Photography News Issue 41

43 Accessories test

Photography News | Issue 41 |









Manfrotto Advanced Compact 1 rucksack (£79)

Lee Filters 100mm Deluxe Kit (£600)

11 Sigma USB dock (£39) If you’ve bought a Sigma lens recently – and there’s plenty of reason to with great options like the 24-35mm f/2 DG HSM and 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM – you’ll know all about the Sigma Global Vision series. These lenses are themed into Art, Contemporary and Sport lines depending on their design – and can all be plugged into Sigma’s USB Dock. This gizmo, in Sigma, Canon, Nikon, Pentax and Sony mounts, lets you tweak performance, making adjustments to things like the behaviour of the manual focus ring, the speed and limit of the AF, and the amount of cushioning provided by the lens’s Optical Stabilizer. You can also update firmware more easily. What you can fine tune depends on the lens model, but the process is very easy.

12 Velbon Geo Pod E54 monopod (£79)

Lenses for Hire (rental from £22)




Investing in small, light camera systems, like Olympus’s Micro Four Thirds or Fujifilm’s X-series means you don’t need as much space for lenses and can use smaller bags, too. Manfrotto’s Advanced Compact 1 has a customisable padded top compartment for a CSC body, and three or four lenses, and because of the top-loading design you can wear it on your front, and access them while shooting. The bag’s outer is water repellent and a rain cover is included for proper downpours, while the bottom is ballistic fabric making it resistant to tearing and scratching. The lower section is a day sack so you can include personal items there. Awell-padded back with breathable mesh and fully adjustable straps complete the picture.

You can have the best quality lenses in the world, but without great filters, you won’t be using them to their fullest. Lee Filters’ 100mm Deluxe Kit can change all that in a single swoop. Yes, it costs as much as decent lens itself, but it’s just as important as your glass in making themost of landscape subjects, and a saving on buying the kit separately. It contains five 100mm glass filters: a Landscape Polariser, a Big Stopper, a 1.2 (four stop) neutral density (ND) medium graduated filter, a 0.9 (three stop) ND hard grad, and a 0.6 (two stop) ND medium grad. You also get the filter holder and a 105mm accessory ring. If your budget can’t stretch to that, try the excellent 100mm Starter Kit at £200.

Telephoto lenses are more prone to showing camera shake than wider angles and the higher the focal length goes, the more it becomes a problem. Even if your telephoto lens has image stabilisation built in, as most now do, a monopod and suitable head can add vital sharpness to sports andwildlifepics. Try a model like Velbon’s Geo Pod E54 four-section carbon fibre/basalt composite monopod and you’ll give yourself a much steadier shooting position than handholding. The four sections add to a useful working height of 159cm, its closed length is 51cm and at 371g it’s light, too. The leg’s lever locks and rubber foot mean no slips in height, or position and it has a carry strap and foam hand grip for comfortable carrying.

Got a special event to shoot? Or want to treat yourself to a weekend with a lens you’ve always dreamed of? Then hiring is a great way of getting the gear you want without the outlay. Lenses for Hire offers a superb range of packages, with Canon, Fujifilm and Nikon fits available, and lens prices start as little as £22 for a three-day rental, though of course you can rent for longer. Tasty three-day options include the Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8 L II USM (£52), Fujinon XF 50- 140mm f/2.8 R LM OIS WR (£49), and Nikon AF-S 200-500mm f/5.6 E ED VR (£55). Delivery (including return via a pre-paid Royal Mail Special Delivery label) is £12, and Lenses for Hire makes sure you’ve got the lens the day before your hire starts.

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