April 24, 2014, 03:48:58 AM

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Messages - macroman1

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1
Third Party Manufacturers / Re: BushHawk shoulder mount
« on: April 11, 2014, 08:36:25 PM »
Thanks - I managed to source a full Pro Kit (incl Arca-style QR) from Japan at a very good price. They don't ship outside Japan, so had to contract an import/export agent, but still came out waaay cheaper than the European options. They wanted Euro100 just for the shipping! I've also established how to make my own shutter release cables for it by cannibalising a cheap wired remote shutter plus 3.5mm stereo right angled plugs - about $10 US. :-)
I'm loving the BushHawk - it's ideal for tracking fast-moving racing cars, as I'd hoped, and I'm getting a fair percentage more keepers (over 1000 from my last day's outing). (Helps keep my 1D-X + Sigma S 120-300 2.8 + Canon 1.4III steady.)

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Third Party Manufacturers / Re: BushHawk shoulder mount
« on: January 08, 2014, 11:02:44 PM »
Update (sorry to dominate the conversation).
Chris, thanks again for your timely reminder about bandolier pouches.  ;D
It got me thinking about big game fishing and the belts they wear. I'm not a fisherman, but looking at the images of their gear, I cobbled together a variation which in static test situations (as opposed to panning racing machinery) seems to be giving me a good advantage over straight hand-holding (at 420mm FF including 1.4x on Sig 120-300 S). I'm using a water bottle belt which has a pocket that the base of my Manfrotto monopod slots into, and a Chinese-made ball head, loosely tightened (if that's not an oxymoron). I think I will visit a fishing tackle shop to look at cushioned rod bases which might help the comfort factor.
Anyway, it's certainly worth taking to the Ferrari Festival next weekend for the acid test! What have I got to lose?

But I'm not giving up on my quest for a BushHawk yet.  :)

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Third Party Manufacturers / Re: BushHawk shoulder mount
« on: January 08, 2014, 01:48:19 PM »
Thanks Chris. Yes, I've seen the belt pocket monopod solutions and that might work. My concern is with the freedom of movement (especially in the vertical plane) that a pivot that low down would allow... I guess a loose head on the top of the monopod might provide the necessary articulation??? Let me know how your attempt works out.
I'm still following other international stockists and found one in Japan that lists them still - although the website is all in Kanji! I do have a couple of contacts here who are Japanese and just last night got them to translate the crucial bit which I guessed (correctly as it turned out) referred to RRP and actual prices. Now I have to get them to locate and translate the ordering, payment & shipping info.
I also got this reply from BushHawk Europe which sounds like it might eventually help:
We know it a bit difficult to order from the USA at the moment, and they were the ones to make the delivery outside Europe. We do Europe, but are working to propose the delivery everywhere very soon. Normaly before the end of Juanary. Also, I you assumed, you will be exempt of euopean VAT (20%).

I don't think I'm likely to have a solution before this event next week, which is the highlight of my motorsport year:
http://www.nzfmr.co.nz/info_pages.php/page/News/pages_id/14

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Third Party Manufacturers / Re: BushHawk shoulder mount
« on: January 05, 2014, 09:47:02 PM »
Hi again Chris

Thanks for the Canadian link, unfortunately:
"Shipping FAQ
Do you offer international shipping?
We do not accept or ship orders outside of North America." :(

It's looking like I'm doomed to paying European shipping!  :-\
I'm convinced that it would be ideal too.

Cheers


Sorry Macroman1 ... it appears that the original bushhawk.com site is no longer in business.   That's a shame because they had good product and good service.

That being the case, there appears to be some online dealers still selling Bushhawk in Canada and Europe.  I have seen all configurations of the shoulder stock and the trigger cables on their web sites.   From my experience you can go with the most basic model ($149.96), and then just order the trigger cable that fits your brand of camera.

Here's a site in Canada that appears to have the Bushhawk in stock:

http://www.vistek.ca/search/bushhawk.aspx

I have never used this retailer, so I can not vouch for them or their service.  It wouldn't hurt to contact them to see if they can work with you on the shipping costs.    Bushhawk would seem to be ideal for your needs.

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Third Party Manufacturers / Re: BushHawk shoulder mount
« on: January 04, 2014, 03:47:08 PM »
Hi again Chris

Thanks, but unfortunately, bushhawk.com appears to have gone down. As per my earlier posts, it seems that he has pulled the plug on the business and almost all of the US retailers (mainly Cabella branches) no long list the products. I've e-mailed the remaining couple without a response yet. Hence my resorting to the Euro dealers. :(

If anyone knows of a US retailer who still has them in stock, I'd love to hear from them.

Cheers.

If you are interested in more information or purchasing a Bushhawk shoulder mount, go right to the source.  The web site also has some great videos on photographers using the Bushhawk.

www.bushhawk.com

I'm sure that they can arrange shipping anywhere in the world.   The whole unit weighs less than 2 pounds.

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Third Party Manufacturers / Re: BushHawk shoulder mount
« on: January 03, 2014, 02:35:56 AM »
Thanks very much Chris, that's the kind of feedback I was hoping for. :D
I actually used an el cheapo aluminium precursor way back in the 70s - admittedly with much lighter gear! I found the stance, movement and, most importantly, the stability to be excellent. I am currently handholding the 12-and-a-bit lbs for panning/tracking at slow shutter speeds and getting reasonable keeper rates, but I reckon something like the BushHawk will increase those pretty dramatically.
All I need to do now is find a source who still stock it and at a reasonable price including shipping to NZ. One in France has quoted me 100 Euros! Seems a lot for a light, collapsible kit...

Thanks to all posters for their considered responses - that's what makes this such a valuable forum.  ;D
Long time follower ... first time poster.

There is nothing like a Blackhawk shoulder mount, and nothing works as well for BID.

After trying to build my own out of gunstocks or brackets, I finally gave up.   Gunstocks do not have enough "pitch" to enable you to see through the viewfinder.   Most brackets and stocks are simply not adjustable enough to enable your eye to comfortably use the viewfinder.

I use my Blackhawk for more than just birds.  It's been on several African safaris.   On safari game drives there simply is not adequate room for tripods, or even monopods in some cases.   I've never been on a game drive where I couldn't use my Blackhawk.    The Blackhawk is simply outstanding for capturing live action like a lion or cheetah chase.

Yes, the Blackhawk is expensive, but you get what you pay for.   The material is extremely light weight, but incredibly durable  (some like Kevlar).   The frame is very rigid and will support any major telephoto and camera.  I use mine for my 5D III and 500 f4 lens, often with 1.4X extender.   It should easily support a 600mm prime and 1DX if your arms are strong enough to handhold such a rig.

I bought the trigger shutter release.   It is very unique piece of cable that hooks a trigger button in the handle to the remote shutter on the camera.   While not quite as sensitive as the shutter button on the camera, I found it very possible to "half press" the Blackhawk trigger to engage camera AI Servo without firing the shutter.

Unfortunately, my Blackhawk cable was damaged in transit on one African trip.   But what I found is that you can use the Blackhawk more on the center of your chest (rather than pure shoulder mount) to get an even better alignment for you eye in the camera eyepiece.    When held this way, you still get a stable two hand platform, but you can use your right finger on the camera shutter.

While there may be other harness arrangements possible.   Nothing beats the speed and flexibility of a Blackhawk for live action, especially BID.

If you are worried about it looking like a "gun ", the stock quickly pulls out, and when dissembled, it is very compact ... and no longer looks like any type of weapon.

While I found the response time to bit slow, the owner was very supportive in sending me a rubber cushion that was missing from my purchase.

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Third Party Manufacturers / Re: BushHawk shoulder mount
« on: January 02, 2014, 01:28:38 PM »
Thanks to you both for your responses.
Chauncey, I'll certainly look into your suggestions.
Mt Spokane, it's a sad commentary on our times but you could well be right. I've since made contact with a wildlife photographer who uses BushHawks (and won't leave the house without one) and he has told me that the owner was reconsidering the future of the business a month or so ago. I've gone to most of the sites listed as retailers on BushHawk's website and almost all of them have removed the product from their listings.

The European sites seem to still stock them, so I've sent them a query.

Thanks again.

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Third Party Manufacturers / BushHawk shoulder mount
« on: December 31, 2013, 11:05:50 PM »
Hi Fellow Canonistas

Happy 2014!
Has anyone on the forum got any experience of the BushHawk shoulder mount? There doesn't seem to be much recent traffic relating to it on any blogs/forums.

As I alluded on another thread, I feel that it should be ideal for tracking fast-moving racing cars at slow shutter speeds. But I have a couple of concerns/queries:
1) What's its maximum load rating (my 1DX/ Sigma 120-300 2.8S weighs almost 12lb in US-speak)?
2) I've seen some mixed reports on the reliability of the shutter release cables/connections - anyone able to confirm/deny?
3) What's their support like? I completed their web query form back in October and got an instant "thanks for your query - we'll get back to you shortly" type response and have heard nothing since. (Have they gone under?)

As a Kiwi, I'm be a long way from any physical support, so need some assurances before committing.

Cheers!
Jim

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Hi CarlTN, on the 1DX my 120-400 seems a bit soft at the long end. I've noticed that it's sharper up to about 330mm on the 7D and then loses a bit, so a bit hit & miss. That seems to be exacerbated on the 1DX, no idea why. I've never noticed it being particularly slow, but perhaps ii isn't quite perfectly locking on. My new 120-300 is so far giving me a much better keeper rate, including compared to my 300f4L.
I'm not a pro but have had a couple of drivers offer me money for shots of their cars. (Can't retire on that income yet, though!) I started out just going to the classic/historic car meets (love those machines, many of which I watched in their prime) but have branched out to other classes as I've got to enjoy the challenge of tracking cars at speed. Modern tin-tops are also colourful beasts and make good subjects. We've got a circuit 80km away which is ideal for shooting, with banks slightly elevated above the track - no blankety-blank heavy catch fencing getting in the way. I'm off there again this weekend.  :)
Have also shot rallying, which has been my primary passion for the last 30 years - you can get a lot closed to the action and a bit of dust and gravel flying adds to the shot!.

10
Re the weight issue (and FF), as I indicated in my original post, I'm using on 1DX - total weight 5.4kg, too heavy for my Manfrotto tripod and head which are rated at 5kg :-(
So yes, weight is an issue, but it's something I've found you just get used to. When I first handled a 7D I thought I'd struggle to manage it. Again when I first got my Sigma 120-400 I thought I'd never be able to handhold it, let alone pan/track racing cars with it - now it feels like a bit of a toy. (I got a lot of sharp shots at 400 on my 7D, but the 1DX seems to show up that lens' shortcomings.)

Shooting racing, I'm on my feet and carrying the lens round my neck for hours at a time. One issue that does annoy me is the form of the tripod foot - the edges are a bit square for comfort. I'm looking into a BushHawk as I think that would be ideal for tracking cars and also for carrying the combo around between corners, but can't find any agencies in NZ, and I've heard some folks had issues with the cable reliability.

Anyone with experience of 1DX + large lens on BushHawk?

Re backpack, I managed to fit it into my Kata 123 Go bag, admitted not attached to the body, so I lose the "slide, grab and shoot" convenience. I can fit my 70-200f4L IS and 24-105L and/or 100L Macro either side, with the 1DX in the top compartment.

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EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Anyone using ISO 50 on 1DX?
« on: October 13, 2013, 02:34:26 AM »
Thanks for the replies. Guess I'll just shoot on dull days till I can afford a 105 ND! ;)

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EOS Bodies - For Stills / Anyone using ISO 50 on 1DX?
« on: October 12, 2013, 09:55:36 PM »
Looking through my motor racing shots at 1/100 - 1/160 Tv (for motion blur) on 1DX, ISO 100, understandably the aperture is frequently >f16. I'm considering trying ISO 50 (ND 105mm filter c$500!). Anyone have any experience of ISO 50 - From what I've read, it's not as noise-free as 100?? Thanks. :-)

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Yes, the Canon 1.4x fits - at the same time as I hired the Sigma, I also hired Canon 1.4MkII. I wasn't entirely convinced, but then we have been getting equinoxial winds (read gales) and the lens hood ("bucket") collects an awful lot of it! It just wasn't as sharp as some shots I've seen using Sigma 1.4x, but then I don't know how much pp they've done.

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For those concerned about the weight, I was too, so I hired one for a motor racing weekend. I used it hand-held for 3 days, panning/tracking at 1/100 to 1/160th for blur, shooting thousands of frames with my 1-DX on burst. I'm a 70kg middle aged weakling, so I felt it, but persevered without untoward after effects.

Suffice to say that I was impressed enough to purchase it off the hire company, 4 months old, cUS$900 under new price. I strongly recommend anyone even remotely interested in this lens hire it and see for yourself.

I now need to get a definitive answer to which 1.4x (Sigma or Canon) will work best with this beast?

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Lenses / Re: Field sports: Canon 300 2.8 IS vs Sigma 120-300 OS Sport
« on: August 29, 2013, 06:38:08 PM »
Hi iGotta

Check this photostream - some awesome shots of motorsports, military aircraft in flight etc. Almost exclusively 120-300 (pre-Sport, from the dates), several with 1.4x and even 2x.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/damoblack/with/9604600100/

He's obviously very good at handling this big beast!

Cheers

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