Tuesday, November 11, 2008
New Tools Of The Trade
To help bring medium-format digital to more photographers, Hasselblad has announced a significant price reduction for all its cameras. The 31-megapixel H3DII-31 is now priced at $17,995, the 39-megapixel H3DII-39 at $21,995, the 50-megapixel H3DII-50 at $27,995 and the upcoming 60-megapixel H3DII-60 at $35,995. All models ship with a Hasselblad 80mm lens. Besides the large pixel counts, the camera systems offer medium-format image sensors that contain large pixels for a given pixel count, resulting in better image quality. Hasselblad also debuts the HCD 4-5.6/35-90mm zoom lens, optimized specifically for its H3D camera systems. The lens is Hasselblad’s first to use aspherical glass elements, making the body lighter and more compact. The HTS 1.5 tilt-and-shift adapter also joins the lineup, bringing tilt-shift capability to most existing HC/HCD lenses. Estimated Street Price: $6,996 (35-90mm); $5,395 (HTS 1.5). Contact: Hasselblad USA, (800) 367-6434, www.hasselbladusa.com.
Mamiya ZDb Digital Back
With a buffer offering up to twice the memory of the original ZD Digital Back, the Mamiya ZDb Digital Back allows bursts of up to 22 full-resolution RAW /images at 1.2 fps. The back features a 22-megapixel DALSA CCD sensor, has an ISO range from 50 to 400 and accepts SD, SDHC and CF I/II memory cards. The ZDb is compatible with Mamiya’s 645AFD II/III and, with an adapter, the RZ67 Pro-IID and RB67 Pro-SD medium-format cameras. For large-format photographers, a new 4x5 sliding back adapter allows ZD backs to be attached to most 4x5 cameras. Estimated Street Price: TBA. Contact: Mamiya, (914) 347-3300, www.mamiya.com.
Medium-Format 35mm D-SLR?
The Leica S2 D-SLR combines the portability of a 35mm camera with a sensor that’s described as 56 percent larger than full frame. Incorporating a 30x45mm, 37.5-megapixel image sensor in a compact body, the S2 features a high-resolution, 3-inch LCD monitor, slots for both SD and CompactFlash cards, fast operation and options to save /images in DNG or JPEG format. A focal-plane shutter in the camera body provides speeds up to 1⁄4000 sec., while a central shutter in each S lens provides high flash-sync speeds. The camera body is dust- and waterproof. The camera is projected to be available in summer 2009. Estimated Street Price: TBA. Contact: Leica, (800) 222-0118, www.leica-camera.com.
Ideal for portraiture and low-light shooting, the fast Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm ƒ/1.4G prime lens is designed to visually reproduce the perspective of the human eye when used with FX-format D-SLRs like the D3 and D700. Super Integrated Coating suppresses lens flare and chromatic aberration. The lens also features a newly developed optical formula for correcting sagittal coma flare and coma aberration. The rounded diaphragm opening with a nine-blade aperture contributes to a more natural bokeh. When used on a Nikon DX-format camera, the lens provides an ideal portrait picture angle, approximating that of a 75mm lens in use on a FX-format D-SLR or 35mm SLR camera. Estimated Street Price: $439. Contact: Nikon, (800) NIKON-US, www.nikonusa.com.
The Scoro flash units from high-end lighting specialist Broncolor offer a control range of up to 11 ƒ-stops in 1⁄10 and whole ƒ-stop intervals for three lamps, which can be individually controlled. The packs come in two versions. The Scoro A2/A4 operates optimally on voltages of 220V to 240V, while the A2S/A4S version has a shorter charging time and automatically adapts to operate on 100V to 240V. Enhanced Color Temperature Control software helps maintain correct color temperature over the entire control range of all three lamps. The units also have a Radio Frequency Control receiver built into the handle for remote control at distances of up to nearly 1,000 feet. Estimated Street Price: $7,995 (A2S); $10,995 (A4S). Contact: Sinar Bron, (908) 754-5800, www.sinarbron.com.
Profoto Pro-8a 2400 Air
With recycling times that are nearly twice as fast as its predecessor, the Profoto Pro-8a 2400 Air is a high-performance generator that lets you sync and control your flashes wirelessly. Some of its standout features include an ultra-low flash duration of just 1⁄12,000 sec., recycling times of 0.9 seconds at 2400 watt-seconds (Ws), up to 20 generated flashes per second and up to 1,000 full-power flashes per hour. Flash-to-flash precision is a tight +/- 1⁄50 ƒ-stop at all power settings. For more control, output power can be adjusted over a full 10 ƒ-stop range, from 5 Ws to 2400 Ws, in 1⁄10 ƒ-stop increments. Color stability measures within +/- 40 degrees K over the entire power range. The Pro-8a 2400 Air is compatible with all current ProHeads. Estimated Street Price: $10,999. Contact: Profoto, (914) 347-3300, www.profoto-usa.com.
X-Rite puts considerable effort into streamlining the color management process through its i1 Solutions Portfolio. The i1Basic package includes an i1Pro spectrophotometer, i1Match software and i1Share freeware. The system provides spectral color scanning, display color measurements and support of leading RIPs, as well as the ability to add new profiling functionality through affordable upgrades. For more demanding needs, the i1XTreme profiles scanners, monitors, digital cameras, projectors, and RGB and CMYK printers. It includes the i1Basic tool set along with a beamer holder, scanner profiling chart, interactive training modules and a digital PANTONE library. Estimated Street Price: Starts at $995 (i1Basic); $1,495 (i1XTreme). Contact: X-Rite, (914) 347-3300, www.xrite.com.
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