MAC Group is a sales and marketing company that represents 18 diverse image-making companies, with a lineup of top brands that includes Benro and MeFOTO tripods, Và¼ camera filters, ILFORD inkjet media, PocketWizard wireless triggering systems and Tenba camera bags. These tools are geared towards professional photographers, filmmakers, educators and students.
Và¼ Filter Series
Và¼ is a U.S.-based optical design company that creates high-quality UV (Ultra Violet) Circular Polarizers, Neutral- Density and Variable Neutral-Density filters for the photography and film industries. They recently announced the Sion and Ariel Filter collections, which incorporate innovative design processes such as black-edged glass to minimize internal reflections and CNC (computer controlled cutting) machined aluminum filter rings to provide precise optical alignment. Và¼ Filters’ proprietary White Balanced Multi-Coating supports optimum transmission of image-forming light, while avoiding color shifts.
“The brand has two very unique patentpending features,” says Victor Ha, Brand Manager of Và¼ Filters. “The first is the iO Lock, which is a unique feature to our UV filters. It employs a double gasket made from silicon, which seals and protects the lens’s front element from moisture and the environment. The second patented feature is the internal control ring on our 100mm Professional Filter Holder.” He adds that many people use a Circular Polarizer when using 100mm drop-in filters, and the Và¼ filter holder is the only one in the industry that allows photographers to rotate the polarizer easily when using 100mm dropins. “We’ve combined beautiful design with practical engineering to create a firstclass product.”
The Sion line features glass drop-in Neutral-Density filters for use with the Và¼ 100mm Professional Filter Holder, which will accommodate up to three drop-in filters and one 82mm screw-in filter. This enables you to change filters easily without removing the filter holder from the lens. Sion Neutral-Density Filters are available in varying densities in both fixed and graduated filter options, and in hard and soft gradations. In the drop-in category, filter sizes range from 100 x 100mm to 100 x 150mm. This line also includes filters that screw onto the lens’s front element, and are available in sizes from 39mm to 82mm. “We offer a variety of options for the photographer,” Ha points out. “But at the same time, we’re not interested in being a company that offers the greatest quantity of filters ”” we want to be the company that offers the highest quality filters at a great value.” Sion UV filters start at $44 and Ariel UV filters start at $36. For more information, visit www.Và¼Filters.com.
New Ilford Inkjet Media
“Our ILFORD products range from an everyday Smooth Pearl to Gold Fibre Silk finish inkjet papers,” remarks Joshua Fischer, Brand Manager for the ILFORD, NOVOFLEX, Gepe and Kaiser product lines. “The Silk paper line represents the crème de la crème for us; it’s the Rolls Royce of our line.” Fischer points out that as a 138-year-old paper company, “ILFORD is one of the longest-standing companies in the photo industry.”
The new ILFORD Galerie Prestige lineup is comprised of Smooth Fine Art Canvas, a stretchable canvas with superior framing performance; Canvas Natural, a matte surface canvas with striking color reproduction; Prestige Heavyweight Duo Matt, a double-sided paper designed for professional photo albums, portfolios and display prints; Prestige Metallic Gloss, a resin-coated paper with an iridium finish that imparts a three-dimensional look; and Prestige Gold Raster Silk, a resin-coated paper with a “no glare” silk finish for displaying impactful studio portraits and special images captured at weddings, christenings and other special occasions.
ILFORD also sponsors the ILFORD Masters program, in which renowned photographers such as Gregory Heisler, Elinor Carucci and Seth Resnick offer input on ILFORD’S professional products. During a New York exhibit of Gregory Heisler’s work printed on ILFORD paper, Fischer says, “Heisler was wandering around like a kid in a candy store. He said that prior to that, he had primarily seen these images at 8 1/2 x11 inches on magazine covers.”
ILFORD Galerie Prestige products range from $19.95 for a sample pack to $450 for a roll. For more information on Ilford media, visit www.ilford.com.
MAC Group Tripod Introductions
“MeFOTO has just launched the Sidekick 360 Plus, our larger-sized smartphone adapter,” says Brian Hynes, Brand Manager for MAC Group’s Induro, MeFOTO and Benro tripod lineup. “The Sidekick 360 Plus accommodates the iPhone 6 Plus and larger Samsung Galaxy smartphone models.” The adapter is constructed with high-quality anodized aluminum and provides mobile photographers with solid camera support and precision control. A 360° rotating ball joint allows for quick repositioning of the phone from horizontal to vertical.
The ability to attach a smartphone to a tripod enables users to create effects like time-lapse photography and long exposures via apps on their phones. “Also, photographers are starting to shoot more video, and they can do some smooth panning shots on a tripod,” Hynes points out. “Basically, this item enables you to have more fun with your smartphone, whether you’re doing photo or video.” The Sidekick 360 comes in 12 colors and retails for $49.
Benro recently introduced a series of three-legged monopods for photo and video use, in response to requests from photographers seeking the convenience of a monopod combined with the added stability of feet at the base. “These monopods are designed for sports photographers, street photographers and anyone who wants more freedom with a monopod,” Hynes explains. They incorporate either flip or twist leg-lock mechanisms and support a range of camera sizes. The monopods are sturdy but lightweight, folding down to 21-22 inches when not in use, depending on the model. The A38FD, A48FD, A38TD and A48TD models range from $76 to $89. For more information, visit www.mefoto. com and www.benrousa.com.