Fotodiox – A Trip to the Candy Store (part 2)

Today we continue our trip report to Fotodiox, the photographer’s ultimate candy store.

Walking through the aisles of the Fotodiox warehouse reminds one of wandering through your neighborhood Costco, but for photographer’s only.  There is everything here, arranged neatly into racks, bins, boxes, etc., all ready to be shipped out to photographers world-wide.  This is an extremely professional organization, and one which is expanding rapidly as the market for photo accessories grows.

Today, Fotodiox carries a dizzying array of tools, accessories, bits and pieces.  In fact, I would say that if there is some item that you feel you need, either for digital or film, you are best checking them out before trolling all over the internet.  I bet they have it.  However, in the future, expect to see more and more “specialty” products from Fotodiox.  They are hard at work researching and designing new, exciting, unique products for the market.

Their current “hot-seller” was designed and developed in house.

Nikon 14-24mm Filter Adapter 

One of Nikon’s most highly regarded lenses, the 14-24mm, has a built-in hood and design which has precluded the use of filters.  While an amazing lens, this design limits the options open to the serious photographer.  Thus Fotodiox steps in.  They have designed an add-on collar for the lens which is quite ingenious, providing a 145mm filter base for the lens (they also manufacture a wide range of filter options in this size as well).  This not only provides additional protection for a very expensive lens, but offers many creative options as well.

Fotodiox has also been at the forefront of the DSLR video revolution as well.  In addition to all of the standard tools a videographer would be look for in terms of mounts, reflectors, etc., Fotodiox stocks a large selection of LED based “hot” (in this case “cool”) lights.  You can buy LEDs in every size imaginable; from small, rechargeable battery-powered units to fit into the hot-shoe of your DSLR to large, floor-standing units to light up your set.  These are proving to be extremely popular in that you can “dial-in” your desired color-temp on the light itself (which uses an array of varied LEDs) and set your camera, and go.

LED Lighting Kit (Multi-Temp) 

LEDs are the next wave in lighting for both the photographer and the videographer.  They use little power, offer amazing control, and unlike strobes, provide an “as you see it” approach to lighting.  One of the benefits of working with Fotodiox is that they are extremely knowledgeable in all of the products they sell.  If you have a question about exactly which product would be right for you and/or your situation, call them – they are there to help.

Walking through the warehouse, I was struck by all of the possibilities one could put together with all of the products at our fingertips.  Turning to Jeff, I asked him to see “how crazy” we could get with some combinations.  He looked at me and said, “wait here” and disappeared down an aisle.  He came back moments later with a large wooden tripod under one arm and a selection of bits and pieces in a box under the other.  He motioned, “follow me.”

We walked outside to the parking lot and he began to set the tripod.  From out of the box came a view-camera and lens, then a back-plate for it, then a Canon lens adapter, then a Sony NEX to Canon adapter.  “Hand me your NEX-7,” he instructed.  I complied and he bolted it directly into the monster in front of him.  “Let’s see what we can do here.”  He focused the construct until a car in the lot came into clear focus.

The Monster (NEX-7 Attached to View Camera w/Canon Adapter) 

He explained, “Now, this is a bit of an extreme situation, but that’s what you asked for.  However, think of it.  You now have full tilt-shift and swing control using a state-of-the-art camera and sensor.  What’s better yet, due to the crop factor of the system, you are only using the center of the lens, thus the sweet-spot which is extremely clear and bright.  All of this captured at 24 mp.  You asked for it.”

We played with the system for about 15-30 minutes, pointing it at about everything we could think of.  It was a lot of fun.  Essentially, we had turned the Sony NEX-7 into a digital back for a view camera.  The only problem was that rather than being in the Swiss Alps photographing majestic peaks, we were in an industrial parking lot on a grey day photographing minivans.  Oh, well.

Let me end by once again thanking Jeff for his kind hospitality and tour of Fotodiox.  It is an amazing place.  This is one company to keep an eye on as they work to fill-in the cracks of the photographic industry, providing both much needed products at very competitive prices, as well as things neither you nor I could have thought of.

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