2010 Editors’ Choice Awards
Our editors pick some of the best products and technologies for the new year
Lensbaby is a unique device that lets you put focus and depth of field just where you want them by tilting the flexible body. Various attachments provide you with a host of creative options. The 0.42x Super Wide Angle Conversion Lens changes the unit’s 50mm focal length to 21mm, providing both standard and wide capability with a whole new range of effects. It attaches to the front of any Lensbaby via 37mm screw threads and is compatible with the Optic Swap System as well as older models. The unit focuses down to 2.75 inches for extreme close-up effects. Estimated Street Price: $80. Contact: Lensbaby, (877) 536-7222, www.lensbaby.com.
With the versatile Toploader Pro AW from Lowepro, you can adjust the way you wear it to accommodate your activity or shooting style. The bag can be worn on your belt, your shoulder or tight against your chest in the most active situations with the Topload Chest Harness (sold separately). The tapered shape of the bag follows the lines of a pro D-SLR for a highly compact, yet protective fit. The unique grip cut-out design provides fast access to ensure you get the shot. There are three sizes, and all come with an All Weather AW Cover. Estimated Street Price: $54 to $69. Contact: Lowepro, (800) 800-LOWE, www.lowepro.com.
With an outstanding 15:1 zoom ratio, Tamron’s 18-270mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC takes your APS-C-format D-SLR from true wide-angle (equivalent to 28mm on a 35mm camera) to super telephoto territory (about 419mm equivalent). The VC stands for Vibration Compensation, which means you can use all those focal lengths when shooting handheld. Because the stabilizer is in the lens, it steadies the viewfinder image as well as the recorded one. The lens will focus down to 19.3 inches at all focal lengths, further extending its versatility. It’s available for Canon and Nikon with a built-in AF motor. Estimated Street Price: $629. Contact: Tamron USA, (631) 858-8400, www.tamron.com.
Made up of five different material surfaces, the Flashpoint 5-in-1 Collapsible Disc Reflector provides a variety of subtle or striking ways to add or reduce light in your scenes. With one collapsible reflector, which contains translucent, white, black, silver and soft gold surfaces, you gain control over specular highlights, image warmth, shadow elimination, light diffusion, and contrast reduction and gain. There are three sizes available—a 22-inch for head-and-shoulder shots, a 32-inch for portraiture, and a 42-inch for impacting fill light in large scenes. Estimated Street Price: $19 (22-inch); $34 (32-inch); $39 (42-inch). Contact: Adorama, (800) 223-2500, www.adorama.com.
This ultrawide zoom brings truly wide focal lengths to Canon and Nikon APS-C-format D-SLRs with a 35mm-equivalent focal-length range of about 17-25mm. Featuring a fast ƒ/2.8 aperture throughout its focal-length range, the lens is great for low-light, wide-angle work. An exclusive One-touch Focus Clutch mechanism makes switching between auto and manual focusing as simple as snapping the focusing ring forward (for AF) or back (for manual focusing). The lens can focus down to 11.7 inches for “wide-angle expansion” effects, and comes with a flower-designed lens hood to minimize flare. Estimated Street Price: $599. Contact: THK Photo, (800) 421-1141, www.thkphoto.com.
While it’s not going to replace your D-SLR, Apple’s ubiquitous iPhone 3GS and the growing number of apps designed for photography make it a powerful imaging tool. The built-in and upgraded 3-megapixel camera isn’t its major selling point, but as an all-around camera solution for photographers, it’s unparalleled. Controlling your D-SLR remotely? There’s an app for that. GPS? There’s an app for that. Magic-hour times? Image editing? Wireless printing? Depth-of-field calculations? There are apps for all of those, too. The iPhone’s image-preview capabilities also make it a portable portfolio, and you can share your images via e-mail or upload them online. Estimated Street Price: $199 (16 GB); $299 (32 GB). Contact: Apple, (800) MY-APPLE, www.apple.com.
Sling bags, like Tenba’s Shootout Convertible Photo Sling, are perfect when you’re out taking impromptu shots, because they allow you to grab the camera quickly without removing the pack. With plenty of room, the Shootout Convertible Medium holds one or two SLRs, three to four lenses, a flash and accessories. It’s made from weather-resistant nylon, uses weatherproof YKK zippers and has a full-access back panel for opening up and customizing the main inside compartment. You can convert it to a long-lens bag capable of holding a pro body with an attached 300mm ƒ/2.8 lens. Estimated Street Price: $99. Contact: Tenba, (914) 347-3300, www.tenba.com.
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