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Tuesday, September 17, 2013

In Focus: November 2013

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As your photography style has developed over time, your equipment may have changed, as well. Now Sigma is working with photographers to integrate your gear collection. Owners of Sigma Global Vision Lenses will be able to take advantage of the new Mount Conversion Service and convert Sport, Art or Contemporary DSLR lenses to a new mount of their choice, be it Sigma, Sony, Pentax, Nikon or Canon, as long as Sigma has released that product in the requested mount. Additionally, mirrorless interchangeable-lens cameras can be switched to a Micro Four Thirds or a Sony E-mount. Sigma is also extending the warranty on all products—cameras, flashes and lenses—to four years. Estimated Street Price: $80 to $250, plus shipping costs. Contact: Sigma, www.sigmaphoto.com.
Expand your gear-carrying options using a pair of new straps from SunSniper. With the Back-Pack-Strap, you can carry your backpack while using it as an additional camera strap for a DSLR. The strap clips onto your bag and has a stainless-steel ball-bearing camera connector, as well as a steel wire that runs through the channels of the strap. The weight of your camera gear is evenly distributed through the backpack's shoulder pad. With the Strap-Surfer, the camera rests by your side and is ready whenever you need it. Just clip the strap to your bag and attach the stainless-steel bearing connector to your camera's tripod socket. Estimated Street Price: $67 (Back-Pack-Strap); $96 (Strap-Surfer). Contact: SunSniper, www.sunsniperusa.com.
For wildlife photographers who often have two cameras strapped to their bodies, the Xit Group has created the Quick-Release Dual-Shoulder Camera Neck Strap to make toting around two cameras more comfortable and convenient. The strap is ergonomically designed to distribute weight evenly through the widening shoulder pads. The strap uses Velcro® and metal lock fasteners, allowing quick adjustment of strap length while standing up to rigorous usage. Included are two quick-release plates with ¼" threads for connecting the camera to a device with a ¼" screw. The strap can be divided into two separate camera straps for use individually. Estimated Street Price: $29. Contact: Xit Group, www.xit-group.com.
Perfect to pair with your GoPro HERO, the Steadicam Smoothee eliminates unwanted shake that's associated with handheld shooting, allowing you to focus on capturing the story in front of you. The quick-release mount makes it easy to switch between the Smoothee and a tripod for shot variety. The 8x14.5x2.5-inch (WxHxD) rig is small and light, effortlessly fitting into your kit. Estimated Street Price: $149. Contact: Tiffen, www.tiffen.com.
Capturing smooth, fluid motion shots is difficult when you're moving quickly on a rough hiking trail. The ZeroGrav Camera Stabilizer by Flashpoint uses a dynamic spring-powered arm supporting a gimbaled carbon-fiber monopod to create an "anti-gravity" effect, making steady motion shots effortless. Levers, springs, counterbalance weights and concentric rings allow you to control the movements that you want, while avoiding unwanted bumps from jagged terrain. A DSLR is connected directly to the stabilizer platform or with a quick-release adapter. Set the true balance for the rig by sliding the socket port into the handle on a standard-dimension light stand. Make quick calibration adjustments with scale and north-south, east-west knobs. List Price: $300. Contact: Flashpoint (Adorama), www.adorama.com.
The unique design of the Giottos YTL Tripod makes it a light and easy travel companion. The new "Y"-shaped center column adds strength and rigidity to the tripod while allowing the legs to close 30% closer to the center than traditional round center columns, reducing bulk and weight. The legs have three adjustable angle positions with separate locks on each leg. The Giottos Quick Lever leg lock system and index markers on the lowest leg section make setup smooth, even with gloved hands. The 2-way version allows you to raise, lower and reverse the center column, while the 3-way version allows you to move through 180º and lock the center column where needed. Available in aluminum or carbon fiber. Estimated Street Price: $149 to $456. Contact: Giottos (HP Marketing Corp.), www.hpmarketingcorp.com.


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