You have insurance to cover damage to, loss of, or theft of your photography equipment, or do you? We have all heard the words of warning, look both ways before you cross the street, don’t talk to strangers, and read the fine print. Maybe for photographers it should be read the fine print before you sell a print. Recently a friend of mine (who, for the purposes of this post we’ll call Bill), learned about insurance and the fine print found in policies in an unfortunate way. Bill had his home broken into and some of his expensive photography equipment stolen. Having someone violate your home is hard enough, but the loss of valuable items is like salt in a wound. Finding out that the insurance you purchased and thought protected your loss doesn’t have you covered, might take you to a different state of mind and not in a good way. Read the fine print.
No, I don’t have the specs for the D400 (should it ever be more than a vapor-camera) but after reading many “Df compared to” articles, I was thinking about what Nikon’s sales would be if they produced a D400 instead of the Df. I am going to go against Nasim and Roman’s love affair with the new Nikon Df and say that I don’t care much for it. Sure, it is cool looking, but otherwise? I made the comment to Nasim and later to Bob (who might feel as I do) that it doesn’t do much for me. Roman concluded in summary of his Df vs D610 article that you buy the Df with your heart and so it may be that I am heartless. When it comes to the Nikon Df vs the mythical D400, which would Nikon be better off producing?
We’ve all seen the high speed photography shots of bullets piercing objects, water droplets or lightning strikes but maybe aside from lightning strikes, not all of us have had the opportunity to take photos like that. Many of us only get to admire other photographer’s work when it comes to ultra fast action shots like these. I recently got a chance to play with a multifunctional trigger that makes high speed photography easier and fun but also does more than just help with high speed photography. In this review of the Nero Trigger, we will look at some of its modes and how it performs.
1) Size and Construction
The trigger, also covered by a 2 year manufacturer’s warranty, comes neatly packaged in a box with custom fit foam around the trigger giving it excellent protection during shipping which, by the way, is free! The company has shipped mine via DHL and I received it in just a few days. A small, concise, but clear user manual is included and can also be downloaded in pdf format from the company website.
Since purchasing a 500mm lens, I have not had a backpack that it will fit in. I have always had it in either my Airport Commuter or my Airport International bags, both made by Think Tank Photo. The Nikon 500 f/4G VR lens does not come with a bag, but instead it comes with a heavy, large case, so I needed a bag specifically for this lens. Ultimately, I chose another Think Tank product and in this review we will take a look at the Glass Limo backpack. Will we like this backpack as much as we like the other Think Tank reviews? The answer is a mixed bag (pun intended) so read on to find out the good and the bad about the Glass Limo.
Materials and Specifications
Those of you that are regular readers know that all of us at Photographylife.com love Think Tank products. You also know that they are made from excellent and durable materials so I will post the materials and specifications from their website:
You have heard it said, “Shoot first, ask questions later” but when it comes to wildlife photography, if you will ask questions first, you will get to shoot more later. This quick tip for the beginning wildlife photographer encourages you to ask questions. While you might go to a park to find wildlife, some photo ops might be in your own backyard, literally, and if not your own backyard, maybe in your friend’s or neighbor’s backyard.
Some time ago, I was busy frequenting a local park looking for a bobcat that was being seen. I made at least 20 visits and spent considerable time there looking for that bobcat. I found tracks and evidence of its kills but I never found the cat. On one particular day I had been out to the park for about 4 hours hiking and looking, all to no avail. I got home and my wife asked, “Did you see the pictures of the mountain lion that so and so posted on their Facebook page?” I asked where she had seen the mountain lion and it turned out that it was in her back yard. When I heard this, I was a bit frustrated, as I had been within a few minutes of their home when I was looking for the bobcat and had I known that there was a lion there, I would have made a trip over there to try and see it. By this time however, I knew that realistically, it was long gone.
Ok, I know you may be thinking, “How is take a kid shooting a wildlife photography tip?” Maybe it isn’t in the traditional sense. Regardless, I was thinking about an ad campaign here in the United States that promoted fishing whose slogan was “Take a kid fishing” and it got me to thinking about photography and a similar slogan that could be “Take a Kid Shooting”. I have a grandson that has taken a liking to photography having been influenced by his father and grandfather’s love of taking photos. His interest has given me the pleasure to take him out and have him shoot with me from time to time.
Many people enjoy photographing wildlife but sometimes don’t seem to know where to go to find the opportunities. It doesn’t need to involve going to exotic locations or spending big money for a guided trip. Oftentimes, some of the most accessible wildlife is found if not literally in your backyard, then close by. In this quick tip for the beginner wildlife photographer, we advise you to get out and go to the park.
Living in an urban setting doesn’t mean you don’t have access to wildlife. In fact, much of the wildlife found in urban settings, give photographers an advantage over their more rural counterparts – they are more approachable. Any animal that is more acclimated to humans, tends to be less skittish and will allow closer interaction. In local parks, there are people walking, riding bikes, jogging, fishing, boating, playing, etc. and due to this increased human activity, the animals tend to recognize our behavior as less threatening. They recognize things that are out of the norm and will heighten their alert mechanisms only when something is different.
It’s been a while since we had a tip for beginners, so here is a quick post for the wildlife photographer. It’s not uncommon for friends of mine to see a photo like the one below and for them to ask where I took it. Quite frequently my response to them is, “From the window of my car.” They usually laugh thinking that I am joking and then I tell them that I’m serious. If you take many wildlife shots, you will quickly realize that oftentimes, animals are acclimated to cars and if we stay inside them, we don’t stress them as much and they don’t flee as fast.
Over the past few months I have had the opportunity to test and use the Airport Commuter backpack from Think Tank while taking it on trips as well as using it around town. In this review, I will look at the backpack in detail, go over its features and discuss how it has been serving my photography needs when I travel. As you may already know, I am a wildlife photographer, hence not many bags can accommodate my gear. I decided to get the Airport Commuter because it is one of the largest travel-safe backpacks offered by Think Tank, which can fit long, super telephoto lenses like 400mm f/2.8 or 500mm f/4.
1) General Information and Dimensions
- Meets International and USA domestic airlines’ carry-on size requirements (check with your airline to confirm before traveling)
- Cable lock & locking YKK zipper sliders for added security
- Holds your laptop and iPad in a separate (lockable) zippered compartment
- Includes tripod/monopod mounting system
- Bottom hinge opens bag completely for quick and unencumbered access
- Light, comfortable and contoured harness system
- Top zippered pocket for boarding pass
- Removable waist belt for additional stability when walking, running, etc.
- Adapts to Pro Speed Belt for additional support
- Water bottle pocket
- Ultra-Stretch pockets on shoulder straps
- Robust handles on three sides
- Easily accessible front organizer pocket
- Seam sealed rain cover included
- YKK RC-Fuse zipper and highest quality materials throughout
- External Dimensions: 12.5” W x 18.” H x 8.5” D (31.6 × 45.7 × 21.6cm)
- Internal Dimensions: 11.5” W x 16.3” H x 6.8” D (29.2 × 42.4 × 17.3cm)
- Laptop: 11” W x 16” H x 1.3” D (27 × 40 × 3.5cm)
- Weight: 3.5-4.2lbs (1.5-1.9kg)
1.3) What’s in the Bag?
If you don’t get out to take photos when it’s raining or snowing, then you are missing some great opportunities! In this review of the Think Tank Hydrophobia 300-600 v2.0, I will go over the features of this protective cover, talk about its use and how it helps me capture unique photographs of wildlife in the most difficult weather conditions.
When it comes to protecting your gear in inclement weather, you can go the cheap route with a plastic bag, or if your gear fits, really “go big” with a plastic protector with cinch closure such as the Optech Rain sleeve – better than a plastic trash bag, but still not the best option. I have used the Optech Rain sleeve in the past and while it is light, takes up almost no room and is cheap, it isn’t very durable and isn’t as easy to use as the more expensive rain covers. For instance, one limitation is the single opening that your hand has to go up to control the camera. I tend to keep one of these available in a backpack if I am not planning on bad weather but want to be prepared just in case. They work in a pinch and for brief showers so they are good for the unexpected, but for real protection, you’ll want to invest in a dedicated rain cover that will allow you to fully operate the camera and still protect it from rain, snow, dirt or sand. If you are likely to run into bad weather or harsh conditions such as wind blown sand or dirt, consider a more complete system such as the Hydrophobia from Think Tank, a complete system that is built like its manufacturer’s name – a tank. To suit your needs there are 3 different sizes to choose from: one to fit a 70-200mm lens, one to fit a 70-200 with a flash mounted and lastly, the Hydrophobia 300-600 v2.0, designed to fit lenses from 300mm to 600mm f/4 and which we will review here.