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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

In Focus: January/February 2012

This Article Features Photo Zoom
The Manfrotto 050 Series ballheads feature ergonomic levers, 90°-105° portrait angle selection, lightweight magnesium bodies and self-lubricating rings. The 054 models are built for the Manfrotto 190 carbon-fiber tripods, and the 057 models are built for the Manfrotto 057 carbon-fiber tripods. Each comes in three versions: one with a standard mount disc and two with different quick-release mounts (one featuring three leveling bubbles). Estimated Street Price: $189 to $334 (varies depending on model and configuration). Contact: Manfrotto, (201) 818-9500, www.manfrotto.us.

Get rid of those annoying fingerprints on your camera's LCD screen and on other touch-screen devices using the LensPen SideKick. The device uses a proprietary carbon compound to quickly and easily remove those difficult marks. Carbon molecules have a unique ability to absorb large quantities of oils and contaminants that accumulate on your screen. After cleaning the screen, slide the SideKick back into its twin cap, which has a hidden carbon pad for rubbing off excess fingerprint oil. List Price: $20; $15 (set of two replacement cleaning pads). Contact: LensPen, www.lenspen.com.

The Pelican Flash Memory Card Protector Case keeps your memory cards dry and safe. With two different configurations to choose from, the case is designed to protect Flash memory cards of all sizes and can handle as many as 32 cards at a time. It's built with a silicon O-ring for a water-resistant seal. The streamlined design consists of a high-impact polycarbonate shell that can withstand harsh outdoor conditions. A strong latch with corrosion-resistant, nickel-plated brass pins keeps the case closed after drops and hard knocks. A shock-absorbing liner delivers an added level of protection. Estimated Street Price: TBA. Contact: Pelican, (800) 473-5422, www.pelican.com.

A circular polarizer is a must-have for any photographer who spends the majority of the time shooting outside. The Heliopan High Transmission SH-PMC circular polarizer has the same effect as the standard model, but loses less light with a filter factor of 2.0, instead of 2.5. This translates to a 1-stop light loss. The SH-PMC coating allows 99.8 percent of light to pass through to the image plane, with the top layer repelling dust and moisture. Available in screw-in sizes of 46mm to 82mm in standard or slim brass mounts, the polarizer works without vignetting even when used with extreme wide-angles. Estimated Street Price: $282 (77mm). Contact: HP Marketing Corp., (800) 735-4373, www.hpmarketingcorp.com.

For those who use the L-Bracket from Really Right Stuff, adding the company's new Cable Release Spacer (CRS) delivers expanded functionality when it's tethered to a laptop or another device. The CRS has a dovetail at one end and a clamp on the other. The clamp mounts to any Really Right Stuff dovetail while the additional dovetail provides extra mounting options. A cable-locking bar helps secure input and output cables that may be attached to the camera, preventing accidental disconnection or damage that may result from unintentional removal. Estimated Street Price: $66. Contact: Really Right Stuff, (888) 777-5557, www.reallyrightstuff.com.


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