July 31, 2014, 06:15:39 AM

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Messages - ahsanford

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181

All, I am building a camera cabinet out of some CD/DVD storage filing cabinets:

http://thevideostoreshopper.com/THE%20ULTIMATE%20STORAGE%20CABINET%20-%202%20DRAWER%20STORAGE%20CABINET

So it's foam time now!

I'm of two minds with this, and I'd like everyone's thoughts:

1) I love camera bags' modular divider systems as I can rearrange things easily, but foaming and velcro-ing four 34" x 20" trays will take serious time.  I've seen rectangular foam inserts for satchel bags, but nothing this big -- Is anyone aware of a shortcut or pre-set kit that might help?

2) I also have seen folks get Pick n Pluck foam (http://www.caseclub.com/pick-and-pluck-foam.htm?gclid=CObYgIXO4L4CFQdgfgod5igADg) to build specialized cutouts that tightly hug gear.  As impressive as this looks, I don't think I need that level of protection for a home cabinet that will not be on wheels.   I'm also worried that Pick n Pluck is a one-time deal and I often like to rearrange the organization of my gear.  But talk me down -- has anyone used it?  What has your experience been?

3) Is there another option that might work?

Also, I was thinking a relatively thin (1/4") neoprene/foam mat on the floor of each tray -- one big sheet across the entire shelf that the dividers would subsequently go on top of.  Can people recommend a good material for this?  (I know that seems like very little bottom padding, but the real threat to the gear is side to side motion with a jarring opening or closing, right?) 

Thanks!
A

182

I ended up going with two of these:
http://thevideostoreshopper.com/THE%20ULTIMATE%20STORAGE%20CABINET%20-%202%20DRAWER%20STORAGE%20CABINET

So it's foam time now!

I'm of two minds with this, and I'd like everyone's thoughts:

1) I love camera bags' modular divider systems as I can rearrange things easily.  Foaming and velcro-ing four 34" x 20" trays will take serious time.  I've seen rectangular foam inserts for satchel bags, but nothing this big -- Is anyone aware of a shortcut or pre-set kit that might help?

2) I also have seen folks get Pick n Pluck foam (http://www.caseclub.com/pick-and-pluck-foam.htm?gclid=CObYgIXO4L4CFQdgfgod5igADg) to build specialized cutouts that tightly hug gear.  As impressive as this looks, I don't think I need that level of protection.   I'm worried that Pick n Pluck is a one-time deal and I often like to rearrange the organization of my gear.  But talk me down -- has anyone used it?  What has your experience been?

Also, I was thinking a relatively thin (1/4") neoprene/foam mat on the floor of each tray.  (The real threat to the gear is side to side motion with a jarring opening or closing, right?)  Can people recommend a good material for this?

Thanks!
A

183
An update on my hunt.  Looking for 4-6" drawer depth was leading me down a custom industrial cabinet pathway, which is the road to financial ruin.

Then I had an epiphany.  CD and DVD storage cabinets would be perfect (provided they hit my other specs, have pull-out drawers, etc.).

This led to some very nice (but admittedly expensive) options:

Thanks to Rexbot, I found this:  http://www.can-am.ca/CD-storage-DVD-storage.htm
(4-drawer is about the right height)

And a slightly smaller footprint for a lot less I found this:  http://thevideostoreshopper.com/THE%20ULTIMATE%20STORAGE%20CABINET%20-%202%20DRAWER%20STORAGE%20CABINET
(I would stack up two of these, they can be bolted together)

Comparing $249 for a husky tool cabinet to the second option above (at $500) are the price points and proximity to ideal specs that I am looking for.  I am getting closer to making a decision...

- A

184
How about this idea:







http://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/22-pentax-camera-field-accessories/253161-camera-gear-storage-cabinet.html


Brilliantly hidden, but unnecessarily inefficient for space and one step too many (those outside doors) to get at the gear.  I think I'm really fixated on a multi-drawer filing cabinet or tool box.

I will forward that to a friend, though -- he's been meaning to do just what you've shown.

- A

185

Also, someone linked me this:
http://www.stanleyvidmar.com/

This looks like industrial scale shelving built for manufacturing purposes.  Of their pre-configured ones here:
http://www.stanleyvidmar.com/products/cabinets/preconfigured-cabinets/standard-bench-height-model-175

I flagged a smaller one, the five drawer SCU1023AL as a potential candidate.  Seems mechanically overkill for my need so I am bracing for a comically expensive quote.

So many options -- who knew?!

- A


SCU1023AL = $1550 at http://www.drillspot.com/products/318064/Stanley_Vidmar_SCU1023AL_Stand_Alone_Workbench_Cabinet

Pass (not surprised at all).  I'd rather spend $250 on this and buy another L lens.

- A

186
Unless a safe is 'Data Rated' the interior is designed to go up to 400 degrees which renders all electronics melted.  Data rated safes are required to keep the internals no hotter than 120 degrees.

I've got a printer on one of these, gives lots of short drawers, http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/categories/business/10711/  I've also got an older Ikea drawer setup that gives me 8 additional boxy drawers that seems to fit just about everything other than a great white prime.

I spotted that one, but (a) it's a little small for me and (b) "Drawer stops prevent the drawer from being pulled out too far" = less easy access to all of the available storage space.  But you can't beat that IKEA price.

I'd like something like maybe 25% bigger with enough support to allow fully openable drawers -- then I might consider this.

- A

187

Also, someone linked me this:
http://www.stanleyvidmar.com/

This looks like industrial scale shelving built for manufacturing purposes.  Of their pre-configured ones here:
http://www.stanleyvidmar.com/products/cabinets/preconfigured-cabinets/standard-bench-height-model-175

I flagged a smaller one, the five drawer SCU1023AL as a potential candidate.  Seems mechanically overkill for my need so I am bracing for a comically expensive quote.

So many options -- who knew?!

- A

188

Thinking about this a little more last night, I remember another important requirement:  I need the top of this storage solution to have a work surface at an appropriate height.  I'd use this for:

  • Loading and unloading bags.
  • Changing camera straps out from a standard eyelet design to my BlackRapid.
  • Servicing / maintaining my gear (cleaning filters, air blowing, etc.)
  • (Possibly) Charging batteries.

...and I'm sure I could think of other reasons.

I'm also shooting down anything with a window that looks inside.  It should looking like a tool chest, filing cabinet or standard piece of furniture if possible.  Break-ins happen in Los Angeles (thought rarely in my neighborhood), so I'd like the solution to not give a hard tell that thousands of dollars of gear is inside.

I'm shying away from clothing bureaus/dressers/chest of drawers as their ~ 8" drawer height is wasteful for camera gear, which rarely gets above 4" tall when laid down. 

So I'm focusing on tool storage with a working benchtop, something like this:

http://www.homedepot.com/p/Husky-37-in-W-5-Drawer-Mobile-Workbench-HMT-305MWB/204184585#specifications

I can't see the drawer height anywhere, but I'm estimating that the main drawers are a more packing-efficient 5-6" tall. Further, tool cabinet drawers nearly fully extend, which is a luxury I may not get with an office filing cabinet or clothing furniture.

Using a local big box store is also nice as I can test fit some of my gear before I make the purchase.  I may find some non-dimensional considerations -- rattling drawers, interrupted compartment space for the lock or casters, oily bearings, easy access for dust, etc. -- that might make this idea not work.

So my mind isn't made up.  I'll check back on this thread as the week progresses and possibly pull the trigger this weekend. 

- A

189
Fantastic options, everyone.  Wow.  I've got some reading to do...

Thank you!
- A

190
The AF on it is more reliable than any of my L lenses. I am starting to wonder if people made up the AF issues because that was the only possible attack on the lens.

It's not made up, but I also don't think it's a terrible issue.

Bryan Carnathan's thorough review speaks to the AF occasionally missing, and he demonstrates it:
http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/Sigma-50mm-f-1.4-DG-HSM-Art-Lens.aspx

See the Butterfly section -- it's an interactive mouseover tool -- and the text before and after it.  In a controlled test, he got the AF to occasionally miss.  He does temper the finding with his real-world shooting experience being quite positive.

This is the one chink in the armor of a spectacularly well reviewed lens.  If you need a 50-ish mm lens with AF, most reviewers would still say that this one is the best by a considerable margin.

- A

191
Could you post a photo of your office and the location in which this cabinet would sit? I have some ideas, but it would be helpful to know what the room looks like.

The office isn't tidy enough to show what I'd like to do.  Let's just assume the following:

  • It should be no wider (left to right when facing it) than 36" / 1m
  • It should be no deeper (front to back when facing it) than 24" / 60 cm
  • Height-wise, I'm not terribly particular.
  • I'd rather pull drawers out or open a front-facing door than lift back / lift off a lid to this.
  • I would prefer multiple levels / shelves / drawers to sort lenses from bodies from tripod gear from accessories.  The big Pelican 'huge-coffin-of-stuff' approach is not what I am looking for.

I'm seeing that some folks retrofit general purpose cabinets or tool boxes for this purpose.  That's a do-able project provided the racks/shelves are sized appropriately to allow for third-party foam dividers and such.

I'm also seeing specialized dry cases that look like electronic wine cabinets for humidity / temperature control (obviously set for different settings with electronic cargo!), but these seem a bit overkill for my need.

I'm really looking for the middle option between the stripped down tool cabinet (that I must put time into customizing) and an overkill vault for lenses.  What's are my options?

Thanks,
A

192
Software & Accessories / Recommended storage for gear in your home
« on: June 01, 2014, 05:13:31 PM »
All,

I'm at the point where I can't get all my gear into my biggest bag any longer, I'm always playing the 'bag game' before each shoot.  This entails shuffling my gear amongst my various bags until I have what I need in one bag and then I'm off.  Further, everything is tucked away super efficiently, but that's a pain to move from one bag to the next.

So rather than buying a bigger bag, I thought I'd get a large storage solution for my home.

I am looking for a home storage solution that:
  • Will sit in a dedicated place in my office as if it were a piece of furniture or office storage.
  • Requires no major unstacking, lifting out of dividers, deconstruction, etc. to get gear out.  My office is fairly crowded and I don't want to unstack a few tubs or cases to get at a particular piece of gear.
  • Note:  this storage solution will never been in sunny, rainy, dusty or humid environments -- it will 100% of the time be indoors.

I'm basically looking for a large tool box for camera gear.  I have in my mind something not unlike a Craftsman tool chest that has numerous drawers to slide out and access various lenses, accessories, etc.

Pelican immediately came to mind, but I'm generally seeing 'tackle boxes'/foot-locker designs and not a quick-access set of drawers like in an office filing cabinet.

Have any recommendations that might fit the bill?

Thanks,
A

193
EOS Bodies / Re: Debating on selling my 5D II and 35L/135L for a...
« on: May 30, 2014, 05:46:15 PM »

Is it really worth giving up the entire Canon lens and accessory ecosystem (Sony's only powerful flash pales in comparison to the 600RT, not even close) for 300g less weight and a bit less tall camera?  That btw, will be an ergonomic nightmare if you did want to use it for professional purposes with a large lens like a 70-200 f/2.8 due to lack of sufficient grip on the A7 for heavy/large lenses.

Sony A7 135mm focal length on native FE 70-200 f/4 (only native 135mm option) vs. Canon 6D native 135mm f/2

Again, agree.  Unless you are putting a compact standard FL lens on it, like a FF-equivalent 35 prime or 50 prime on it and calling it a day,  I see little upside in form factor for mirrorless.  If you need a tele at all, you're done -- you are lugging around large lenses again and the principal upside of mirrorless is lost.

Mirrorless has other virtues but if you are getting one principally to reduce the size / weight of what you are lugging around, your big lenses need an exit strategy, too. 

So if you are getting into mirrorless for size, I think it's best to choose a mirrorless body with a large stable of it's own native glass -- no need for the added size/thickness of adapters.  Leica (for FF) and Fuji (for APS-C) are decent options in that regard, but if you can stomach the smaller sensor, m43 rigs have a larger ecosystem for lenses.  (I believe that mount is standardized, isn't it?  Don't Olympus and Panasonic make lenses that are compatible on each others' bodies?)

- A

194
EOS Bodies / Re: Debating on selling my 5D II and 35L/135L for a...
« on: May 30, 2014, 11:22:50 AM »
How much space are you actually saving with a Sony A7 mirrorless camera as some have recommended?  Since you can't take a picture without a lens attached, the answer is not much at all!

See below comparisons:

Sony A7 native 55mm f/1.8 vs Canon 6D native 50mm f/1.4
-and-
Sony A7 native 35mm f/2.8 vs Canon 6D native 40mm f/2.8

+1.  Everyone seems to miss this.  Sure, the cameras are thinner without a mirror, but a big sensor (generally) has big lenses.

So if I ever got tired of lugging my FF rig around and wanted a smaller body, it would be APS-C or smaller, and I'd expressly choose a system that had really well reviewed pancakes.

- A

195
EOS Bodies / Re: Debating on selling my 5D II and 35L/135L for a...
« on: May 29, 2014, 07:25:34 PM »
I've been debating on this for a couple months now since I don't really use them for more than taking pictures of my kids and some occasional outings with our friends.  It is a pain to lug around with the battery grip and kids stuff and I don't feel like I'm really getting anymore good use of out if (although everytime I take a picture they come out AMAZING).  Anyone have any recommendations on something new? I haven't been following the mirrorless cameras much but they seem to be the 'next big thing'.  My only requirement is that the camera shoots in RAW as I love to edit photos and touch them up in Lightroom.

Sorry to be late to the party:

1) If you are going to sell for size reasons...


  • Call it what it is.  Lose the mirror and get a much smaller body -- remember that the lens size will still be as big as your sensor-size needs, so even though there are flange-to-sensor differences in mirrorless and SLRs, the lenses (for a given sensor size) are roughly comparable in size. 
  • I think if you enjoy editing RAW files then you should get a sensor worth editing RAW files for.  I rented a Nikon AW1 (their 1-series, but for underwater use) and though it offered RAW files, the tiny sensor was such that the results were terribly underwhelming compared to a FF camera (as you might expect with such a small sensor).  So if you are moving towards a smaller camera but still want very good IQ, think Leica, Fuji X or Sony A7 bodies.

2) If you are not going to sell, or want to cope better with your gear until you do sell...


  • I saw the battery grip comment you made.  Lose the grip.  Based on what you are shooting, you shouldn't need it.  Just throw a second battery in your bag, and you'll be fine.  That's a huge space savings right there.
  • I'd think about picking up the EF 40mm F/2.8 pancake.  It's more of a 'good shooting conditions' lens given the aperture and so-so STM focusing speed.  So you won't use it much for low-light / sports / really small DOF work, the but the 'IQ per volume of lens' is staggering from that little guy.  As the CR reviewer Justin would say, it's "sharp like a katana" and is no bigger than a hockey puck / small can of tuna.

- A

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