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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

In Focus: August 2011

This Article Features Photo Zoom
The 50mm lens is a must-have for all photographers, and Nikon has updated its model. The AF-S Nikkor 50mm ƒ/1.8G is a fast, compact prime offering tack-sharp image quality, solid low-light performance and shallow depth of field. The lens focuses as close as 1.48 feet, uses Nikon's Silent Wave Motor for fast, quiet autofocus operation and is optimized for FX-format (full-frame) cameras, but also works well with DX-format (APS-C) cameras. Lens construction consists of seven elements in six groups, with one aspherical lens element to reduce instances of coma and aberration, even when shooting wide open. It's ideal for travel, landscape, portraiture and low-light shooting. Estimated Street Price: $219. Contact: Nikon, (800) NIKON-US,

With next-generation pigment printing technology and a wide variety of media output and wireless connectivity options, the 13-inch Epson Stylus Photo R2000 is an ideal printing solution. The eight-color pigment ink set has a gloss optimizer, includes bold red and orange inks, and auto-selects between Photo and Matte Black inks. The printer's media-handling capabilities allow for printing on heavy stationery stock and metallic, as well as photographic and fine-art papers. The eight-channel, high-precision print head produces a maximum resolution of 5670x1440 optimized dpi and variable-sized droplets as small as 1.5 picoliters. The R2000 offers Ethernet, 802.11n WiFi and USB 2.0 connectivity. Estimated Street Price: $499. Contact: Epson, (800) GO-EPSON, www.epson.com.

Transmitting 25% more light through the polarizing film, the Kenko Zeta EX circular polarizer delivers about a half-stop more light than standard circular polarizers. The filter is designed to keep weight to a minimum—just 0.3 ounces—thanks to a thin frame and a four-layer glass element that's just 0.8mm thick. With ZR (Zero Reflection) Super Multi Coating, there's no interference with any color or light transmission. Light can enter the filter from any angle, eliminating reflections. Nano Glass Technology delivers stain- and scratch-resistance. The filter is compatible with wide-angle lenses and has a front screw-on function for attaching a lens cap. Estimated Street Price: TBA. Contact: Kenko (THK Photo), (800) 421-1141, www.thkphoto.

Mobility and organization combine in the Tamrac Zuma series. The lineup includes three models, with each bag holding an iPad or 10-inch-screen netbook, the Tamrac ZipShot Mini Tripod and other accessories. The Zuma 2 holds a compact digital camera, and the Zuma 4 and Zuma 7 hold a DSLR and extra lenses. All have plenty of pockets for organizing gadgets such as a wireless keyboard, smartphone, chargers, memory cards, batteries and more. The series is comprised of a slim day bag, a compact shoulder bag and a fast-access backpack, each providing an efficient way of carrying your gear. List Price: $59 (Zuma 2); $124 (Zuma 4); $159 (Zuma 7). Contact: Tamrac, (800) 662-0717, www.tamrac.com.

Lensbaby has beefed up its popular Composer special-effects lens with an all-metal construction and an upgraded swivel ball-and-focus mechanism for delivering smoother focus and tilt control. A fluid and dampened focus ring helps achieve greater control. The Composer Pro ships with either the Double Glass Optic or Sweet 35 Optic installed. Each optic produces a "sweet spot" of sharp focus that you can move around the image by tilting the Composer's swiveling lens body. The unit is compatible with the Lensbaby Optic Swap System. Estimated Street Price: $300 (with Double Glass); $400 (with Sweet 35). Contact: Lensbaby, (877) 536-7222, www.lensbaby.com.


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