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Deal: Sigma 30mm f/1.4 EX DC HSM Autofocus Lens for $289 + free shipping



Adorama offers the Sigma 30mm f/1.4 EX DC HSM Autofocus Lens for Canon, model no. 300101, Nikon, model no. 300306, Pentax, model no. 300109, Sigma, model no. 300110, or Sony, model no. 300205, for $289 with free shipping. It features a hybrid aspherical lens, and more.

Of note, B&H Photo-Video also offers it for for Canon, model no. 300101, Sony, model no. 300205, Nikon, model no. 300306, Pentax, model no. 300109, or Sigma, model no. 300110, for $289 with free shipping.

Review: Custom SLR ProDot Shutter Button Upgrade


Review: Custom SLR ProDot Shutter Button Upgrade

Overview : Feel the Difference™ and capture better photos with more control and less fatigue. The ProDot's textured surface and raised button-padding allows for a more ergonomic feel and an instant improvement to the most critical engagement point of the camera, its shutter button.

The Custom SLR ProDot is available in low-profile black, high-visibility red, and clear color face. Applies easily to any clean flat surface with a residue-free adhesive.

Features :
  • Improves shooting comfort and reduces finger fatigue
  • Vibration-free material
  • Tactile traction pads for better grip
  • Compatible with most cameras and media devices

Quality/Usability : I was lucky enough to have a sneak peek at Custom SLR's ProDot at PhotoPlus Expo back in October 2012 before the KickStarter campaign started. With the short amount of time that I had with the ProDot, it left an impression and left me wanting to know more about it.

Review: Custom SLR ProDot Shutter Button Upgrade
Review: Custom SLR ProDot Shutter Button Upgrade Review: Custom SLR ProDot Shutter Button Upgrade

The packaging for the ProDot is simple. Plastic zip-lock packaging and two ProDot's. The ProDot comes in three colors: low-profile black, high-visibility red, and clear color. The ProDot even has the Custom SLR logo designed into it! Creative. The ProDot adds a soft raised rubber textured surface which instantly makes the shutter more responsive and helps reduce camera shake when capturing photos. It adheres to most surfaces with a special 3M adhesive that is easy to apply. You can apply/re-apply the ProDot multiple times before it looses its stickiness. Before applying to any surfaces, definitely make sure the area is clean preferably with rubbing alcohol. This will ensure that the ProDot will adhere to a clean surface. What's even better is that it won't leave any sticky residue if and when it is removed.

Review: Custom SLR ProDot Shutter Button Upgrade Review: Custom SLR ProDot Shutter Button Upgrade
Review: Custom SLR ProDot Shutter Button Upgrade Review: Custom SLR ProDot Shutter Button Upgrade

I installed the ProDot onto my Canon EOS 5D Mark III. I'm one of those photographers who causes the camera to shake while adding a bit too much force while pressing the shutter button. But how does it prevent camera shake? The ProDot adds a bit of cushion between your finger and shutter button. When your finger is on the shutter button, its closer to the camera body. So when you press down, you're also touching the camera body. With the ProDot, it doesn't require as much "force" to press the shutter button and makes it a little more sensitive or responsive while your finger is further away from the camera.

Any push-button experience can find heightened control with the addition of this remarkably-simple and convenient accessory. The ProDot’s no-slip grip and finger cushioning will enhance the user experience for consumer electronic devices and video game enthusiasts, as well as users of computer mice, who will find Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) relief with less forceful clicks.

The ProDot isn't a new thing since old film allowed raised shutter button attachments (also known as soft release or softies) and the Fuji X100/X-Pro1 also allowed you to screw in a soft release to the shutter button.

Review: Custom SLR ProDot Shutter Button Upgrade Review: Custom SLR ProDot Shutter Button Upgrade

So what does the ProDot work with? The ProDot fits most digital and film cameras that have a round shutter button. On my Canon PowerShot SD1000, the ProDot fit perfectly on the shutter button. However, on my Canon PowerShot S100, the ProDot was slightly bigger than the shutter button itself and the ProDot slightly overlapped on to the zoom switch. I'm still able to zoom in and out without a problem but the focusing was now a little more sensitive and didn't require a half press to focus. This is good because with a slight press, I can focus but sometimes instead of focusing, it would just take the shot.

Review: Custom SLR ProDot Shutter Button Upgrade Review: Custom SLR ProDot Shutter Button Upgrade
Review: Custom SLR ProDot Shutter Button Upgrade Review: Custom SLR ProDot Shutter Button Upgrade

It also works well on computer mouses, videogame controllers and other push-button devices that have a smooth surface such as Apple iPad, iPhones and iPods. I don't own an iPhone/iPad (I own a Samsung Galaxy S3) and my iPod Touch is still at my parents so I borrowed a friends iPhone who just so happened to be visiting. After placing it on their phone, they loved the feel of it.

The ProDot can also comes in handy during the winter when you have your gloves on. With the raised shutter button, this will make it easier to feel and press down.


The video shows the finger about ½ an inch away from the shutter button and I'm sure no one shoots like that but I think the video was just showing a demo. I leave my finger on the shutter button at all times and press down when I need to take the shot but I still have a tendency to shake the camera when taking a picture. Maybe I'm just use to putting pressure on the shutter button when I need to take a picture. I'm sure I'm not the only one either.

Conclusion : Overall, the Custom SLR ProDot Shutter Button Upgrade is definitely an upgrade. Not only does it feel comfortable on the finger tip but it also helped reduce camera shakes when I pressed on the shutter button. As I mentioned in the review, the shutter button now required less "force" to press the shutter button. At $9.95 for two ProDot's, it's very affordable.

Although you can use the ProDot for many electronics, I'm sure that the ProDot can also help the elderly who have a hard time seeing but able to feel and touch whether it be on a stove, phone or remote.

I'm sure some people are concerned about accidental shutter presses because the ProDot now makes the shutter button stick up more. I have my camera on a camera sling strap (located on my right side) and rarely does my camera spin around. If you have your camera on your left, I can see where there might be a problem. I also turn my camera off when I'm not using it. Yes, I know some will say that you'll miss important shots but it all depends on what you're doing. If you're a professional photographer that does events, weddings, etc., you'll want your camera on at all times. If you're a hobbyist like myself, you would only need the camera on when you are using it.




Manufacturer: Custom SLR
Site: Buy from Custom SLR / Buy from Amazon
Price: $9.95 (2-pack)


Peak Design Coupon Code Amazon TrekPak Custom SLR

Deal: B&H Sale on DSLR Cameras, Lenses and Speedlites



Big savings on selected Canon DSLR bundles and lenses/Speedlites. First, Canon EOS 60D body only and bundles are on sale starting with $200 in instant savings! Deal expires 1/26/13.


Next, B&H has additional sales and savings on selected Canon DSLRs and lens bundles. The offer expires 2/2/13. Select a lens, then select a Canon DSLR, and then see how much you can save! Savings can go up to $450 for the EOS 7D and 60D, up to $400 for the EOS 5D Mark III and Mark II.


There's more savings on selected lenses and Speedlites. The image above is just a few lenses. There are a lot more here.

Deal: Vivitar VPT-1250 Aluminum Camera Tripod $7 at Amazon



Amazon has the Vivitar VPT-1250 Aluminum Camera Tripod with Level for $7 with free shipping on $25. Features 3-way, 360-degree swivel pan head, adjustable tilt controls, adjustable pan controls, bubble level indicator.

Review: O2 Hurricane Canless Air System - Industrial


Review: O2 Hurricane Canless Air System - Industrial

Overview : The Canless Air System O2 Hurricane Industrial Unit is one of the most powerful cordless electronic air duster on the market. It features all of the benefits of Canless standard model, but it contains a larger battery which results in air speeds of over 200 mph. Each charge is equal to 25 cans of air and over the life of the product you will get the equivalent of 10,000 cans of air.

The O2 Hurricane Industrial is perfect for companies and professionals who use canned air on a daily basis for heavy duty cleaning. This model can replace canned air in close to 100% of situations.

Features :
  • Produces an incredible blast of air at over 200 MPH and runs for over 12 minutes straight (Industrial Unit); 160 MPH and runs for over 15 minutes straight (Original O2 Hurricane).
  • Can be charged over 500 times, equaling over 1,000 cans of air.
  • Designed for corporate and IT department use.
  • Ideal for light to extremely heavy cleaning applications.
  • Great for cleaning large computers, server rooms, camera lenses and mirrors, high end medical equipment, displays in retails stores, IT departments, complex circuit boards, and so much more.

Quality/Usability :
As I was browsing one of my usual photography sites, one of the members posted about a rechargeable canless air system called the O2 Hurricane. It is similar to the disposable cans we see on store shelves for cleaning keyboards but rechargeable and canless.

When I was a little kid, I use to take a canned air can and spray air in to my mouth, into my face or a siblings and sometimes even turn it upside down to freeze insects or for the frost to evaporate. Who hasn't done any of these when they were little? But reading through the manufacturer's website, it talks about the hazards and dangers of these disposable canned airs. Isn't it just air? It's actually not. It's a mix of various gases (read the back of the can for what it contains). If canned air is used in a poorly ventilated area there is a possible danger of oxygen deficiency and even asphyxiation for anyone in the room. When canned air is held at an angle the liquefied gas can be released onto surfaces or into the air, creating a highly flammable environment in which open flames, and any kind of spark and even electrical switches can cause a flash fire. The liquid propellant in canned air is known to cause frostbite when skin is exposed for a long period of time, causing serious physical injuries.

Apart from injury by intentional misuse or accidental exposure, these chemicals pose a large threat to the environment. GHG chemicals emit harmful gases into the atmosphere, while the one-time-use containers end up in landfills.

But enough of the warnings of what canned air can cause. Let's see what this canless air can do.


Review: O2 Hurricane CANLESS AIR System - Industrial

The O2 Hurricane is almost 8 inches tall and weighs just 14 ounces. Included are two 5" straws and a wall charger. Simple enough. The straw is not mandatory and only needed for areas you can not reach but not in the really tight areas such as in between the keys of a keyboard, it won't fit into. But the force of the air being blown out will make up for it. It also gives that canned air look. The O2 Hurricane is designed to work best without the use of the straw.

Review: O2 Hurricane CANLESS AIR System - Industrial Review: O2 Hurricane CANLESS AIR System - Industrial Review: O2 Hurricane CANLESS AIR System - Industrial

Above are some size comparisons to a canned air duster. At first glance, the O2 Hurricane looks like an oversized pepper spray but the size is almost identical in terms of height to a canned air duster. The bottom is thinner and the top is bigger than conventional duster cans. It also weighs more.

Review: O2 Hurricane CANLESS AIR System - Industrial

There are two models available. The O2 Hurricane being reviewed (industrial unit) has a gray trigger and the Original O2 Hurricane (standard unit) has a black trigger.

Review: O2 Hurricane CANLESS AIR System - Industrial

O2 Hurricane is completely rechargeable thanks to the NiMH rechargeable batteries that are used. With all my electronics, I tend to use the item until it completely dies and start it's initial charge fresh. Some will have a charge right out of the box but it's all personal preference. To charge the O2 Hurricane, simply plug the wall charger into an outlet and plug the other end into the back of the O2 Hurricane. In a short period of time you have a brand new charge of air. There is a LED indicator on the charger; red means charging and green means charging complete. But there is no battery indicator on the O2 Hurricane to let you know how much battery life is left.

Once you pull on the trigger of the O2 Hurricane, rather than hearing the hissing sound and the wind blowing like that of a canned air, you'll hear a loud whining sound of like a hair dryer. This is the coming from the little impeller (fan-like) and impeller housing inside the canless air system.

The Canless Air O2 Hurricane can be turned sideways, upside down, or any angle that is needed to power clean hard to reach crevices. Plus, you can use the Canless system in a sustained manner for deep cleaning, and since no chemicals are used there is no chance of frostbite. The Canless Air compressed air duster more powerful and better able to reach hard clean to areas than traditional air dusters, computer cleaners and can air solutions. The O2 Hurricane cleans all sensitive electronic equipment including computers, printers, shelves, mini-blinds, fax machines, silk plants, AV equipment, cameras, antiques, automobiles and lots more.

So where does the O2 Hurricane get air from if its canless? It uses the air that we breathe. It brings it in from the room, circulates and blows it out from the tip.

I tested this on my computer tower that likes to attract dust inside, keyboard and most importantly camera body and lens.
  • Computer - I was able to move around freely without the fear of accidentally freezing any of the internal components. With traditional canned airs, I can only do it for 1-2 minutes before the can lost pressure and got cold. With the O2 Hurricane, I can hold use it for a steady 5 mins without losing pressure.
  • Keyboard - It removed dust that accumulated inside as well as crumbs from food that had fallen in between the keys. I had Pringle crumbs inside the keyboard and didn't know it was there until the O2 Hurricane blew it out.
  • Camera Body - Although my camera is clean, it doesn't hurt to give it a nice burst of air. You would never want to use your breath as you might spit into your camera and the O2 Hurricane is definitely much more powerful than the Giotto's Rocket Air Blower. Due to the high wind that the O2 Hurricane produces, I didn't have it too close and often gave little "spritzes".
  • Lens - There's always going to be dust on the front and rear elements from the constant exposure to the environment or from swapping lenses. It has no problems removing dust or small particles but remember, it's not going to blow off fingerprints or smudges. That's what the LensPen is for.
Compared to a canned air, the canned air had more pressure the first 5-6 seconds. But after that, the pressure started to diminish and the can started to get cold. I had to wait about 10 minutes for the can to get warm again before I can use it again. With the O2 Hurricane, I can hold the trigger for 3 minutes and still maintain the same blowing strength.

So which one is right for you according to the manufacturer?

The Original O2 Hurricane (black trigger) is great for people who only use canned air occasionally. It is ideal for computers, keyboards, car dashboards, plants, vents, Venetian blinds, blowing off small patio areas, starting wood fires, cleaning furnace filters, dusting off knick-knacks, blowing off book shelves, cleaning workshops tools and so much more!

The Industrial O2 Hurricane (gray trigger) is designed for corporate and IT department use. It is ideal for light to extremely heavy cleaning applications. It is also great for cleaning large computers, server rooms, camera lenses and mirrors, high end medical equipment, displays in retail stores, IT departments, complex circuit boards and so much more!

While the Original is geared towards light usage, you never know when you'll need the extra "umph". So if you have the extra money to spend, I suggest getting the Industrial unit since it does the same as the Original with a little more power.

Conclusion : Overall, the O2 Hurricane Canless Air System - Industrial is a innovative product that replaces the conventional canned air that you find on store shelves. It's definitely eco-friendly. The price is definitely high but for the amount you would spend on canned air, this would pay for itself. The O2 Hurricane is a bit loud and it would be nice if it was a little quieter.

Granted that the O2 Hurricane is rechargeable and can be recharged over 500 times, it would be nice if there was a cheaper alternative where we can place our own batteries whether it be regular alkaline or rechargeable NiMH batteries like Sanyo Eneloops. Or even come up with a removable battery pack where users can remove the dead battery pack and pop in a fresh pack. You never know when you might need it and you find out that the battery is dead and you're not near a wall outlet to charge or have the time to wait around for it to charge. This is definitely crucial for techs who are out on the field.

It would also be nice if the O2 Hurricane had a battery indicator to let the user know how much battery juice is left. At least the user can gauge whether or not they need to charge it before going out on the field.

With the Original, based on the information on the web, it may take you 2-3 passes before you are satisfied while the Industrial can take 1 pass (unfortunately, I don't have the Original to compare the strength).




Manufacturer: Canless Air Systems
Site: Buy from Canless Air Systems / Buy from Amazon / Buy from Adorama
Price: $109.95

Original O2 Hurricane
Site: Buy from Canless Air Systems / Buy from Amazon / Buy from Adorama
Price: $79.95

Kickstarter: Dust Donut - Weather Seal any DSLR Lens


Dust Donut installed on the Canon 60D with EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS lens
The Dust Donut is a weather sealing rubber accesory that attaches to the mounting surface of your DSLR's lens and blocks dirt and moisture from collecting around your lens and camera's connecting area. This prevents harmful dirt and moisture from entering your camera body's opening and collecting on the digital sensor causing serious damage and image degradation.

The Problem
  • Nearly 75% of lenses available on the Canon EF lens mount lack any form of weather sealing
  • All users whether professional, amateur, or anywhere in between are vulnerable to dust and moisture entering their camera's sensor cavity and lens optics during use regardless of the operating environment
  • There currently is no way for a photographer to add weather sealing of any kind to the mount of their lenses without the use of bulky and cumbersome rain covers
  • Interchangeable lens cameras require frequent and time consuming sensor cleaning due to dust build up
  • Dust particles can also penetrate the lens and collect between its optics and cause resolution loss and negatively effect the resale value of the lens
  • Moisture can easily pass through an unsealed lens mount and condense on the optics causing haze and the growth of fungus
The Kickstarter campaign are needed a goal of $2,000 and as of this posting, it has gotten over $5,500! If you're interested in the Dust Donut, pledge $20 and you can pre-order a Dust Donut for Canon EF mount lenses. If you want more than one (1), just add $20 for each additional Dust Donut. Retail price after Kickstarter will be $24.99. Shipping is free within the US and $6 shipping for overseas and is due to begin shipping in May 2013.

What about Nikon, Olympus and Sony users who are interested in the Dust Donut? There is a pledge tier for $3 or more where you can get yourself on a priority mailing list for the future versions of Dust Donut that are in development. Pentax users seem to be picking up steam and may be on the list as well.

There's not much too choose from in the pledge tier that is "affordable" except for the ones I mentioned above. The early bird special was $15 which has since been sold out. The other tier is a whopping $600 that includes a tour in a 4-wheel drive vehicle of Joshua Tree National Park in California given by the creator of the Dust Donut, Tyler Sterbentz. You'll be taking scenic shots, starry skies and end the night having steak at a restaurant. Oh, flight and hotel is not included but he'll drive you to the airport and give you a set of Dust Donut's for all the lenses in your bag ;).

It would be nice if there was another pledge tier where if you bought more than 1, there would be a slight discount or even maybe a colored version. Instead of black, it could be Canon red to match the L lenses or yellow for Nikon colors or even green as limited edition Kickstarter version.



Continue reading for more information as well as what lenses the Dust Donut is compatible with.

The Solution

Dust Donut installed on the Canon 5D Mark II with 85mm f/1.2 II lens
Installing a Dust Donut to your unsealed lens offers a convenient, seamless solution some of the most harmful and expensive problems that threaten DSLR users.

Close up showing the Precise fitment the Dust Donut weather seal has with Canon EF mount lenses
Fits as if it were made by Canon:
Dust Donuts create a weather resistant seal in the same way that high end Canon "L" series lenses do. Dust Donuts are manufactured to a level of precision found only in aerospace engineering with extremely tight tolerances to ensure that the seal fits in exactly the same manner as the factory Canon sealed lenses do with no sloppy over hangs or gaps that could allow leaks or impede lens attachment or removal

Becomes one with your lens:
Dust Donut's apply directly to the mounting surface of the lens and requires no further attention once installed, just use your lens as usual but with the added peace of mind that both of your investments are protected against dust and moisture.

Peace of mind with any lens:
Now photographers everywhere can take full advantage of Canon's non-weather resistant lenses and even the more affordable third party lenses while still benefiting from the increased durability of a dust and moisture resistant camera/lens combination!

Spec's and FAQ's
What lenses does the Dust Donut fit?
The Dust Donut fits all Canon EF mount lenses including third party brands that have a minimum of two tenths of a centimeter thick mounting surface. For a quick test to see if your lens will accept a Dust Donut simply hold up an SD memory card against the lens mount if the thickness of the mount is equal to or greater than the thickness of the memory card then your lens is able to be dust and moisture sealed with a Dust Donut. The Lens Compatibility List below represents all of the Canon lenses that the Dust Donut is known to fit. Please note that if your Canon lens is not listed this is because it most likely has either an in compatible plastic mount surface or a metal mount surface that is too thin to hold a Dust Donut in place. A third party Canon EF mount Lens Compatibility List is in progress so please check back if you do not see your lens listed.

Lens Compatibility List
Canon EF-S Lenses: EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM, EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM, EF-S 17-55 f/2.8 IS USM, EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM, EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS, EF-S 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 IS, EF-S 60mm f/2.8 Macro USM

Canon EF Telephoto Zoom Lenses: EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM, EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM, EF 70-200mm f/4L USM, EF 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 DO IS USM, EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM, EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III USM, EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III, EF 100-300mm f/4.5-5.6 USM, EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM,

Canon EF Wide Angle: EF 15mm f/2.8 Fisheye, EF 20mm f/2.8 USM, EF 24mm f/2.8 IS USM, EF 28 f/1.8 USM, EF 28mm f/2.8 IS USM, EF 35mm f/1.4L USM, EF 35mm f/2 IS USM, EF 35mm f/2

Canon Standard & Medium Telephoto: EF 40mm f/2.8 STM, EF 50mm f/1.4 USM, EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM, EF 85mm f/1.8 USM, EF 100mm f/2 USM

Canon Telephoto: EF 135mm f/2L USM, EF 135mm f/2.8 with Softfocus, EF 200mm f/2.8L II USM

Canon Macro: EF 50mm f/2.5 Compact Macro, MP-E 65mm f/2.8 1-5x Macro Photo, EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM, EF 180mm f/3.5L Macro USM,

Canon Tilt Shift: TS-E 17mm f/4L, TS-E 24mm f/3.5L II, TS-E 45mm f/2.8, TS-E 90mm f/2.8

BRNO dri+Cap Dehumidifying Caps for Canon & Nikon Bodies and Lenses



The BRNO dri+Cap dehumidifying system will protect your lenses from fungus and is available for Canon and Nikon mount: the kit costs $44.99, single lens or body cap sell for $23.99 (B&H Photo / Adorama). The cap holds replaceable silica gel for absorbing the moisture that can lead to fungus or mold. The caps also minimize condensation build-up. Each silica gel changes color from orange to green when it needs to be changed. The caps will maintain the optimum relative humidity (RH) of 35% to 45%.

Review: FocusMaker Follow Focus System for DSLR Video


Review: FocusMaker Follow Focus System for DSLR Video

Overview : FocusMaker™ is an invaluable focusing tool for any DSLR filmmaker.

It serves both as a simple and easy to use follow focus system, as well as a device for making long travel rack focusing consistent, smooth and fast at very high accuracy. It fits on virtually any DLSR lens and provides unmatched accurate overview of your focus points. Its flexible ergonomics allow smooth operation with less fatique and camera jitter.

Features :
  • Simplicity — It attaches and removes in a snap. No need for heavy rigs or other gear
  • Control — Easy to manage from behind the camera with a clear and accurate view
  • Precise — Connects directly to your lens - no gears or coupling - highly accurate end stops
  • Portable — Ultra lightweight, bring it anywhere
  • Independence — No crew or gear needed - go by yourself
  • Affordable — The most affordable tool to achieve highly accurate repeatable rack focus
  • Flexibility — It fits just about any DSLR lens on any camera

Quality/Usability : Incorporating video into DSLR cameras these days seems to be the norm. Having owned a Nikon D70s before switching to a Nikon D7000 and than completely switching over to the Canon EOS 5D Mark III, I started to dabble in some videography.

One of the biggest frustrations is trying to get the right focus point during a shot. This is where FocusMaker comes into the picture. The FocusMaker attaches to any lens and in just a few minutes you can have focus points marked on the big ruler ring, and easily jump back and forth from focus point to focus point.

Review: FocusMaker Follow Focus System for DSLR Video

Included with the FocusMaker are two large rings that are fitted onto the camera lens. The biggest of the two is your ruler. This plastic piece attaches to the focus ring of the lens. The second piece is your sight and it attaches to a fixed area on your lens barrel. This is kind of like your crosshairs for the measurements on the ruler. Included are also 6 markers (2 red, 2 white and 2 blue) to help mark your focus points and two larger markers that are used as handles or stoppers as well.

Review: FocusMaker Follow Focus System for DSLR Video

I won't go into details on how to set it up since the instructions above are self-explanatory and easy enough to understand. Do make sure that your lens is set to MF (manual focus) before attaching the sight. I attached the sight to my Canon EF 24-70mm f2.8L before switching my lens switch from AF (auto-focus) to MF and couldn't reach the switch so I had to loosen the sight in order for me to move the switch (picture below). This may not be the case with other lenses whether it be Canon, Nikon, Sigma, Tamron, etc.

In order to use and fit the FocusMaker comfortably, the focus ring diameter on the lens should be between 63mm and 91mm (up to 115mm is possible with a simple extension) and a band width of 8mm. The height of the sight is approximately 85mm.

Review: FocusMaker Follow Focus System for DSLR Video Review: FocusMaker Follow Focus System for DSLR Video
Review: FocusMaker Follow Focus System for DSLR Video Review: FocusMaker Follow Focus System for DSLR Video

But once you have the ruler and sight installed, set the clips such as the stops/marks to the focus points you want according to your subject and attach the handle. You'll want to check your focus marks to ensure its focusing your object. When checking the focus of your objects, you'll want to be in Live View and magnify focus at 10x. If a point is out of focus, adjust the marker by sliding it on the ruler to the correct spot. Once all your focus points are correct, you can begin to record.

Will the FocusMaker work with Tilt-Shift (TS), super-telephoto and pancake lenses?
  • Tilt-Shift: The focus ring on most tilt-shift lenses are fine but mounting the sight may be a problem due to the complex lens body.
  • Super-Telephoto: Lenses with a focusing ring diameter of more than 92mm would need a longer elastic rubber band strap. FocusMaker can supply you with a longer strap if needed.
  • Pancake: These type of lenses don't have a lot of lens body but the FocusMaker does a decent job of fitting on the lens even with the limited space.
Review: FocusMaker Follow Focus System for DSLR Video

Underneath the ruler and sight are rubber circle dots that are simply attached with adhesive. These provide friction and help prevent the FocusMaker from moving. During my testing, I saw a black dot on the floor and didn't know where it came from until I saw one missing on my ruler. Just be careful not to lose them. If you do lose them, I don't think it would be a big deal but when you start to lose more, there won't be much friction. You might even come up with a better solution and replace all of them. Also, when you remove the camera from the tripod, you'll have to straighten out the ruler before you set the camera down.


Sample videos:


Conclusion : Overall, the FocusMaker Follow Focus System for DSLR Video definitely helps anyone who's does videography. The FocusMaker also works great with sliders and definitely reduces any jitters during focusing. Just make sure that when you do need to adjust the sight or ruler, to unlatch the rubber band and adjust. Don't adjust when the rubber band is holding the sight or ruler tight to the camera. This may cause the rubber dots to come off.




Manufacturer: ID/FX
Site: Buy from FocusMaker
Price: $89.00

Deal: Free American Photo Magazine for 1-Year



Mercury Magazines offers an American Photo Magazine 1-Year Subscription (6 issues) for free in exchange for information about you and your company. Only "qualified" individuals are eligible.

You can enter any information about your "company".

Review: Dolica AX620B100 Aluminum 62-inch Proline Tripod and Ball Head


Review: Dolica AX620B100 Aluminum 62-inch Proline Tripod and Ball Head

Overview : Dolica's 62" Aluminum Proline Tripod is ideal for both indoor and outdoor photography. It is perfect for events, sports activity, capturing that one amazing shot. Designed for use with Point-N-Shoot cameras and/or Digital SLR cameras.

Features :
  • 62" Aluminum Proline Tripod is ideal for both indoor and outdoor photography
  • Ball head, quick release plate and integrated tripod bubble level and compass
  • Base thread: 3/8"
  • Support up to 13.2 lbs
  • Quick release leg locks and non-slip rubber feet with retractable spike
  • 90 degree vertical platform
  • Standard-wide angle, semi-wide angle, full-wide angle
  • Rapid stabile center column
  • Reversible locking center column
  • Durable flip leg locks
  • Closed cell NBR grips
  • 3-position leg angle adjustment locks
  • Counter weight hook

Quality/Usability : All photographers should at least have a tripod or a monopod. Tripods definitely come in handy when you need a steady shot whether it be a slow shutter shot, time lapse, timer shot for a group shot or just to help hold your camera.

Review: Dolica AX620B100 Aluminum 62-inch Proline Tripod and Ball Head

I purchased the tripod "used" from a website. It arrived looking brand new and was probably a open box return. For the price I paid for it, it wasn't a deal breaker and if I didn't like it, I could of just simply returned it. The Dolica Proline comes with a carry case, tripod (of course) and ball head with quick release plate. It's made of aluminum alloy so the weight of the tripod is fairly light. It weighs about 2.5 lbs and carries a max weight of about 13 lbs. I believe it's suppose to come with booklet according to the stock image above but who really reads manuals these days, especially for a tripod?

Review: Dolica AX620B100 Aluminum 62-inch Proline Tripod and Ball Head Review: Dolica AX620B100 Aluminum 62-inch Proline Tripod and Ball Head Review: Dolica AX620B100 Aluminum 62-inch Proline Tripod and Ball Head

You can set the tripod to any height that you need and the legs can be split into three angles: standard-wide angle; semi-wide angle and full-wide angle. More information on how to set these angles below.

Review: Dolica AX620B100 Aluminum 62-inch Proline Tripod and Ball Head Review: Dolica AX620B100 Aluminum 62-inch Proline Tripod and Ball Head Review: Dolica AX620B100 Aluminum 62-inch Proline Tripod and Ball Head Review: Dolica AX620B100 Aluminum 62-inch Proline Tripod and Ball Head
  1. With the tripod legs (standard-wide angle) and center column not extended, the height of the tripod is 22" with ball head (18" without).
  2. The second lowest the tripod can go with the tripod legs spread open (semi-wide angle) is 18" with Dolica ball head (14½" without). Do note that in semi-wide angle, the center column touches the floor and will need to be moved up.
  3. The lowest the tripod can go with the tripod legs spread wide open (full-wide angle) is the same height as semi-wide angle. Just like the semi-wide angle, the center column would need to be raised.
  4. With all tripod legs and center column extended, the height of the tripod is 61" with ball head (57½" without).
Review: Dolica AX620B100 Aluminum 62-inch Proline Tripod and Ball Head
Dolica Proline on semi-wide angle with Canon EOS 5D Mark III with BG-E11 grip and Herringbone Heritage leather hand strap on Manfrotto 494 ball head
There is a counter weight hook at the bottom of the center column. This allows you to add sand bags or hang your camera bag to give it additional weight to help keep the tripod sturdy. You can also unscrew the counter weight hook and invert the center column so that the camera is can now hang upside down along with your ball head. This is great if you need to get very low shots.

Review: Dolica AX620B100 Aluminum 62-inch Proline Tripod and Ball Head Review: Dolica AX620B100 Aluminum 62-inch Proline Tripod and Ball Head

The tripod legs are locked in place with quick leg flip locks. It's made of durable plastic and makes extending/retracting the tripod legs quicker than the twist locks. Lift up the quick leg flip locks to extend/retract the legs and clamp down to lock them in place. The rubber foot of each also tripod legs also has spikes. Turn the rubber foot clockwise and the spikes stick out. Turn the rubber feet counter-clockwise and the spikes are covered.

Review: Dolica AX620B100 Aluminum 62-inch Proline Tripod and Ball Head

As discussed above, to get your tripod as low as possible, there are angle locking knobs above the tripod leg. In the image above, the right side has the angle locking knobs pulled out, the left side has it pushed in. Pull these out and this allows your tripod legs to spread open. At the base of the tripod legs are two displays. One is a bubble level and the other is a compass.

Review: Dolica AX620B100 Aluminum 62-inch Proline Tripod and Ball Head

The base thread on the tripod for the ball head is 3/8". You can easily change out the ball head to a different one if you already own one or plan on upgrading to a better ball head.

Review: Dolica AX620B100 Aluminum 62-inch Proline Tripod and Ball Head
Review: Dolica AX620B100 Aluminum 62-inch Proline Tripod and Ball Head Review: Dolica AX620B100 Aluminum 62-inch Proline Tripod and Ball Head Review: Dolica AX620B100 Aluminum 62-inch Proline Tripod and Ball Head

It's great that the Dolica AX620B100 also comes with it's own ball head (Proline B100) and quick release plate. Twist the knob at the base of the ball head and this allows you to move the ball head/camera in multiple directions and angles.

To remove the quick release plate, simply push the smaller lever lock in so that it's flush with the bigger lever handle and than pull towards you. This will cause the quick release plate to pop out and the lever will stick out. Once you pop the quick release plate back in, the lever will click and lock the plate in place.

Unfortunately, this quick release plate won't work with other ball heads such as Arca-Swiss or Manfrotto's. But you can buy additional Dolica quick release plates for your other cameras as they are not that expensive.

Conclusion : Overall, the Dolica AX620B100 Aluminum 62-inch Proline Tripod and Ball Head works great as a basic starter tripod and the price is very reasonable. It's definitely sturdy enough to hold a decent amount of camera weight and the tripod does not wobble. Since it's made of aluminum, it's lightweight but it won't be as strong as carbon fiber tripods which can cost 5x-6x more than what the Proline costs.

If and when you do upgrade to a better tripod, this can be used as a backup, used as a beater or be passed down to someone who's learning photography and needs a basic starter tripod.




Manufacturer: Dolica
Site: Buy from Amazon / Buy from Adorama
Price: $39.95

Extra Quick Release Plate
Site: Buy from Amazon / Buy from Adorama
Price: $8.95


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