The Nikon AF-S Nikkor 200-400mm ƒ/4G ED VR II serves as an excellent addition to your lens kit. With a professional-grade lens body made from die-cast magnesium for increased durability, the lens is sealed to resist moisture and dust. There’s a special meniscus glass to help protect the front element. Additional features include Extra-low Dispersion glass for reducing internal reflection and Vibration Reduction II, which gives up to four extra stops when shooting handheld. The lens focuses down to 6.6 feet throughout its zoom range. The addition of A/M (autofocus with manual override, AF priority) mode prevents accidental switching from autofocus to manual focus. Attach the lens to a DX-format (APS-C) camera body and it becomes a 300-600mm zoom. Estimated Street Price: $6,999. Contact: Nikon, (800) NIKON-US, www.nikonusa.com.
The Tamrac Evolution Messenger 4 converts from a camera bag to a briefcase, giving you a versatile way of carrying photo gear or work and personal items. Capable of holding a DSLR with three additional lenses (including a 70-200mm ƒ/2.8) and a flash, the foam-padded interior compartment can be removed, turning the bag into a briefcase. Behind the main section is another foam-padded compartment that holds most 15.6-inch laptops. The zippered top opens away from the body for quick access to your camera. There are plenty of pockets for storing cell phones, keys and other extras. Estimated Street Price: $134. Contact: Tamrac, (800) 662-0717, www.tamrac.com.
The Lexar Professional 600x and 300x CompactFlash memory cards allow you to capture RAW stills and high-definition video clips without interruption. They feature guaranteed minimum sustained write speeds of 90 MB/s and 45 MB/s, respectively, when paired with a UDMA 6-enabled card reader. The 600x cards are available in capacities of 8 GB to 32 GB, while the 300x cards come in 4 GB to 32 GB sizes. Both include downloadable Image Rescue 4 software for recovering lost or deleted files. Also available is the portable Professional ExpressCard CF Reader, which is compatible with all UDMA and non-UDMA CF cards, and supports speeds of up to 133 MB/s. Estimated Street Price: $499 (32 GB 600x); $44 (reader). Contact: Lexar, (800) 789-9418, www.lexar.com.
Improve your wildlife shots using the Sigma 70-200mm ƒ/2.8 EX DG OS HSM. The lens now features Optical Stabilization technology, which allows you to shoot handheld in low light. The OS function makes viewing stabilized images in the viewfinder possible on Sony and Pentax bodies, if desired. The lens is designed for full-frame DSLRs. With smaller APS-C-sized sensors, the focal length increases to 100-300mm on most cameras. Two FLD glass elements, which are comparable to fluorite glass and compensate for color aberration, help make the lens more compact. The Hyper-Sonic Motor delivers quiet, high-speed autofocus as well as full-time manual-focus capability. Estimated Street Price: $2,470. Contact: Sigma, (800) 896-6858, www.sigmaphoto.com.
For Lensbaby users, the Control Freak is the third Creative Effects SLR camera lens to join the lineup with the Composer and Muse lenses. Optimized for macro photography with extensive focus control, the Control Freak can be compressed and bent until the desired focus is found. Pushing a button locks focus into place. Once locked, you can fine-tune it using the focus ring, as well as fine-tune the tilt by rotating the knobs on the end of the lens’ three metal rods. Focus as close as nine inches away from your subject. The Control Freak is compatible with the Lensbaby Optic Swap system, allowing you to capture a wide range of creative effects. Estimated Street Price: $350. Contact: Lensbaby, (877) 536-7222, www.lensbaby.com.