Tuesday, February 17, 2009
New Tools Of The Trade
The Hoya HD circular polarizer uses polarizing film with 25-percent higher light transmission than the standard film found in photographic filters. Testing also showed the glass to have four times the breaking strength. A newly developed eight-layer multi-coating yields an average light-transmission rate of 99.35 percent between 400nm and 700nm (visible spectrum). These coatings greatly reduce the number of reflections off the glass surface, allowing you to capture more light in your photos. The coatings are waterproof, and scratch- and stain-resistant. Estimated Street Price: $113 (52mm); $308 (82mm). Contact: THK Photo Products, (800) 421-1141, www.thkphoto.com.
Leica Goes Micro
Mount your Leica M lens to a Micro Four Thirds camera using a new lens adapter from Novoflex. The adapter is designed to ensure exact infinity focus on these camera bodies, which include the Panasonic LUMIX DMC-G1 and an Olympus model in development. With the G1, through-the-lens metering is possible. The internal mirror structure, which basically defines digital SLRs, is eliminated in cameras of this standard, significantly reducing their size. Novoflex also plans to release adapters for Leica R, Contax/Yashica, Minolta MD, Nikon, Olympus OM and Pentax lenses. Estimated Street Price: $192. Contact: HP Marketing Corp., (800) 735-4373, www.hpmarketingcorp.com.
The second generation of Tenba’s Shootout Convertible Photo Sling Bag is smaller, but still fits a D-SLR with mounted 300mm telephoto lens. If you do a lot of wildlife or sports photography, this bag is great because, at a moment’s notice, you can swing it around to the front of your body, pull out the camera and shoot. Removable padded walls let you fit a variety of camera-lens combinations. Taking the walls out completely converts it into a lightweight long-lens bag for top-loading a mounted super-telephoto lens. The Photo Sling is made from water-resistant nylon, uses weather-sealed YKK zippers on all outside openings and has protective rubber bottom treads. Estimated Street Price: $103. Contact: Tenba, (914) 347-3300, www.tenba.com.
Find out how your camera’s sensor measures up based on unprocessed RAW image data using a free online resource from DxO Labs. The site, DxOMark.com, is basically a database that ranks digital cameras using three image-quality metrics–color depth, dynamic range and low-light ISO. These particular measurements were chosen because of their respective association with studio/portrait, landscape and photojournalism/sports photography. Those numbers create a composite DxOMark Sensor score where the higher the number, the better the performance. Other attributes, such as durability, autofocus, LCD quality and user interface, aren’t measured. About 50 popular digital cameras are covered on the site, with updates to come on a regular basis. Contact: DxO Labs, www.dxomark.com.
For fashion and portrait photographers looking to create perfect-looking skin, Imagenomic’s Portraiture 2 plug-in features an array of advanced controls for accurate and refined skin retouching. The Auto-Mask feature automatically recognizes the skin tone range of your image and creates an optimal Skin Tones Mask. You can adjust the sharpness, warmth, brightness and contrast, as well as soften to produce a glamour effect. The warmth control adjusts the skin color saturation to emulate different skin tones from pale to dark. Portraiture smoothes and softens an image by removing artifacts while preserving skin texture and other details such as hair, eyebrows and eyelashes. Estimated Street Price: $199. Contact: Imagenomic, www.imagenomic.com.
Jet off with your valuable camera gear safely stowed away in the Think Tank Photo Airport Addicted V2.0. This is Think Tank’s largest backpack and is designed to comply with international carry-on size requirements when the laptop case is removed. It holds a 400mm ƒ/2.8 or 500mm ƒ/4 lens with hood, plus additional lenses and multiple SLR bodies. A side pocket holds a monopod or tripod. You can tuck away the shoulder pads and, as another safety measure, the backpack comes with a security cable and lock for attaching it to an immovable object or the laptop case to the bag. Estimated Street Price: $389. Contact: Think Tank Photo, (866) 55-THINK, www.thinktankphoto.com.
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