Photo Gear
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Infrared Film And Meter, Low-Profile Polarizer, 180mm Macro, And More

120 Infrared Film And Modified Meter
Infrared photography can produce unusual, interesting images of many subjects such as individuals and scenes, but just locating film and trying to make accurate meter readings have been annoying problems that may have kept many from trying this specialized technique. I recently found a new source for Kodak's high-speed IR black and white film in 120/220 format and their high-speed color IR transparency film, also in 120/220 format. Both films are actually Kodak's Aerographic 70mm double perforated films cut down and spooled on 120 reels. In addition, this source offers a specially modified Minolta Auto Meter VF that gives accurate IR light readings so bracketing is seldom needed. Just log onto and you can learn more about the IR films and meter. In addition, there are many helpful tips on taking various subjects on IR film, instructions on making your own IR meter, and a gallery of David Romano's IR photography.

Affordable 120 SLR
The Kiev USA CBS is a modular, all-mechanical SLR with a bayonet mount that accepts both Kiev brand lenses plus Zeiss lenses designed for the Pentacon 6 and Exakta 66. It features mirror lockup, folding film advance crank, darkslide storage slot, multiple-exposure capability, and depth of field preview capability. The German cloth focal plane offers shutter speeds from 1/2 to 1/1000 sec, plus B. The camera has an interchangeable snap-on 120 rollfilm back plus interchangeable viewfinder capabilities. The MSRP is $725 with lens and waist-level finder. A full line of Kiev Russian lenses, ranging from a 30mm f/3.5 full-frame fisheye to a 500mm f/5.6 mirror, are also offered. Contact: Kiev USA, 248 Mill St., Greenwich, CT 06830; (203) 531-0900; fax: (203) 531-6229;

Low-Profile Polarizer
When used with some ultra-wide angle lenses, some filters tend to vignette the corners of the image because of the thickness of the filter itself. HOYA has used new, patented optical glass technology to create filters that are thinner than normal optical glass. The HOYA Super-HMC Pro 1 low-profile frame is slim for a polarizer at 5mm, about the same size as a standard HOYA filter frame. This polarizer has six-layer HOYA multi-coating to reduce the possibility of lens flare or ghosting. It has normal front filter threads so normal clip-on lens caps can be attached while the filter is still on the lens. The polarizer is available now in standard thread sizes from 48-82mm. Contact: THK Photo Products, Inc., 2360 Mira Mar Ave., Long Beach, CA 90815; (562) 494-9575; fax: (562) 494-3375;

Adjustable Pre-Flash Capable Morris Midi Slave Flash
The simplest solution to overcoming the typical flat lighting produced by a camera's built-in flash is to place a small, slave-powered flash on either side of the camera or directed onto the background behind the subject. With conventional compact or SLR film cameras this type of slave works fine, but with digital cameras, which have a pre-flash that fires before the picture-making flash, the slave fires too soon, or not at all. The Morris Midi Slave now has an added feature that corrects the problem. It has two modes, "N" for normal flash and "P" for pre-flash for use with digital cameras. If necessary, the total amount of flash emitted by the Morris can be reduced by a high-low switch on the back of the unit, or it can be spread out by placing a translucent wide adapter over the flash head. At an MSRP of $89, this is a moderate priced accessory that will easily improve most flash pictures. Contact: The Morris Company, 1205 West Jackson Blvd., Chicago, IL 60607; (312) 421-5739; fax: (312) 421-5079;

180mm Macro For 1:1 Images & 17-35mm Zoom For Film And Digital SLRs
Now you don't have to have your macro lens nearly touching the subject when taking 1:1 life-size images of small subjects. Tamron's new SP AF180mm f/3.5 LD [IF] Macro 1:1 is a mid-range telephoto lens that permits a longer working distance between the lens and subject--9.4" from the front of the lens barrel. In addition, to suit the requirements of dual-format users (e.g., film and digital) the optics are said to be designed to provide optimum performance with digital SLR cameras. The IF (Internal Focus) system enables constant lens length for steadier use in tight situations. The Canon and Nikon versions feature a one-touch adjustment for sliding between auto and manual focus modes by simply sliding the focus ring forward or backward. It has a quick-release tripod mount, which also provides an improved grip for handheld shooting. It has a burnished black finish, measures 6.5x3.3", weighs 34.4 oz, and is offered in Canon, Minolta, and Nikon AF mounts at an MSRP of $1178.

Also, Tamron has several new Di (Digitally integrated) technology lenses suitable for use with both film and digital SLR cameras. The ultra-wide SP AF17-35mm f/2.8-4 Di also carries a SP (Super Performance) designation. It has the capability of focusing to just 12" throughout the zoom range for dramatic close-ups that can be offset against depth of field sharpened backgrounds. The fast f/2.8 maximum aperture at the shortest focal length is advantageous for existing light applications. It comes with a large "flower-shaped" lens hood to effectively cutoff potentially harmful sidelight from reaching the lens front. It measures 3.4x3.3", weighs 15.5 oz, and has a MSRP of $818. It's offered in Canon, Minolta, Nikon, and Pentax AF mounts. Contact: Tamron USA Inc., 10 Austin Blvd., Commack, NY 11725; (800) 827-8880; fax: (631) 543-3963;

Tenba Backpack Means Business
The ProDigital Photographers Business Companion Model DB-15CL is a fashionable backpack that has adequate room for business papers, plus a 15" laptop, a large digital point-and-shoot, compact 35mm SLR, mini-DV plus media cards (or film), batteries, PDA, cell phone, and lots of other sundries. An expansion joint adds an extra 21/4" of depth, enough to hold a compact digital projector for presentations. In addition to large capacity, it provides protection with a shock dispersion wall to spread impact away from the laptop screen. A removable padded camera pouch has a hook-and-loop fastener and closure. There are media safe pockets in the front. Four adjustable side straps keep it secure and stable no matter how loaded it is and the leather-reinforced shoulder straps and carry handle are designed for strength and style. Its dimensions are 13x15.5x7" (9.25" deep expanded). It has a street price of $105. Contact: Tenba Professional Division, Mamiya America Corporation, 8 Westchester Plaza, Elmsford, NY 10523; (914) 347-3300; fax: (914) 347-3309;

Versatile Cine Video Meter
New from Sekonic is the L-558 CINE Dualmaster, a light-measuring tool for cinematographers and videographers. It retains the essential elements of previous top-model meters but puts them into a more user-friendly package at a lower price. The sensitivity has been increased by two EVs and it's weather-resistant. There is a parallax-free viewfinder for 1Þ spot readings with illuminated digital display. Metering information such as Foot-Lambert, cd/m2 values, EV, frames per second, apertures in tenths, shutter speeds up to 1/8000 sec, and exposure compensation are all clearly displayed. A host of specialized cine functions include: shutter-angle settings, preset filter factor numbers and compensation values, and analog aperture scale in 1/3 EV steps. The meter can memorize and recall up to nine readings in any mode, average them, and display them individually on an analog scale. This meter is similar to the L-558 photographic model with added special cine capabilities. It's Pocket Wizard ready so with an optional plug-in module, it becomes a master control center to trigger Pocket Wizard equipped cameras or electronic flash units remotely. Measuring 3.5x6.7x1.9" and weighing 9.5 oz, it has an MSRP of $929. Contact: Sekonic Professional Division, Mamiya America Corporation, 8 Westchester Plaza, Elmsford, NY 10523; (914) 347-3300; fax: (914) 347-3309;

Inexpensive Compact Film/Digital Camera Pouches
Brand new from Lowepro are the Rezo-series of small camera pouches for both digital and film point-and-shoot cameras. Six different models offer a custom fit for various size cameras by using a stretch fabric designed to hug the camera and provide protection without bulkiness. There is room for essential accessories such as memory cards and batteries. A SlipLock attachment tab permits attaching the pouch to the belt or any SlipLock compatible Lowepro product. They are available for a very reasonable MSRP price range of $10-$17. Contact: Lowepro, 3171 Guerneville Rd., Santa Rosa, CA 95401; (707) 575-4363; fax: (707) 575-4389;

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