New Gear: May/June 2015


Manfrotto has packaged their MVM250A aluminum monopod, MVA50A fluid base and MHXPRO-2W fluid video head into one MVM450A Kit for a versatile and travel-friendly video monopod. The MVM250A monopod is a light 2.5 pounds itself, yet supports up to 17.64 pounds, with a height of 26.38 inches up to 75.2 inches. The MVA50A fluid base converts the still photo monopod into a video monopod. It includes three rugged feet that support equipment on uneven terrain and can be folded up for compact transport. The final component of the kit is the MHXPRO-2W fluid head with a 200PL quick-release plate for switching between photo and video plates. The head offers a fluidity selector to easily switch between quick or slow tilt movements. The MHXPRO-2W weighs 1.54 pounds and supports 8.8 pounds. Each kit component is also available individually. List Price: $249 (Kit); $169 (MVM250A monopod); $109 (MVA50A fluid base). Contact: Manfrotto,


Easy to set up, quick to tear down and with highly controllable light, the new 32-inch Rapid Box Octa Duo from Westcott is perfect for location photographers. The Duo features the same reflective silver interior, durable umbrella frame and lightweight construction of the original Rapid Box series, but the Duo offers the option to mount up to two speedlights. The built-in solid metal mounting tilt bracket is fully adjustable for speedlights of all sizes. The adjustable back collar prevents light leaks while allowing access to speedlight controls. An optional deflector plate and grid offer additional light control. Estimated Street Price: $269. Contact: Westcott,


Expanding the successful Glow HexaPop portable strobe line, Flashpoint has developed a softbox and umbrella modifier blend with the Glow ParaPop 28. The 12-sided, parabolic-shaped softbox has a 28-inch diameter and 19.5-inch depth, providing a 105° light spread with graduated subtle shadows. Made from heat-resistant UV-A and UV-R diffuser material with internal silver reflector fabric, it’s lightweight with reinforced support rod pockets, seams and Velcro® closures. The speedring assembly is compatible with most brands of flash heads, monolights and speedlights. The ParaPop 28 comes with removable inner and outer diffusers, a removable cold-shoe, angle-adjustable shoe bracket and protective case. List Price: $229. Contact: Flashpoint (Adorama),


Sigma has introduced the new 24mm F/1.4 DG HSM Art lens for full-frame DSLRs (38mm when used with an APS-C sensor). A fast wide lens that’s versatile among many still photography genres, it’s also useful for video work. The nine-blade aperture provides a rounded bokeh. The 15 optical elements in 11 groups include FLD and SLD glass for minimal chromatic aberration, particularly at the edges of the frame. An aspherical element has been placed at the rear of the lens to improve performance when shooting wide open by correcting axial chromatic aberration and sagittal coma flare. Easily switch from autofocus to manual override by rotating the focus ring, a feature introduced by the 50mm Art lens.
The 24mm F/1.4 DG HSM Art lens is compatible with the Sigma USB dock and the Mount Conversion service. List Price: $849. Contact: Sigma,

ProTactic 350 AW; ProTactic 450 AW


Urban photographers will gravitate toward the clean look and versatility of the Lowepro ProTactic backpack series. For quick access to your gear, the ProTactic provides four access points: the turret-loading top, quick-grab pockets on each side and a back entry for full access to your kit. The ProTactic 350 AW holds up to two pro DSLR cameras with one 24-70mm lens attached and up to six additional lenses/speedlights. The slightly larger ProTactic 450 AW holds up to two pro DSLR cameras with grips attached and one 70-200mm lens attached, and up to eight additional lenses/speedlights. The MaxFit padded dividers are adjustable for your camera kit, and the CradleFit system suspends and protects your laptop within the bag. ActivZone System technology supports shoulder blades and the lower back, and the removable waist belt provides two zippered hip pockets. Multiple additional interior and exterior pockets keep you organized, while the optional SlipLock strap system offers modular components, including accessory cases and a water bottle pouch. A tripod cinch strap, tripod cup and All Weather rain cover are included. List Price: $199 (350 AW); $249 (450 AW). Contact: Lowepro,

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