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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

In Focus: July 2014

This Article Features Photo Zoom
Panasonic has developed the LEICA DG SUMMILUX 15mm ƒ/1.7 ASPH Micro Four Thirds prime lens. With nine elements in seven groups, it includes three aspherical lenses that negate spherical aberration and distortion. The lens employs a nano surface coating that reduces reflection for clear images with a dramatic reduction of ghosting and flare. The new stepping motor makes focus action silent and smooth, ideal for shooting still photos and video. The lens includes an aperture ring and AF/MF switch. List Price: $599. Contact: Panasonic, www.shop.panasonic.com.
Designed specifically for a DSLR or smaller compact camera, the FH-350 fluid head by Really Right Stuff features a sinusoidal counterbalance system with infinite adjustability up to 10 pounds at five inches above the tilt axis for smooth 180º tilts. Proprietary damping grease provides consistent pans and tilts in weather ranging from 0º-140º F. Tilt damping is managed in three strength levels, plus an off position. The lever-release clamping system integrates with 1.5-inch dovetail rails for easy swapping between setups. It uses a 3⁄8"-16 threaded tripod mount. The handle utilizes a clutch-style locking system that's less prone to wear and tear. List Price: $1,695. Contact: Really Right Stuff, reallyrightstuff.com.
The lightweight, 2.6-pound Gimbal Head by Zenelli utilizes a hollow carbon-fiber central body with additional aluminum and stainless-steel elements for high strength. With a 3⁄8"-16 thread and Acra-Swiss compatibility, the gimbal head provides panoramic and tilt rotation, plus tablet vertical adjustment. The Save lens lever locks the gimbal for camera body changes without risking gravity changes that can result in a setup nosedive. The head also includes a level and panoramic quick-lock lever. Estimated Street Price: $1,362. Contact: Zenelli, Charles Glatzer, info@shootthelight.com.
Manfrotto has engineered the X Pro 3-Way Head for maximum precision while maintaining a small, travel-friendly size. The aluminum body weighs 2.2 pounds while withstanding a maximum load of 17.6 pounds. Arms retract when needed to fit in camera bags and other small spaces. When shooting images that need exacting attention, such as macro photography, it's possible to leave the locking knobs open and increase the friction for slight frame adjustments. List Price: $156. Contact: Manfrotto, www.manfrotto.us/x-pro-3-way-tripod-head.
Nikon recently updated their popular go-to lens, releasing the Nikkor 18-300mm ƒ/3.5-6.3G ED VR DX-format lens with an impressive and versatile 16.7x zoom range while remaining compact at a lightweight 19.4 ounces. With 16 elements in 12 groups, the lens includes three aspherical elements and three extra-low dispersion glass elements to maximize contrast while minimizing ghosting and flares. The rounded 7-blade diaphragm provides a natural background blur. The Silent Wave Motor gives quick, accurate autofocus, even while handholding. List Price: $899. Contact: Nikon, www.nikonusa.com.


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