PhotoPlus Expo 2009 Recap

This week saw the annual PDN PhotoPlus Expo come to the Jacob Javits Center. I stopped in a couple days of the Expo to meet up with friends and walk around drooling at the gear, but wasn’t shopping for anything in particular this time around.

What I liked

Perch in a book

There are always lots of things to look at — great photos, great papers and output samples, books and promo materials for working photographers [above:’s business card and postcard service featuring a case study they did for the Perch CMS in a book made by Blurb], and lots and lots of gear from some of the biggest lenses you’ll ever see to some of the smallest. What caught my attention this year?

  • Nikon’s revamped 70-200mm f2.8 VRII lens due in stores in a few weeks is nice and smooth and responsive in the trade show floor lighting conditions. Might not make those that have the current model run out and upgrade, but the staple lens just got better
  • Sony had, among lots of nifty toys on both the still and video side, a nice lineup of speakers including Cristina Mittermeier, founder of the International League of Conservation Photographers
  • Walked in just as Joe McNalley was giving a talk at the Bogen booth. Having caught his Nikon speedlight demo in past years I was happy to hear him talk more generally about his career. Oh, and I won a copy of his book!
  • Manhandled the Olympus EP-1 again. Its a format I really want to like, and the kit with the 17mm f2.8 pancake lens is nice and compact. Focus seemed really hunty with continus focusing and face recognition on, but aside from some momentary settings issues it was solid. I just haven’t had the need to pull the trigger on one of these things yet.
  • Helicopter! Sky Shutter AeriCam was getting lots of strange looks and many, many questions about their Radio Controlled Helicopter capable of carrying a DSLR sized camera with a 360º rotating controlled mount for aerial photography.
  • Lensbaby had a booth again this year and had their new 12mm 160º fisheye at the show. Optics looked alright and a nice cheap way to get a fisheye lens if you’ve already got there system.
  • Don’t have studio space? is a brand new venture that looks to take a little from the coworking movement and a little from model mayhem to marry people with available and unused studio space with professional who could use it. Definitely something to watch closely.

D90 & new 70-200mm 2.8 VRII

Above: Nikon’s new 70-200mm 2.8 on my D90 shooting one of the large prints in the Nikon booth.

Who I missed

Though the show floor was packed with people and the booths that were set up were constantly busy, the show did seem a little smaller then previous years. There were a few less gadgety vendors [GPS units, photo frames] and a few notable names missing as well. I was bummed the following weren’t there:

  • Panasonic: I would have liked to check out their micro 4/3s entry the Lumix GF-1 and compared it to the Olympus EP-1 which I did handle.
  • Adobe: MIA the week they released LR3 Beta. Apple having stopped attending and demoing Aperture a a year or two early it wasn’t a crazy idea not to show, but would have liked to see some live demos.
  • Crumpler: I hear they have some new bags soon. mmm bags.
  • [Micro] Stock Companies: Unless my subconscious blocked them from my mind they all seemed absent this year.

Now that I’m all amped on photo stuff its time to get out on a beautiful Sunday and make some photographs.

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