December 22, 2014, 11:45:29 PM

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Messages - curby

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1
@DanoPhoto do you remember the title of the post and/or the subforum it was in?  I wouldn't mind doing some searching but I don't know what to search for.  Thanks!

2
Lenses / Re: Introducing the Canon EF 100-400 f/4.5-5.6L IS II
« on: December 19, 2014, 02:29:43 AM »
I think apart from a rotating zoom (to which people seem to have mixed feelings) the usability with the TCs as confirmed by the MTFs, a reliable and more powerful IS, along with the much improved IQ is a sufficiently good reason for the widespread welcome this lens is getting.

Seems like the only thing missing is the much improved IQ.  Roger's initial, cursory tests over at the rental place indicate it's only around 4% sharper on average.  Of course there are other IQ considerations like flare, CA, distortion, contrast, color reproduction, etc., but 4% better sharpness isn't exactly a slam dunk.   ???

To be clear, I'm looking forward to getting this guy and I want to love the heck out of every aspect of it.  But 4% pales in comparison to the 40% improvement of the 400 DO II over its predecessor.

3
Thanks for the pics, folks.  Seems like you could even keep the thumbwheel and the piece with all the lugs and four screws ... just undo the screws and put the (anticipated) replacement foot on.  If there's threadlock involved you'd have to be careful not to damage the screws while loosening them.

A bit offtopic, but does anyone know what the maximum diameter of the lens hood is?

4
All the more reason for someone to step up and actually make an aftermarket replacement.  They can even fix the wobbling of the standard foot mentioned in this thread (and in the lens instruction manual).

East Wind Photography mentioned that you can add a second screw.  If this means that the standard foot actually has two holes for screws, then that's even better than an anti-twist flange, as the plate's bolted to the foot in two locations.

5
Software & Accessories / Re: Easy-access photo backpack?
« on: December 17, 2014, 09:54:28 PM »
Alrighty, I think I've about made up my mind.  While rear panel access has its benefits and a lot of proponents here, I think the side access style fits my needs better at this time.  I've found the following "double side access" bags:

Fstop Kenti
Lowepro Protactic 350 (450 etc.)
Manfrotto 3N1 25 (etc., formerly Kata)
Tamrac Evolution 8 (etc.)
Vivitar DKS 20 (etc.)
Chrome Niko technically counts but there's only a single set of zipper pulls so it doesn't actually give quick access to either side.

If no one knows of other competitors (double side access camera backpacks in roughly this size class), I'm going to pick up a Kenti early next year. I'm just waiting to see if they offer a holiday discount or something.  :P

Anyway, thanks for all the thoughts and suggestions!

6
Just out of curiosity, can anyone with the lens unscrew the foot and take a shot of the mating surfaces of the foot and the collar?  I'm wondering how they interlock, etc.

More generally, it's a bit of a shame that the stock foot is ramped/curved in the back.  A flat profile would allow the use of longer QR plates with antitwist "lips" to be oriented in either direction.

Getting a little offtopic, I would be surprised if Canon wanted to get into the QR plate/clamp world.  It seems like further fragmentation that wouldn't be of much use to customers or to them, in a niche that they don't have much current interest in.  I mean Canon doesn't even show their own tripods in their product photos: http://shop.usa.canon.com/shop/en/catalog/product-accessories/eos-digital-slr-camera-accessories/eos-tripods-other-accessories/eos-rain-cover-medium-erc-e4m

I'd much rather them work on sensor tech than on support products!

7
I found two replacement feet, both for the 400/600/800mm lenses.  Hopefully they can extend the range!

8
It's great to know who makes generic plates, but who else does decent lens-specific replacement feet with integrated ArcaSwiss rails?  Being lighter, more compact, and directly attached to the collar could be great.

9
I asked Kirk and RRS about this.  Neither have a custom foot replacement with integrated rails ready yet, and they likely wouldn't tell you about future products anyway.  Hopefully someone will make one though, but the lens is brand new so it may take some time.

For now, you'll have to (1) get a generic lens plate and (2) badger them to make a custom foot for the lens.  The more demand they see, the more likely it is that they'll make one.

BTW are there other companies like Kirk and RRS that make high quality replacement feet?  We could request the same of them.  :P

10
Software & Accessories / Re: Easy-access photo backpack?
« on: December 12, 2014, 06:29:48 PM »
Tons of great ideas and discussion.  Experience-based impressions with the Kenti (or any of the bags mentioned in this thread) are much appreciated. Thanks, everyone!

Perhaps I should have mentioned, but additional (even separate) storage for non-photo gear would actually be a benefit for me.  That's one of the reasons I've been looking at a lot of camping/hiking style packs, since they're built around that use case.  I'm glad that bags designed more specifically for photo gear exist, and I might get one and store non-photo gear in the main padded compartment, but a split design may work better for my needs depending on the design.

From Lowepro, the Protactic 350 and 450 look like possibilities due to the many access options.  The tacticool appearance is a bit unfortunate, but at least they don't totally look like your typical boxy camera bag.

@coz, re: front camera harness, I'm a Peak Design user, and I have their attachment anchors, clips, and leashes.  I'll likely be doing what you suggest, but with their gear.  Good point though!

Lastly, I just realized that when I don't have my laptop in a laptop sleeve, I can always use it for collapsed reflectors/diffusers.  Dumb!  :-X

Edit: This Thule bag seems closer to what I'm going for.  Definitely rocking the hipster/urbanite vibe here! :P

http://www.thule.com/en-us/us/products/sleeves-and-cases/camera-bags-and-cases/camera-backpacks/thule-covert-dslr-rolltop-backpack-_-tl_85854231190

EDIT2: Can't trust their measurements though.  Apparently their Perspectiv Daypack has a larger interior dimension than exterior dimension, and Perspectiv Backpack has zero-thickness walls (inside = outside).

11
Software & Accessories / Re: Easy-access photo backpack?
« on: December 12, 2014, 12:21:58 PM »
Wow, the wolfskin looks like it's very well designed.  A few concerns: (1) they don't seem to sell in the US, so buying it and getting support for it (e.g. warranty repairs) may be difficult (2) it's bigger than what I need (3) there's nothing stopping the zipper from opening too far when all you need is side access.

Thanks for the insights, barracuda!

12
Software & Accessories / Re: Easy-access photo backpack?
« on: December 12, 2014, 02:53:59 AM »
I know the OP is really long, but I mention them there.  ;D

What I really need is something like a "Professional Mini" or a "Panorama Pro": something in between when it comes to size, with the features of the Pro.  Judging from the features of the Panorama, it was designed to fit a price point (whereas the Professional was designed to fit a need).

13
Software & Accessories / Re: Easy-access photo backpack?
« on: December 12, 2014, 12:58:08 AM »
One big difference is that having the waistbelt snugly fastened will make step two much more difficult, esp. when you aren't wearing slick modern technical fabrics.  You could loosen the belt, but that's adding another step.

As a counterpoint, if you have a backpack, take the right shoulder strap off, and rotate the bag to front while standing, the bag will hang diagonally, not horizontally with the side access flap facing up. You could use your hand to hold it horizontal, but then you don't have two hands to manage the zipper/flap/lens change.  As neuro pointed out, back panel access gives you a table to work on. 

For those that use backpanel backpacks like the Flipside, can you give some thoughts on how the backpanel design behaves in different situations?  For example, do you keep the waistbelt snug to help take the weight off your shoulders, and loosen it only when rotating it to front??  Do you keep it loose to make it easier to rotate it without adjusting?  Would rotating it to front in loose or higher friction clothing be the snagfest I'm afraid of?  Any other thoughts or considerations for making that process smoother and quicker?  Thanks!

14
Software & Accessories / Re: Easy-access photo backpack?
« on: December 11, 2014, 07:02:14 PM »
The Flipsides look intriguing if backpanel access is sufficient, but at that point I'd probably throw the Gura Uinta and Fstop Guru into the mix as well.  From the Lowepros, the Flipside Sport 20L and Flipside 400 look the most like things I'd want to consider (with the 20L being possibly too small given my non-photo carry needs).

My main concern, and the reason I've been exploring side-access bags, is that backpanel access will be too slow.   That said, when I lay out the steps it would take to open each, they're about the same.  We've got this for side access:

  • Take off right shoulder strap (left hand can unbuckle waist strap if attached)
  • Swing bag to front of body (while wearing left shoulder strap)
  • Unzip side access zipper
  • Lift flap
  • Access camera or lens

And this for back access:

  • Take off right shoulder strap
  • Rotate bag to front of body (while taking off and using left shoulder strap as a pull handle)
  • Unzip back panel zipper
  • Lift flap
  • Access camera or lens

One big difference is that having the waistbelt snugly fastened will make step two much more difficult, esp. when you aren't wearing slick modern technical fabrics.  You could loosen the belt, but that's adding another step.

Anyone out there use both rearpanel access and side access camera backpacks? After getting familiar with both, what are your impressions of the relative speeds of each design?

15
Software & Accessories / Easy-access photo backpack?
« on: December 11, 2014, 05:08:25 AM »
tl;dr You know that crazy guy who's always going on about easy access to bag contents? The yahoo who wants things so organized that he can quickly grab specific items with one hand without looking? Well, he needs a camera backpack along these lines for travel/wildlife photography.

First, some background:

What I Carry

I've got a Canon 70D, 10-18/4.5+, 17-55/2.8, 35/2, and 70-200/4. Planning ahead, I'm likely getting the 100-400 MkII within a year. I'd also love to get a dedicated macro lens for food and product photography (the 35mm f/2 is currently doing those duties albeit at very wide angles).

How I Carry

I stuff everything inside a Think Tank Photo Retrospective 10 (Retro10), which in turn is stuffed into a Camelbak Urban Assault XL (UAXL) for travel. When I get to where I'm going (e.g. hotel), I unload everything. Then, each outing I take the 2ish lenses I think will be most useful inside the Retro10, leaving the rest in the room. The Retro10 has a Peak Design Capture Camera Clip on its strap. For sizing, I'm roughly 6', 150 lbs.

Why That?

The UAXL has extra storage for things like my laptop, and has two straps for balanced carry for long treks through an airport terminal. The Retro10 can be slung across the body, allowing for quick access to gear while out and about. The Capture Clip acts as a third hand to help during lens changes or other times I need both hands.

Why I Need a Change

On a recent trip to Hong Kong, we visited Kam Shan Country Park. It was amazing, and we got within monkey-bite distance of feral monkeys, which is always exhilarating. Unfortunately, between all the public transportation and walking to get there and the hiking through the park itself, the single strap of the Retro10 and all the gear inside made my shoulder seriously ache by the end of the day.

Not all trips will require so much walking and hiking but for those that do, I want a two-strap solution that can more comfortably manage the weight. Add to that my planned acquisition of the 100-400 next year, which weighs as much as all my current lenses combined.

What I'm Looking For

One backpack, ~25L capacity, ~4lbs weight, that can replace both the UAXL and Retro10. This new bag can ignore the laptop support requirement (I have another place to carry it).

Top priorities include easy access to camera and lenses without taking off the backpack, side/front tripod carry options, external access to accessories like filters, memory cards, etc., shoulder straps under 3" wide (for the Capture Clip), rainfly option, ipad/tablet carry option.

Other desired features include laptop compartment with dedicated, direct-access zipper, urban or hiking pack styling, and backpacking pretensions (internal frame/stays, well-designed harness, etc.).

Of course, there's the obvious stuff like light-colored interior materials, subtle branding, basic water resistance without a rainfly, high quality construction, etc.

What May Work

Fstop Kenti - Great size (might actually be a bit small for my frame), rare double side-entry feature, this is currently the frontrunner.

MindShift Professional - Way bigger than what I need, but chock full of external organization options, beltpack that can support any lens of mine mounted onto the body, etc. Oh how I wish this was smaller.

MindShift Panorama - Oh how I wish this cost $100 more and had the features of the Professional model. The size is about right (though the beltpack will be tight), but it lacks a lot of external pockets, lashdown areas, and backpanel access.

What Won't Work

Anything by Clik Elite - They have some side-entry bags, but the side openings only seem to support a camera and not multiple additional lenses. And I either have to choose a huge bag to get the hiking style I'm looking for, or ugly and obvious "camera here" styling to get the size I'm looking for.

Anything by Gura Gear - Bataflae series is only accessible by taking off the bag and accessing it from the front (the side farthest from the body when worn). I really wanted to love the Uinta, but lack of side entry slows down access to gear.

Anything by Think Tank - I love their shoulder bags but I haven't found any backpacks with the features I'm looking for.

Next Steps

I've yet to look at Lowepros, which I know have some side-entry options. I also need to look at the Manfrotto bags, since they absorbed Kata's stuff which also had side entry options.

I'm sure a lot of folks here have great ideas, or noticed that I might have overlooked something with the brands listed above. Or maybe I need to think outside the box and carry my gear in a totally different way. Or maybe you swear by rear-panel access, taking off both shoulder straps and rotating the bag around so you can use the back of the backpack like a table.

Thanks for reading through my ebook.  :P Any suggestions would be most welcome. Thanks in advance!

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