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Tuesday, March 1, 2005

Gadget Bag: Light In The Field

Flash units and accessories can make a difference in your outdoor photography

Nissin Digislave Ver. 1.5
(800) 421-1141 • www.thkphoto.com
An ultra-compact slave flash weighing only 2.6 ounces, the Nissin Digislave version 1.5 works with virtually any digital camera. It accounts for the pre-flashes emitted by digital cameras and flashes and accurately syncs with the master flash. With a guide number of 39 (35mm), the flash can supplement your camera's built-in flash or be placed practically anywhere to be used as a fill light or to illuminate the background. Its affordable price makes it possible to own and use multiple slaves for creative lighting situations. List Price: $43.

Olympus FL-50
(888) 553-4448 • www.olympusamerica.com
Designed to work fluidly with the Olympus 4/3-sensor digital camera line (EV-1 and EV-300), this versatile flash delivers a guide number of 118 (35mm) at a weight of 13.6 ounces. Along with its Automatic TTL, Automatic and Manual modes, the Olympus FL-50 includes a high-speed sync mode that allows for flash sync at shutter speeds as high as 1?4000 sec. Because it's designed specifically for digital capture, there's noticeably less fall-off in the corners of the image when compared to traditional flashes used on other cameras. List Price: $550.

Pentax AF-500FTZ

(800) 877-0155 • www.pentaximaging.com
The Pentax AF-500FTZ flash works with the broad line of Pentax 35mm and medium-format cameras, along with Pentax's latest digital SLRs. With a guide number of 118 (35mm) and a weight of 13.6 ounces, the flash includes a trailing shutter sync so that the flash is triggered at the end of a long shutter speed rather than at the beginning. This creates a natural streaking effect behind the subject. The flash also has a multiple-burst mode for a stroboscopic effect and an autofocus spot beam to aid the camera in focusing in low-light conditions. It offers wide-angle coverage up to 24mm. List Price: $533.

Phoenix D91-BZS

(410) 374-3250 • www.phoenixcorp.com
Usable as either a primary or slave flash, the Phoenix D91-BZS is both versatile and affordable. With a guide number of 91 (50mm), the flash provides an adjustable zoom and a pan-and-tilt head. It's optimized to work as a slave flash with virtually any digital camera system, even compact models. The flash, which weighs just 8.7 ounces, includes wide-angle coverage up to 28mm, a convenient bracket and a table-top tripod, allowing you to position the slave-flash practically anywhere. List Price: $99.95.

Quantum Qflash T4d

(516) 222-6000 • www.qtm.com
The chameleon of flashes, the Quantum Qflash T4d's unique design provides the ability to totally transform the quality of light. Its interchangeable head system allows you to illuminate a subject using a parabolic reflector, a bare bulb or a wide-angle, diffused or telephoto reflector. With its standard head, it provides coverage up to 40mm; use its flat diffuser head and achieve coverage up to 28mm. The bare bulb provides full 360-degree coverage. Optimized for digital cameras, the flash offers a guide number of 114 (with its normal reflector) and weighs 23 ounces. The flash delivers accurate exposures through its own QTTL flash metering system and can calibrate the flash to a light meter for total control. List Price: $775.

Sigma EF-500 DG Super
(800) 896-6858 • www.sigma-photo.com
The Sigma EF-500 DG Super is available for Canon, Nikon and Pentax cameras, as well as Sigma's own digital SLRs. Weighing 11.8 ounces, the flash provides a guide number of 115 (35mm) and includes functions such as wireless TTL exposure control, high-speed synchronization, a slave feature and a modeling light. Providing wide-angle coverage up to 17mm, the flash is fully compatible with the new Canon E-TTL II and Nikon i-TTL flash metering systems for improved flash accuracy, even under extreme tonal ranges and lighting conditions. List Price: $289.

Sunpak PZ-40X
(973) 428-9800 • www.sunpak.com
The ultra-compact PZ-40X is filled with features. Available for Canon, Minolta and Nikon cameras, it has a guide number of 102 (50mm), five power settings up to 1?16 power for precise manual control and a full-info backlit LCD, all while weighing only 7.2 ounces. It offers wide-angle coverage up to 24mm (17mm with an optional adapter) and a built-in IR (infrared) AF assist beam to help the camera focus under low-light conditions. It's powered by just two AA-sized alkaline or NiMH batteries. List Price: $199.95



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