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Tuesday, November 1, 2005

Editors' Picks A Buyer's Guide

A compilation of our favorite gear, gadgets and accessories


B+W Warm Tone Polarizer
The B+W Warm Tone Polarizer is a crossbreed of a polarizer and a skylight filter with the benefits of both—you can take photographs with bold colors, adding a warm tonality.
Enrich colors, bring details out from shadows and cut down on glare—all with one filter. The filter factor is ƒ/2.3 to ƒ/2.8. It’s available in circular and linear models. List Price: $200 (46mm); $392 (77mm). Contact: Schneider Optics, (631) 761-5000, www.schneideroptics.com.

Garmin StreetPilot c330 GPS
The touch-screen Garmin StreetPilot c330 GPS navigates beyond cemented city streets to the dirt surfaces of backcountry roads.
It alerts you of intersections and curves as well as automatically calculates destinations and provides turn-by-turn, voice-prompted directions. The 3.5-inch color LCD offers 3-D or bird’s-eye-view mapping. A suction mount cradle attaches to the windshield, making it easy to transport between cars. List Price: $750. Contact: Garmin, (800) 800-1020, www.garmin.com.

MicroSync Digital
Trigger your flash from up to 100 feet away with the MicroSync Digital wireless system.
This little transmitter can be fired by itself or from the hot-shoe of most digital and film cameras. The MicroSync features four channels with automatic synchronization, advanced radio frequency technology and a transmitter that will operate for three years on one battery. List Price: $299.Contact: MicroSync, (800) 662-0717, www.microsyncdigital.com.

Seagate 5 GB Pocket Hard Drive
Store and transfer your digital files in the Seagate 5 GB Pocket Hard Drive.
This handy, go-anywhere tool fits in the palm of your hand as well as in your pocket. A built-in USB cable is retractable so you can neatly pack the drive without tangling cables, and the round shell has shock absorbers for extra protection of your data. Estimated Street Price: $140. Contact: Seagate, (877) 271-3285, www.seagate.com.

Giottos MH 3000 Ballhead
The Giottos MH 3000 ballhead, the largest in the Giottos line, supports up to 33 pounds.
The calibrated tension and lock knobs, plus adjustable friction, give the user optimum control over camera movement. The base has a 3.1-inch diameter and is 5.4 inches high, and the top plate comes with screws for 1?4- and 3?8-inch camera threads. The ballhead features a calibrated panning head and a drawstring pouch for storage. List Price: $170. Contact: HP Marketing Corp.,(800) 735-4373, www.hpmarketingcorp.com.

Sunpak TR-2000 Battery Pack
The Sunpak TR-2000 works well with high- and low-voltage flash units of any brand, providing continuous, unlimited energy in the great outdoors.
Its technology ensures you can consume every last drop of energy, and its power status indicator informs you how much juice is left. Perfect for photographers on the go, it measures 5x6x2.5 inches and weighs only 24 ounces. List Price: $499. Contact: Sunpak (ToCAD America), (973) 428-9800, www.sunpak.com.

ColorVision Spyder2PRO Studio
The Spyder2PRO Studio from Color-Vision precisely calibrates your CRT, LCD or notebook monitor.
Using the colorimeter’s advanced sensor, you can create concise ICC profiles. A software wizard provides simple instructions and automatically finds the most effective method for white-balancing your monitor settings. The wizard also detects white and black light values to make calibration results more precise. Additional light detectors have been added to the hardware, making the “puck” much more sensitive. List Price: $299. Contact: ColorVision, (800) 554-8688, www.colorvision.com.

Singh-Ray Gold-N-Blue Polarizer
If you have to shoot at high noon and want to saturate the colors in your images, or if you just want to add a touch of blue or gold in your scene, try the Singh-Ray Gold-N-Blue Polarizer.
As you rotate the rings, you can see subtle shifts in yellow and blue hues through the lens and stop on a setting with which you’re pleased. This unique filter can help enhance your images and save you digital darkroom time. List Price: $180 to $210 (depending on size). Contact: Singh-Ray, (800) 486-5501, www.singh-ray.com.

Tokina AT-X 124 AF PRO DX 12-24mm ƒ/4
The Tokina AT-X 124 AF PRO DX 12-24mm ƒ/4 is designed specifically for digital SLRs with an APS-C-sized sensor (the lens won’t work on a full 35mm-sized image sensor).
With a 35mm equivalency of 18-36mm, this wide-angle lens allows you to capture expansive scenes and incorporates two aspherical elements to limit aberration. A polycarbonate outer lens makes it lightweight and easy to carry, and a non-rotating 77mm filter thread keeps filters in place when focusing. List Price: $899. Contact: Tokina (THK Photo Products), (800) 421-1141, www.thkphoto.com.

Moab Paper Entrada Fine Art Bright 300
Entrada Fine Art Bright 300 from Moab Paper provides a bright base for quality prints with beautiful contrast.
Naturally acid- and lignin-free, the dual-sided 100% cotton rag is intended for the preservation of photographs. The paper works well with archival pigment inks and high-quality dyes. It boasts an instant drying time and water-resistance to avoid smudging. List Price: From $13. Contact: Moab Paper, (435) 259-3161, www.moabpaper.com.

X-Rite Pulse ColorElite System
Color synchronization is vital to your photography. The X-Rite Pulse Color-Elite System accurately calibrates the colors in your monitor, scanner, digital camera and printer. A space-conscious, hand-scanning device makes it easy to align the sensor to target colors without using a computer. Capable of both input and output profiling, the software is available for either RGB or CMYK. The hardware can be activated with one touch and provides immediate feedback. List Price: $1,095. Contact: X-Rite (MAC Group), (914) 347-3300, www.xritephoto.com.

Lexar Image Rescue 2.0
Save your images! Lexar Image Rescue 2.0 software goes to the root of your card’s data structure to retrieve deleted or lost files.
The program is designed to find image files from all formats, including JPEG, TIFF and RAW, from any card, regardless of the manufacturer. Image Rescue even can recover documents like Word and Excel files. List Price: Free (when you purchase a Lexar Media Professional CompactFlash card); $29 (alone). Contact: Lexar Media, (800) 789-9418, www.lexar.com.

Nik Color Efex Pro 2.0
This software plug-in helps you achieve a variety of photo filter effects that are traditionally performed during capture. With nik Color Efex Pro 2.0, you easily can enhance your images with 75 filter effects, ranging from infrared black-and-white to cross-processing to neutral density and polarization. The plug-in’s interface is quick and easy to use and offers you a way to control the intensity of the filter effects via sliders. List Price: $299 (Complete Edition). Contact: Nik Multimedia, (888) 284-4085, www.nikmultimedia.com.


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