October 30, 2011

A Tribute to Excellent Service.

Sometimes we meet persons in our path that stand out from the crowd.
Personally, when I meet such a person who is dedicated to his/her cause or profession and excels by all criteria, I feel obliged to come out and declare it, for others to know and praise him/her so to keep up the good effort.
I have quite a long experience with ebay transactions, and I have purchased a lot of items through ebay, not always happy with the outcome, especially with goods from China where, when something goes wrong, I have heard a lot of excuses among other things.

October 25, 2011

Ideas for a Long Lens Support Bracket (Part 1)

Long Lens Support Bracket overview
Most of the times we need to face a problem in order to evaluate a need and try to find a solution about it.
Same happened to me in the past summer, during a short vacation near the seaside. It was late August and the winds in the area were very strong, where I realized that my Canon EF 100-400 IS USM is not so aerodynamic, especially fully extended at 400mm with the large hood mounted on.  A focal length of 400mm is equivalent to 640mm on a 1.6 FOVC body, where the slightest lens movement in mm is interpreted to movement in meters on the frame.

Unfortunately a fence or a rock is not always there when you need it for some extra support.
On the other hand Image Stabilization is very nice when shooting hand held but it is automatically deactivated when it senses that the lens is mounted on a tripod.

The basic Long Lens Support Bracket idea (Part 2)

Basic Long Lens Support Bracket - rear side overview
The simplest, lightest and most economical solution is to get a long rail and an LLSB.

This is most suitable for fixed focal length lenses and if the LLSB is going to be used with only one lens.

It can also be utilized with an extending zoom lens but only at a specific focal length, most probably the longest one where it actually would be more useful.


A versatile Long Lens Support Bracket idea (Part 3)

Versatile Long Lens Support Bracket - side overview
Adding a little versatility, that will allow for back/forth and up/down adjustment,would require a long rail, an LLSB plus one or two quick release clamps. This idea is more suitable for quick and easy attachment on or detachment of the LLSB from a lens, can accommodate zoom telephotos, while the LLSB can be used with different lenses.

A prerequisite for this solution is that the lens is already equipped with an Arca Swiss® compatible lens plate.

A versatile LLSB idea for push-pull zoom lenses (Part 4)

Long Lens Support Bracket for push-pull zoom lenses overview
Having in mind, for a gripped or pro camera with a long push-pull zoom lens, so the camera body would be able to move above the LLSB rail when the lens is zoomed in and out, led me to a more complex solution which allows ample height, easy regulation for different lenses, as well as the ability to zoom the lens on the spot.

Thus a long rail, an LLSB and three quick release clamps are needed to realize this idea.
Again a prerequisite for this solution is that the lens is already equipped with an Arca Swiss® compatible lens plate.

October 20, 2011

Triopo B-2 Quick Release Clamp Review

Triopo B-2 Quick Release Clamp overview
Surfing the net and searching about new products led me to a listing in ebay with the title "Triopo B-2 Ball head Quick Release Plate Clamp...". The listing price was USD 15.90 shipping included!
With all QR clamp's prices, to my knowledge, ranging from $ 45 to over $ 100 plus shipping most of the times, I found myself in a big dilemma... should I order a pizza or a quick release clamp?
My curiosity prevailed and I decided to order one and find out what this clamp could do.
Was it a bargain or a just cheep?

October 17, 2011

Benro B-2 & B Series Ball Heads Tips

Benro B-2 Ball head overview
Having used the Benro B-2 Ball Head for over a year now, permits me to have a more clear aspect about its strengths and weaknesses.
During this time it had a little dip in the mud, a little exposure to direct sun at 45 oC and a few bumps with other fellow photo equipment in the trunk of my car although bagged.
It still operates smoothly and does not seem to have lost any of its locking ability, nevertheless I would like to share some findings and tips for better and long lasting operation.

October 9, 2011

Alignment Error on early Benro PC-0 and PC-1 Panorama Clamps

Benro PC-0 as vertical rotator
Although a long time has passed since I have been successfully using both Benro PC-0 and PC-1 panorama clamps, it was only the past summer, in the process of thinking of improvements on my Multi Row Panorama head, that I realized and pinpointed an offset error between the clamp (the top part) and the rotator base.

Both PC-0 and PC-1 panorama clamps in my possession proved to have the same alignment issue due to the degree indexing marks on their base.

As I consider myself one of the early adopters of these otherwise finely engineered panorama clamps, quite a few things had to be checked, especially for the current status of the products.