Tuesday, February 12, 2013
New Tools Of The Trade
DxO FilmPack 3 lets you apply the look and feel of a wide range of vintage films to your digital images, quickly and easily, PC or Mac. It's available as a stand alone or as a plug-in for DxO Optics Pro, Adobe Photoshop and Photoshop Elements, Adobe Lightroom and Apple Aperture. There are two versions, Essentials and Expert, the latter providing more films and creative effects. The most recent upgrade, v3.2.3, includes support for Photoshop Elements 11 and Windows 8. List Price: $79 (Essentials); $129 (Expert). Contact: DxO Labs, www.dxolabs.com.
New Sony E-Mount Lenses
Sony has introduced a pair of new E-mount lenses for NEX still cameras and camcorders. The E 20mm ƒ/2.8 "pancake" lens provides an angle of view equivalent to a 30mm on a full-frame camera, ideal for a wide range of shooting, such as street photography, interiors and landscapes. The E PZ18-200mm ƒ/3.5-6.3 OSS superzoom was designed as a kit lens for the NEX-VG30 camcorder, with quiet power zooming and autofocusing, and optical SteadyShot stabilization, but now is available for all NEX cameras. List Price: $350 (20mm); $1,200 (18-200mm). Contact: Sony, (877) 865-7669, www.sony.com.
Check your histogram, composition and focus under bright sunlight easily with the Hoodman Compact HoodLoupe. Wear it around your neck like a normal loupe, and when it's time to review your image, simply pull the HoodLoupe out to full extension and place it over the LCD. If your vision isn't perfect, it has a +/-3 diopter adjustment. Precise optics deliver a 1:1 ratio for non-pixelated LCD screen viewing. A detachable lanyard and protective storage case are included. For video capture, the HoodLoupe integrates with 1⁄4-20 mounting solutions. List Price: $99. Contact: Hoodman, (800) 818-3946, www.hoodmanusa.com.
Metabones Speed Booster
The new Speed Booster from Metabones lets you mount Canon EF full-frame lenses on Sony NEX mirrorless APS-C cameras—no big deal, as lots of adapters let you do that. But the Speed Booster also reduces the focal length by 0.71X, increases speed one stop and actually improves MTF in the process. It even provides AF (albeit slow AF) with late-model (post-2006) EF lenses. The wide-angle adapter (designed by engineers behind high-end cinema and aerospace optics) turns the EF 14mm ƒ/2.8 superwide-angle into a 10mm ƒ/2, for example, or the EF 24mm ƒ/1.4 into a 17mm ƒ/1.0—solving APS-C superwide-angle needs while permitting use of lower ISO settings and shallower depth of field. How does it work? In simple terms, where a teleconverter spreads the light, increasing magnification and reducing intensity, the Speed Booster does the opposite. See the white paper (www.metabones.com/images/metabones/Speed Booster White Paper.pdf) for more details. List Price: $599. Contact: Metabones, www.metabones.com.
Tamron SP 70-200mm F/2.8 Di VC USD
Tamron's new SP 70-200mm F/2.8 Di VC USD telephoto zoom is compact (3.4x7.4 inches, 51.9 ounces), but full of good features. Among the 23 elements in 17 groups are an XLD and four LD units to minimize chromatic aberrations. Tamron's VC Vibration Compensation provides steady handheld shooting, while the USD Ultrasonic Silent Drive AF motor provides fast and quiet autofocusing, with continuous access to manual focusing. Minimum focusing distance is 51.2 inches, for a maximum reproduction ratio of 1:8. Filter size is 77mm. List Price: $1,499. Contact: Tamron USA, (631) 858-8400, www.tamron-usa.com.
Here are some camera straps and bags that really are different. Capturing Couture offers more than 50 adjustable camera straps from one to two inches wide combining fashionable designs (many with a Native American look) with durable materials, velvet lining and functional hardware. The camera bag line features tapestry patterns and intricate prints, a variety of pockets and fully lined interiors with cushioned padding to keep gear safe. There are also velvet-lined wristlet straps for compact cameras, with quick-release capability. List Price: $25-$59 (straps); $179-$199 (bags); $25 (wristlets). Contact: Capturing Couture, (949) 858-8598, www.capturingcouture.com.
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