Tuesday, April 10, 2012
New Tools Of The Trade
With flash and video modes, the Omicron QF26 from Quantum Instruments lets you switch between shooting stills and video without having to change your light source. Billed as the first "Chromatically Correct" LED ring light, it's built with 80 color LED lamps that fill in the spectral gaps that white LED sources can leave behind. Particularly useful for fashion photographers, the Omicron produces the natural light needed when shooting weddings or difficult products. When used with the Quantum TRIO or Qflash 5dR, the Omicron is fully compatible with your Canon or Nikon camera system's TTL or manual flash modes. Estimated Street Price: $865. Contact: Quantum Instruments Inc., (631) 656-7400, www.qtm.com.
Whether you shoot stills or video, the Vanguard Abeo Series tripods give your camera just the support it needs. Magnesium die-cast construction delivers the stability and rigidity needed for heavy load weights. The quick-flip leg locks enable fast setup and are tension-adjustable. The legs themselves can be adjusted to 25-, 50- and 80-degree angles and have thick foam for a secure grip. Also included are a low-angle adapter for greater shot selection, rubber feet and a smooth, two-way video head or SBH ballhead. Five models are available. Estimated Street Price: $189 to $269. Contact: Vanguard, (800) 875-3322, www.vanguardworld.com.
Design + Function
Tote your camera from one assignment to the next in style using a trendy designer strap from Mod. Blending fashion and practicality, the straps are constructed with durable webbing throughout and have been tested to withstand a "pull down" weight of 70 to 90 pounds. In the Premium Strap Collection, the straps are lined with high-quality, mink-like fabric and have genuine leather ends with quick release. All fabrics are personally hand-selected, as well. Some of the styles include black zebra, kaleidoscope, skull and crossbones, and many more. Estimated Street Price: $47. Contact: OmegaBrandess, (410) 374-3250, www.omegabrandess.com.
The PL5R-FRES Fresnel Modifier from Photogenic Professional Lighting is worthy of consideration if you do a lot of portraiture and want to create an edgy look. It consists of a 5-inch, vented deep conical reflector with a Fresnel glass lens and a two-panel barndoor. The modifier produces a crisp light beam with defined soft shadow edges, resulting in smooth even coverage. The Fresnel glass lens is removable and constructed as an optical spotlight with a circle border that fades outward from the center, producing a flood-style beam. The combination of the satin-anodized reflector and the Fresnel glass lens creates a unique light transition for good-looking skin tones and sharp details. Estimated Street Price: $199. Contact: Photogenic Professional Lighting, (800) 682-7668, www.photogenic.com.
Go back to your film days using Alien Skin Software Exposure 4, which comes with a bunch of new features such as texture effects that help you simulate the look of historical photographic processes like cyanotype, lith printing and wet-plate photography. To really make images look as though they were taken on film, you can use the program to reproduce defects such as light leaks or dust and scratches, flaws that film photographers try hard to avoid. Alien Skin made sure to carefully research how the grain should look, so it clumps and is strongest in the midtones just like actual film grain. The size also scales with your image size. Estimated Street Price: $249. Contact: Alien Skin, (888) 921-SKIN, www.alienskin.com.
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