Photo Gear
Covering The Photo Beat
Lenses, Power, New Ball Heads, And More

Cokin Offers New Round Glass Filters
Cokin, long known as a maker of hundreds of different versions of square and rectangular acrylic filters, now offers several round filters made of glass for the US market. They are a UV-0 and circular polarizer. Round filters from 49-77mm are intended for use with both 35mm SLRs and medium format cameras. A series of smaller round filters for digital cameras have a size range from 27-52mm. Contact: ProQuest Distribution (Cokin USA), 180 South Van Brunt St., Englewood, NJ 07631; (877) 497-2371;

Rechargeable Location AC Power Supply
Dyna-Lite offers a new rechargeable AC power supply, which will provide dependable location power for your AC lighting gear of all types and eliminates the need for renting gas power generators while on location. Unlike gas generators, this unit can travel along in commercial aircraft. The XP 1100 has a matched battery, inverter, and charger, which produce ample AC power for almost every job. The inverter is an 1100w pure sine wave with the capacity to power up to a 1000 ws power pack for up to 200 full power flashes and also allows use of modeling lamps (but this does reduce the number of flashes). It will recharge up to 80 percent of power in only two hours but a full charge takes 10 hours. It's housed in a rugged 23 lb case that measures 6.75x6.75x12". The street price is $1227. Contact: Dyna-Lite, Inc., 1050 Commerce Ave., Union, NJ 07083; (908) 687-8800; fax: (908) 686-6682;

Location Changing Room Doubles As Reflector
A dual-purpose accessory for doing any type of location photography that involves models was recently announced by Arbella Enterprises. It's a "5 in 1 Multi Pop-Up" dressing room suitable for use literally anywhere, outdoors or inside. The unit does double duty as each of the four opaque side walls can be removed to be used as 39x66" reflectors. The folding, pop-open reflectors are silver, gold, white, and black to suit most any type of lighting situation. The top is open to accommodate any height individual, while permitting them to change in privacy. It weighs only 5 lbs and folds flat (20x1") for easy travel and storage in the provided tote bag. It carries a MSRP of $180. Contact: Arbella Enterprises, Inc., PO Box 280411, Northridge, CA 91328; (888) 305-2950; fax: (818) 882-0124;

Professional SLIK Ball Heads
New from THK are three sizes of professional ball heads, SLIK SBH-280, SBH-320, and SBH-550. Constructed of anodized hardened aluminum parts for trouble-free, extra-smooth operation, they each feature oversized, textured, single knob operation to lock or release the ball connection to the camera plate. The smaller SBH-280 is suitable for use with 35mm film SLRs and smaller digital cameras weighing under 11 lbs. The SBH-320 is recommended for medium format cameras or with digital backs or telephoto lenses. The largest SBH-550 will accommodate long telephoto lenses and 4x5 field cameras weighing up to 22 lbs. The MSRP ranges from $160-$220. Contact: THK Photo Products, Inc., 2360 Mira Mar Ave., Long Beach, CA 90815; (562) 494-9575; fax: (562) 494-3375;

Phoenix: TTL Flash And Manual Tele-Zoom Lens
Brand-new from Phoenix Corporation of America is the ZBIS-92 TTL hot shoe flash for use with many brands of autofocus cameras. It's offered in mounts compatible with Canon, Minolta, Nikon, and Pentax cameras. It has an ISO of 100; a GN of 92; an auto range out to 29 ft; an AF Infrared Illuminator; zoom head, both bounce and swivel; is powered by four AA-size batteries; and has a moderate MSRP of just $60.
Also announced is a new 100-300mm f/5.6-6.7 manual focus zoom lens offered by Canon, Minolta, Nikon, Olympus, Pentax KR, and Yashica/Contax SLR mounts. This one-touch zoom has a large ribbed gripping area on the barrel, a 1:4 macro ratio, and a minimum focus of 4.9 ft. It has a helpful depth of field scale; measures 2.5x5.3"; weighs 17.6 oz; and sells for a MSRP of $160. Contact: Phoenix Corporation of America, 112 Mott St., Oceanside, NY 11572; (800) 729-7846; fax: (800) 743-5170;

German-Made Leica Compact 35 & New Macro Lens For Leica M Rangefinder Cameras
Leica has just introduced their first compact 35mm camera that is assembled in Germany. The Leica CM has a fast 40mm f/2.4 Leica Summarit lens, an exceptionally broad shutter speed range of 99 to 1/1000 sec, a large illuminated LCD on the back with dial-operated settings, a powerful built-in flash with a GN of 44 plus an external hot shoe for even more flash power. A total of 15 different flash modes available. The large, bright viewfinder has an informative LED display, which shows focus setting, flash readiness, aperture, and exposure time. The ergonomically designed, leather-clad body also includes manual aperture and focus control options. The MSRP is $950.

The Leica Macro-Elmar-M 90mm f/4 lens for Leica M rangefinder cameras functions as a conventional short telephoto lens with a focus range from infinity to 1:3. But when the optional Leica Macro Adapter-M is attached between the camera body and the 90mm lens, the lens extends 14mm and is rotated 180Þ to place a second focus and depth of field scale on top. With the adapter attached, the focus range is now 19-30" down to an object field of just 2.8x4.3". A provided viewfinder attachment corrects the parallax between the viewfinder and the close focus distance. Available in either silver or black chrome finish, it has a reversible metal lens hood and comes with a leather case. The lens alone has an MSRP of $1400 and the Adapter-M has an MSRP of $995. Contact: Leica Camera Inc., 156 Ludlow Ave., Northvale, NJ 07647; (201) 767-7500; fax: (201) 767-8666;

Sigma's Ultra-Wide Angle 12-24mm Zoom Lens
Sigma has considerably shortened the focal length of their new ultra-wide angle zoom lens with a range of 12-24mm that covers a field of view from 122 to 84Þ. This small lens, which measures 3.5" diameter by 4" long, never gets any longer because there is internal focusing. It will focus down to a mere 11" at any focal length and has a rear slot for use of gelatin filters. Available in several different popular SLR camera mounts, it's also offered with HSM focusing for Sigma, Canon, and Nikon camera mounts. The MSRP is $843. Contact: Sigma Corporation of America, 15 Fleetwood Ct., Ronkonkoma, NY 11779; (631) 585-1144; fax: (631) 585-1895;

Small Panasonic Battery Charger
Panasonic has a new, small, lightweight BQ-390 Quick Charger for use with long-lived 2100 mAh Ni-MH rechargeable batteries. Said to be the smallest charger available today, it charges two batteries in two hours and has worldwide voltage capability for AC 100-240v. The plug folds out of sight for storage and carrying. It accepts up to four AA-size or two AAA-size batteries and has a MSRP of $20. Contact: Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company, 1 Panasonic Way, Secaucus, NJ 07094; (201) 348-7000;

OmegaSatter: Precision Tripod Ball Heads & Flash Frame Brackets
From OmegaSatter are the FLM Centerball Series of precision-machined aluminum tripod ball heads that feature silky-smooth movement and extreme vibration stability for precise setting accuracy. The heads range in size from 18-58mm diameter. All feature interchangeable mounting systems, camera plates, power releases, and quick releases. The smaller sizes are adequate for small cameras while the larger sizes can handle full-sized 4x5 cameras. A small flat disk unobtrusively mounts on the bottom of the camera while the power release system produces a firm, quick connection between the camera and ball head. The larger sizes (38mm and up) have a new technology that converts the center ball into a two-dimensional tilt mechanism for precise plane movements. MSRP prices range from $28-$450.

A new, U.S.A.-manufactured line of professional flash brackets are offered by OmegaSatter. The first product in the line is the FlashFlip, intended for use with most 35mm cameras and shoe-type flash units. The bracket positions the flash high above the camera lens, thereby moving shadows down behind the subject to both subdue their harshness and also minimize redeye. Made of lightweight aluminum, it has a foam comfort grip to minimize hand strain during long shooting sessions. It has a locking shoe and can be attached to a tripod when desired. It has an MSRP of $60. Contact: OmegaSatter, 1041 S. Carroll St., Hampstead, MD 21074; (410) 374-3250; fax: (410) 374-3184;

To submit information for Photo Gear please contact Robert E. Mayer by e-mail at: or regular mail at: Shutterbug Magazine, 1419 Chaffee Dr., Suite #1, Titusville, FL 32780.