DPP Home Gear In Focus January/February 2013

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

January/February 2013

New Tools Of The Trade


This Article Features Photo Zoom
Sigma Glass
Global Vision is the latest concept to come from Sigma and stresses quality in design, manufacturing and inspection. The lenses fall into one of three groups: Contemporary, Art or Sports. Every lens is MTF-tested using Sigma's new A1 system based on the high-resolution Merrill Generation Foveon sensor. The first of the new lenses is the 35mm ƒ/1.4 DG HSM, which features one FLD and four SLD glass elements to control lateral and axial chromatic aberrations, as well as a Hyper Sonic Motor to assure accurate, quick and quiet autofocusing. The lens can focus down to 11.8 inches for a maximum reproduction ratio of 1:5.2. It takes 67mm filters, measures 3.0x3.7 inches and comes in mounts for Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Sigma and Sony/Minolta DSLRs. Estimated Street Price: $899. Contact: Sigma, (800) 896-6858, www.sigmaphoto.com, www.sigma-global.com.

Lighting Matters
The Profoto RFi softboxes feature deeper shapes to direct light forward rather than spreading it to the sides, and use recessed fronts that minimize stray light and serve as mounts for the optional Softgrid, which creates even more directed light. They come in four shapes: Rectangular (ideal to light an entire person); Strip (for distinct rim light); Square (for soft symmetric light); and Octa (for beautiful, natural-looking catchlights in subjects' eyes). A new line of speed ring adapters makes the softboxes compatible with more than 20 different flash brands, from shoe-mount to high-end studio strobes. RFi softboxes are available in 12 sizes, from 1x1.3 feet to 4x6 feet, including 3- and 5-foot-diameter Octa models. Estimated Street Price: $99 to $429. Contact: Profoto, (914) 347-3300, www.profoto.com/us.

Video Support
Available with economical aircraft-grade aluminum legs (VT-2003) or sturdy, yet lightweight carbon-fiber legs (VT-2203), Sirui's new VT-series professional video tripods offer solid, versatile support for high-end digital video cameras or DSLRs with external monitors. The provided adjustable ground-level spreader offers precise leg positioning and added stability. Minimum height for both versions is 14.7 inches, maximum height is 62 inches and retracted height is 28 inches. Both models feature a strong, lightweight aluminum spider with a 75mm bowl that accepts the optional Y-75B leveling ball set for video applications. An ideal companion is the new Sirui VH-20 Pro Fluid Video Head, which weighs just 4.6 pounds, can support 33 pounds and combines smooth fluid movements with an advanced balancing system. The aluminum VT-2003 weighs 6 pounds and the carbon-fiber VT-2203 weighs 5.3 pounds. Each can support up to 55 pounds. Estimated Street Price: $259 (VT-2003); $399 (VT-2203); $634 (head). Contact: Argraph, (201) 939-7722, www.argraph.com.

NYIP Books
The New York Institute of Photography is launching a new book series called the Quick-and-Easy Everyday Photography Guides. The first two titles are Top Travel Photo Tips from Ten Pro Photographers and Top Ten Secrets for Perfect Baby & Child Portraits. Written by NYIP Director Chuck Delaney, the first book includes input from top travel shooters who share secrets and advice on what they have learned throughout their careers. The second title is written by portrait photographer Clay Blackmore who's a Canon Explorer of Light. He provides insight, background, tips and guidelines for his 10 favorite types of baby and child photographs, all based on various lighting situations. The books are available on Amazon and wherever books are sold. Estimated Street Price: $16 (each). Contact: New York Institute of Photography, (800) 445-7279, www.nyip.com.

Power Up
The Broncolor Scoro studio-flash power packs are high-end units that offer convenience, style, performance and precision. The Scoro S models have three individually controlled outlets, and the Scoro E models have two. All Scoro power packs can deliver 3-3200 J, with color temperature 5500K +/-50K over a 10-stop range. The S models have a top duration of 1/10,000 (t 0.1) or 1/14,000 (t 0.5), while the E models have a top duration of 1/8000 (t 0.1) or 1/12,000 (t 0.5). Accuracy is +/-0.5%, with excellent repeatability. The S models can deliver up to 50 flashes per second (at reduced power) and have fan cooling. All Scoro models feature sleek housings with large carrying handles. Each is available in versions compatible with Bron RFS or RFS 2 remote-control units. Estimated Street Price: $5,979 (1600E); $8,101 (3200E); $9,357 (1600S); $12,906 (3200S). Contact: Hasselblad Bron, (800) 456-0203, www.bronimaging.com.

Bright Light
Video requires continuous light sources, and many studio still shooters prefer continuous sources, too. Manfrotto's LED lights are highly efficient and stable, losing less energy through heat generation and providing consistent color output from 1% through 100% power. The highly shock-resistant units also offer reduced power consumption and long lifespan. The camera-mounting units come in six sizes, from Pocket through Maxima, and output 5600K light. The Maxima-84 Hybrid unit can be used as a flash unit at 4X the power of the continuous source, and has a built-in rechargeable 1.5-hour lithium battery (smaller units are powered by AAA batteries). Manfrotto LED lights can be mounted in the camera's hot-shoe or on a 3⁄8-16 threaded light stand or tripod. Estimated Street Price: $39 to $279. Contact: Manfrotto, (201) 818-9500, www.manfrotto.us.

Secure Backpacks
The Pelican ProGear Sport Backpacks feature light rip-stop nylon and either a crushproof, watertight hard case or a rigid compartment to protect your DSLR system while you focus on the assignment at hand. The Elite models come with an integrated crushproof case for protecting laptops, tablets and other extras that features many of the same military-grade qualities as other classic Pelican cases. The watertight O-ring seal with an automatic pressure-equalization valve ensures that water stays out. A set of four adhesive memory foam buffers helps make sure that contents are secured for travel. The largest is the S100 Elite, and it measures 18.5x13x10 inches with capacity for 15-inch laptops. Other features include a SureGrip soft rubber handle, floating shoulder straps and lumbar pad, a chest clip and a removable hip belt. Estimated Street Price: $269 (S100 Elite). Contact: Pelican, (855) 604-8562, www.pelicanprogear.com.

 

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