Tuesday, October 26, 2010
25 Pro Gear Choices
All of us have a special piece of equipment that we never leave home without. Here, OP’s pro contributors share their key tools for getting great shots in the field.
Always to be found in my pocket is a small microfiber cloth that I use to clean my eyeglasses and my camera lenses. It does a great job in cleaning the front surface of my iPhone and iPad. Fingerprints and dust particles are quickly removed with a bit of wiping and polishing. Be careful not to polish the front element of a lens if grit is present. Blow that off first with a blower or compressed air. The cloth can be washed for years of use. The one I carry is 18% gray, just in case I need it for difficult exposures or manual color balance. They’re available in camera stores and online. —George Lepp
I love working with long exposures to record the motion of clouds, water and other elements over time. Neutral-density filters help me achieve exposures ranging from several seconds to several minutes. Lee ND filters come in various strengths, and because they fit within the Lee filter holder system, they can be easily used with other filters such as polarizers and graduated ND filters. —Ian Plant
I have a few favorite lenses that I want to be able to use regardless of the DSLR I’m taking into the field. The Novoflex EOS lens adapter lets me use a variety of favorite lenses on my Canon DSLR. —Ian Plant
This lightweight ballhead is a shining example of that unique place where elegant design meets function. Weighing in at less than one pound, this rock-solid head is an indispensable item when I’m carrying a backpack full of equipment in the backcountry or even when I’m shooting from the side of the road where weight isn’t an issue. Since I was introduced to it by a fellow pro a few years back, my other ballheads have been collecting dust in the closet. —James Kay
I love the sharpness of this lens, as well as the colors and the bokeh. And the focusing ring has a large rotation angle, making manual focusing during video recording smoother and more precise. The ZE version has a mount for my Canon EOS cameras; the lens is also available in mounts for other cameras and can be used on still others via adapters. —Jon Cornforth
This Fresnel system attaches to the front of a flash, projecting and concentrating the light to gain three stops when using lenses beyond 300mm. It folds up flat to fit in my camera bag and is ready at a moment’s notice for fill light or as the main light source, using the camera’s TTL exposure capabilities. The Better Beamer is especially useful in wildlife photography to light shadowy areas in the face of distant mammals or to achieve the fast shutter speeds necessary to capture flying birds in low-light conditions. It’s available through a number of sources, such as Arthur Morris (www.birdsasart.com) and NatureScapes (www.naturescapes.net/store). —George Lepp
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