Tuesday, February 9, 2010
New Tools Of The Trade
The Flashpoint DataBank portable hard drive features capacities of 320 GB and 500 GB, with a transfer rate of up to 5 MB/s, and can safely copy 1 GB of data in about 3½ minutes. It works with all popular memory card formats and supports RAW files. The backlit screen displays remaining drive capacity, battery charge and data-transfer status. When tethered to your computer, the 500 GB Flashpoint DataBank doubles as a memory card reader and backup drive. It’s compatible with Mac and PC computers. Estimated Street Price: $160 (320 GB); $220 (500 GB). Contact: Adorama, (800) 223-2500, www.adorama.com.
With a large aperture, macro capability and anti-shake technology, the Sigma 17-70mm ƒ/2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM makes for a handy, versatile addition to your lens collection. Featuring Sigma’s Optical Stabilization technology, the lens allows you to shoot handheld at shutter speeds up to four stops slower than would be possible otherwise. In 35mm format, the focal length is the equivalent of 24-105mm. Other top features include a minimum focusing distance of 8.7 inches, a maximum magnification ratio of 1:2.7, and the lens is offered in Sigma, Canon, Nikon, Sony and Pentax mounts. Estimated Street Price: $680. Contact: Sigma, (800) 896-6858, www.sigmaphoto.com.
Think Tank Photo’s Urban Disguise 70 Pro is shaped like a shoulder briefcase to avoid attracting attention as an obvious camera bag. With 14.5x12.3x6.5 inches of interior room, there’s space for two regular or pro-sized DSLRs with lenses attached, and it accommodates a variety of camera configurations. A Shoulder Harness Attachment lets you convert it from a shoulder bag to a traditional backpack. High-quality YKK zippers and nylon ballistic fabric enhance its durability. Estimated Street Price: $189. Contact: Think Tank Photo, (866) 558-4465, www.thinktankphoto.com.
For Canon EOS shooters, the fast-aperture Carl Zeiss Makro-Planar T* 2/50 ZE (50mm ƒ/2) and Makro-Planar T* 2/100 ZE (100mm ƒ/2) lenses capture sharp, detail-rich images, even in low light. Both also render objects on a scale of 1:2 by using Carl Zeiss’ “floating elements” design, which employs a special lens alignment that enables high optical performance across the entire focusing range, from 9.4 inches to infinity. The lenses also are currently available for F bayonet (ZF.2) and K bayonet cameras (ZK), and are optimized for analog and full-format DSLRs. Estimated Street Price: $1,283 (2/50 ZE); $1,843 (2/100 ZE). Contact: Carl Zeiss, (800) 543-1033, www.zeiss.com.
Building on a 120-year tradition of producing professional camera systems, Linhof’s Techno is a compact, high-tech digital field camera designed for the outdoors. Among the camera’s features are 40mm of self-aligning, geared vertical shift with exact parallel control; zero click-stops that can be engaged when needed; spirit levels on the lens standard and rear standard for precise vertical orientation; and a special wide-angle bellows for easy adjustments. The Techno also provides the necessary adjustment facilities for extreme short- to long-focal-length lenses. All currently available digital backs can be adapted. Estimated Street Price: Varies depending on configuration. Contact: HP Marketing Corp., (800) 735-4373, www.hpmarketingcorp.com.
Next-Gen Lens Bag
Unlike traditional camera bags designed mainly for storage, Boda lens bags emphasize quick and easy access to equipment while on assignment. The Boda V3 improves on its predecessors with more space and stronger construction. Among the weatherproof bag’s notable features are pockets for several lenses, a media wallet with space for 32 cards, improved zippers, a retractable lens cleaner and enhanced durability, thanks to its molded construction and stronger fabrics. You can wear the bag on the shoulder or hip. A smaller version, the V3 Jr., is available. Estimated Street Price: $195 (V3); $175 (V3 Jr.). Contact: Boda, (206) 709-3829, www.goboda.com.
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