Tuesday, August 16, 2011
New Tools Of The Trade
Lensbaby has refined its popular Composer special-effects lens with an all-metal construction and an upgraded swivel ball-and-focus mechanism that delivers smoother focus and tilt control. A fluid and dampened focus ring helps achieve greater control. The Composer Pro ships with either the Double Glass Optic or Sweet 35 Optic installed. Each optic produces a "sweet spot" of sharp focus that you can move around the image by tilting the Composer's swiveling lens body. The unit is compatible with the Lensbaby Optic Swap System. Estimated Street Price: $300 (with Double Glass); $400 (with Sweet 35). Contact: Lensbaby, (877) 536-7222, www.lensbaby.com.
The Kenko Zéta EX circular polarizers transmit 25% more light, which is about a half stop more than standard circular polarizers, and weigh just 0.3 ounces, thanks to a thin frame and a four-layer glass element that's just 0.8mm thick. The filters incorporate ZR (Zero Reflection) Super Multi Coating so there's no interference with any color or light transmission. Light can enter the filter from any angle, eliminating reflections. Nano Glass Technology delivers stain and scratch resistance. The filter is compatible with wide-angle lenses and has a front screw-on function for attaching a lens cap. Estimated Street Price: TBA. Contact: Kenko (THK Photo), (800) 421-1141, www.thkphoto.com.
For adventure sports photographers, the Lowepro Photo Sport AW Series is worthy of taking care of your backpacking needs. The Photo Sport 200 AW backpack and Photo Sport Sling 100 AW are dual-compartment packs that are most appropriate for assignments that call for a fairly modest setup. The camera compartment holds a DSLR with an attached lens and a flash unit. For fast access, the lower compartment features Lowepro's Ultra-Cinch Camera Chamber, which holds gear tightly in place while you're on the move. A side pocket allows you to grab the camera quickly by simply rotating the pack to your front, unzipping the pocket and opening the camera compartment. Estimated Street Price: $199 (200 AW); $129 (100 AW). Contact: Lowepro, (800) 800-LOWE, www.lowepro.com.
Canon has a pair of new high-performance papers designed for use with its imagePROGRAF large-format printers. Canon Premium Glossy Paper 2 and Premium Semi-Glossy Paper 2 deliver enhanced color range and high durability. The heavyweight Glossy paper has a high whiteness factor because of ultrawhite pulp that makes the media less susceptible to light illuminant changes. The slightly textured Semi-Glossy paper also has a heavy weight with similar whiteness, but a softer finish and less reflection. Both are 280gm. Estimated Street Price: TBA. Contact: Canon, (800) OK-CANON, www.usa.canon.com.
Books are a great way to market your work and deliver more value to clients. Blurb has long provided innovative features and tools for producing high-quality photo books, and among their many offerings now is the ProLine. Options include two heavy, professional-grade papers from art media manufacturer Mohawk Fine Papers, linen hardcovers in Oatmeal and Charcoal, plus a choice of five heavyweight end sheets in charcoal grey, dove grey, warm grey, black and white. You can combine the various options for creating a custom look. The papers consist of two finishes: Pearl Photo and Uncoated. The luster semi-gloss surface of the Pearl Photo emulates classic photographic papers. Uncoated is Mohawk's Superfine Ultrawhite with an Eggshell finish. Estimated Street Price: $63 (hardcover, dust jacket, with ProLine linen and 81-120 pages). Contact: Blurb, www.blurb.com/proline.
Ensure that you're working as efficiently as possible by upgrading your memory card reader. The Lexar Professional USB 3.0 Dual-Slot Reader supports faster cards and the higher-speed USB 3.0 interface. Like its predecessor, the new model reads CompactFlash and Secure Digital memory cards but has been upgraded to include the SDXC format, which allows larger capacities and the higher-speed interface of SD UHS-I. On computers that support USB 3.0, transfer times are noticeably faster. The reader can transfer images from SD and CF cards simultaneously, allowing for easy file transfer from one card to another. It has the same pop-up design as its predecessor, letting you close it when not in use. Estimated Street Price: $49. Contact: Lexar, (800) 789-9418, www.lexar.com.
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