For the folks that have been following along here at the blog you may recall I spent a great deal of time last summer using a Sigma 15mm f2.8 EX DG Diagonal Fisheye Lens, which was loaned to me by Gentec International, the Canadian distributor for Sigma lenses. Today I am pleased and honored to have been featured in a recently designed promotional piece for this lens. Each of the images featured on the promo card were created as I traveled throughout my home province of Ontario, Canada. To view more of my photos created with this lens please follow this link to the Sigma 15mm f2.8 EX DG Fisheye Lens and scroll through the various thumbnail images, clicking on each to view the larger, sharper version. This lens was an indispensable tool for my frog-scapes, landscapes, and everything in between…not too mention highly addictive and a ton of fun too
Archive for the ‘Photo Gear’ Category
Posted in Announcements, Photo Gear, Publications, tagged andrew mclachlan, fisheye lenses, fisheye photography, gentec international, nature photography, photography, sigma 15mm f 2.8 ex dg fisheye lens, sigma lenses on March 5, 2014 | 6 Comments »
Posted in Caribbean, Landscapes, Photo Gear, Reviews, tagged cayman brac, cayman islands, gentec international, landscape photography, manfrotto, manfrotto befree tripod, nature photography, travel photography, travel tripods on February 26, 2014 | 4 Comments »
During my recent trip to the Caribbean island of Cayman Brac in the Cayman Islands, Gentect International the Canadian distributor for Manfrotto tripods was kind enough to loan me the Manfrotto BeFree, which is a small lightweight tripod designed for travel. When the tripod arrived at my home just prior to my departing I knew instantly that this lovely little tripod would be perfect for my travels, and throughout my trip I was constantly reminded why having a small light weight tripod is so beneficial for travel. Whether I was using my wide angle zoom or my large and heavy Nikon 80-400 mm VR lens the tripod met my expectations of what should be expected in a travel tripod – lightweight yet sturdy.
First and foremost the Befree Tripod comes with an attractive and very useful carrying bag. I would often hang the tripod from the handlebars of a bicycle to ride down the road to nearby photo destinations.
The Manfrotto Befree Tripod weighs in at only 3lbs and is 15.75 inches in length when fully closed and boasts a maximum payload of 8.8 lbs. As is the case with most tripods designed for travel it is not overly tall when fully extended. With the center column extended the tripod will reach a height of 56.7 inches and 48.4 inches tall when the center column is not extended. Since I am 6 foot 1 inch I did find this a tad short, but I also much prefer to photograph my landscapes from a lower perspective, so this was not really too big of a concern to me. Also, it should be noted that when any tripod’s center column is extended the stability of said tripod becomes immediately less stable. As a result I was not extending the center column during use, and I would advise strongly that folks avoid extending the center column of any tripod unless they absolutely need to do so.
The Manfrotto Befree Tripod comes with its very own mini ballhead incorporating Manfrotto’s quick release system that has been in use for a number of years. I have found this to be a very functional system that provides the convenience and stability a photographer would need. The quick release plates easily screw into the tripod threads on your camera by means of a collapsible-type of thumb screw and once tightened to the camera you can then tighten a small set-screw to prevent the quick release plate from twisting during use.
Three features I particularly liked about this tripod were; one of the legs has a rubber section incorporated into it which I found greatly improved the carrying comfort and which would be very handy for use in cold climates. Secondly, each leg has a silver adjustment tab that allows each leg to adjust independantly for use on uneven terrain or to fold it down for storage inside the carrying bag. Lastly, the legs of the Befree are four section legs that are controlled by three lever-type cam-locks. I found closing and locking the levers to be a very simple process, I would loosen each leg-lock, close the legs, and then with one simple motion use the palm of my hand in a rolling motion to close all three of the locks.
The leg-locking levers and mini ballhead are protected by misuse from airport baggage handlers due to the manner in which the Befree folds down for travel. The leg-locking levers and ballhead are protected by being positioned inside the sturdy aluminum tripod legs.
Below you will see a series of images that better illustrate the fantastic features mentioned above. Please click on each image to see the larger, sharper versions. If you are looking for a small, light weight tripod for your next travel adventure do consider the Manfrotto BeFree. I found it to be an amazingly light, yet sturdy tripod that ensured I was able to create the tack sharp images I demand from my work. This tripod will become my brand new companion for all of my travel photography needs.
Posted in Creative Visions, denise ippolito, Impressions in Nature, Landscapes, ontario, Photo Gear, Reviews, tagged creative photography eminimagazine, gentec international, lake superior, lake superior provincial park, landscape photography, nature photography, onatrio, photography, sigma 15mm f2.8 fish-eye lens on September 29, 2013 | 2 Comments »
On my recent trip to Lake Superior Provincial Park, which is located north of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Gentec International, the Canadian distributor for Sigma lenses, kindly loaned my the Sigma 15mm f2.8 EX DG Diagonal Fish-Eye Lens. Having visited this park on four separate occasions, I knew exactly how and where I would put the lens through its paces. In the image above that was captured at Agawa Rock, I waited for the late day sun to cast shadows of the evergreens upon the massive, pink granite cliff for an interesting perspective, knowing that the distortion qualities of the lens would curve the evergreens in towards the cliff.
In my previous post I shared a similar image of this sunset at Katherine Cove. Above you will see the fish-eye version of the same scene. The Sigma 15mm f2.8 EX DG Diagonal Fish-Eye lens captured the sunburst much better than my Nikon 18-35mm lens did. At first I was unsure about the distorted horizon in this capture, but the more I look at it, the more I really like the distorted qualities of the image, and the nice thing with fish-eye lenses is the creative opportunities they provide photographers due to their ability to distort the landscape.
After I had finished photographing various compositions at Chippewa Falls, which was also featured in the previous post, I turned to see this interesting root-scape spreading out across the granite outcrop. With the rounded look of the granite outcrop I immediately reached for the Sigma 15mm f2.8 EX DG Diagonal Fish-Eye to accentuate the effect.
I found this amazing lens to be most useful along woodland trails and the rugged Lake Superior shoreline where the terrain did not allow much room for a photographer to roam, without ending up in the lake If you love photographing creative landscape imagery be sure to add a fish-eye lens such as the Sigma 15mm to your tool kit. The possibilities are endless when it comes to fish-eye lenses and the Sigma 15mm version is capable of photographing almost twice as close as the Nikon 16mm version!!!
Be sure to click HERE to read my review of the Sigma 15mm f2.8 EX DG Diagonal Fish-Eye in Denise Ippolito’s Creative Photography eMiniMagazine – an amazing, free, on-line resource for photographers wishing to explore their creative side. Be sure to sign-up for the mini-mag…it’s free!
Posted in Frogs and Toads, Horseshoe Lake, Macro, parry sound, Photo Gear, tagged bullfrogs, d800, frogs, Horseshoe Lake, iso 6400, macro lenses, nature photography, ontario, Parry Sound on September 2, 2013 | 12 Comments »
The last couple of weeks have been rather hectic, after returning from the cottage on Horseshoe Lake in Ontario’s Parry Sound Region I was only home for a couple of days prior to heading back to the cottage. During my first of the two stays I spent several nights working with the Bullfrogs. By the time I had noticed this fella with his head lifted nicely out of the water it was already getting quite dark out, as can be seen by the late setting sun reflecting in the frog’s right eye. I could have easily given up and called it a night, but if you don’t push yourself or the limits of your gear you will not know what is achievable down the road. It is very important for photographers to get to know both their limits and those of their equipment.
To create the above portrait of this male American Bullfrog I positioned my canoe in front of him and then sat in the bottom of the canoe for increased stability. Then utilizing the Live View feature of my D800, a bubble-level in the hot-shoe and a Nikon 105mm Micro Lens I framed the image. To capture the low perspective the camera and lens were hand-held at the water’s surface. In fact, both the lens hood and quick release plate were getting wet. As night was quickly falling upon the frog and I an ISO of 6400 was dialed in, which gave me 1/40 seconds at f22. The small aperture was necessary to maximize the depth of field at this close range. The canoe was sitting relatively stable due to very shallow water conditions at this location within the marsh and prior to pressing the shutter I took a breath then I clicked the shutter while holding the breath. This technique will help keep your body relatively still for slower than desired exposures, producing a better percentage of keepers.
When viewing the above image on my computer after I arrived home, I was quite impressed with the low-level of noise present at such a high ISO. It is critical to maintain proper exposure by remembering to expose to the right (ETTR). If you have to brighten a poorly exposed frame you will surely introduce noise into the image. In Adobe Camera Raw (ACR) I did perform a tiny bit of noise reduction and later in Photoshop I removed several dust bunnies Otherwise this is how the image appeared on the LCD screen in the marsh.
After I created several frames of this fella he lunged forward and gobbled up a smaller frog that I had not noticed, in one quick motion. Bullfrogs are notorious for their canabalistic tendencies.
Please click on the image to see the larger, sharper version and the D800 quality at high ISOs.
Posted in Landscapes, ontario, parry sound, Photo Gear, tagged fisheye lenses, gentec international, killbear provincial park, landscape photography, nature photography, ontario, photography, sigma, sigma 15mm f2.8 ex dg fisheye lens on July 19, 2013 | 8 Comments »
I often found while photographing with the Sigma 15mm f2.8 EX DG Fisheye Lens that I was creating images of subjects that I would normally walk by and not give any passing consideration to their photographic possibilities. The Sigma 15mm f2.8 EX DG Fisheye Lens was on loan to me for a week by Gentec International, the Canadian distributor for Sigma lenses. With the fisheye lens mounted on my Nikon D800 it was like a whole new world of photogenic subjects materialized before me. One such scene is the image above of a large boulder that was most likely deposited here by receeding glacial action long ago. The boulder sits beside the footpath that is the Twin Points Trail in Ontario’s Killbear Provincial Park. In fact each of the images in this post are from this lovely and scenic trail leading out to the Georgian Bay shore. As you proceed along the trail, closer to Georgian Bay, the pink granite typical of the area becomes more prominent among the numerous rocky outcrops within the woodlands and along the shoreline, which can be seen in the two photos below.
Stay tuned for more fisheye fun and do remember to click on the photos to see the larger, sharper versions.
Posted in Black & White, Creative Visions, Frogs and Toads, Horseshoe Lake, Landscapes, Muskoka, Old Wrecks, parry sound, Photo Gear, Reviews, tagged creative visions, fisheye lens, gear reviews, gentec international, landscape photography, nature photography, ontario, photography, sigma 15mm f2.8 ex dg fisheye lens on July 14, 2013 | 9 Comments »
As mentioned in my previous post I recently spent a week photographing with the Sigma 15mm f2.8 EX DG Fisheye Lens that was on loan to me from Gentec International, the Canadian distributor of Sigma Lenses. I had a ton of fun using this lens and the creative possibilities that it offered me were virtually endless. I enjoyed using the lens to capture bullfrogs, landscapes, water lilies, rusty old wrecks, and waterfalls too. In fact, I photographed roughly 1,500 images with this lens during the week in which I used it. The main subject I sought to photograph with the lens was the bullfrogs on Horseshoe Lake, in the Parry Sound region of Ontario. I will share many more of these with you in future posts.
The Sigma 15mm f2.8 EX DG Fisheye Lens is a diagonal fisheye lens in that the scene is shown full frame within the field of view. Circular fisheye lenses are shown as a circular image within the field of view. Fisheye lenses are noted for their extreme wide angles with significant visual distortion. Yes, distortion can be your friend when used creatively. When a fisheye lens is pointed downwards the field of view will have a convex appearance and when pointed upwards a concave look. This aspect of the fisheye lens creates unique perspectives and intriguing effects on a wide variety of subjects. I personally love the rounded look that can be achieved as it resembles our planet, which is round.
This lens was an outstanding performer for the bullfrogs that I sought as it has a close focusing distance of 5.9 inches. Nikon’s version will only focus down to a tad over 10 inches, while the Canon equivalent will focus to slightly more than 8 inches. That’s a huge variance when you are photographing smaller subjects.The lens was used on my Nikon D800 where I was able to play around with the sensor crop features of the camera to capture both full frame and 1.5 sensor crop images. The latter was useful for images such as the one above, while the former captured the bigger picture seen below.
And with the Fragrant White Water Lilies in full bloom I could not pass up the opportunity to capture such beautiful blossoms with the fisheye perspective.
One evening after supper I decided to give the lens a work out with some low light conditions over at Lower Rosseau Falls. I created numerous compositions at this location with the camera firmly mounted to my tripod to capture the flowing motion of the river. Due to the extreme wide angle it is often tricky to compose images with a downward pointed fisheye lens as the tripod’s legs will be poking into the frame however, with a little practice and patience you will get the hang of it. For the B&W image of Lower Rosseau Falls I could not compose the scene without one leg in the frame, so back home in photoshop I cloned out the leg, which was in the lower right area of the frame.
My next excursion with the Sigma 15mm f2.8 EX DG Fisheye Lens was on the shores of Georgian Bay in Ontario’s Killbear Provincial Park. The rugged shoreline here is note for its wind swept pines and beautiful pink granite. I really enjoyed the creative possibilities that the lens offered me here. The significant distortion qualities of the lens were used for artistic purposes which can be seen in the Killbear Provincial Park images below.
Towards the end of my photography trip, a family function led me to the Peterborough area of Ontario. I decided at the last minute to take along the fisheye lens one last time before returning it to Gentec International. I was glad I did as I was staying near Millennium Park and the design of the park lends itself well to the distortion qualities of fisheye lenses. Due to the over-cast, white sky conditions I chose to convert the image to black and white.
The fisheye perspective is my new favorite way to create imagery. When the distortion qualities are used to accentuate curves in the landscape they can often have a very pleasing effect. The majority of the photos I captured using the lens were done so handheld. All of the bullfrog-scapes were done using the Live View function of the D800 with the camera held millimeters above the surface of the lake. To maximize my depth-of-field I tended to stay in the f11 – f16 range of the lens. Each and every frame I captured the auto-focus was accurate, any blurred images were a result of errors on my part or by pushing the hand-holding limits too far and shooting at shutter speed that were just too slow. If you don’t push these limits you will not know what you can accomplish in given situations. While reviewing the images on the computer at home I did notice some chromatic abberation in the extreme corners but for me this is no biggie as it can easily be corrected in photoshop.
I do not test or review lenses by photographing charts and such to examine their sharpness from corner to corner. I much prefer to take the gear into the field and see how it will perform with my style of shooting, with the subjects I love to photograph, and to genuinely find out will it get the shot I want. I can honestly say that I loved using the Sigma 15mm f2.8 EX DG Fisheye Lens and will certainly be adding it to my tool kit in the near future. It far exceeded my expectations and the lens literally spent the better part of my travels attached to the Nikon D800. I would highly recommend this lens to anyone wishing to explore the wonderful world of the fisheye and unleash their creativity.
Do remember to click on each of the images to see the larger, sharper versions and let us know which is your favorite and why.
Throughout my travels I did come across a new rusty old wreck, with bullet holes nonetheless, and another wreck near my home, which I decided to give a quasi-grunge look. See these images below.
Posted in Agriculture, Landscapes, ontario, Photo Gear, tagged fisheye lens, landscape photography, ontario, photography, sigma lenses sigma 15mm f2.8 ex dg fisheye lens, stock photography, storm clouds, storms on July 9, 2013 | 2 Comments »
Sorry for lack of posts lately folks, I have been away on a photography trip through Ontario’s Parry Sound region. During this trip Gentec International, the Canadian distributor for Sigma Lenses in Canada was kind enough to loan me a Sigma 15mm f2.8 EX DG Fisheye Lens. I will be doing a full review of this lens in an upcoming post soon, but I can quickly sum it up with one word – WOW! I had a ton of fun using this lens for everything from bullfrogs, rusted old wrecks, urban scenes, landscapes, forest interiors, water lilies, and agricultural scenes (as you can see above).
The image accompanying this post was captured yesterday using the Sigma 15mm f2.8 EX DG Fisheye Lens on a Nikon D800 handheld as the wild and wicked storm clouds were swiftly moving across the sky, above a golden field of winter wheat. Yesterday southern Ontario, particularly the Toronto area, was hit with a massive amount of rain which caused significant flooding. The rainfall amount came close to beating the record set when Hurricane Hazel rolled through the area in 1954. Fortunately I live north of the hardest hit areas and only received a small amount of rainfall at home however, as I was driving down a rural road near my home I noticed these ominous clouds and just had to pull off to the side of the road and grab a few images.
Do remember to click on the image to see the larger, sharper version.
Posted in Photo Gear, Photography Contests, tagged canada, ontario, photo contest, photography, photography contests, photography students, sigma lenses, sigma scholarship contest on January 31, 2013 | 2 Comments »
Wetland on Horseshoe Lake, Parry Sound, Ontario, Canada
Sigma Canada has launched the Sigma Scholarship Contest which is offering full-time photography students using Sigma lenses, a chance to win a grand prize of $3,000 towards their tuition in an accredited Canadian university or college. There will be three regional grand prizes awarded and three second prizes of $1000 photo gear packages from Gentec International. Contest submissions will be accepted until April 30, 2013. To view the complete contest details and to fill out an online application form click here or click on the ‘Sigma Scholarship Contest’ logo that I have placed in the sidebar of this blog for your convenience. Do pass the info along to anyone you may know who is enrolled in a full-time photography course who shoots with Sigma lenses.
Sigma has been producing high quality lenses for many years. One of my personal favorite lenses is the Sigma 8-16mm F4.5-5.6 DC HSM lens
I love the extreme wide angle views that can be created with this lens and the quality of the images produced with this lens are superb. Each of the photos in this post were created using the Sigma 8-16mm lens on a Nikon D800 set to the DX crop mode, as this lens is designed for use on cameras with APS-C size sensors.
Lower Rosseau Falls on the Rosseau River, Ontario, Canada
Wetland at dusk on Horseshoe Lake, Parry Sound, Ontario, Canada
Posted in Photo Gear, Reviews, tagged camera bags, expedition 8x photo laptop backpack, gear reviews, gentec international, landscape photography, nature photography, photography, tamrac on December 17, 2012 | 5 Comments »
Tamrac Expedition 8x Photo / Laptop Backpack
I tend to shy away from using backpacks to carry my photo gear into the field due to problems with my lower back. With my persistent back trouble I often prefer to go with a lighter type of carrying system such as the Tamrac Pro Digital Zoom 10 and the Modular Accessory System (M.A.S.). However, there are times when carrying a backpack into the field just makes more sense. On longer forays into the wilderness I like to have a good selection of gear with me so that I am prepared for pretty much anything I may find along the way. There is nothing worse than encountering that once in a lifetime opportunity and not having the gear at hand to get the job done.
For several years my standard photo backpack was a Lowepro Photo Trekker. This pack served me well until one day while photographing at the Torrance Barrens near Gravenhurst, Ontario when I lifted the pack and the zippered failed sending all my gear crashing onto the granite bedrock at this location. I contacted Lowepro about the failure of the zipper and they immediately replaced my Photo Trekker with a more durable Pro Trekker AW II. This is a great pack with lots of storage capabilities, but I disliked carrying it on long hikes as it seemed heavy and I found my shoulders bothered me by the end of the day.
Since becoming sponsored by Tamrac Canada and Gentec International, the distributor of Tamrac products in Canada, I have had the opportunity to use the Tamrac Expedition 8x Photo / Laptop Backpack. I can honestly say that I love the pack. It is very comfortable to wear on extended hikes and offers a great deal of storage capabilities for camera gear and other miscellaneous items that you may wish to carry into the field. One of the reasons I find this pack so comfortable is right from the get go this pack is much lighter than my Lowepro Pro Trekker AW II. I did not realize this until I picked up the old Lowepro pack the other day and thought that it seemed very heavy, even though the pack was empty. I decided to weigh the bags when they were empty and could not believe that the Tamrac Expedition 8x Photo / Laptop Backpack only weighed a touch over 7lbs. while the Lowepro Pro Trekker was weighing in at a hefty 11.5 pounds. Wow, a 5lb. plus difference when empty. That alone is a huge relief while heading down the trail with your assortment of camera gear.
Aside from carrying the pack on longer hikes where I want to have my full compliment of camera gear and accessories at the ready, I also prefer to use backpacks during winter excursions and situations where I may be working from the car. I can easily lay the pack in the back of my Subaru and have easy access to all my gear as I need to. And during winter excursions I simply find it easier to work from backpacks as I can lay them on the snow and access my gear while using the main flap to shield my gear when changing lenses or attaching filters, especially if it may be snowing at the time.
What exactly does the Tamrac Expedition 8x feature:
- two winged accessory pockets featuring Tamrac’s patented Memory and Battery Management System.
- the inside of the front flap contains three, zippered, Windowpane Mesh pockets for various accessories.
- adjustable foam padded dividers to custom fit all of your photo gear.
- LockDown Rain Flap on the main zippered to help protect your gear during inclement weather.
- BioCurve Dual Pivoting waist belt for greater comfort.
- Dual-Foam Comfort Pads for your back with Air Flow Channels to help keep your back cool and dry.
- Quick Clip Tripod attachment system, although I never carry my tripod on the pack I will often use the tripod foot pocket to carry additional items.
- a foam padded front pocket to carry 17 inch laptops – I will often use this pocket to carry my home-made reflectors and diffusers.
- fully compatible with Tamrac’s Modular Accessory System (M.A.S.) and the Strap Accessory System ( S.A.S.) allowing you to further customize the pack to your individual needs.
- easily carries two or three camera bodies and a complete assortment of lenses.
In the two additional images of the Tamrac Expedition 8x Photo / Laptop Backpack below you will see the thick padding that rests against your back while carrying the pack and the air-flow channels. You will also note the weather resistant zippers that protect items stored in the laptop pocket as well as items stashed in the two zippered wing pockets.
Tamrac Expedition 8x – the rearview (check out all the padding)
Tamrac Expedition 8x – weather resistant zippers
I can honestly say that the Tamrac Expedition 8x Photo / Laptop Backpack is a joy to carry in the field, even with my persistent back problems, and it offers me all the storage possibilities that I need when I am about to hit the trail for an extended day of photographing our natural world. It is absolutely the most comfortable, well thought-out and designed backpack camera bag I have ever used to carry my assortment of photography gear. If by chance you are sitting on the fence about whether to purchase a backpack camera bag or are looking for a replacement bag I would seriously consider the Tamrac Expedition 8x Photo / Laptop Backpack. It is a lightweight pack made of extremely durable fabrics, designed to protect your camera gear from the elements. If you are worried that the Expedition 8x may be too much pack for you, please view the complete assortment of Expedition series of backpacks available here.
Please remember to click on each of the photos to view a larger sharper version.
Tamrac Pro Digital Zoom 10
During the last few months I have been using Tamrac’s M.A.S. System (Modular Accessory System) and the Pro Digital Zoom 10 to carry my equipment during photo excursions. The folks that have been following my blog for a while may recall last September I wrote about a mishap I encountered with one of my old Lowepro Street and Field lens cases. For those of you who have recently began to follow my blog here is the short version – while jumping down from a log beside a beaver pond, the velcro fastening system on the Lowepro lens case failed and the case went for a swim in the pond with my Nikon 12-24mm lens inside. I quickly went for a swim in the pond to rescue the lens before it suffered any damage resulting from the dunking.
Fast-forward to this year when the opportunity to become sponsored by Tamrac was presented to me by Gentec International, the supplier to Tamrac products in Canada, I was very eager to try out their M.A.S. System, which stands for Modular Accessory System and their Pro Digital Zoom 10 pack. When the packs arrived I was immediately impressed with the high quality fabric used in their construction. This fabric is called ‘ballistic nylon,’ which is a thick, tough, synthetic nylon material that is very durable. All the zippers have large pull tabs that make opening the packs and lens cases a breeze. I have also noted as I canoe throughout wetlands, when I inadvertently splash water over the packs that the water actually beads on the fabric.
What I love most about modular systems, aside from being able to customize them to your individual needs, is the ability to simply meander about in the field, knowing that everything I need is with me when photographic opportunities are presented. There is no searching for the pack you left laying on the ground while you wandered about or worse, hoping you have time to run back and grab that one piece of gear you need to photograph that once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that you have been dreaming of. This type of carrying system is also very friendly towards by frequent back problems.
Here is what I love about the Pro Digital Zoom 10 Pack:
- large flap on top of the pack provides excellent protection from the elements, although not being used to such an extra large flap did take some getting used too but the extra protection this provides my gear in the field is paramount.
- inside the large flap is a zippered pocket that I often carry my most frequently used filter – a polarizing filter.
- easily holds my Nikon D800 with the Nikon 80-400mm VR lens attached.
- I can carry the pack as a shoulder bag or use the built in belt loop to attach the pack to the M.A.S belt.
- it is compatible with the M.A.S. system allowing me the convenience of changing the accessory packs around to suit the photographic needs day. In the above photo I have fitted the Pro Digital Zoom 10 with the Lens Case Pro 200 and the Lens Case Pro 50. In the Pro 200 case I have housed two small lenses, a 12-24mm and a 18-70mm lens (separated by a piece of foam padding) and in the Pro 50 case I have housed my 105mm micro lens.
- a large front pocket to house additional items such as cable release, double bubble level, spare battery, and compact flash cards. Note the batteries and flash cards can be stored in Tamrac’s ‘Battery Management System‘ that is also found inside the large front pocket, however, I do prefer to carry my compact flash cards in water tight protective cases.
My personal M.A.S. set-up
In the above photograph (click on the photo to see a larger version that also shows the weeds and clover growing in my lawn :)) is my personal set-up of M.A.S. packs attached to the accessory belt. On longer hikes I will often remove the lens cases from the Pro Digital Zoom 10 and fasten them to this belt. The image above shows the two medium sized Backpack Side Pockets, the Lens Case Pro 100, and the Filter Belt Pack. Here is what goes in these packs:
- the first Backpack Side Pocket houses my Wimberely Macro Bracket-single arm set-up and my Nikon SB400 Speedlight that I frequently use for my frog photography.
- the Lens Case Pro 100 will often house an additional lens or other small accessories that I may carry into the field. This all depends on the needs of the day.
- the second Backpack Side Pocket contains my Better Beamer Flash Extender and my SB600 Speedlight or alternately I will use this pack for my graduated neutral density filters.
- the Filter Belt Pack is used for various filters such as my 3 & 10 stop Neutral Density filters, Canon 500D close-up filter, and my Singh Ray Warming Polarizing Filter
One small detail of the M.A.S. system that has impressed me most of all is the method by which they are attached to the accessory belt or the Pro Digital Zoom 10 pack – velcro and snaps. Velcro is often the main choice of camera bag manufactures to fasten such accessory items to the main packs, however, Tamrac have taken the time to add durable metal snaps (see the image below) for added security to ensure the accessories do not fall off. I most often find that velcro tends to lose its effectiveness over time but with these metal snaps I feel very confident that the next time I jump over a log alongside a beaver pond I will not be going for an unanticipated swim to retrieve any lens cases from the pond.
Velcro and metal snap buttons found on M.A.S. system accessories
If you are in need of a new modular carrying system for your photographic forays check out the various accessories that are available for the Tamrac M.A.S. system to see if there is a selection of packs and cases available to suit your individual photographic needs.