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April 2007 Archives

April 1, 2007

Pro Review: Think Tank Photo rotation360°

200704we_thinktank360_01 By Ellis Vener

Think Tank Photo makes some of the best thought out, best designed and best made carriers for photographic gear. Starting with the Airport Security roll-on case, and the Pro Modulus belt system, their core understanding of the way photographers, especially photojournalists, work shows up in the details of all of the Think Tank products I've tested. How would they solve the backpack problem? Carrying gear on your back makes sense if you are going to be out all day, but it's a pain to deal with. The pack has to come off your back so you can to get to what you want or to stow it away, and the part that spends the rest of the day next to you always ends up down in location muck and grit when you lay the pack down to gain access.

The rotation360˚ backpack is this company’s answer to these problems. The rotation360˚ integrates  a large belt bag and backpack, with some extras thrown in. Unlike the Lowepro SlingShot, the entire bag does not rotate around to the front of your body, only the  lower half. The design philosophy here is that once you are on the job, you’ll have your cameras out, hanging around your neck or shoulders, or on front on the built-in D-rings on the pack's shoulder straps.

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Supplement: Survey of Lab Services

In conjunction with Wendell Benedetti's article, "What a Lab Wants," in the April issue of Professional Photographer, we gathered information from a large sampling of labs that provide  services for professional photographers. We've compiled the information into a chart with links to each lab's Web site.

Download the 2007 Lab Information Chart

Digital Infrared Travel Photography

Photograph the sights using invisible light

By Joe Farace

Travel photography is an ever-expanding genre. Once it was enough to just be there and take a photograph. Then you were expected to deliver that image in color. Now your image should capture an impression of that faraway place. I’d like to add another tool to your travel shooters toolkit: digital infrared photography. To be sure, there’s nothing new about black-and-white travel photography, but you deliver something special when you capture some of your next travel images with invisible light.

The World of Invisible Light

Every photographer knows about how visible light is used to capture photographic images but there are other kinds of light that we can’t see. Light with wavelengths from 700 and 900nm (nanometers) is called infrared light. Interestingly, this band of infrared light is a thousand times wider than that of visible light but is invisible to our eyes.

Back in the bad old days of shooting infrared film, you had to use special film, and load and unload your camera in total darkness to reduce the damage of fogging. To shoot IR film you also needed special—that part hasn’t changed—filters and either process the film yourself or find an ever-dwindling pool of specialty labs to do it for you. Shooting infrared film it more click-and-hope than a sure thing, but digital IR images can be made in-camera, and you’ll see the results immediately on the LCD screen.


Caption: The star-shaped Fuerte de San Diego in Acapulco is named for a viceroy of New Spain, Diego Fernández de Córdoba. This is one of its gateways and was originally photographed as a monochrome infrared image with my converted Canon EOS D60. Exposure was 1/60 second at f/11, ISO 400, with +1-stop exposure compensation. Color was added to the original uncorrected image file using Brad Buskey’s InfraRed Adjustment Action. Like all tweaks, the more color you start with, the more color you end up with, but I liked the subtle hand-colored effect. ©2006 Joe Farace

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Pro Review: Argraph Remote Shutter Controller

200704we_01argraphA simple, economical solution for remote firing

By Stan Sholik

Ever wished you could be taking photos in two places at once? Well, a small inexpensive camera triggering system distributed by Argraph can make your wish come true. Known as the Twin1 Infrared Wired/Wireless Shutter Release System, it consists of a transmitter the size of a stack of guitar-picks and a receiver the size of a stack of quarters. If you’re fortunate enough to be using a camera with a built-in infrared receiver, such as the Canon Digital Rebel, Nikon D70s, or a Pentax or Samsung DSLR, all you’ll need is the Twin1 Infrared Wireless Remote Transmitter. Other cameras from Canon, Fujifilm and Nikon that feature an electronic release socket (remote terminal) will need the Twin1 Shutter Release Receiver unit in addition to the transmitter. The receiver plugs directly into the electronic release socket, leaving the hot shoe available for an electronic flash unit.

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Pro Review: Zeiss ZF Lenses

Zeiss Nikon-mount primes bright and beautiful

200704we_zeiss06_25a_2 200704we_zeiss07_25a_3  
Caption: These two images were both made with the Zeiss Distagon T* 2.8/25 ZF lens. The wider view shows the forced perspective possible with the lens while the close-up of the driftwood illustrates the close-focusing capability. It can actually focus in much closer, to within two inches of the front element. (Nikon F100, Ektachrome 100G, 1/250 @ f/5.6) ©Stan Sholik (Click/right-click here to download full-size wide-view image [11.5MB] or close-up [11.25MB].)

By Stan Sholik

In an autofocus/autoexposure/11X-zoom lens world, legendary lens manufacturer Carl Zeiss has introduced a line of manual focus/manual exposure/single focal length lenses for Nikon cameras. What’s up with that?

According to Zeiss, their industrial clients were the first to inquire about lenses to replace the manual focus lenses that have been discontinued by Nikon. And I would imagine that the continuing sale of adapters for Contax camera lenses to Canon cameras, along with the premium prices the lenses themselves are commanding on eBay, further confirmed the marketability of modern single focal length lenses.

Two wide-angle Distagon T*  Zeiss ZF lenses for Nikon are currently available—the 25mm f/2.8 and 35mm f/2—as well as two Planar T* lenses—the 50mm f/1.4 and 85mm f/1.4. Promised in the near future are two T* Makro-Planars, a 50mm f/2 and a 100mm f/2, which will make them the fastest small-format macro lenses available.


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April 2, 2007

Pro Review: Tamron SPAF 18-250 f/3.5-6.3 Di-II LD Aspherical Macro

200704we_tamron_18250 Tamron’s Universal Lens for Digital SLRs

By Joe Farace

Tamron offers two series of lenses specifically aimed at digital SLRs shooters. Digitally integrated design (Di) lenses are intended for use with digital SLRs while Di-II lenses, such as the AF18-250mm f/3.5-6.3 lens I tested, are expressly designed for SLRs with 24x16mm image sensors and maximized for smaller-sized imaging chips. That imager size, often called APS-C, is actually a little smaller than an APS-C film frame and much smaller than a 35mm film frame. The lens is available in Konica Minolta AF-D (a.k.a. SONY), Nikon AF-D, Pentax AF, and Canon EF mounts. (See “EF vs. EF-S Mount.”)

The AF18-250mm f/3.5-6.3 lens is compact, especially for one that has a zoom ratio of 13.9X, and features a black coating over the entire lens barrel and a gold-colored band between the focus and zoom rings letting you know it’s a Di-II lens. The rubber patterns on the focus and zoom rings are not only attractive but provide a solid gripping surface for quick handling in fast moving situations like travel and wedding photography.

Caption: To show the versatile focal length range of Tamron’s SP AF18-250mm f/3.5-6.3 Di-II lens, I attached it to a Canon EOS 30D mounted on a Flashpoint carbon fiber tripod. These two photographs were made in the same spot in Denver’s Forney Museum of Transportation. At 18mm (top) the lens shows various classic cars with a 1934 Pierce-Arrow Limousine in the foreground. With the lens at 250mm (above), I can make a close-up of the details of the Pierce-Arrow’s radiator mascot, an archer. ©2007 Joe Farace (click/right-click to download 18mm full-size image, 250mm full-size image 23.5MB each)

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April 4, 2007

Product Feature: Lensbaby Macro Kit

200704we_lensbabymacro By Joan Sherwood

One of the best parts of photography is getting to play and explore. I recently took an afternoon to put the Lensbaby G3 on my Nikon D40 (upcoming review in the May issue) and see what I could make happen. The Lensbaby has a knack for making the ordinary look extraordinary (right, Lensbaby image without macro filter), but I got even more excited when I broke out the Lensbaby Macro Kit, which is compatible with any Lensbaby lens.

The kit includes a +4 and a +10 filter that screws onto the lens. The +4 allows you to focus your Lensbaby from 6 to 13 inches away. The +10 allows focus from 3 to 6 inches. You can even stack the +4 and +10 to focus 2 to 3 inches away.

I grabbed a clamp-on lamp with a 75-watt tungsten bulb and a translucent diffuser gel, set up a table and tripod, and started looking around the house for things that would look interesting close up. I had one of the mid- to large-range aperture rings in the lens, but I'm not sure which. The Nikon D40 performed extremely well with the makeshift lighting and slow shutter speeds.

Nikon D40, 1/4 second, ISO 200, tungsten balance, Lensbaby G3 with +4 macro filter. ©2007 Joan T. Sherwood

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April 10, 2007

New and Upcoming Books Cover Adobe CS3 and Lightroom for Photographers

Press Release—Publishers O'Reilly, Peachpit, and Wiley have announced a slew of current and upcoming titles and free educational resources related to Adobe Photoshop CS3 and Photoshop Lightroom.

200704we_bookslraaland_2 O'Reilly will release Mikkel Aaland's "Photoshop Lightroom Adventure" in early June.  The book is subtitled "Mastering Adobe's next-generation tool for digital photographers. We'll post an excerpt here in Web Exclusives.

O'Reilly's Dynamic Learning Series has five titles for Adobe CS3 applications: "Learning Photoshop CS3," "Learning Dreamweaver CS3," "Learning Illustrator CS3," "Learning Flash CS3," and "Learning InDesign CS3." Each book comes with a DVD with video tutorials, lesson files and review questions. Free PDF Instructor Guides are available for download.

Upcoming releases include Deke McClelland's "Photoshop CS3 One-on-One" and "Eddie Tapp on Digital Photography: Controlling Color and Tone in Photoshop" in June.

200704we_bookslrevening New book releases from Peachpit Press include "The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Book for Digital Photographers," by Scott Kelby, $39.99; and "The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Book: The Complete Guide for Photographers," by Martin Evening, $40.00.

Upcoming releases include "Adobe  Photoshop CS3 Classroom in a Book" in April from Adobe Press, "The Photoshop CS3 Book for Digital Photographers" by Scott Kelby in May, and "Real World Camera Raw with Adobe Photoshop CS3" by Bruce Fraser and Jeff Schewe in the fall.

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April 11, 2007

Kingston Invites Visitors to Interact with 'Icons of Photography'

Sports Illustrated photographer Peter Read Miller answers 20 Questions to kick-off the new microsite that encourages visitor participation with Ask the Icon and Critique My Image features

Press Release—Kingston Technology Company, Inc., has launched a series of interviews with photographers on its Icons of Photography Web site. The first interview is with award-winning Sports Illustrated photographer Peter Read Miller. The 20 Questions interview series provides visitors with an up-close and personal look at some of today’s most respected photographers. With this new series, Kingston also debuts a newly-designed Web site created to encourage visitor participation and interaction with Kingston’s Icons.

Kingston wants visitors to its Icons of Photography Web site to take an active role through new features including Ask the Icon, which gives photographers an opportunity to submit their own questions and Critique My Image, which invites photographers to submit their favorite photo to be constructively critiqued by one of Kingston’s Icons.


“The ‘Icons of Photography’ Web site was originally created as an educational forum where photographers—professional and enthusiast—could learn helpful tips from some of the world’s most respected photographers,” says Jaja Lin, Flash marketing manager, Kingston. “The fact that our customers now have an opportunity to interact with the Icons, either by asking them a direct question or having one of their images critiqued, provides even greater educational value because it promotes the sharing of ideas.”

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About April 2007

This page contains all entries posted to Professional Photographer Magazine Web Exclusives in April 2007. They are listed from oldest to newest.

March 2007 is the previous archive.

May 2007 is the next archive.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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