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Popular Photography February 2014

Popular Photography brings you step-by-step secrets of the pros for taking their most amazing shots. You’ll discover the best equipment at the best prices, get comprehensive comparative reports on cameras, lenses, film, digital equipment, printers, scanners, software, accessories and so much more. Get Popular Photography digital magazine subscription today.

United States
Bonnier Corporation
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2 min.
the last picture show?

Once we'd polished off all of the pizzas, the party shifted to the living room. My brother-in-law set up the roll-down screen on its stand while I stacked two tables behind the sofa opposite it and hoisted the heavy black apparatus on top. “What is that?” my teenaged cousin asked. “It's a slide projector.” “But what is it?” I showed her a 35mm Kodachrome. She had never seen a slide before, but she was about to see a lot of them. We had a stack of slide carousels at the ready, loaded with family photos dating back to the early 1940s. In the darkened room, up flashed my father and uncle playing football in the backyard as boys, my mother's parents on the gangway of a ship heading to Europe, my mother and sisters in…

1 min.
zeiss touit 50mm f/2.8 macro

EARLY IN 2013, Zeiss made a splash with its Touit line for interchangeable-lens compact cameras by debuting two bright, incredibly sharp prime lenses. The 32mm f/1.8 and 12mm f/2.8 both scored excellent numbers on our optical bench in the Popular Photography Test Lab, and they suppressed distortion and vignetting with aplomb, so we expect more of the same with the latest Touit, a 50mm f/2.8 macro. Scaling to a 75mm full-frame equivalent on APS-C-format bodies, this medium tele's slight compression should suit it well to portraits. But it's a macro lens, after all, so its true calling will be life-sized 1:1 magnified close-ups from as near as 1.97 inches. Unfortunately, the first two Touits had relatively loud, slow autofocus motors, so the 50mm's AF may turn out to be neither silent nor…

1 min.
tough zoom

THE FIRST zoom in Pentax's DA Limited line of lenses from Ricoh, the 20–40mm f/2.8–4 ED DC WR is also the first weather-sealed lens in the company's more upscale line. This model, a 30–60mm full-frame equivalent, includes Pentax's multi-layer HD coating to help cut down on ghosting and flare. Its barrel, hood, and cap are all made of aluminum. It houses nine elements in eight groups, including both extra-low (ED) and super-low dispersion glass. The nine-blade diaphragm stops down to a minimum of f/22 to f/32, depending on focal length, and it is controlled digitally by the camera—there's no aperture ring on the lens barrel. Weighing in at 10 ounces, the lens comes in either silver or black finish and takes 55mm filters. The lens has a distance scale on the barrel…

1 min.
4k on a budget

4K IS MORE than just the latest buzzword being used to sell you a huge TV. Pro photographers are using 4K digital cinema cameras to make both still and moving images for their clients, but until now, they had to spend tens of thousands of dollars to do so (for more, see “4K Future” on page 66). Blackmagic's new Production Camera 4K, first announced last spring and delayed by production woes, finally is slated to arrive this month. It packs millions more pixels into the same body as last year's 2.5K Production Camera, capturing video in CinemaDNG RAW and ProRes 422 at up to 3840x2160 resolution, all for under $4,000. Blackmagic claims the 21.12x11.88mm sensor captures up to 12 stops of dynamic range. The camera accepts all Canon EF and Zeiss…

1 min.
handy head

PHOTOGRAPHERS love ballheads for quick adjustments, but when your shot requires a bit more precision, a panhead does the job better. Induro's new PHD3 multi-axis panhead for its Series 2 and 3 tripods uses a single locking knob to control both front-to-back and side-to-side tilt for one-handed adjustments, similar to a ballhead. Just under 5 inches tall, the head weighs 1.7 pounds, sports a top-mounted bubble level, and offers a 360-degree panning range. The maximum load for front-to-back tilt is more than 88 pounds, and just over 44 pounds for side-to-side. It comes with a 10-year warranty. Induro PHD3 multi-axis panhead $385, street www.indurogear.com…

1 min.
one lens fits all

AS WITH its 16mm f/2, Rokinon has built its new ultrawide 10mm f/2.8 manual-focus lens in almost every contemporary mount available in the U.S. So you'll find a lens to fit your Canon EOS and M, Nikon AE, Pentax K, Sony A and E, Fujifilm X, Samsung NX, Four Thirds, and Micro Four Thirds cameras, with a different physical size to suit the specs for each camera brand. And, of course, the Four Thirds-sensor versions have a narrower equivalent focal length (20mm) than the APS-C-format models (15mm or 16mm); its image circle isn't big enough for full-frame. The lens boasts 14 elements in nine groups, including two aspherical and one extra-low dispersion elements. A Nano coating fights ghosting and flare. The minimum aperture is f/22. Rokinon 10mm f/2.8 ED AS NCS CS $499,…