It’s a truism that the best tripod is the one you carry with you, because it’s the only one you can use. But equally, it has to be the right tripod: the one that holds the equipment you use at the height you want and that locks it firmly, without “creep.” It also needs to be quick and easy to use, and durable. With that in mind here are some of the many tripods at photokina that caught my eye.
“Not your father’s camera bag” was how Tenba described the prototypes of their new Vector line at photokina 2010. Now, in 2012, the new line is in production, and they were absolutely right. What are the differences? Color, style, and function. A report like this is no place for detail: that’s what manufacturers’ websites are for, and besides, a full, detailed list of new camera bags could more than fill the whole magazine. What I want to do is to give you some idea of the way that bags are heading.
Created for young photo enthusiasts, the Lensbaby Spark is a fun and affordable lens that offers Lensbaby effects for just $80. Made for use with Canon and Nikon D-SLR cameras, this 50mm f/5.6 lens features a multi-coated glass doublet and a focusing range of 13” to infinity. This manual focus lens offers a sharp sweet spot surrounded by soft blur. The Spark is compatible with the Lensbaby Optic Swap System and all of the Lensbaby 37mm threaded accessory lenses.
The Phottix BG-5DIII Multi Function Battery Grip is made for use with the Canon EOS 5D Mark III D-SLR. It holds one or two LP-E6 or six AA batteries and features AF/On, FEL and AF Points buttons, a vertical shutter button, a command dial, and a power switch. The BG-5DIII provides a comfortable vertical shooting position with an additional shutter release and a scroll wheel for access to the camera’s functions when shooting in vertical orientation. It features a tripod socket, comes with a user’s guide, and has a retail value of $129.99.
Gitzo turned the tripod world upside down—literally—when the company first introduced the Traveler, a true travel tripod. This lightweight carbon-fiber support was unusual for its inverted, contortionist-like design, where the legs fold back 180 degrees on themselves and the leg tips hug the ball head, making it more compact.
Dec 17, 2012
Published: Nov 01, 2012
Photographers should back up their image files—it’s as simple as that—and there are numerous services that offer their services today. In this article I’ll be looking at one, Carbonite (www.carbonite.com), that works somewhat differently from others. Many people have told me that their $59 per year for the Home Plan, unlimited backup, is a steal, so I thought I’d check it out.
The Sigma APO Macro 180mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM lens boasts the company’s proprietary Optical Stabilizer (OS) technology and a wide f/2.8 aperture. The OS feature is said to allow the use of shutter speeds approximately four stops slower than would otherwise be possible, enabling handheld, close-up photography.
For those who travel far and wide there’s nothing to beat the convenience and comfort of a roller camera case. With a roller in tow, instead of a heavy pack on your back or a bag hanging off your shoulder, you’re likely to arrive feeling less fatigued. In this roundup we’ll take a look at a good sampling of roller bags that are especially constructed for photographers.
Titanium Cloth Backdrops & Candy Floors
Backdrop Outlet’s durable Titanium Cloth backdrops are made from a wrinkle-free, fleece-like fabric that provides vivid color. The Candy Floors are durable, lightweight, and easy to switch out. Use them both for vibrant, realistic-looking backgrounds.
I’ve been a long-time user of Wacom graphic tablets as part of my editing workflow. Making selections, painting a mask, and many other operations are not only more intuitive with a pen, but you have much finer control than you do with a mouse or trackpad. Until now, the Intuos4 Wireless tablet with Bluetooth has been what I considered to be as close to perfect as you could get. Used either left- or right-handed, I can have it plugged in via USB or use with Bluetooth when traveling or when I need to be a bit further from the computer, as when I’m teaching a workshop. When Wacom announced the Intuos5, I was curious as to what could possibly be improved upon from the current model, so I was anxious to take a look.
Rogue Master Lighting Kit
Designed for advanced speedlight photographers who want to create multiple lighting setups using various accessories, ExpoImaging is now offering the versatile Rogue Master Lighting Kit. It includes a large FlashBender reflector, large diffusion panel, small FlashBender reflector, bounce card/flag, universal gel kit, 3-in-1 honeycomb grid, and grid gel kit. The suggested retail price is $199.95.
Oct 19, 2012
Published: Sep 01, 2012
With the profusion of new cards with various and often confusing classifications and ratings we thought it a good idea to get guidance on selecting the right card for your camera and way of working from an expert. We recently met with the folks from SanDisk and they were kind enough to offer the following synopsis of card and camera, ratings and usage.—Editor
It’s a good thing that early photographers didn’t have to pass through airport security with their flash equipment. The pyrotechnics they used to light a scene would surely have merited more than a pat down. Many years ago, long before the flash tube or flashbulb, a century or so before the Flashcube, cameramen used a flash powder called thermite.
These fashionable, durable, and discreet Messenger bags are available in three sizes. Each features a wide main access compartment with a “dual mode” flap that offers security and a quiet working mode, a wide shoulder strap, stretch pockets, and a grab handle. The model 250 and 150 offer a padded laptop/tablet compartment. The model 250 is large enough to easily hold a pro D-SLR camera, three to four lenses, and an iPad or 13” laptop. The retail value is $79.99. The model 150 can hold a D-SLR camera, two to three lenses, and an iPad. The retail value is $69.99. The model 100 can hold a compact D-SLR or mirrorless camera with a lens attached. The retail value is $59.99.
Slik introduced the first pistol grip over 25 years ago, heralding an innovative adaptation of the ball socket head. Still in production, that head has not changed, but today there are numerous variations on this basic design. Several are fashioned along the lines of a video game joystick. Two other types included here are the collar lock ball head and what I call the “vice grip” head.