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Tuesday, August 3, 2010

In Focus: September 2010




This Article Features Photo Zoom
FAST PRIME
Round out your lens collection with the Sigma 85mm ƒ/1.4 EX DG HSM, a large-aperture medium-telephoto. Designed for use with full-frame DSLRs, the lens can be used with smaller APS-C-sized sensors and the focal length increases to about 127.5mm. A Special Low Dispersion glass element and a glass mold element correct aberrations, ensuring high-quality optical performance. The Hyper Sonic Motor provides quiet, high-speed autofocusing and full-time manual-focus capability. The 85mm features a minimum focusing distance of 33.5 inches and a maximum magnification of 1:8.6. Estimated Street Price: TBA. Contact: Sigma, (800) 896-6858, www.sigmaphoto.com.
WORKFLOW MANAGEMENT
Streamline how you view, evaluate, sort and select images for processing with Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3. A faster interface, improved noise reduction, lens-correction controls and support for tethered shooting are just some of the top-notch features included in this latest version. With 64-bit capability, the app is more robust for handling large image libraries, and the RAW processing engine contains noise-reduction and sharpening tools. If you shoot with an HD-capable DSLR, Lightroom now lets you import and manage video files. During import, previews and default selections have been added to give you quick access for sorting through and finding images. Estimated Street Price: $299 (new); $99 (upgrade). Contact: Adobe, (800) 833-6687, www.adobe.com.
HIGH-SPEED CARDS
Shoot longer without having to worry about switching memory cards using the Lexar Professional 133x Secure Digital High Capacity memory cards. Larger capacities and faster write speeds make the cards ideal if you shoot higher-resolution photos and full-motion, high-definition video files. They’re offered in sizes of 8 GB, 16 GB and 32 GB with a write speed of 20 MB/s. The fast transfer rate also helps accelerate downloading images from the card to your computer. Estimated Street Price: $259 (32 GB); $149 (16 GB); $89 (8 GB). Contact: Lexar, (800) 789-9418, www.lexar.com.
DIGITAL TO FILM
Give your dramatic landscape images a vintage look using Alien Skin Software Exposure 3. Simulate the look of Technicolor’s brilliant colors and the brown skin tones of early Kodachrome. Vignette, dust and scratch features make vintage processes like Autochrome, Calotype and Daguerreotype look more authentic. Aside from adjusting the grain’s structure size, the software allows you to alter how much grain texture is visible in the highlights, midtones and shadows of the image. Other new features include more than 500 presets, support for Lightroom and 64-bit Photoshop CS5, and faster preview updates. Estimated Street Price: $249. Contact: Alien Skin Software, (888) 921-7546, www.alienskin.com.
SHARP GLASS
For Leica users, the revised version of the Summilux-M 35mm ƒ/1.4 ASPH features a floating lens-element design for delivering images that are noticeably sharper and with improved contrast. The floating group changes its position relative to the front lens group during focusing. The lens is optimized for use with digital Leica M models and has a focusing range of 2.3 feet to infinity. A full-metal, rectangular, screw-mount lens hood helps keep the body compact and lightweight at just 11 ounces. Estimated Street Price: $4,995. Contact: Leica, (800) 222-0118, www.leica-camera.us.

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