Monday, April 28, 2008
New Tools Of The Trade
Take tack-sharp images from afar with the two latest high-performance telephoto lenses from Canon. The EF 200mm ƒ/2L IS USM and the EF 800mm ƒ/5.6L IS USM lenses feature Canon's Optical Image Stabilizer system, so you gain a shutter-speed equivalent up to four stops faster, enabling longer exposures without blur. Great for low light and capturing action from a distance, these high-end lenses use fluorite and Ultra Low Dispersion (UD) elements for correcting chromatic aberration. Both lenses use lead-free glass and incorporate lightweight, durable, magnesium-alloy lens barrels with enhanced resistance to moisture and dust. Estimated Street Price: $5,999 (200mm); $11,999 (800mm). Contact: Canon, (800) OK-CANON, www.usa.canon.com.
Wide-Angle Mamiya Lens
The Mamiya Sekor AF 28mm ƒ/4.5 D is the first full-frame ultra-wide lens available for film and digital backs. Since some digital backs have color-shift problems when used with a wide-angle, the Sekor AF 28mm is designed to optically correct aberration by directing light at the optimal angle for a digital sensor, and it still works with film. Its 35mm equivalent is 17-20mm with the ZD back. Other features include an aperture range of ƒ/4.5 to ƒ/32, a minimum focusing distance of 1.15 feet and compatibility with the Mamiya 645AF, 645AFD, 645AFDII and ZD cameras. Estimated Street Price: $5,295. Contact: Mamiya, (914) 347-3300, www.mamiya.com.
Capture a variety of images in low light using Carl Zeiss premium SLR lenses, now offered for the K-bayonet mount. Previously only available for the F-bayonet and M42 screw-thread mounts, the six additions include wide-angle, standard, tele and macro focal lengths. The manually focused ZK lenses have maximum apertures ranging from ƒ/2.8 to a very fast ƒ/1.4, enabling more light to enter the focal plane. The lens lineup includes: Distagon T* 2.8/25 ZK, Distagon T* 2/35 ZK, Planar T* 1.4/50 ZK, Planar T* 1.4/85 ZK, Makro-Planar T* 2/50 ZK and Makro-Planar T* 2/100 ZK. Estimated Street Price: Prices vary depending on lens. Contact: Carl Zeiss, www.zeiss.com/photo.
The latest round of Nikon lenses comes with unique and innovative features designed to broaden and enhance the kinds of shots you're able to capture. The wide-angle PC-E Nikkor 24mm ƒ/3.5D ED has a special tilt/shift mechanism offering up to ±11.5mm shift and ±8.5-degree tilt for manipulating perspective, distortion and focus. The AF-S DX Nikkor 16-85mm ƒ/3.5-5.6G ED VR is a compact, wide-angle zoom suitable for a range of applications. With Vibration Reduction, you can do more handheld shooting at slower shutter speeds. The AF-S Micro Nikkor 60mm ƒ/2.8G ED macro lens captures extreme close-ups with up to 1:1 reproduction ratios. At its closest, the lens focuses at a distance of about 0.6 feet. Estimated Street Price: $1,929 (24mm); $649 (16-85mm); $549 (60mm). Contact: Nikon, (800) NIKON-US, www.nikonusa.com.
The Tamron SP AF70-200mm ƒ/2.8 DI LD (IF) Macro lens is a fast, lightweight tele-zoom designed for D-SLRs with full-frame and APS-C image sensors. Features include a versatile minimum focusing distance of 37.4 inches over the entire zoom range, a maximum macro magnification ratio of 1:3.1 at ƒ=200mm and an aperture range of ƒ/2.8 to ƒ/32. On an APS-C sensor, the focal-length range is 109-310mm. Using three low-dispersion elements, the optical system compensates for lateral and on-axis chromatic aberrations that can degrade image quality. Estimated Street Price: $699. Contact: Tamron, (631) 858-8400, www.tamron.com.
When you're on location in a remote area, don't run out of power. The Broncolor Mobil A2R Power Pack delivers a compact and rechargeable way of keeping your lighting setups charged and controlling flashes. The unit has a 12 AH rechargeable battery, 2,000 flashes at minimum output and becomes fully charged after 3½ hours. The A2R has a charging time of 2.9 seconds at full power (0.8 at minimum), so you can keep shooting without too many lulls. It's fully compatible with existing Broncolor lamp heads and accessories. Estimated Street Price: TBA. Contact: Sinar Bron Imaging, (800) 456-0203, www.sinarbron.com.
Aperture Version 2.0
With more than 100 new features, Apple Aperture 2.0 delivers better performance, quick previewing, extended organization and simplified image correction. Highlights include a Quick Preview mode for rapid photo browsing, custom keyboard shortcuts for fast access to frequently used functions, improved searching functionality and better processor-intensive execution for adjustments like Noise Reduction and Highlights and Shadows. The new streamlined interface includes centralized Project, Metadata and Adjustments panes for switching quickly among commonly used functions. And all of the essentials are included for extended control over edits, adjustments and image delivery, including Recovery for restoring blown highlights, Vibrancy for boosting color saturation without affecting skin tone and a soft-edged Retouch brush for removing blemishes and spots. List Price: $199 ($99 upgrade). Contact: Apple, (800) MY-APPLE, www.apple.com.