Digital Innovations
Analog Filters In A Digital World; Only The Strong Survive Page 2

Cokin Filters
Cokin ( filters can be used on all kinds of cameras--SLRs, compacts, camcorders, you name it. The Z-PRO Filter Holder fits film and digital cameras using a range of adapter rings from 49-96mm. Rings designed for the Hasselblad B60/B70 and Rollei are also available. The Z-PRO Filter Holder has a modular design, accepting filters of 1.6mm thickness and 4mm thickness and up to 100x100mm (4x4") and 100x150mm (4x6") in size. The three-slot holder won't vignette on focal lengths down to 20mm and is reversible, so a filter can fit in the adapter ring's slot and the adapter ring can slip into the first filter slot, preventing the edges of the holder from appearing in the field of view.

Z-PRO filters are made of pure organic material, the same stuff that's used to make eyeglasses, with a high optical transmission. The system includes more than 90 different filters, including Correction/Conversion, Graduated, Black and White, Soft, and Neutral Density. The Z-PRO Filter Holder costs $45.95, and a storage wallet is $30.99. The three filter plus holder Pro Grad Kit costs $159, and the Pro Grad ND Kit is priced at $199.

Cokin's Z-PRO Filter Holder has a modular design, accepting filters of 1.6mm thickness
and 4mm thickness such as 100x100mm (4x4") and 100x150mm (4x6").

The Alchemist's Corner
In the old days of film, the gurus jealously guarded their formulas for processing film. They would never reveal, for free anyway, that precise blend of Rodinal, grain alcohol, and rainwater, along with a shot of Dr. Pepper--shaken not stirred. Nowadays you're just as likely to hear their digital descendants raving about their own special raw file processing software. Raw format is indeed the digital alchemist's best friend and lots of software is available for converting your camera's particular version of raw, and everybody has his or her favorite.

The latest from BreezeBrowser Pro ( is a professional tool for viewing, enhancing, and presenting digital images, including raw conversion, lossless rotation of JPEG files, and templates for creating web galleries. This version has an Image Magnifier, a digital loupe that lets you examine details by moving the cursor across the image. It also has improved raw file conversion for Fuji, Konica Minolta, Nikon, Olympus, and Pentax cameras, and seems to work fine with my Canon files as well. Nikon users will appreciate that it supports D2X, D2Hs, and D70s file conversion. BreezeBrowser Pro is Windows-only software (sorry Macheads) and costs $69.95. You can download a free trial version and use it for 15 days.

No Dogs (Dead Or Alive) Or Photographers Allowed
For anyone familiar with Barry Levinson's movie Liberty Heights, this title might engender a little déjà vu all over again. Like the sign at the swimming pool in Levinson's film, this quote is based on reality. Recently while strolling along a pedestrian mall Mary and I saw a "Rules of Conduct" posted that the property owners expected visitors to obey.

Mary Farace is wondering why the "Rules of Conduct" at a pedestrian mall not only prohibit skateboarding, bicycling, and animals (alive or "dead"!), but photography as well. I guess my making this photograph of her looking at the rules violated the "code of conduct," too.

Some were familiar, while another stating "No animals (dead or alive) allowed" conjured visions of somebody dragging a stuffed moose head down the mall, but it was the no photography clause that got me. It said, "You are prohibited from photographing or videotaping...for commercial purposes." I e-mailed the mall's owners asking how they defined "commercial purposes" and not surprisingly they didn't respond. Then I remembered a bumper sticker my pappy used to have on the back of his old Studebaker pickup. It read: "When cameras are outlawed, only outlaws will have cameras."