Equipment->News: October 2005 Archives

promoaperture20051019.gifApple has come out with a product called Aperture that looks to directly challenge Adobe's Bridge preview and Camera Raw input hegemony. From what I've seen on Apple's website, it looks like a killer app (see, doing just about everything a documentary photographer would want to do. It isn't Photoshop but it's lightweight and fast and does the types of color correction, photo library management (the biggest thing for me), and formatting output that I need to do. It's retailing at $499 for civilians and $149 for academics. I've placed an order, but shipping is 6-8 weeks. Phooey!

ef_24~105_4lis_usm.jpgLuminous Landscape has a wonderful review of the new Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS lens. It sounds like a winner, except for the slightly increased barrel distortion. Contrast and resolution apparently is higher. The new lens was released this October and has the new 3-stop IS; increased weatherproofing; increased contrast/stray-light control; and features 18 optical elements (3 aspherical) in 13 groups.

I have the old EF 28-70mm f/2.8 L lens and while I'm generally happy with it, it does suffer slightly wide open at wide angles in the corners. I was thinking of replacing it with the new 24-70mm L lens, but for fieldwork, it looks like the 24-105mm f/4 L IS is a better choice since it is smaller (83.5mm Dx 107mm L), lighter (670g), and has longer range. The MSRP is ¥145,000, B&H has it for $1249.

hdp2.jpgTascam is noted for its fantastic DAT recorders which have been a standard choice for field workers, indie filmmakers, and concert bootleggers. They've just come out with a compact-flash version called the HD-P2 high-def flash recorder for $999. With 192khz/24bit fidelity, you're set to record everything up to and including bat echolocation (good luck finding a mike that can handle this!) and you don't have to worry about the tape transport noise or cleaning heads. And it supports SMTPE time-code input. What more could one want?


Canon has released new firmware for its professional series DSLRs, the photojournalist's EOS-1D Mark II and the studio EOS-1Ds Mark II:

EOS-1D Mark II: Version 1.24

  • Fixes the phenomenon of file number errors that occurred when shooting bulb exposures.
  • Fixes the phenomenon of file numbers not being sequential even if the file number setting is for sequential numbers if when a CF card is replaced while the power of the camera is switched on.
  • Improves reliability in communication when using some CF cards.

EOS-1Ds Mark II: Version 1.1.4

  • Fix the phenomenon of horizontal line noise appearing when P.Fn-21 is set to ON.
  • Fix the phenomenon of file number errors that occurred when shooting bulb exposures.
  • Improves reliability in communication when using some CF cards.

The buzz on the EOS mailing list is the significant vignetting in the corners seen on wide angle shots at open apertures with the new full-frame Canon EOS 5D. William Coburn was kind enough to show an example using a 20mm lens at f/2.8 versus f/5.6:

Now, some of this is undoubtedly due to the lens itself (most wide-angles suffer from corner darkening at full apertures), but digital sensors are susceptible to more vignetting (or more accurate, light-falloff) with wide-angle lenses* due to their surface microlens design. I decided to hold off buying the 5D until I had gotten more user reports and I'm glad to have done so. Let's see how this shakes out.

* The Epson R-D1 digital rangefinder camera has a software tool to reduce vignetting because of this problem. And people with Photoshop CS/CS2 can correct this in the RAW plugin too.

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About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Equipment->News category from October 2005.

Equipment->News: September 2005 is the previous archive.

Equipment->News: November 2005 is the next archive.

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