount. Estimated Street Price: $984. Contact: Carl Zeiss, www.zeiss.com/photo.