In business for 39 years, Vistek carries a complete line of almost every Canon and Nikon lens,
including lesser-known items “like tilt-shifts and
super-telephotos that most people would consider too expensive to purchase, given how specialized they are,” says creative director Christopher Huchenski.
Huchenski says they’ve recently seen an explosion in a;ordable video equipment, along
with the introduction of gimbals and drones.
"And some photographers have started using
fluorescent and LED lights, where in the past less
sensitive cameras weren’t able to use this type
of lighting.” Photographers are asking more fre-
quently for mirrorless cameras like the Sony a7R
II, he adds, “due to their lightweight and compact
Vistek is in the midst of launching a new VIP
rental program to speed pickups for commercial
accounts. “If you are on a $100,000-a-day shoot,
you need to be able to get in and out as fast as
possible,” Huchenski explains.
STUDIO + EQUIPMENT GUIDE 2016
Silverline Studios in the Leslieville district particularly attracts fashion, retail and editorial clients,
and here, too, motion is a growing medium, says
owner Chris Chapman.
In 2001, Chapman set up this location as a
rental space, expanding and renovating it in 2011.
“Now we have several studio managers that
oversee a much larger rental gear business that
includes camera bodies, lenses, Profoto lighting
and digital-capture carts,” he says.
There are three studios at Silverline that can
be used in various combinations, including turn-
ing them all into one large space. This, says
Chapman, “gives producers the ability to give
the client and the photographer their own space
to work out of without feeling disconnected.”
In business for 15 years, Chapman says he
doesn’t focus on trying to keep up with the “lat-
est, greatest” gear in house, and opts to out-
source whatever his clients need. Instead, Silver-
line’s mission centers on service and flexibility.
Over in the West End, Album Studios is flourishing,
adding new space to two complexes this year, with
plans to add its first cove studio soon.
Album has three studios onsite, and located five
minutes away by car are o;-site studios D, E and
Studio 114. A is the largest onsite studio at 1,550
square feet, which includes a full kitchen, a heated
floor and north-facing windows. Studio B is smaller
at 1,050 square feet, but has many of the same fea-
tures (with south-facing windows) and is their most
accessible option in terms of budget. Studio C, at
575 square feet, is for smaller productions with a
smaller budget. It’s at their o;site location where
large still and motion productions take place, with
three spaces ranging from 1,475 to 2,650 square
feet and drive-in and loading dock accessibility.
Because of its range, Album Studios sees clients from the fashion industry to commercial food
photography. It also hosts events such as weddings
and product launches. Equipment rentals are also
strong—and are about 50 percent of business.
Album began in 2011 with three studios. Like at
Kaizen, the biggest change since then, says studio
manager Sheila McElrea, is their still-photographer
clients expanding into motion work.
Another change, she says, is more requests for
support on location. “[That] means an increase in
battery-powered location lighting,” she says. “We’re
also seeing lower power requirements with clients
wanting less contrived lighting for their projects.”