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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

In Focus: March 2013

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Add to your lens lineup with the Sigma 35mm ƒ/1.4 DG HSM. This model is the first to debut from the lens manufacturer's new Global Vision concept, which stresses quality in design, manufacturing and inspection. The lenses fall into one of three groups—Contemporary, Art or Sports. Every lens is MTF-tested using Sigma's new A1 system based on the high-resolution Merrill Generation Foveon sensor. The 35mm features one FLD and four SLD glass elements to control lateral and axial chromatic aberrations, as well as a Hyper Sonic Motor to assure accurate, quick and quiet autofocusing. The lens can focus down to 11.8 inches for a maximum reproduction ratio of 1:5.2. Estimated Street Price: $899. Contact: Sigma, (800) 896-6858, www.sigmaphoto.com, www.sigma-global.com.
MultiStitch delivers precise digital stitching for shooters using large-format cameras and DSLRs or medium-format digital backs. It mounts to your 4x5 along all four edges and on both sides. You can make vertical or horizontal images with full camera movements. With a medium-format digital back, you can use your widest lenses. MultiStitch comes with a mask that allows you to compose and focus on the ground glass. With a DSLR, you can use lenses from about 90mm, depending on your 4x5. Unlike sliding pano backs, MultiStitch doesn't interfere with camera movements, shoots horizontal and vertical, and has no cranks to turn or loose parts to misplace. The MultiVent is also incorporated. Estimated Street Price: $950 (Canon/Nikon mount for DSLRs). Contact: MultiStitch, www.multistitch.com.

Getting an expansive landscape shot won't be a problem with the Pentax X-5, which offers a very wide angle of view with its 22.3-580mm equivalent zoom. With a backlit 16-megapixel CMOS sensor, the camera captures 1080p video at 30 fps using H.264 compression. The X-5's electronic viewfinder, which has 260,000-dot resolution, delivers DSLR-like handling and a clear view of your subject while the 3-inch tilting LCD lets you compose and play back images. For image stabilization, Pentax uses its Triple Shake Reduction technology, which includes a mechanical sensor-shift mechanism, digital high ISO shake reduction and movie shake reduction. List Price: TBA. Contact: Pentax, (800) 877-0155, www.pentaximaging.com.
The Quick-and-Easy Everyday Photography Guides from the New York Institute of Photography make their debut with two titles. Top Travel Photo Tips from Ten Pro Photographers is written by NYIP Director Chuck Delaney. It includes input from top travel shooters who share secrets and advice on what they have learned throughout their careers. Top Ten Secrets for Perfect Baby & Child Portraits is written by portrait photographer Clay Blackmore who gives insight, background, tips and guidelines for his 10 favorite types of baby and child photographs, all based on various lighting situations. The books are available on Amazon and wherever books are sold. Estimated Street Price: $16 (each). Contact: New York Institute of Photography, (800) 445-7279, www.nyip.com.

Producing sharper images starts with having a dependable tripod. You can move the central column of the Vanguard Alta Pro 263AT tripod from 0 to 180º angles in variable vertical and horizontal positions using the Multi-Angle Central Column. This is useful when taking macro and wide-angle shots. The Instant Swivel Stop-n-Lock System allows you to quickly reposition the center column in one movement. Other top features include advanced camera vibration and shock control, legs that adjust to 25º, 50º and 80º angles, and nonslip, spiked rubber feet for difficult terrain. The aluminum tripod weighs 4.4 pounds, supports 15.4 pounds, extends to 65 inches and folds to 24.7 inches. Estimated Street Price: $150. Contact: Vanguard, (800) 875-3322, www.vanguardworld.com.

As a backup to your DSLR system, the Nikon Coolpix P7700 offers some impressive shooting features in a compact body. A large, 1/1.7-inch, 12.2-megapixel backside-illuminated sensor, fast image processor and 8 fps continuous-shooting capability are some of the key specs. The 7.1x zoom opens up to ƒ/2 and covers a 35mm equivalent focal-length range of 28-200mm. The 3-inch Vari-angle LCD has 921,000-dot resolution, and there's a full-sized hot-shoe for adding a flash, GPS device, microphone and more. Also included are full manual controls, 1080p HD video functionality and advanced Lens-Shift Vibration Reduction technology. Estimated Street Price: $499. Contact: Nikon, (800) NIKON-US, www.nikonusa.com.


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