DPP Home Gear In Focus January/February 2010

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

January/February 2010

New Tools Of The Trade

This Article Features Photo Zoom

Creative Effects Lenses
Lensbaby fans now can use their Composer or Muse creative effects lenses to capture images with a classic fisheye look. The new Fisheye Optic’s six-element, multi-coated optical design features an ultra-wide 12mm focal length capable of capturing a 160-degree fisheye angle of view from infinity all the way down to one inch from the front of the lens. This optic has a much flatter field of focus so it creates some edge blur at brighter apertures, but it doesn’t have the “sweet spot” of sharp focus and dramatic blur like typical Lensbaby optics. Also new is a Soft Focus optic for creating a soft and diffused look. Estimated Street Price: $150 (Fisheye); $90 (Soft). Contact: Lensbaby, (877) 536-7222, www.lensbaby.com.

More Speed
Memory cards with a fast write speed means uninterrupted shooting. Faster read speed means a more efficient workflow. The Lexar Professional 600x CF card maintains guaranteed minimum sustained write speeds of 90 MB/s and minimum sustained read speeds of 80 MB/s when paired with a UDMA 6-enabled device such as the Lexar Professional ExpressCard reader. With capacities of 8 GB, 16 GB and 32 GB, the cards are ideal for capturing high-resolution stills and HD video. When shooting with a newer camera like the Canon EOS 7D or Nikon D300S, you can capture more images per second without pausing to clear the camera’s buffer. The latest version of Lexar’s Image Rescue 4 software features a one-step recovery interface and automatic software updates. Estimated Street Price: $199 (8 GB); $299 (16 GB). Contact: Lexar, (800) 789-9418, www.lexar.com.

Smooth Panning
If your work requires shooting with heavy super-telephoto lenses, using a gimbal head on a tripod can be an ideal solution, especially if you do a lot of wildlife photography where you’re tracking moving subjects. The Flashpoint Gimbal 1 supports lenses that are too long or heavy for a traditional ballhead. There are separate locking controls for vertical and horizontal movements, and the drag control allows for better control when panning. The head comes with a 23⁄4-inch quick-release plate. It weighs 2.2 pounds and can support 15.4 pounds. Estimated Street Price: $239. Contact: Flashpoint (Adorama), (800) 223-2500, www.adorama.com.

Lightroom SpeedKeys
Kubota RPG SpeedKeys 2.0 for Lightroom 2 is a customizable, wireless USB keypad with preset one-button access to common adjustments such as brightness, exposure and fill light. The software allows you to use preprogrammed workflow key combinations or create your own presets settings. Also included are the most popular Kubota Lightroom presets and advanced tools such as paint with light, burn, soften skin and hand-color. There are 48 new key options for completely customizable functionality. As a bonus, SpeedKeys comes with the entire collection of Kubota Lightroom Presets v3, which includes develop, export, print, filter and more. Estimated Street Price: $349. Contact: Kubota Image Tools, (877) 330-4330, www.kubotaimagetools.com.

Versatile Pack
With the Lowepro Versapack 200 AW, you can load gear through the top or the side, depending on which way is more convenient for your shooting needs. When loading from the top, the bag holds a DSLR with attached lens along with two or three extra lenses, flash units and accessories. When configured for side access, the Versapack fits a DSLR with attached zoom that can be reached using the quick-access side zipper. The design easily can be converted from a single- to a dual-compartment layout based on how much space you need. Padded dividers that separate the two compartments can be removed or positioned to lay flat when using just a single compartment. Estimated Street Price: $129. Contact: Lowepro, (800) 800-LOWE, www.lowepro.com.

Edit Quickly
Viveza 2, an upgrade to Nik Software’s color and light control plug-in for Photoshop, Lightroom and Aperture, does away with complicated selections and layer masks. Based on its award-winning U Point technology, the app allows you to quickly select areas of an image to adjust by pointing and clicking. Then, using sliders, you can fine-tune brightness, contrast and saturation, as well as new features like shadow recovery and structure control. New global image controls allow you to do faster editing. Estimated Street Price: $199. Contact: Nik Software, (619) 725-3150, www.niksoftware.com.


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