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Holiday Gear Guide: Gifts Over $500

898831 Holiday Gear Guide: Gifts Over $500

Sigma 35mm f/1.4 Lens Time was, you bought a Sigma when you couldn’t afford a better lens. In the past five months, Sigma has completely turned that stigma and the photography community upside down, with the result that their 35mm f/1.4 is one of the best lenses on the market today. This is the ultimate gift that has jumped to the top of nearly every photographer’s list. Be the ultimate giver and nab them this amazing lens. [Amazon | B&H ]

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842926 Holiday Gear Guide: Gifts Over $500

Nikon D800 This is probably the most popular Nikon DSLR on the market, and most certainly the one Nikon wants you to buy. We are usually wary of that kind of mentality, but in this case we agree with Nikon. This camera is smaller and more compact than the D3X or the D4, but doesn’t lack any of the power. It’s Lee and Pat’s camera of choice, and the choice of thousands of Nikon faithful around the planet. Grab it if the photographer in your life is still shooting Nikon crop sensor- you WILL get tears of joy. [Amazon | B&H ]

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847545 Holiday Gear Guide: Gifts Over $500

Canon 5D Mark III I never thought I would desire something so much as the Canon 5D Mark III. For the longest time, I contented myself with the 7D and the 60D, both fantastic cameras. But when I put a 5D in my hand, the game was changed. The image quality is spectacular, and it’s just a camera that lets me focus on shooting and nothing else. Much like the Nikon D800, you will get tears of joy if you gift this to the photographer in your life. [Amazon | B&H ]

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891513 Holiday Gear Guide: Gifts Over $500

Sony Alpha A99 If you know someone who is a great photographer, but is just entering into the pro-digital photography scene and isn’t invested too heavily in lenses for other brands, they might be interested in Sony. Sony’s latest full frame digital SLR is pretty spectacular and is making photogs the world over think again about Sony. Plus that copper ring is just plain sexy. [Amazon | B&H ]

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843008 Holiday Gear Guide: Gifts Over $500

Canon 24-70mm f/2.8 II 24-70mm is the most popular focal length for any digital SLR or photographer simply because of the versatility. It can simply “do it all.” Canon’s latest iteration left some wanting more given the price point, but it’s a stellar lens for a still photographer. All of the complaints that existed in the last lens have been fixed in this version, and it’s a stunner. [Amazon | B&H ]

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520637 Holiday Gear Guide: Gifts Over $500

Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8 For the Nikon shooter, 24-70 is going to offer a similarly awesome lens to the new Canon glass, but for a lot less money. Though not as newly renovated as the Canon, the Nikkor glass is spectacular and deserves a spot in any Nikon shooter’s bag. FS contributor Blair Bunting uses this lens basically exclusively when he shoots his commercial work: it’s that reliable. [Amazon | B&H ]

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845339 Holiday Gear Guide: Gifts Over $500

Tamron 24-70mm f/2.8 VC Way less expensive than Canon or Nikon, the Tamron 24-70mm may not be as sharp as its competitors, but it’s got something no one else has: wicked vibration reduction. Tamron excels with their VC, and there is no better choice for video. It’s amazing how well this lens works when it comes to reducing shake. It’s uncanny. [Amazon | B&H ]

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760088 Holiday Gear Guide: Gifts Over $500

Manfrotto Video Tripod These things are pretty expensive, but they’re worth every cent. Heavy, sturdy and with an amazing pan head these tripods are the kind you see professional grips and videographers using. For video, there is no better tripod. They work well for still too, if you have to use them, but their main purpose is spectacularly stable video shots. Must have for any aspiring videographer. [Amazon | B&H ]

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853533 Holiday Gear Guide: Gifts Over $500

Sigma 50-150mm f/2.8 Lens This is one of those “workhorse” lenses that you hear us photographers mumbling about now and again. With a great focal range, fast aperture and great performance, this lens is a fantastic addition to any photographer’s arsenal. It’s using Sigma’s new hardware which includes better optics and a more accurate and faster autofocus motor. Sigma has been stepping up, and this is just another fine example of that fact. [Amazon | B&H ]

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423691 Holiday Gear Guide: Gifts Over $500

Canon 85mm f/1.2 L II Sure, we can settle for the non-L glass 85mm, but this lens is the Portrait lens for any Canon photog. It’s just amazing, and we want it. If we find this in our stocking, there will be profuse squealing, some hugging and possibly a lot of running around in circles. [Amazon | B&H ]

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837868 Holiday Gear Guide: Gifts Over $500

Sigma 180mm f/2.8 Macro Lens Sigma is doing the unprecedented in being the first third party lens manufacturer to land on our gear guide three times in one section. The 180mm macro is another showstopper, boasting beautiful bokeh, ridiculous autofocus sensitivity and perfect sharpness. Any wildlife photographer would drool over seeing this under the tree. [Amazon | B&H ]

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798870 Holiday Gear Guide: Gifts Over $500

Leica M9-P It’s a Leica, and so you can expect pristine optics, gorgeous performance and a great retro feel. If you can afford it, this is a fantastic compact mirrorless camera that will give any photographer the ability to capture life’s moments as they happen in stunning fashion. [Amazon | B&H ]

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842930 Holiday Gear Guide: Gifts Over $500

Olympus OM-D We’ve been tough on Olympus in the past, but this is the camera that saved the company from what appeared to be certain doom. The OM-D is the best mirrorless camera on the market (it passed our tests with flying colors). This camera is so popular, B&H has a hard time keeping it stocked. With a low price and fantastic image quality and usability, this is the compact camera you should own. [Amazon | B&H ]

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cinevateatlas Holiday Gear Guide: Gifts Over $500

Cinvevate Atlas This is the Fstoppers slider of choice. Super smooth, lightweight, compact, and makes for very high budget looking shots. If your friend is a videographer and he doesn’t have a slider, buy this for him or her. It will make him scream like the Nintendo 64 kids on Christmas morning. [Amazon | B&H ]

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macbookair Holiday Gear Guide: Gifts Over $500

Apple 13.3″ MacBook Air It’s no pro, but it’s still a powerhouse of a computer. It is more than powerful enough to run a few of the photographer’s must-use programs and packs down to an unbelievably light package. I personally prefer a desktop computer for editing when possible, but when I’m on the road, power takes a backseat to light weight. You can’t beat the Air when it comes to the lightweight category. [Amazon | B&H]

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872003 Holiday Gear Guide: Gifts Over $500

Apple 15.4″ MacBook Pro If there is no room for a desktop computer, with the MacBook Pro, it won’t be missed. More than enough power and in a lightweight package, this computer is the computer of choice for pros around the world as their go-to main computer. The one with Retina display is just plain gorgeous and for photographers is the only thing we really want to be looking at. [B&H]

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iPad2 Holiday Gear Guide: Gifts Over $500

Apple iPad With Retina Display Nobody NEEDS an iPad, but I’ll be damned if we don’t all want one. The best interface on the market, more apps than any other tablet, and a simplicity of design that makes us all smile. Yes, we hate you Apple for making something we don’t need and making us CRAVE it. Yet we love you. Don’t stop making iPads. Oh, and did I mention that with an Eye-Fi card you can shoot wirelessly to the iPad no matter where you are? That’s pretty sweet if you’re a portrait photographer. [B&H ]

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850337 Holiday Gear Guide: Gifts Over $500

Adobe Photoshop CS6 Extended Photoshop is a must-have in my book. If you’re a photographer, you aren’t getting the most out of your work unless you’re using the digital darkroom that is Photoshop. If you see your friend tinkering with free online photo editors or another lame program, don’t let him suffer. Get him the gift that will make all other gifts blush. [Amazon | B&H ]

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steadicammerlin Holiday Gear Guide: Gifts Over $500

Steadicam Merlin Are you one of those friends who doesn’t mention that your buddy’s videos are shaky and… distracting? Fix the problem, and give him the gift that is the equivalent of a breath mint to a garlic lover. It’s the steadicam of choice for Fstoppers.com, and we love the results we can achieve with it. [Amazon | B&H ]

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840405 Holiday Gear Guide: Gifts Over $500

Kino Flo Barfly There are few lights that I can say with certainty can be used effectively with both still and video work, but Kino Flo has it down. The light you see in our FS originals comes from these guys, and Peter Hurley has used them for years in his headshot work. They’re gorgeous. Get em. [B&H ]

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31i4woofwsL Holiday Gear Guide: Gifts Over $500

Elinchrom 7 Foot Octa Bank So you want the biggest, softest light imaginable? Done. Elinchrom’s massive 7 foot octa bank is big enough to get even soft light across an entire body, not withstanding your everyday giant. Provided the space is available to set this sucker up, it’s one of the best light modifier options out there. [Amazon | B&H]

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