STABLE LENS The Sigma 17-50mm ƒ/2.8 EX DC OS HSM is a compact, fast-aperture standard zoom with optical stabilization. With two FLD glass elements, one hybrid aspherical lens element and two glass-mold elements, the lens corrects for all types of aberrations. FLD glass is comparable to fluorite, which is less dense, making for lighter lenses. Sigma’s Optical Stabilization feature allows you to use shutter speeds up to four stops slower than would be possible otherwise. Sony and Pentax shooters can choose to use the OS system in either the lens or the camera body, a feature unique to Sigma. Additional features include a minimum focusing distance of 11 inches throughout the entire zoom range and a magnification ratio of 1:5. The lens is designed for DSLRs with APS-C-sized sensors. Estimated Street Price: $669. Contact: Sigma, (800) 896-6858, www.sigmaphoto.com.
The Novoflex EOS/NIK NT adapter gives you the option of mounting a Nikon lens on a Canon camera body. It works with all Nikon lenses, including the G series. A lever on the side of the adapter allows you to control the aperture on G-series lenses. Automatic exposure metering via stop-down metering is possible, as is aperture priority auto exposure. For those not using the G series, Novoflex offers its original Nikon-to-Canon adapter, the EOS/NIK. Additionally, Novoflex provides a full range of lens-to-body adapters for most 35mm and DSLR cameras, as well as for Leica M cameras. Estimated Street Price: TBA. Contact: HP Marketing Corp., (800) 735-4373, www.hpmarketingcorp.com.
The Lexar Multi-Card 24-in-1 USB Reader features five slots for supporting 24 memory-card formats, including SDHC and other SD types, CompactFlash, Memory Stick and more. It allows concurrent downloads and card-to-card file transfer. The unit was developed with a unique pop-up design, allowing the card slots to be protected when not in use, and comes equipped with a Hi-Speed USB 2.0 cable. Estimated Street Price: $29. Contact: Lexar, (800) 789-9418, www.lexar.com.
Draw more attention to your landscape and wildlife shots by manipulating depth of field, creating motion blur and simulating other effects usually reserved for expensive tilt-shift or special-effects lenses using Alien Skin Software Bokeh 2. Based on experimenting with lenses like the Canon EF 85mm ƒ/1.2 II and the Nikon 105mm ƒ/2.8 Macro, the software is capable of replicating the blur and creamy highlights created by actual lenses. Every aspect of lens blurring can be customized, from highlight intensity and shape to motion blur and vignette. The preview function is now faster and more interactive, making experimentation easier. Estimated Street Price: $199. Contact: Alien Skin Software, (888) 921-SKIN, www.alienskin.com.
For HD-DSLR shooters, the Slik PRO 500HD tripod and SH-736HD fluid-effect panhead are designed specifically for your needs. Fine drag controls for tilting and panning are separate from the tilt-and-drag control locks. The SH-736HD also can be positioned vertically, adding to its versatility. With an all-metal construction, movements are smooth and fluid. Load capacity is 10 pounds, so it’s capable of holding a body such as the Canon EOS 5D Mark II and 70-200mm ƒ/2.8 lens. Estimated Street Price: $159. Contact: Slik (THK Photo Products), (800) 421-1141, www.thkphoto.com.