LONGTERMERS

 Features Editor

When meeting new people, itunlikely youbecome best buds with them immediately. Therethe initial  breaking in’phase —you invite them down the pub. Then therethe first moment you  open up’—divulge gripes about politics, latest megapixel envy and if feeling emotional, relationship woes. After that comes another extra curricular activity depending on the kind of mate they are —the quiet one often bodes well for a landscape accompaniment.

Before a brand spanking new piece of kit becomes your loyal pal, ita similar ball game. You take her out for the first time, hoping youbecome more than just acquaintances, and when experiencing your first spat —she didnperform in low light —leave her to stew for a week or so until youboth calmed down. And so we began this feature to give you an insight into some of the high-tech gear which makes its way into the office —good and bad —from accessories to new lenses and bodies to see how we grow with our buddies over time, which is what all photographers learn to do.

This month ita cool 30mm portrait lens which landed on one of our desks, an underwater analogue specimen from Lomography, as well as a handful of fun short-term goodies which kept us amused.

OLIVER BRACEY —NINTENDO 3DS

Features Writer Jessica Braceyyounger brother saw life in 3D when photographing with the Nintendo 3DS.

"I wasnvery impressed with the camera on the 3DS when you compare it to actual cameras, but then again its main function is a games console. When taking pictures of my friends doing bike tricks it was quick to react when capturing the action and I liked that you could see the 3D image right in front of you without having to wear special glasses, it also made the main subject stand out which was cool. Overall, the quality isngreat so Irather by a compact camera that has 3D capabilities instead."

KATHRINE ANKER —SIGMA 30MM F/1.4

Features Editor of Professional Photographer magazine, travelled to Colombia with a 30mm f/1.4 Sigma lens on her Canon 500D.

"Being equipped with a Sigma 30mm f/1.4 makes random photography encounters so much easier. In the past when Istopped people in the street and asked them if I could take their picture, the moment has often become awkward due to the time Ispent faffing with the settings while the subjectpose became gradually more self-conscious and rigid. If you dial the aperture all the way to f/1.4 on the Sigma 30mm and get your focus right, youalmost guaranteed a flattering portrait with a nice blurry background all in one click, and with the added bonus of capturing the moment before the person on the other side of the lens starts putting on their posed face. I had plenty of opportunities to experience this on my recent holiday in Colombia. Not wanting to look like too much of a tourist, I was really happy to be able to snap quickly and let people get on with their lives."

LORNA DOCKERILL —FISHEYE 2 AND SUBMARINE UNDERWATER HOUSING FROM LOMOGRAPHY

 Sigma 30mm

PM s Features Editor Lorna Dockerill plunged into the Turkish ocean with Lomography s 35mm Fisheye and the brand s submarine underwater housing.

"Take me anywhere with dazzling sunshine and turquoise waters and you ll lose me to aqua paradise within five minutes. An hour later I ll probably emerge having found much enjoyment from lurking beneath waves or splashing sun worshippers while cackling with glee. A welcome distraction for a self confessed poolside pain in the rear then was the Lomography Fisheye 35mm and accompanying waterproof housing.

"With most underwater digital cameras, they are sophisticated enough to guesstimate the correct ISO though colour may be lost.

I opted for Fuji Velvia ISO 200 for the sunny European setting but was concerned that during a dark 15m dive the results would lack definition and be a blue blur. But thanks to a handy exterior switch on the housing which fired up the flash I was able to snap my dive buddies, and though a little murky the images held enough light for subjects to be distinguishable. Yet the cog to wind on the film —which consists of a rubber ring within the interior of the plastic casing —kept catching, so I gobbled most my air fiddling and worrying that the next exposure wouldn t work. Underwater though, it is light and works up to 20m in the deep. At $69 (just under ?45) it s inexpensive and fun, but if you re after a relaxing snorkel while leisurely papping some clown fish, this analogue baby and its plastic pal won t be for you."

NOEL HIBBERT —NIKON D800

"This camera absorbs an incredible amount of detail so you can go on forever. Crank up the ISO and you ll still get some brilliant images. Even for wedding photography I rarely use flash, just up the ISO and I come away with hardly any shadows."

SHORT-TERM ACCESSORIES —TILTPOD BY GOMITE

Slotting his iPhone into this clever little mount, Noel was able to record behind the scenes of his recent shoots.

"What I like about this little magnetic thing is that it has a keyring hook and string, so it s really comfortable to keep in your pocket and perfect for holidays when travelling light. It doesn t topple over and you can spin it around to get the perfect balancing point.

"For my wire wool filming, I positioned it on the floor with my phone inside and angled right up with the phone camera flipped around facing me so I could see myself in the frame. The downside is that you can t wedge a phone with a rugged case into the snug space."

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