Tuesday, June 7, 2011
New Tools Of The Trade
Schneider Optics has a perspective-control lens lineup designed for DSLRs and Phase One medium-format cameras. Exceptionally large image circles allow for full tilt-and-shift movements at any position in the lens rotation without vignetting. Three models are available: the Super Angulon ƒ/2.8 50mm and the Makro-Symmar ƒ/4.0 90mm PC-TS lenses for DSLRs, and the Apo-Digitar 5.6/120 HM Aspheric lens for the medium-format Mamiya/Phase One digital camera system. The lenses can shift laterally up to 12mm or tilt at angles up to 8º. Estimated Street Price: $4,192 (50mm); $3,962 (90mm); $5,657 (120mm). Contact: Schneider Optics, (818) 766-3715, www.schneideroptics.com.
Work more flexibly when carrying your gear in the Tamrac Evolution 9. It's crafted with a two-in-one design that allows you to wear it as backpack or a sling pack over your right or left shoulder. You can get to your camera through doors on each side of the pack when worn over either shoulder. There's also a front panel that provides access to your camera when the pack is removed. The main compartment holds a DSLR with grip and up to an 8¾-inch lens attached, as well as several more lenses, a flash and up to a 17.3-inch laptop, which is held in the rear laptop pocket. Also included are a clip for holding a tripod and a removable rain cover. Estimated Street Price: $259. Contact: Tamrac, (800) 662-0717, www.tamrac.com.
A staple found in every photographer's camera bag, the 50mm lens is pretty much a must-have for everyday shooting. The AF-S Nikkor 50mm ƒ/1.8G is a fast, compact prime offering tack-sharp image quality, solid low-light performance and shallow depth of field. The lens focuses as close as 1.48 feet, uses Nikon's Silent Wave Motor for fast, quiet autofocus operation and is optimized for FX-format (full-frame) cameras, but also works well with DX-format (APS-C) cameras. Lens construction consists of seven elements in six groups, with one aspherical lens element to reduce coma and aberration, even when shooting wide open. It's ideal for travel, landscape, portraiture and low-light shooting. Estimated Street Price: $219. Contact: Nikon, (800) NIKON-US, www.nikonusa.com.
Bridging the equipment gap between gear for video and stills, the Novoflex MMR BLUEBIRD delivers the support needed for long video shoots with an HD-capable DSLR. With integrated chest and necksupport for even weight distribution, the rig has twin handgrips that use a MagicBall joint with adjustable friction for precise camera alignment. Simultaneous horizontal and vertical swiveling camera movements, similar to a ballhead on a tripod, are possible. The rack system also accepts monitors and microphones with optional mounts as well as focusing units. The MMR uFLY is a simpler version, with a three-sided support arm that attaches to its handgrip with a variable friction ball joint attachment and quick-release camera platform. List Price: $1,399 (MMR BLUEBIRD); $999 (MMR uFLY). Contact: Novoflex (HP Marketing Corp.), (800) 735-4373, www.hpmarketingcorp.com.
In an update to Photoshop CS5, Adobe brings a trio of apps and a subscription-based pricing model that includes a month-to-month option. The apps were created with the Photoshop Software Development Kit, which is a new scripting engine that allows developers to create tablet apps that interact with Photoshop CS5.5. Adobe Color Lava, Adobe Eazel and Adobe Nav let you mix colors, fingerpaint and control the Photoshop toolbar directly from the tablet, respectively. The apps are available from the iTunes App Store. Estimated Street Price: $2 to $5. Adobe plans to offer two subscription options: an annual plan with monthly payments and a more expensive month-to-month plan without a 12-month commitment. Estimated Street Price: $49 per month (month-to-month); $35 per month (one year). Contact: Adobe, (800) 833-6687, www.adobe.com.
A pair of large-format inkjet printers from Canon offer just the kind of features a demanding pro workflow requires. The 44-inch imagePROGRAF iPF8300S and 24-inch imagePROGRAF iPF6300S feature an eight-color LUCIA EX pigment-based ink system, 160 GB hard drive, built-in calibration and borderless printing capability. New integrated print modes allow the printers to operate at faster speeds while using up to 50% less ink. The iPF8300S can output a B0-sized (39.4x55.7 inches) print in about 80 seconds, while the iPF6300S can produce an A1-sized (23.4x33.1 inches) print in roughly 35 seconds. The color gamut has expanded by about 20% beyond previous models. Estimated Street Price: $4,995 (iPF8300S); $2,995 (iPF6300S). Contact: Canon, (800) OK-CANON, www.usa.canon.com
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