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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

In Focus: August 2010

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The Litepanels MicroPro Hybrid combines continuous light output with flash functionality. In Continuous Mode, the Hybrid provides soft, wraparound lighting especially useful for shooting video on an HD-capable DSLR. The Flash setting produces a 400-percent brighter burst for illuminating stills. The unit generates 1.5 hours of continuous output using six AA batteries or 5 to 6 hours using Energizer e2 Lithium cells. An integrated dimmer at the top of the housing delivers instant dimming from 100 percent to zero with minimal color shift. A filter holder allows you to use any of the three included color/diffusion gels. It measures 5.5x3.7x1.5 inches and weighs 10.5 ounces. List Price: $525. Contact: Litepanels, (818) 752-7009, www.litepanels.com.
Stay under the radar when carrying your gear using the Think Tank Photo Retrospective series of bags. Consisting of three shoulder bags and two lens bags, each model is made from soft, supple fabrics that conform to the body. The three Camera Shoulder bags accommodate a pro-sized DSLR with up to a 70-200mm ƒ/2.8 lens attached. Front pockets hold additional camera bodies without lenses, and an organizer pocket is built into the main compartment for accessories. The two Lens Changer Shoulder bags hold two or three lenses carried in separate compartments for quick access while changing. All models feature seam-sealed rain covers for protection against the elements. Estimated Street Price: $149 to $179 (Camera); $99 to $119 (Lens). Contact: Think Tank Photo, (866) 558-4465, www.thinktankphoto.com.
Pan the landscape smoothly with your camera using the Induro PHQ 5-way panhead. Providing dual tilt, base and top plate rotation, the head offers full, repeatable indexing on five axes for maximum control and flexibility. Features include 360-degree rotational control on the base and head tilt axis, fully graduated scales allowing you to see and set the position of your tilts, pans and shifts, and five bubble levels. Collapsing control handles make packing and transport easy. Available in two sizes, each PHQ panhead includes a matching Arca-Swiss-compatible quick-release plate. Estimated Street Price: $315 (PHQ1); $395 (PHQ3). Contact: Induro, (914) 347-3300, www.indurogear.com.
The Quick-Shot Sling from Domke is a lightweight camera bag that evenly distributes the weight of your gear for maximum comfort. A padded interior and adjustable dividers keep equipment safe, and the sling strap makes moving the bag from back to front quick with one easy-access motion. A dual-zippered top provides instant access to the camera, while a front zipper opens the entire face of the bag for access to other belongings. An additional zippered front pocket is convenient for cell phones, keys and other extras. There are two models, sized to fit most popular cameras and made of high-quality cotton canvas or RuggedWear waxed canvas. Estimated Street Price: $104 to $129. Contact: Domke (Tiffen), (800) 645-2522, www.tiffen.com.
Tokina is starting to make lens mounts for Sony shooters again. The first since 2005, the AT-X 116 PRO DX is an ultrawide-angle 11-16mm lens with a fast ƒ/2.8 aperture for capturing high-quality images in low-light conditions. The one-touch Focus Clutch Mechanism allows you to switch between autofocus and manual focus by simply snapping the focus ring forward for AF and back toward the camera for manual. This lens is available for Canon, Nikon and Sony cameras with APS-C-sized sensors. For Nikon shooters, there’s no need to change the AF/MF switch on the camera body. On Canon bodies, the focus ring adjusts the mode so there’s no second AF/MF switch. Estimated Street Price: $649. Contact: THK Photo, (800) 421-1141, www.thkphoto.com.

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