Tuesday, December 15, 2009
New Tools Of The Trade
The Mamiya DM22 and DM28 offer many of the features that their higher-end DM33 and DM56 counterparts do, but with a lower price tag. The DM22 features a 22-megapixel 48x36mm sensor and an ISO range of 25-400, while the DM28 has a 28-megapixel 44x33mm sensor and an ISO range of 50-800. The cameras capture true 16-bit/channel RAW files and a dynamic range of 12 ƒ-stops. Files can be processed using Capture One by Phase One or Leaf Capture, which are both included, or Adobe Photoshop Lightroom (not included). Both cameras come with the Mamiya 80mm ƒ/2.8 D Series lens and focal-plane shutter, and are fully compatible with any Mamiya AF focal-plane series lens. They also can be used with Hasselblad lenses via the #310-244 adapter or with older Mamiya 645MF lenses. Estimated Street Price: $9,995 (DM22); $14,990 (DM28).
Also new is the Mamiya 645DF camera body, which delivers autofocus speeds that are up to 30 percent faster than previous models, works with a new series of leaf-shutter lenses and is compatible with digital backs from Leaf, Phase One and Sinar. The camera has the handling ease of a 35mm, but an image capture area that’s nearly three times larger. The camera features digital controls and an LCD display as well as 19 custom settings. With a selectable dual shutter system, you can choose either the integral focal-plane shutter, which can be used with any of the 15 existing Mamiya 645AF system lenses or one of three new lenses containing an integral leaf shutter for flash sync speeds of up to 1⁄1600 of a second. Estimated Street Price: $5,990. Contact: Mamiya, (914) 347-3300, www.mamiya.com.
PNY’s Optima Pro Secure Digital High Capacity Class 6 memory cards offer lots of capacity, with sizes ranging up to 16 GB and minimum sustained write speeds of 6 MBps. Higher read and write speeds are ideal if you do a lot of continuous burst shooting or HD video recording. The cards work most optimally with higher-end DSLRs. Estimated Street Price: $59 (16 GB). Contact: PNY Technologies, (973) 515-9700, www.pny.com.
Eye Candy 6, the new version of Alien Skin’s graphic-design, special-effects plug-in for Photoshop, features 30 realistic filters and more than 1,000 presets. You can customize any effect and save your personalized settings for future use. Effects like Animal Fur, Smoke and Reptile Skin are rendered in fine detail down to individual hairs, disorderly wisps and irregular bumps, with a look that’s natural and organic. Version 6 supports 16-bit/channel images, CMYK color mode and acceleration for multicore computers. Estimated Street Price: $249 (new); $99 (upgrade). Contact: Alien Skin Software, (888) 921-SKIN, www.alienskin.com.
The Leaf Aptus-II 5 medium-format digital back features a 22-megapixel 48x36mm sensor and a capture rate of 0.9 seconds per frame, making it the fastest digital back in the Leaf Aptus family. The back offers a large, 3.5-inch display, an ISO range of 25-400, touch-screen controls and a 12 ƒ-stop dynamic range. It can be purchased separately or as a bundle with the Phase One 645AF camera body and 80mm lens. Estimated Street Price: $7,995 (back only); $9,995 (bundle). Contact: Leaf America, (631) 547-8900, www.leaf-photography.com.
Gitzo Basalt Tripods
The tubes used to build Gitzo’s revamped Basalt collection of tripods are up to 22 percent stronger than previous models. Overall, basalt rock fibers deliver a weight that’s 20 percent lighter than aluminum. The lineup includes six tripods with maximum height extending up to 44.7 inches and up to 65.2 inches when the center column is extended. The heaviest model weighs six pounds and can support 33 pounds. Three quick-release center ballheads, a monopod and boom round out the collection. The ballheads feature three independent leveling bubbles, including one in the ball stem. Estimated Street Price: Varies. Contact: Gitzo (Bogen Imaging), (201) 818-9500, www.bogenimaging.us.
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