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Monday, November 1, 2004

OP Editors' Picks 2004

New technologies mean exceptional gear for photographers

7) Singh-Ray Vari-ND
The Singh-Ray Vari-ND is a double-polarizer that acts like a heavy-duty ND filter, knocking down from two to eight stops of light. We've found it handy for blurring clouds moving across a scene or softening flowing water in broad daylight. List Price: $340. Contact: Singh-Ray, (800) 486-5501, www.singh-ray.com.—ZS

8) Sigma 80-400mm ƒ/4.5-5.6 EX OS APO
We have to compliment Sigma for developing an image-stabilizing lens so photographers have more choices. The Sigma 80-400mm ƒ/4.5-5.6 EX OS APO is a beauty, nicely designed on the outside, and includes low-dispersion glass elements on the inside for high-quality images. Street Price: $1,200. Contact: Sigma, (800) 896-6858, www.sigma-photo.com.—RS

9) Porter Divider Case
Need to haul a lot of camera gear through airports, hotels and the like? The newest Porter Divider Case is smaller and features a customizable panel divider system. I appreciate that it meets carry-on regulations, as I prefer not to part with my gear. List Price: $274. Contact: Porter Case, (800) 356-8348, www.portercase.com.—WP

10) HP Designjet 130
The HP Designjet 130 provides quality and extra-large prints at an affordable price. The 2,400 dpi printer uses six-color, dye-based inks to produce archival prints up to 24x64 inches. List Price: $1,295. Contact: Hewlett-Packard, (800) 752-0900, www.hp.com.—IP

11) Tamron Di Series Lens
I now shoot mostly digital, and since I like limited depth-of-field effects with close-ups, the newly redesigned Tamron 180mm ƒ/3.5 Di Macro (specifically designed for digital SLRs, although it also can be used on film SLRs) makes my list. I like the ƒ/3.5 maximum aperture and telephoto focal length for limiting up-close depth of field. Street Price: $700. Contact: Tamron, (631) 858-8400, www.tamron.com.—CR

Nikon Coolwalker
There have been many portable storage devices intro-duced in recent years that let you transfer images from your memory card, but none have been as stylish, with such a well-designed LCD (2.5 inches) for image review, or as convenient to use (CompactFlash only) as the Nikon Coolwalker. List Price: TBA. Contact: Nikon, (800) NIKON-UX, www.nikonusa.com.—RS


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