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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

In Focus: April 2013

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Keep comfortable and look good outdoors with the Woolrich Men's Classic Field Wool Coat. Made of 80% wool and 20% nylon, the coat is machine-washable. It features four outer snap pockets, hand-warmer pockets, an internal security pocket and a back storage pocket. The coat is rugged, sheds water, and has a tight weave to keep out wind and keep you warm. It's available in red or green/black. Estimated Street Price: $229. Contact: Woolrich, (800) 966-5372, www.woolrich.com.
When you're in the field in dim light—dusk, dawn or even night—a headlamp is a great asset. It helps you to see where you're stepping or read maps, yet leaves your hands free. The new Petzl NAO LED headlamp automatically adjusts its beam shape and power to suit the situation—a wide, low-power beam for close-up map reading and boot-lace-tying, a medium beam and power for trail walking, and a focused beam when you look in the distance. It minimizes manual adjustments and saves power—the rechargeable Li-ion battery is good for 1:20 to 20 hours. The key is a sensor that detects the light level and distance to subject. An adjustable ZEPHYR headstrap fits stably on the head. Estimated Street Price: $175. Contact: Petzl, (801) 926-1500, www.petzl.com.

Sirui's new P-324X and P-424X Photo/Video Monopods feature three sturdy, fold-down, built-in feet. You can stand on the feet to add stability, and pan the monopod 360° horizontally and tilt it up to 15° in any direction. You also can keep the feet locked flush against the leg, of course, and use the unit as a conventional monopod. The units feature eight-layer, carbon-fiber construction and are gorged rather than cast for light weight and strength. Half-turn locks make it easy to set the four-section legs to the desired height. The P-324X extends from 29 to 74.8 inches and can support up to 22 pounds; the P-424X extends from 29.5 to 74.8 inches and can support up to 33 pounds. Estimated Street Price: $274 (P-324X); $299.95 (P-424X). Contact: Argraph, (201) 939-7722, www.argraph.com.

It's easy to apply the look and feel of a wide range of vintage films to your digital images with DxO FilmPack 3. It's available as a standalone or as a plug-in for DxO Optics Pro, Adobe Photoshop and Photoshop Elements, Adobe Lightroom and Apple Aperture, for both PC and Mac. There are two versions, Essentials and Expert, the latter providing more films and creative effects. The most recent upgrade, v3.2.3, includes support for Photoshop Elements 11 and Windows 8. Estimated Street Price: $79 (Essentials); $129 (Expert). Contact: DxO Labs, www.dxolabs.com.

If you do your outdoor shooting with a Sony NEX mirrorless still camera or HD camcorder, you'll be interested in the company's two new E-mount lenses. With an angle of view equivalent to a 30mm on a full-frame camera, the E 20mm ƒ/2.8 "pancake" lens is ideal for a wide range of shooting, such as street photography and landscapes, yet keeps the package pocketable. Designed as a kit lens for the NEX-VG30 camcorder, the E PZ18-200mm ƒ/3.5-6.3 OSS superzoom is now available for all NEX cameras. It features power zooming and autofocusing, and optical SteadyShot stabilization, great for video, as well as still shooting. Estimated Street Price: $350 (20mm); $1,200 (18-200mm). Contact: Sony, (877) 865-7669, www.sony.com.

TAMRON SP 70-200mm F/2.8 Di VC USD
Everyone needs a solid, reliable 70-200mm. The new Tamron SP 70-200mm F/2.8 Di VC USD is a compact option at 3.4x7.4 inches and 51.9 ounces, and it has built-in stabilization to give you plenty of handholding options in the field. Optically, there are 23 elements in 17 groups, with an XLD and four LD units to minimize chromatic aberrations. Tamron's VC Vibration Compensation provides steady handheld shooting, while the USD Ultrasonic Silent Drive AF motor provides autofocusing with continuous access to manual focusing. Minimum focusing distance is 51.2 inches for a maximum reproduction ratio of 1:8 (0.12X). Filter size is 77mm. Estimated Street Price: $1,499. Contact: Tamron USA, (631) 858-8400, www.tamron-usa.com.


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