In Focus: January/February 2016

LENSBABY COMPOSER PRO II WITH EDGE 50 OPTIC
Bring a unique look to your landscape and close-up photography with Lensbaby’s Composer Pro II with Edge 50 Optic. Tilt the lens body up to 15º to create beautiful soft-focus effects around a sharp subject, adjusting your focal distance and aperture for precise control over depth of field. The included 50mm lens has a maximum aperture of ƒ/3.2 and can focus as close as 8 inches. There’s a fun simulator online (lensbaby.com/usa/sim-e50.php) that gives you an idea of what’s possible with the lens. It’s available in mounts for Canon, Fujifilm, Micro Four Thirds, Nikon, Pentax, Samsung and Sony. List Price: $424.95. Contact: Lensbaby, lensbaby.com.

MANFROTTO D1 BACKPACK FOR DJI PHANTOM
Here’s a convenient solution for carrying your fully assembled drone, with room for a DSLR and zoom lens, too. The D1 Backpack’s clever design lets you unzip the front of the pack, drop in your DJI Phantom and zip it back up to quickly secure the drone when moving from one location to another, without removing the propellers. When you’re done shooting, the roomy inner compartment safely stores your drone with a separate pouch for the propellers. The pack also features a pocket for a laptop and tablet, plus a tripod attachment on the front, and includes a removable rain cover. List Price: $199. Contact: Manfrotto, manfrotto.us.

PEAK DESIGN FIELD POUCH & SLIDE LITE STRAP
Designed to carry your mirrorless camera with a pair of lenses, the Field Pouch from Peak Design is also a slick solution for organizing accessories, mobile devices, cables and the like. Loops on the back let you attach the Pouch to your belt, or add a Peak Design strap like the Slide Lite to wear it as a sling. You can also attach Peak Design’s Capture Camera Clip to the front of the pouch for a handy quick-release mount. Inside the main pocket are six additional pockets: four expandable pockets in the back and two more protected by a zippered enclosure at the front. List Price: $39.95. Contact: Peak Design, peakdesign.com.

EPSON LEGACY PAPERS
A line of ultra-premium, professional papers created to produce gallery prints suitable for collecting, Epson’s new Legacy papers are the result of a collaboration with paper makers, art galleries and chemical engineers, achieving an image permanence rating of 200 years for color prints and 400 years for black-and-white (when used with Epson HD and HDX inks). These acid- and lignin-free papers will be available in four variants, Baryta, Etching, Fibre and Platine, in cut-sheet sizes of 8.5x11 inches, 13x19 inches and 17x22 inches, as well as rolls in widths of 17, 24 and 44 inches. List Price: TBA. Contact: Epson, epson.com.

SIGMA 20mm F1.4 DG HSM | A
A new wide prime designed for full-frame cameras (but also compatible with APS-C-sensor cameras), the Sigma 20mm F1.4 DG HSM | A offers a fast maximum aperture of ƒ/1.4. Sigma states that particular attention was paid to achieving edge-to-edge image quality, with minimal spherical and chromatic aberration. The wide perspective makes it an excellent choice for landscape and travel photography. Available in Canon, Nikon and Sigma mounts, it’s compatible with Sigma’s USB Dock, which allows you to install firmware updates and customize some performance aspects of the lens. List Price: $899. Contact: Sigma, sigmaphoto.com.

TITANSTRAPS
Attach a tripod. Cinch a sleeping bag. Tame cords and cables. Strap down just about anything—like an off-camera flash to a homemade wooden Arca-Swiss plate, shown here as used by TitanStraps inventor Cameron Lawson. TitanStraps are available in three lengths, 14 inches, 18 inches and 25 inches, and can also be daisy-chained together for tethering larger items. Made from polyurethane that’s injected with a UV inhibitor to enhance longevity, these straps are easy to adjust, non-marring and achieve a tight grip. TitanStraps claims a working load limit of 70 pounds. List Price: From $7.50. Contact: TitanStraps, titanstraps.com.

ABLE ARCHER RUCKSACK
If you prefer that your camera pack not look like a camera pack, consider the Able Archer line of packs with retro military surplus style. The roomy Rucksack has space for your camera and lenses with access through the sides of the pack, and an upper compartment for organizing accessories, cables and the like. There’s also a neoprene-lined compartment to carry a laptop up to 17 inches. Constructed of water-resistant canvas on the outside and nylon inside, the Rucksack also features waterproof zippers for extra weather protection. List Price: $350. Contact: Able Archer, ablearcher.co.

CANON EOS M10
The latest model in Canon’s EOS M mirrorless lineup, the 18-megapixel EOS M10 is the entry-level body for the system, but in some ways is more advanced than the 24.2-megapixel M3, with an increased max ISO of 25600 (compared to the M3’s 6400) and a slightly faster capture rate of 4.6 fps (versus 4.2 fps). The M10 features an APS-C CMOS sensor and can capture Full HD 1080 in addition to stills, with stereo sound via the built-in mic. It also includes built-in WiFi, supporting remote control of the camera via smartphone, printing to a WiFi printer, and wireless image transfers and uploads. List Price: $599 (with EF-M 15-45mm ƒ/3.5-6.3 IS STM lens). Contact: Canon, usa.canon.com.

PATAGONIA MERINO AIR CREW
Staying warm on winter photo adventures starts with smart layering. Made from an innovative lofted knit of wool and Capilene recycled polyester, Patagonia’s Merino Air Crew is an ideal base layer for its breathability and wicking properties. Construction is high-tech, too: It’s computer-sewn around a 3D form for a completely seamless design to eliminate chafing. Available in men’s and women’s sizes. List Price: $129. Contact: Patagonia, patagonia.com.

BLACKRAPID TRIPOD PLATE
If you use a BlackRapid camera strap and an Arca-Swiss-compatible quick-release tripod mount, BlackRapid’s new Tripod Plate promises to let you switch quickly from tripod to camera strap, without needing to remove the mount plate from your camera. Available in two lengths, 50mm and 70mm, the Tripod Plate is constructed from aluminum alloy and stainless steel for durability. List Price: $39.95 (50mm); $44.95 (70mm). Contact: BlackRapid, blackrapid.com.

RED RIVER PALO DURO SOFTGLOSS RAG
With its substantial 16.5mil thickness, acid-free, 100% cotton base and neutral white tone, Red River’s OBA-free Palo Duro SoftGloss Rag paper is an excellent choice for gallery-quality archival prints. The soft gloss coating is formulated to enhance details in the deepest shadow areas of the print, with rich black reproduction. It’s available in multiple cut-sheet sizes from 5x7 to 17x25, plus rolls of 24- and 44-inch widths. List Price: From $23.49. Contact: Red River Paper, redrivercatalog.com.

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