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Thursday, August 19, 2010

Alibre inspired: 3D designers, digital fabricators and DIYers



Launches New Alibre 2010 Design Contest on Website with Cash Prizes

Richardson, TX, August 19, 2010 – Alibre Inc., the developer of the world’s most affordable professional 3D design solutions, today announced, their new social media website for Alibre inspired 3D designers, digital fabricators and DIYers. The new site is a center for Alibre designers to connect and share their latest Alibre Designs, announce new product launches, share information, ask questions, and publicize their products within the community. Launched only a week ago, already hundreds of members have signed up and posted dozens of designs on the projects page at:

Alibre Designs Featured by End-users in in August Include:

“We encourage everyone to join, share and comment on the great work of the Alibre community,” said J. Paul Grayson, CEO of Albre. “Make a profile, show off your designs, make a sale, announce a product launch, ask a question: is the place to do it.”

New Alibre 2010 Design Contest Announced

To kick off the new website, Alibre is announcing the Alibre 2010 Design Contest with prizes from $250-$1,000. Entering is simple. Just post a design created primarily in Alibre Design on There’s no need to fill out any forms to enter the design contest. A render is not required, but contest entries including renders and real world photos might be preferred in voting. Winners will be selected through online voting by Alibre users. The contest begins immediately and runs through October 15, 2010. For more information on the Alibre 2010 Design Contest, go to:

Contest entries should include:

  • A screen shot of the design using Alibre Design.
  • A description of what the design is and what it does.

Alibre 2010 Design Contest Prizes up to $1000:

Best Overall Design: $1000
Runner Up (Mechanical): $500
Runner Up (Non-Mechanical): $500
Honorable Mention: $250
Honorable Mention: $250
Honorable Mention: $250

For more information on the Alibre 2010 Design Contest, go to: To post a contest entry or to view Alibre projects, see: For more information on Alibre, see the website:

About Alibre, Inc

Alibre is the leading global provider of cost effective professional grade mechanical CAD, CAM, and PDM solutions. Founded in 1997, Richardson, Texas-based Alibre is led by Chairman and CEO J. Paul Grayson (previously CEO of Micrografx) and other graphics visionaries who are changing the landscape of 3D mechanical CAD/CAM software. Alibre develops Alibre Design™ and Alibre CAM™, the fastest growing parametric CAD/CAM solutions on the market. One fifth the cost of comparable software, Alibre Design offers the same core features as SolidWorks, Pro/E, Inventor, and other mid-range solid modeling packages at a cost that is affordable to any business or individual. Alibre CAM extends Alibre Design to provide integrated 2 1/2 to 5 axis CNC machining.

Alibre recently launched Alibre Design Personal Edition, the first low-cost, easy-to-use 3D design tool inspiring people to become entrepreneurs and set-up their own businesses by creating gadgets, products, and inventions in their homes and garages. Easy-to-use and priced at only $99, Alibre Design PE brings powerful 3D solid design modeling to everyone, from inventors, DIYers, 3D design newcomers, and design enthusiasts. The software enables people to turn their dreams into a reality by creating real physical products, inspiring a new generation of start-ups.

Used by an immensely diverse user base, Alibre Design and Alibre CAM provide design and manufacturing solutions to Fortune 500 companies, small businesses, consulting firms, machine shops, start-ups, hobbyists, inventors, teachers and students. Alibre products are distributed in 50 countries and in 15 languages. For more information on Alibre, or for a free trial of Alibre Design and Alibre CAM, please visit

All trademarks and registered trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

PDN 2010: More Than 100 Seminars announced



Wedding / Digital Video Presentations Highlight List of More Than

100 Seminars to Help Imaging Professionals Build Their Business

New York, NY – August 19, 2010 – PDN PhotoPlus International Conference + Expo has announced its 2010 seminar, keynote and special events schedule at the Jacob Javits Center in New York from October 28-30. The seminar program continues to provide cutting edge content for the evolving needs of photographers and imaging professionals, including several new wedding / portrait and digital video sessions. All totaled, more than 100 seminars, special events, and keynote presentations by industry experts will occur over three days, making PhotoPlus Expo an enormous classroom of higher learning to help attendees expand their business. Visit PhotoPlus Expo to see a complete listing of seminars and special events.

This year's seminars, special events, and keynote presentations will be conducted by many of the world's most respected and successful imaging professionals in the field of photography including Chase Jarvis, Mark Power, Jasmine Starr, Joyce Tenneson, Lauren Greenfield, Liz Von Hoene, Mark Seliger, Jim Garner, and Albert Watson, to name only a few.

"Our continued emphasis on education truly speaks to PhotoPlus's commitment to excellence in the area of photographic education," explains Lauren Wendle, Vice President and Group Publisher of Photo District News. "We continue to look at the changing market and create a learning environment to educate attendees in the areas that are most critical to their business. As such, we've expanded areas such as Wedding, Video, and Social Media, to name only a few. At PhotoPlus, we continue to be inspired by the overwhelming response we receive by attendees who view this show as a must-attend event."

Expanding business opportunities, advanced imaging techniques, and new technologies are the reasons why PDN PhotoPlus Expo has added more than 65 new seminars to the 2010 schedule. Seminars covering Wedding, Video, the Business of Photography, Marketing, Website Development, multi-Media, and Social Media are designed to educate and inspire photographers and imaging professionals at every level.

Keynote Presentations

PDN PhotoPlus Expo has secured three of the most dynamic, influential, and successful photographers to conduct the keynote presentations each day during the show. Chase Jarvis, Albert Watson, and Cristina Mittermeier will each share their experiences and insight to photography each day from 11:30 a.m. -- 12:30 p.m.

Thursday, October 28 -- Chase Jarvis (11:30 a.m.--12:30 p.m.)

"Award winning photographer Chase Jarvis shares his insights on the convergence of the photography, technology, and new media by hosting his underground online show, "chasejarvisLIVE," direct from PhotoPlus. This live broadcast promises to educate and demonstrate how Jarvis and some of his peers are re-examining and, in part, redefining creativity on a global level. Recognized by PDN as one of the 30 most influential photographers of the decade, Jarvis has set the standard as a creative who breaks the traditional rules and shares his art via digital platforms - most often with platforms of his own design. His artistic vision has helped transform his message of 'the democratization of creativity' into a global online movement, with one of the most loyal and robust online followings of any single photographer to date."

Friday, October 29 -- Albert Watson (11:30 a.m.--12:30 p.m.)

Albert Watson has been recognized by numerous organizations, including PDN, as one of the 20 most influential photographers of all time. Watson's latest masterpiece is a ten-year, behind the scenes portrait of Las Vegas, which debuts this fall with the monograph "Strip Search" and an accompanying gallery exhibit at New York's Hasted Hunt Kraeutler. Attendees will experience an intimate dialogue between Watson and legendary photo editor Laurie Kratochvil as they discuss his latest project and take questions from the audience. Two great pioneers. One stage. One day only.

Saturday, October 30 -- Cristina Mittermeier (11:30 a.m.--12:30 p.m.)

The work of conservation photographers covers a range of threats to biodiversity—everything from poaching and global warming to habitat loss and cultural erosion—and is indeed a critical component in the conversation toolbox. President of ILCP (International League of Conservation Photographers), Mittermeier spent the last year traveling from the shores of British Columbia to the Amazon rainforest to document the changing lifestyles of indigenous people due to external industrial threats to their homeland. Educational, alarming, and enlightening describe her presentation and multi-media slide show.

PDN PhotoPlus Bash—Friday Night Aboard the Intrepid

This year's annual PDN PhotoPlus Bash will take place on the Intrepid Sea, Air, & Space Museum on Friday, October 29 from 8:00 p.m.--11:00 p.m. The Intrepid Sea, Air, & Space Museum offers interactive exhibits, breathtaking views of Manhattan, and an evening of fun and Entertainment you can't afford to miss.

The Intrepid Sea, Air, & Space Museum is one of the most famous and successful ships in U.S. history, now a national historic landmark and unique attraction on the Hudson River in New York City. Attendees of this year's PDN PhotoPlus Bash will have access to the entire ship including an incredible array of sea, air, and space exhibits representing some of the most memorable moments in American history. In addition, attendees will have access to the Intrepid's flight deck, revealing breathtaking views of Manhattan. Tickets can be purchased online at

Special Events

Friday, October 29 -- Mark Power / Magnum (6:15 p.m.--7:45 p.m.) Sponsored by HP

Join Magnum photographer Mark Power in a rare public appearance as he shares his distinctive vision and recent exhibition that incorporates a fascinating mix of creativity, craft, and technique. Mark Power's most recent project to be exhibited in London, "Destroying the Laboratory for the Sake of the Experiment," is a collaboration between Mark Power and Poet Daniel Cockrill.

This multifaceted project began in 2006, with the two artists traveling together to different parts of England, usually a town or a city, and sharing similar experiences, but reacting independently through their chosen media. This event also includes special remote appearances by other photo luminaries.

About PDN PhotoPlus International Conference + Expo

Designed for professionals in the photographic and imaging industries, PhotoPlus showcases the latest advances in photography, both traditional and digital. Held annually at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, attendees have the opportunity to explore an inspiring array of photography and imaging products and services - everything from image capture and color management to retouching and storage - all from the industry's leading manufacturers.

The show also offers over 100 photography and imaging seminars and hands-on workshops taught by world-renowned experts with a focus on cutting-edge innovations in digital imaging products and techniques.

FinePix REAL 3D W3 digital camera

FUJIFILM North America Corporation today announced a new addition to its FinePix REAL 3D system – the FinePix REAL 3D W3 digital camera.

The FinePix REAL 3D W3 steps it up from its predecessor with the ability to shoot high-resolution 3D photos and movies in 3D HD at 720p, with the help of a new RP (Real Photo) Processor. It also sports a new Mini HDMI port for easy playback on most 3D television systems and an Autostereoscopic 3D Widescreen 3.5” LCD. All components make for stunning 3D still photos and movies that can be viewed and enjoyed through an easy connection between the FinePix REAL 3D W3 and their 3D TV, or printed in stunning 3D quality.

Read More about it HERE

Its Not Pink: New Jill-E Bags

By: Melanie Beus, Contributing Editor

Jill-E Designs is a trendsetting company that caters to women photographers first. They offer stylish bags that offer women as an alternative to the tradition camera bag with their selection of stylish, yet sturdy bags that bring style and flair to sclepping of camera gear and other electronics. Jill-E offers a line of stylish bags for the men as well, but has been a market leader in offering bags that are exclusively designed for women.

jill-e designs Offers Unique Custom-Painted Bags Via its Web Site
Artsy, One-of-a-Kind Bags from Collaboration with Todd Rigione of Madcamp

Jill-e designs – maker of sturdy, stylish camera / carry bags suited to today's tech-friendly, on-the-go lifestyle – is collaborating with artist-photographer Todd Rigione of Madcamp Artistic Backgrounds to adorn a selection of bags from the company's portfolio with colorful, custom-painted designs for the ultimate in fashion and gear protection. These unique bags will be available beginning later this month only via the jill-e designs web site.

jill-e designs has chosen three of its products – yellow wristlets, polka dot messenger-style day bags, and red leather camera and carry bags – for Madcamp’s artistry. Rigione, whose striking canvas backdrops have become a “must have” among today’s portrait photographers, has come up with a palette of design themes – such as floral, feline, playful and abstract – to embellish the bags. No two custom-painted bags turn out the same.

“Todd’s a fountain of creativity. His artistry and inspiration bring a special new dimension to the bags we’ve selected for this collaboration,” said Jill Wight, President of jill-e designs. “Todd’s creations demand your attention – they can be quietly engaging or quite edgy. But they’re always spectacular and anyone carrying one of these bags is sure to stand out from the crowd. That’s what people have come to expect from jill-e designs.”

“What’s great about this is that the jill-e designs bags are already fantastic. What I do isn’t needed to make them look better – it’s more like their bags and my designs hold hands and come together in a way that raises both higher than either could go alone,” Rigione said. “I love painting these bags. They challenge you; they invite you to push the boundaries. jill-e designs deserves a lot of credit for being able to see their bags in a different way – with fresh, creative eyes. A lot of people I’ve talked to recently want one of these bags.”

These unique bags are available exclusively through the jill-e designs web site. Online customers choose the bag they want, as well as one of the artistic themes. Once the selections and business transaction are complete, the chosen bag is shipped by jill-e designs to Madcamp and the custom-painted design is applied. The completed bag is then shipped to the customer, with the entire process usually taking three to four weeks. Prices are as follows: wristlets, $30; messenger-style day bags, $89.99; red leather camera bags, $199.99.

About Madcamp
Madcamp Artistic Backgrounds, located in Rapid City, South Dakota, provides canvas backdrops for photography that are handpainted by fine artists. Some of its canvas backdrops are purchased solely for display as fine art, but most are used for backdrops for portrait photography. Each canvas has its own unique mood achieved with color, shape, texture and depth. These one-of-a-kind photography backgrounds are available from an in-stock inventory and by custom order. They are ideal for family photos, proms, graduations and every other portrait photography.

For additional information about Madcamp, its products and services, call (605) 716-3405 or (605) 431-7383, or visit Madcamp online at:

About jill-e designs
jill-e designs, LLC – owned and run by women – designs and sells “extraordinary” carry-all bags for photography lovers, video enthusiasts, scrapbookers, business & leisure travelers, busy mothers and others looking for bags with style and flair as well as sturdiness and functionality – for women and men, professional and consumer, for today’s popular high-tech devices and personal essentials. The bags incorporate padding, organizers and other protective features found in the best professional camera bags – but they’re created from materials like leather and suede, designed with the creativity of stylish purses and sophisticated carry bags, and available in a variety of head-turning colors. Bags by jill-e designs keep the user’s fragile electronic devices safe, and they look terrific doing it.

jill-e designs offers its products via its web site – – and through a worldwide network of specialty photo dealers, retailers, catalog houses and photo web sites. For more information about the company, its products and its distribution network, contact jill-e designs at 1-888-HI-JILLE, or


Nikon announces new D3100 D-SLR 4 new lenses

Nikon has just announced the new D3100 D-SLR camera and 4 new NIKKOR lenses.

Some highlights include:

· Nikon D3100 D-SLR:

o Nikon’s first D-SLR with 1080p HD video capture

o Enhanced Guide Mode teaches users how to control advanced photo techniques

o First SLR with full-time AF in Live View and during movie capture

o 14.2 megapixel CMOS Sensor and 11 point AF

o Available in September for $699.95

· NIKKOR Lenses:

o AF-S NIKKOR DX 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6 VR - $399.95

o AF-S NIKKOR 24-120mm f/4 G ED VR - $1049.95

o The AF-S NIKKOR 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR -$1299.95

o AF-S NIKKOR 85mm f/1.4G - $1699.95

Please scroll down for the press releases for the new D3100 and 4 lenses. A podcast will also be posted on the Nikon website very soon as well.

Images of the Nikon D3100 can be found at the below link:

Images of the four NIKKOR lenses can be found at the below link:

More after the Jump:


Enhanced Guide Mode and the Ability to Shoot 1080p High Definition (HD) Video with Full Time Auto Focus Allow Users to Capture with Confidence

MELVILLE, N.Y. (AUGUST 19, 2010) – The new Nikon D3100 digital SLR camera speaks to the growing ranks of enthusiastic D-SLR users and aspiring photographers by providing an easy-to-use and affordable entrance to the world of Nikon D-SLR’s. The 14.2-megapixel D3100 has powerful features, such as the enhanced Guide Mode that makes it easy to unleash creative potential and capture memories with still images and full HD video. Like having a personal photo tutor at your fingertips, this unique feature provides a simple graphical interface on the camera’s LCD that guides users by suggesting and/or adjusting camera settings to achieve the desired end result images. The D3100 is also the world’s first D-SLR to introduce full time auto focus (AF) in Live View and D-Movie mode to effortlessly achieve the critical focus needed when shooting Full HD 1080p video.

Packed into the compact and lightweight body of the D3100 camera is a host of advanced Nikon technologies, such as the new EXPEED 2TM image processing engine. EXPEED 2TM in conjunction with Nikon’s new 14.2-megapixel DX-format CMOS sensor is the driving force behind the enhanced performance and rich image quality. Ready to go wherever life leads, the D3100 features split-second shutter response and a blazing fast 11-point AF system to help ensure tack-sharp images. For shooting in challenging lighting conditions, ISO 3200 (expandable to 12,800) enables versatility in environments such as indoors or in the evening hours.

“People are stepping up to digital SLR cameras – consumers are embracing the enhanced performance, amazing image quality and options for lenses and accessories that only a D-SLR can provide,” said Lisa Osorio, general manager of marketing at Nikon Inc. “The D3100 is a camera that makes it easy to take beautiful pictures and will grow with the user, unlocking their potential and assisting in creating lasting memories or amazing art.“

Get Inspired With The Guide Mode
Whether new to D-SLR photography or exploring new shooting techniques, the D3100 features an enhanced Guide Mode with an easy-to-use interface to help customers build confidence in using their D-SLR through on-demand, step-by-step assistance. A stand out feature in the D3100’s predecessor, the D3000, the Guide Mode is easily accessed through the Mode Dial on the top of the camera. This enhanced help function now features sample assist images that change with camera settings to inspire consumers to achieve a desired look and feel to their images, while guiding through easy to understand photographic techniques. For example, to instill the majestic appearance of moving water, users can select “show water flowing” from the Guide Mode, and simply follow the prompts to create the ideal camera settings to capture an amazing image.

By following the guidance on the bright 3-inch LCD screen, users can achieve professional looking photographs to be proud of. Whether looking to soften backgrounds, freeze a moment in time or convey motion, the Guide Mode assists users in exploring effective picture taking solutions at their own pace to make capturing great pictures even easier and enjoyable.

Full HD Video Made Easy with D-Movie
The Nikon D3100 D-SLR allows users to capture stunning Full HD, 1080p resolution (1920x1080) movies. Users can record cinematic quality 24p video clips, or shoot at 24 or 30 frames-per-second at 720p, ideal for sharing online. By incorporating versatile NIKKOR lenses to the equation, users can now create a variety of photography effects to video such as isolating subjects with a shallow depth of field, and recording in low light conditions. NIKKOR lenses also deliver the sharpness needed for HD video, and Nikon’s Vibration Reduction (VR) II technology helps to eliminate camera shake.

While Nikon pioneered HD video in a D-SLR, Nikon is now introducing another industry first to enrich the user experience: The D3100 is the first D-SLR to implement full time AF for D-Movie video shooting and while in Live View mode. Using contrast based AF, the D3100 automatically focuses on subjects when Live View is activated to aid shooting when using the LCD. The D3100 camera also uses Face Detection technology to lock focus on up to 35 human faces, a feat not even accomplished with consumer camcorders. To further simplify movie shooting, Live View is activated at a single flick of a dedicated switch, and HD video recording is achieved by a simple press of a button.

Sharing and editing video clips is also easier than ever, as the D3100 records movies in the versatile H.264 AVCHD codec (.mov file). While playing movies back in the camera, users are able to edit recorded videos by clipping footage from the beginning or end of a movie. High Definition movies and stills can be shared with family and friends on an HD television via HDMI output, and control slideshows and video using the HDMI Consumer Electronics Control (CEC) interface that is a part of most modern remote controls from HDTV manufacturers. Additionally, the D3100 is compatible with the new SDXC memory card format to store large amounts of photo and video data so users can shoot multiple scenes without interruption.

Renowned Nikon Technology
The D3100 leverages proven Nikon technologies to create the most positive picture taking experience for consumers of any skill level. With its new 14.2-megapixel CMOS image sensor and Nikon’s new EXPEED 2TM image processing system, the D3100 delivers exceptional image quality with low noise. The new EXPEED 2TM image-processing engine enhances camera performance and helps to ensure brilliant image quality while managing color, contrast, exposure, noise and speed for optimal results. The D3100’s normal ISO range extends from ISO 100 to 3200, allowing users to capture stunning images, even in low light environments. Additionally, the D3100’s ISO range can expand to a Hi-2 setting of ISO 12,800, furthering the opportunities for low-light shots that other cameras miss.

Other exclusive Nikon technologies include the Active D-Lighting system, which automatically rescues dark or backlit images to help create flattering images with even tones. This is especially useful when photographing subjects that are backlit by the sun or lights to provide an even exposure.

What’s more, Nikon’s Scene Recognition system draws upon the 420-pixel RGB color 3D Matrix Meter for outstanding exposures under a variety of lighting conditions by integrating a database of tens of thousands of sample images. The result is a camera intelligent enough to recognize when photographing a specific scene such as a portrait or landscape and automatically choose the proper camera settings.

To make taking great pictures even easier, the D3100 elevates Nikon COOLPIX technology and incorporates an Auto Scene Selector feature in Live View. This innovative function automatically selects the best scene mode to match shooting conditions. When engaged, the camera will automatically recognize when shooting a lush landscape or fast action sports and adjust the camera settings to create an astounding image. Six preset scene modes can also be accessed with the Mode Dial on top of the camera to overcome many common shooting challenges.

Compact Design. Huge Performance.
With comfortable yet intelligent ergonomics, the D3100 packs powerful technology that’s easy to use into a compact form factor. The advanced 11-point autofocus system of the D3100 makes it easy to find and focus on a subject through an enhanced viewfinder design with new “hollow” focus points to give a clear view of the subject.

In the playing field or the backyard, the benefits of Nikon’s advanced 3D Subject Tracking become clear, as the camera continuously focuses on fast moving subjects throughout the frame, resulting in crisp, clear action shots. Additionally, the D3100 offers split-second shutter response, eliminating the frustration of shutter lag—the annoying delay that ruins so many pictures. With the ability to capture images at up to three fps, users never miss a moment.

Also added to the D3100 is a Quiet Shutter Release mode, which substantially reduces the sound of the mirror while shooting. Quickly accessed by selecting “Q” on the release mode dial, this feature is ideal for the photographer who wishes to remain unobtrusive, for example during quiet ceremonies or photographing a sleeping baby.

Nikon also empowers users to prepare their photos for sharing quickly and easily using Nikon’s extensive in-camera Retouch Menu, which easily applies a variety of fun and dramatic effects to images without a computer. Fun and easy-to-use adjustments include a miniature effect to photos, image overlay, color outline and softening filters for flattering portraits and realistic skin tones.

The D3100 also incorporates Nikon’s Integrated Dust Reduction System, which offers a comprehensive solution that combats the accumulation of image-degrading dust from the camera’s image sensor. The shutter is tested to 100,000 cycles for maximum durability, ensuring years of captured memories.

Gateway to Legendary NIKKOR Optics and Accessories
Nikon has also introduced the ideal companion to the D3100, the brand new AF-S DX NIKKOR 55-300mm VR lens, which gives users super-telephoto zoom capability for an affordable price. This is a perfect complementary lens when combined with the AF-S 18-55mm VR kit lens, and is great for capturing images of sports and wildlife around town or on vacation. Photographers can also appreciate the D3100’s system expandability, as it is compatible with more than 40 legendary NIKKOR AF-S interchangeable lenses. While the D3100 offers a versatile built-in flash, the camera also operates with Nikon’s Creative Lighting System and is capable of Advanced Wireless Lighting when using the SB-900 Speedlight or the SU-800 Wireless Commander. The D3100 D-SLR’s design also supports Eye-Fi memory card functionality, enabling the convenient wireless transfer of images from the camera to a computer when using Eye-Fi memory cards. Also included is a new version of Nikon’s powerful image editing application, View NX2. The latest edition of this software allows users to organize and edit both photos and video files easily.

Price and Availability
The D3100 D-SLR camera outfit, including the versatile AF-S NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR image stabilization lens, is scheduled to be available at Nikon Authorized dealers beginning in mid September 2010, at an estimated selling price of $699.95.* The AF-S DX NIKKOR 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR lens will be available starting in September for $399.95*. For more information, please visit

About Nikon
Nikon, At the Heart of the Image™. Nikon Inc. is the world leader in digital imaging, precision optics and photo imaging technology and is globally recognized for setting new standards in product design and performance for its award-winning consumer and professional photographic equipment. Nikon Inc. distributes consumer and professional digital SLR cameras, NIKKOR optics, Speedlights and system accessories; Nikon COOLPIX® compact digital cameras; COOLSCAN® digital film scanners; 35mm film SLR cameras; Nikon software products and Nikon sports and recreational optics. For more information, dial (800) NIKON-UX or visit, which links all levels of photographers to the Web's most comprehensive photo learning and sharing communities.

*Estimated selling price listed is only an estimate. Actual prices are set by dealers and are subject to change at any time.



New NIKKOR Glass Yields an Unprecedented Seven Lenses Released to Date in 2010

MELVILLE, N.Y. (August 19, 2010) – Today, Nikon Inc. announced four new lenses to the legendary NIKKOR line to meet the needs of all types of photographers, from those looking for the ideal lens for capturing memories of the school play to pro glass that captures client work in the studio. The new
AF-S DX 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR, AF-S 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR, AF-S 24-120mm f/4G ED VR and AF-S 85mm f/1.4G deliver the optical excellence and stunning image quality that consumers have become accustomed to with AF-S NIKKOR lenses. Nikon’s optical engineering experience and devotion to extraordinary standards of excellence have contributed to the strength and legend of the NIKKOR brand. With the addition of these four lenses, 2010 has seen the introduction of a total of seven new NIKKOR lenses, reinforcing Nikon’s role as the world leader in optics.

Ideal for producing stunningly sharp images with excellent clarity and color reproduction or capturing HD video that exhibits critical focus with a dramatic depth of field, these new lenses will empower photographers with a variety of core Nikon technologies. The three zoom lenses utilize Nikon’s Vibration Reduction (VR) II Image Stabilization system that provides up to four stops of correction* to help create blur-free images while shooting handheld or in challenging lighting conditions. Found in the 85mm f/1.4 and 24-120mm f/4, Nikon’s exclusive Nano-Crystal Coat reduces instances of ghosting and flare – even in challenging backlit scenes. Additionally, all four lenses feature Nikon’s Silent Wave Motor (SWM) technology to deliver fast, accurate and quiet AF performance and Nikon’s Super Integrated Coating (SIC) for color consistency and reduced flaring. The construction of each of these lenses also includes a nine rounded blade diaphragm, to help achieve a dramatic separation between subject and background with a natural out of focus area coveted by today’s image-makers.

“The AF-S NIKKOR 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6 VR, 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6 VR, 24-120mm f/4 VR and 85mm f/1.4 builds upon Nikon’s reputation as a preeminent manufacturer of high quality lenses delivering tack sharp, high contrast images whether shooting stills or video,” said Lisa Osorio, general manager of marketing at Nikon Inc. “As camera capabilities expand and the role of photographers evolves, NIKKOR enhancements continue to meet the demands of beginner and professional photographers alike, and we continue to exceed expectations of optical excellence.”

AF-S DX NIKKOR 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR: Making Super Telephoto Shooting Easy and Affordable

The new AF-S DX 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR fills a variety of roles as the perfect lens for family picture takers and photo enthusiasts alike. This lens is the ideal complement to the 18-55mm VR DX-format camera kit lens, such as the one coupled with the just-released D3100 D-SLR camera, and provides users with an affordable way to achieve super zoom focal lengths from 82.5mm to 450mm (35mm equivalent). The 55-300mm VR lens brings the benefits of longer focal lengths into range for users when capturing distant subjects, such as at athletic events, family gatherings and summer vacations. Additional features include a Tripod Detection Mode, which allows users to keep VR image stabilization activated and automatically compensates for minute vibrations when mounted on a tripod. Additionally, a High Refractive Index (HRI) lens element is implemented to keep the lens compact while offering high contrast even at maximum aperture. The optical construction consists of two Extra-low Dispersion (ED) Elements that effectively minimize chromatic aberration, even at the widest aperture settings.

AF-S NIKKOR 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR: High Performance, High Quality and Telephoto Zoom

Building on the popularity and versatility of broad focal range lenses, the new
AF-S 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR is Nikon’s first FX-format lens with a 10.7X zoom range for enthusiasts and professionals. The new 28-300mm is the all-in-one optical solution that is ideal for travel, landscapes, portraits and capturing distant subjects. The 28-300mm VR lens is optimized for edge-to-edge sharpness on both FX and DX-format D-SLR cameras, and has an equivalent focal length of 42-450mm when attached to a DX-format D-SLR. It’s optical formula includes two ED glass elements that effectively minimize chromatic aberration, even at the widest aperture settings, and three Aspherical Lens Elements that virtually eliminates coma and other aberrations at wide aperture settings as well. This high performance lens also incorporates an M/A Focus Mode Switch that enables quick changes between manual and autofocus operation, and Internal Focus (IF) providing fast and quiet autofocus without changing the length of the lens while retaining working distance through the focus range.

AF-S NIKKOR 24-120mm f/4 G ED VR: Defines Versatility

The new AF-S 24-120mm f/4 G ED VR zoom lens redefines the wide-to-portrait lens category, and provides users with a medium focal range lens with a constant aperture that is ideally suited for a wide variety of photographic disciplines. This high performance lens offers a constant maximum aperture of f/4 to maintain exposure settings throughout the entire zoom range and is perfect for photographing landscapes, portraits, interiors and weddings. The 24-120mm f/4 also features two ED elements, three aspherical lens elements, a useful M/A Focus Mode Switch, Internal Focus and Nano Crystal Coat to reduce ghosting and flare for greater image clarity, throughout the entire frame.

AF-S NIKKOR 85mm f/1.4G ED: Fast Medium Telephoto Lens Destined to Become a Classic

A highly anticipated lens for professional photographers with no room for compromise, the new
AF-S 85mm f/1.4G ED is an ultra-fast classic portrait lens boasting amazing picture quality, high performance and the ability to create dramatic background effects (bokeh). This lens is engineered for professional portrait, studio and wedding photographers wanting to shoot at fast maximum apertures while retaining the highest performance. The 85mm lens is also well suited for portraits and low-light shooting situations because of its ability to create a shallow depth of field with exacting sharpness and detail. The AF-S 85mm f/1.4 is optimized for edge-to-edge sharpness on both FX and DX-format D-SLR cameras, and features two focus modes, M/A (manual-priority autofocus) and M (manual) to further enhance versatility and adapt to a shooters needs. Additional features include Internal Focus (IF) that allows the lens to focus without changing the barrel length, Nano Crystal Coat to reduce instances of ghosting and flare, and a rugged construction build to endure aggressive field use.

Price and Availability

The compact telephoto AF-S NIKKOR DX 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6 VR lens has an estimated selling price of $399.95**. The versatile AF-S NIKKOR 24-120mm f/4 G ED VR has an estimated selling price of $1049.95**. The AF-S NIKKOR 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR zoom lens has an estimated selling price of $1299.95**. The ultra-fast AF-S NIKKOR 85mm f/1.4G has an estimated selling price of $1699.95**. These four lenses will be available starting in September 2010. For more information, please visit

About the NIKKOR Brand

With a comprehensive assortment of FX and DX-format lenses and focal lengths, from the ultra-wide 10-24mm to the super telephoto 600mm VR, Nikon photographers have come to rely upon the NIKKOR core technologies that contribute to their optical superiority. NIKKOR is the brand name for Nikon’s photographic lenses, which are precision crafted to the most exacting standards in Nikon’s own glassworks. In 1933, Nikon marketed its first camera lens under the NIKKOR brand name, the "Aero-NIKKOR” for aerial photography applications. Since then, NIKKOR has been used as a brand name for Nikon’s lenses that symbolizes durability, high image quality and optical excellence.
About Nikon

Nikon, At the Heart of the Image™. Nikon Inc. is the world leader in digital imaging, precision optics and photo imaging technology and is globally recognized for setting new standards in product design and performance for its award-winning consumer and professional photographic equipment. Nikon Inc. distributes consumer and professional digital SLR cameras, NIKKOR optics, Speedlights and system accessories; Nikon COOLPIX® compact digital cameras; COOLSCAN® digital film scanners; 35mm film SLR cameras; Nikon software products and Nikon sports and recreational optics. For more information, dial (800) NIKON-UX or visit, which links all levels of photographers to the Web's most comprehensive photo learning and sharing communities.

*Under Nikon measurement conditions.

**Estimated selling price listed is only an estimate. Actual prices are set by dealers and are subject to change at any time.

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Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Sigma's new 70-200mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM lens now available

Second-generation, zoom lens now optically stabilized and built with “F” Low Dispersion glass

Ronkonkoma, NY, Aug. 2, 2010 – Sigma Corporation of America (, a leading researcher, developer, manufacturer and service provider of some of the world's most impressive lines of lenses, cameras and flashes, has announced that its new, optically stabilized APO 70-200mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM lens, which contains the company’s new “F” Low Dispersion (FLD) lens glass, is now available in the United States for the MSRP of $2,470.

The APO 70-200mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM lens was first announced at the PMA International Convention in February and is currently available in Canon mounts. It will soon be available for purchase in Nikon, Sigma, Sony and Pentax mounts. This second-generation lens is designed for use with full-frame, DSLR cameras and may also be used with smaller, APS-c size sensors with a corresponding effective increase in focal length of 100-300mm with most cameras.

This new addition to Sigma’s lineup of more than 50 lenses covers a medium telephoto range of focal lengths from 70mm to 200mm with a large, maximum aperture of F2.8 throughout the entire zoom range. It’s revered for its incorporation of Sigma’s unique Optical Stabilization (OS) technology, which allows photographers to use shutter speeds approximately four stops slower than would otherwise be possible, while maintaining its predecessor’s compact dimensions. Moreover, the lens offers two modes of optical stabilization: The first is for general photography and the second is specifically designed for panning with moving subjects. Sony and Pentax shooters who are accustomed to the anti-shake system in their cameras are able to choose between that internal function and the lens’ OS capabilities.

“The 70-200mm has historically been a very popular lens in our collection of telephoto zoom lenses,” said Mark Amir-Hamzeh, general manager of Sigma Corporation of America. “With its large aperture, it’s impressively sharp in low-light situations and its zoom range makes it a versatile option for photographers and photojournalists on the go. It’s truly one of those all-occasion, must-have lenses.”

The 70-200mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM also features Sigma’s Hyper Sonic Motor (HSM) technology, which ensures quiet and high-speed auto focus and full-time manual focus capability. The lens has a minimum focusing distance of 55.1 inches throughout the entire zoom range and a maximum magnification ratio of 1:8. The rounded, nine-blade diaphragm creates an attractive blur to the out of focus images. This lens is equipped with a petal-type hood and, for APS-C size image sensor cameras, it comes with a dedicated hood adapter that expands to the length of the lens hood.

The lens has two of Sigma’s new FLD glass elements. This is the highest level, low dispersion glass available and it has extremely high light transmission with a performance equal to fluorite glass. The new 70-200mm also has three Special Low Dispersion (SLD) glass elements for excellent correction of color aberration and Super Multi-Layer Coating to reduce flare and ghosting.

To locate an authorized Sigma dealer near you, visit To use Sigma’s Lens Finder Tool to find the best lens to suit your needs, visit For information about Sigma Corporation of America, visit

About Sigma Corporation
For nearly 50 years, Sigma Corporation’s expertise and innovation has driven the company’s core philosophy of “knowledge, plus experience, plus imagination,” with an emphasis on producing high-quality, high-performance photographic technology at moderate prices. This family-owned organization is the largest, independent SLR lens manufacturer in the world, producing more than 50 lenses that are compatible with most manufacturers, including Sigma, Canon, Sony, Nikon, Olympus and Pentax. Sigma Corporation also produces digital SLR cameras and high-definition digital compact cameras. The company is headquartered in Japan, with offices strategically located throughout Europe, Asia and North America. For information, please visit

Specifications for the Sigma APO 70-200mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM

Lens Construction

22 elements in 17 groups

Angle of view


Number of diaphragm blades


Minimum aperture


Minimum focusing distance

140 cm/55.1 in.

Maximum magnification


Filter size



(Diameter x Length)

86.4x197.6 mm/3.4x7.8 in.


50.4 ounces

Corresponding AF mounts

Sigma, Canon, Nikon, Sony/Minolta, Pentax


  • The Pentax mount Tele Converter cannot be used with this particular lens
  • Nikon and Pentax mounts do not have an aperture ring. Some functions may not work depending on the camera model
  • For Nikon and Canon mounts, Optical Stabilizer (OS) function will not work with film SLR cameras except Nikon F6 and Canon EOS-1V
  • For Pentax and Sony mounts, it is not possible to use the AF and the built-in OS function of this lens when attaching it to film SLR cameras as well as Pentax *ist series and K100D
  • When using the OS function of a lens with a camera which incorporates a stabilizer unit, please turn the camera’s stabilizer unit off
  • The appearance, specifications, and the like of the product may be subject to change for improvement.

Hands On: BlackRapid RS-W1 (Its Not Pink) review

It's about time. Really. This is it. It's perfect. Almost (I'm sure little things will pop up later as I use it more). All the little annoyances with straps designed with men in mind have been fixed. The padded shoulder bit is narrower and curved to work better with our smaller shoulders and body shape, the strap is a bit shorter, yet still greatly adjustable. The length adjustment is up on the shoulder pad, with the strap part running through a sleeve in the pad itself (which I'll admit was problematic for a brief moment while sorting out shortening vs lengthening, and getting the lower plastic bits stuck up in the pad's sleeve, but I got it worked out). This allows for the slack, for those that need the strap shortened, to be taken up in the pad, rather than dangling and getting in the way (as I have found with the strap designed more with taller men in mind. The redesigned shoulder pad also allows the strap to stay in place on the shoulder better when the weight of the camera is not holding it down. I have often found the RS-7 slipping off my shoulder, or forward or back, while the camera was in my hands and not weighting down the strap.

At first I wasn't sure if I liked the use of the FastenR-3 rather than the FastenR-2. My thinking was, although it's lower profile, the one-piece design would give the connection apparatus just slightly less flexibility. Now, for general carrying and shooting that would be fine, but I thought that the lack of hinged ring that the carbiner hooks to would be annoying while packing, unpacking, and general arranging of cameras and straps. Actually I have found the opposite to be true. With the lower profile and single piece, I find that I do less fiddling with it to get things straightened around. Plus it all fits better in my camera bag.

On the downside, the strap is designed to be used only left shoulder to right side. With the unique shaping of the shoulder pad it really does have to be one-sided. I can't think of a way around that. It CAN be worn right shoulder to left side but you lose a lot of the fit and comfort that the shaped shoulder pad provides. Flipping the pad over is not a viable option either as the length adjustment buckle would be against the shoulder. However, this is such a well-fitting strap it's an adjustment I'm willing to make. To make the shoulder pad mirror-imaged on either side to allow for both a left-sided and right-sided carry, the through-the-strap length adjustment would have to be sacrificed.

After a day-long shoot using the RS-W1, I found that it did not shift much at all. While using the RS-7 at the same time, and on separate occasions, I would find that the shoulder pad would need adjusting on a regular basis to keep it up on the shoulder where is belonged. The RW-W1 does a much better job staying in place on smaller shoulders as it is intended. When both the RS-7 and the RS-W1 were used at the same time, crossing over (alternating which overlapped which), the RS-W1 consistantly required less adjusting and re-adjusting as the day went on.

The black on black paisly designs on the shoulder pad of the RS-W1 is a nice touch. Just a little bit of style without being overbearing. For comfort and a convenient carry, I would definitely recommend this strap to my female shooter friends.

(photos from the BlackRapid website)

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