FINE GLASS The latest trio of Nikon lenses comes with unique and innovative features that expand the kinds of outdoor shots you’re able to capture. The wide-angle PC-E Nikkor 24mm ƒ/3.5D ED has a special tilt/shift mechanism offering up to ±11.5mm shift and ±8.5-degree tilt for manipulating perspective, distortion and focus. The AF-S DX Nikkor 16-85mm ƒ/3.5-5.6G ED VR is a compact wide-angle zoom suitable for a range of applications. With Vibration Reduction, you’re free to do more handheld shooting at slower shutter speeds. The AF-S Micro Nikkor 60mm ƒ/2.8G ED macro lens captures extreme close-ups with up to 1:1 reproduction ratios. At its closest, the lens focuses at a distance of about 0.6 feet. Estimated Street Price: $1,929 (24mm); $649 (16-85mm); $549 (60mm). Contact: Nikon, (800) NIKON-US, www.nikonusa.com.
OPTICAL RANGE Take sharp images of fast-moving wildlife with the Canon EF 200mm ƒ/2L IS USM and the EF 800mm ƒ/5.6L IS USM lenses. Using the company’s Optical Image Stabilizer system, you gain a shutter-speed equivalent up to four stops faster, enabling you to take longer exposures without worrying about blur. Great for low light and capturing the action from afar, these high-end lenses use fluorite and Ultra-low Dispersion (UD) elements for correcting chromatic aberration. Estimated Street Price: $5,999 (200mm); $11,999 (800mm). Contact: Canon, (800) OK-CANON, www.usa.canon.com.
FROM NEAR AND FAR The Tamron SP AF70-200mm ƒ/2.8 Di LD (IF) Macro lens is an ideal choice for macro and standard telephoto work. The versatile focal range, optical sharpness, fixed maximum aperture and affordable price tag make the lens attractive. Although designed for full-frame D-SLRs and 35mm film cameras, the lens can be used on D-SLRs with APS-C-sized sensors. On smaller-format cameras, the 35mm-equivalent focal length ranges from 109 to 310mm. It’s available with Canon, Nikon, Pentax and Sony mounts. Estimated Street Price: $699. Contact: Tamron, (631) 858-8400, www.tamron.com.
MACRO PRIME Get close to those blooming tulip bulbs with the compact smc Pentax DA 35mm ƒ/2.8 Macro Limited lens. Features include 1:1 magnification in a normal focal length and the Quick-shift Focus System for instantly switching from auto to manual focus. The 35mm focal length is equivalent to 52.5mm. The Pentax SP coating protects the glass. Estimated Street Price: $599. Contact: Pentax, (800) 877-0155, www.pentaximaging.com.
WIDE VIEW Take clear, handheld shots in low light using the compact Sigma 18-125mm ƒ/3.8-5.6 DC OS HSM lens with Optical Stabilizer technology. Using two sensors, the system detects camera movement and moves an optical-image-stabilizing lens group to compensate for the shake. You can use shutter speeds up to four stops slower. The lens is designed for APS-C-sized sensors, features a 35mm-equivalent focal-length range of 27-187mm and is available with Sigma, Canon, Nikon, Pentax and Sony mounts. Estimated Street Price: TBA. Contact: Sigma, (800) 896-6858, www.sigmaphoto.com.
STOP WIND Stay warm in unpredictable spring weather with the Marmot Super Hero Jacket. The water-repellent, wind-resistant softshell comes with a tuck-away hood and is made out of Gore Windstopper material. Constructed of soft, stretchy fabrics, Windstopper prevents overheating and perspiration build-up by allowing moisture to escape for improved breathability. The unique membrane stops wind from penetrating the fabric. List Price: $275. Contact: Marmot, (888) 357-3262, www.marmot.com.
SERIOUS HIKERS If you’re an avid hiker or backpacker, lace up the Titanium Daska Pass Omni-Tech hiking boots from Columbia. The lightweight upper is breathable and waterproof, and the contoured footbed provides excellent comfort. The sock liner interacts with the natural contours of the foot to provide enhanced support. Columbia’s Titanium lineup features advanced fabrics and technologies designed for all-weather performance and protection. List Price: TBA. Contact: Columbia, (800) 547-8066, www.columbia.com.
LIGHT TENT Billed as its lightest two-person tent ever, the Mountain Hardwear Helion 2 weighs less than 3½ pounds. The all-mesh canopy reduces the overall weight and provides excellent ventilation. The tall entryway and tapered foot design maximize your living comfort. The company’s patented Evolution Tension Arch reinforces the tent’s structure if the weather should turn nasty. Estimated Street Price: $395. Contact: Mountain Hardwear, (800) 953-8375, www.mountainhardwear.com.
REST UP Sleep well in the Kelty Light Year Down 20°. The lightweight, three-season sleeping bag has a hip-length zipper and zippered foot vent. It’s an ideal choice for minimalists who don’t want to carry any more weight than is necessary. The 650-fill-power down bag features a sculpted hood and a light compression sack. Down material features the best warmth-to-weight ratio of any insulation available. List Price: $180. Contact: Kelty, (800) 423-2320, www.kelty.com.
SKOOBA STRAP Roam the outdoors wearing your D-SLR comfortably around your neck with the shock-absorbing Skooba Superbungee Camera/Binocular strap from Tenba. The length adjusts from 21 to 45 inches, and the width is 1.5 inches. The underside of the strap consists of a flexible grid of individual, air-filled cells that absorb shock and enhance comfort. The cells are covered in a slip-resistant laminate to help keep your camera in place. Estimated Street Price: $16. Contact: Tenba, (914) 347-3300, www.tenba.com.
Your Next Digital Darkroom Between the large image files today's new D-SLRs generate and the demands of the latest software tools, your old computer is probably starting to show its age. We have some suggestions when it's time for an upgrade. More »