Weekend Wrap For February 25, 2011

Photography news of the week in review




Samsung announces 5 new NX-Series Lenses
Samsung this week added five new lenses to its unique NX series for the NX100 MILC featuring i-Function, which lets users control camera settings from adjustment rings on the lens rather than from traditional control knobs on the camera body. The lenses will be introduced over the course of the year starting in May. No prices have been announced yet.

Samsung’s new lenses are:

  • 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 multi-purpose long-range zoom with Optical Image Stabilization, silent AF. Available in May
  • 16mm f/2.4 Ultra-Wide Pancake Lens. Available in July.
  • 60mm f/2.8 Macro with quiet AF, Optical Image Stabilization, manual focus. Available in August.
  • 85mm f/1.4 CSC, a premium portrait lens. Available in October.
  • 16-80mm f/3.5-4.5 Advanced Standard Zoom, optimized for use while shooting HD videos. Available in December.


Kodak Unveils Professional Portra 160 Film, Kills 160NC and 160VC

Kodak has just announced a new portrait film for the digital age, Portra 160, which the company says sports a significantly finer grain structure for an ISO 160 color negative film. Showcased this week at WPPI, the film is said to deliver exceptional skin tones. According to pro photographer Ryan Muirhead, the film has excellent latitude and “is a dream to scan…using the proper exposure, I often find myself cutting Photoshop out of my workflow.”

Portra 160 will replace Portra 160NC  and Portra 160VC , which have been discontinued. Kodak predicts existing stock will be available through April, so fill up your freezer now.


How will Thunderbolt affect photographers?
This week Apple introduced a new MacBook Pro Thunderbolt, packing Intel’s new technology which is said to have the fastest connectivity interface with data transfer speeds of up to 10 Mbps, in both directions. That translates into transfers of several gigabytes of data in seconds. That means transfer of HD Videos will soon happen a lot faster than it happens now. With so many photographers using Macs for their post-production, it’s a safe bet that the next generation of high-end digital cameras to support this new technology.


Record shipments of interchangeable-lens cameras predicted
If you’re someone who gauges the health of the photo industry based on the numbers of cameras being made and shipped, there’s good news. Shipments of interchangeable-lens cameras increased 13.2% last year, thanks to the success of the new mirrorless interchangeable-lens compact (MILC) cameras such as the Olympus E-PL2 (above). CIPA’s predicting a 21% increase of interchangeable lens cameras for 2011. That’s 13.8 million cameras!


Photogenic announces powerful 250Ws Monolight
More news out of WPPI this week: Photogenic launched the PL625DR and PL625DRC moonlights. The PL625DR has a 6-stop flash output range from 7.8 to 250 watt seconds; the DRC version adds to that a UV-coated flash tube. Both models feature a 1/2000 second flash duration at full power, and power can be adjusted to 1/10 stop increments. The 250-watt modeling lamp can be set to full output, proportional, manual control, or off. Guide number at ISO 100 at 10 feet: 130.

Other features:
•    Quick 1.25 second recycle time at full power for virtually continuous flashing
•    Visual flash indication (modeling lamp dims and then returns to set intensity)
•    Digital display of flash and modeling power settings & ready indication light
•    Auto power discharge (flash dump)
•    Built-In optical photo slave cell with IR triggering capability
•    Fan-cooled for increased operating efficiency and maximum performance
•    Built-In Surge protection & easy-press test-fire button
•    Internal thermal protection & rugged extruded aluminum housing
•    Compatible with the Photogenic PLIRC-2 Infrared Remote Control & PLICB-1 multi unit Control Center.

Induro Announces Adventure Tripods
This week, tripod maker Induro continued to increase its offerings to photographers with Adventure AKP tripods. Featuring a flip lock system and aluminum alloy legs, there are three models, including a compact four-section tripod, and two heavy-duty three-section versions, with prices ranging from $164-219.  One of Induro’s distinguishing features is the tripod head, which has handles that can fold up for easier storage and carrying.

Features of the Induro Adventure Series Tripod Kits include:
• Wide stance magnesium alloy spider with V-pattern crossbraces for greater core system stability and strength
• Rapid action quick lock leg system makes setup literally a snap
• Oversized center column locking collar provides better grip and vibration-reducing support for the column and top mounting plate
• Matched unique three-way Panhead with folding handles for easy packing and transport
• Engineered three position leg angle locks provide optimum contact between the legs and the spider for greater stability at any angle
• A unique threaded accessory mount socket lets users attach articulated arms, clamps and other mounting devices directly onto the tripod
• Elegant non-reflective scratch resistant professional finish
• Reversible Center Column — allows low angle shooting
• Built-in Bubble Level — for critical alignment of panning, stitching and tripod head movements
• Spring Loaded Weight Hook — allows hanging additional weight for added stability during windy conditions
• Closed Cell Foam Grip — provides comfortable, positive handling during cold or wet conditions
• Non-Rotating Leg Sections — for quick and easy setup
• Included Tool Kit and Deluxe Carrying Bag and Strap
• 5-year limited U.S. Warranty — 2 years (+3 with online Registration = 5 total)


And finally: Pictures of the Year
The New York Times’ Lens blog, which covers photography and visual journalism, has good coverage of the Missouri School of Journalism’s winers of the Pictures of the Year International Competition. The images are from 2010 and cover a range from anti-government protests in Bangkok to the Hatian earthquake to the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico. Check out some amazing photojournalism.


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