This year’s Photokina 2018 has been one of the busiest in recent memory, with the announcement of the L mount alliance and exciting new cameras from Panasonic, Fujifilm and Leica proving that makers still see the show as a good way to break big news. Photokina is not just about headline-grabbing camera or lens releases, however, it’s about cool new accessories and photo services too. Here are some of our favourites (note: not in order of preference)

Manfrotto BeFree
The tripod maker used its large stand to show off the aluminium, all-in-one BeFree 2N1 that turns into monopod as needed, along with the tasty looking BeFree Narissimo and Live QPL, aimed at videographers needing fail-safe stability.


STC clip-in filters

The Taiwanese filter maker attracted a lot of interest with its ‘clip-in’ filters, which you clip over the camera sensor, before affixing the lens. STC claims its filters can solve the colour shift issue that may occur on the edges of filtered images taken with wide-angle lenses. It also saves having to lug around delicate filters in your bag, and a wide range of cameras are supported.

Laowa lenses
The Venus Optics stand was justifiably busy, showcasing an interesting range of lenses – from 17mm, 12mm and 9mm primes for Micro Four Thirds and Canon mirrorless, through to the world’s widest Sony FE lens, the Laowa 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6. The oddball 24mm f/14 2x Macro Probe lens fascinated a lot of visitors; this waterproof proboscis was plunged into a mini aquarium to reveal the life within. It has mount options for Canon EF, Nikon F, Pentax K and Sony FE cameras.


LowePro ProTastic bags

LowePro showcased its latest ProTactic BP 350 AW II and ProTactic BP 450 AW II range, able to house two DSLs with up to eight lenses and other accessories including a laptop

Hahnel chargers for Sony
The Irish accessory maker revealed the ProCube2 charger for the Sony A7 III. It can charge two batteries at the same time and has plates for the Sony NP-BX1 and FW50 batteries, along with four AA batteries. Also in a pipeline is an all-in-one USB lead supporting the three main types.

 

Skylum software
Moving on to software, the company previously known as MacPhun impressed visitors with its latest version of Luminar 2018, along with Photolemur 3, Aurora HDR and Picture Speed. The company now has an interesting rate of products, from quick and easy photo fixes (bland/blown out skies, for instance) to sophisticated HDR editing.

Nassari 360
Portrait and wedding photographer, John Nassari, has developed an online tool with turns your images into “immersive 360 degree experiences.” You can embed photos, video and audio, and images can be used from any camera, including smartphones. More details and tutorials on Nassari’s Vimeo channel.

Kodak Ektachrome
Back in the day Kodak dominated Photokina, but now it’s a much smaller player that gets distracted by crypto-currencies. A lot of film photographers will be cheered to hear it’s bringing back Ektachrome film, however. The Ektachrome Film E100 range is available now while a Super 8 format will be available October. A 16mm version of the film is also planned.

Vuze XR
Vuze used Photokina to announce its new 360-degree camera that switches between 3D and 2D in a single click. It can shoot at 5.7K 30p or 4K 60p, with software provided for 5.7k recording.


Outergram straps

Some interesting camera straps and harnesses were on display at the show, but the best looking ones were made by Korean company, Outergram. They feature strong leather and sturdy but eye-catching threads and look great. Available on Amazon or the official website. Blackrapid was also showing off its Nicole Elliott range, developed by the eponymous photographer – the only camera strap designed for women by women, claims the company.