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Tuesday, August 4, 2009

In Focus: September 2009





This Article Features Photo Zoom
SUPER-WIDE ZOOM
Go wide with the compact Tokina AT-X 16.5-135 DX. The 16.5-135mm ƒ/3.5-5.6 AF lens gives an angle of view equivalent to 25-200mm. The lens is designed for D-SLRs with APS-C-sized sensors and has a minimum focusing distance of 19.7 inches. Three aspherical elements, an all-glass precision-molded element and two compound elements produce high contrast. Additionally, two super-low-dispersion glass elements correct chromatic aberration. Canon and Nikon mounts are available. Estimated Street Price: $599. Contact: THK Photo Products, (800) 421-1141, www.thkphoto.com.
B&W LIGHTROOM
Adobe Lightroom 2 users can instantly convert a color photograph to black-and-white with Nik Software’s Silver Efex Pro, which is now available for versions 2.3 and higher. Once installed, the app is accessible by clicking the Photo menu and rolling over Edit In. Edits are nondestructive, as each one is applied automatically to a newly generated TIFF file and not the original. The program features 18 emulated film types and a grain engine that replicates the traditional silver-halide process for top-notch black-and-white imagery. The update is available as a free download to current Silver Efex Pro users. List Price: $199 (new users). Contact: Nik Software, (619) 725-3150, www.niksoftware.com.
FLASH MEMORY
The Lexar 32 GB Platinum II SDHC card is the first to feature new 34nm technology developed by Micron that boosts capacity and storage in physically smaller cards. The memory card stores up to 12 hours of high-definition video, while delivering minimum sustained write and read speeds of 9 MBps and 12 MBps, respectively. The increased capacity also allows you to take better advantage of the camera’s burst-mode setting. List Price: $139. Contact: Lexar Media, (800) 789-9418, www.lexar.com.
WATERCOLOR RAG
Give your landscapes a distinct look and feel in the final print using Museo’s Textured Rag. The paper is reminiscent of old-world, cold-press watercolor paper and has been enhanced with an ink-receptive layer that helps make images pop. The paper is 100-percent cotton, acid-free and optimized for use with pigment-based inks. It’s compatible with dye-based, as well. Sheet sizes range from 8½x11 to 35x47 inches, and 50-foot rolls come in widths from 17 to 50 inches. Estimated Street Price: $40 (25 sheets of 8½x11). Contact: Museo, (877) 306-8736, www.museofineart.com.
SOUND CONTROL
For Canon EOS 5D Mark II shooters, a new BeachTek DXA-5D adapter makes it possible to capture professional-level sound with control and monitoring ability. The DXA-5D offers an easy way of connecting microphones and other audio gear using dual transformer-balanced XLR inputs with phantom power and built-in level meters. The built-in headphone jack allows you to monitor the audio. For the most optimal recording quality, you can dial in the proper signal levels using the adapter controls. List Price: $379. Contact: BeachTek, (416) 690-9457, www.beachtek.com.

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