Posts tagged photography

Last light of the day -crop
http://www.flickr.com/photos/bognacki/12147924213

Bike Bag PT II

Had a chance to take these two bags out for a ride + hike. Overall both bags are great for active shooting where comfort and performance are as important as protection and accessibility. An added requirement for me was a “Day-Pack” area where I can stow a jacket, food, and extra gear. My notes are below…

COMFORT:
On a bike I think the Photo Sport 200 AW took that prize. I have a long torso and the Photo Sport 200 AW fit and contoured very nicely. I like its super light weight fabric and the added comfort it provides. We will see how it holds up to repeated use. As for the Kenti I love the slim sport straps and compact feel, but I did feel the bag was a little short for my frame…especially ridding on a bike. With the day pack section expanded the bag did feel a bit more balanced for me. Wearing the Kenti I did feel like I had a back pack on but the Photo Sport 200 AW just disappeared on the ride.



PROTECTION:
Both bags provide what I would call medium to thin protection, this keeps them both light weight and able to move with your body. Neither suffer from the “Foam Box” syndrome. I like the added ability to cinch the camera section with the interior cord on the Lowe Pro. This ensures your kit is compressed and not bouncing around on the interior.

PERFORMANCE/ACCESSIBILITY:
Both bags hold about the same amount of gear and accessing that gear is similar. I like the side loading aspects and to be honest these are the first bags I own that have this feature. Unclip the shoulder strap flip the back around and unzip the side pocket to access your gear.

The Kenti has dual side access on left and right of the bag and the two sections are separated by a wall of foam. This makes the F-Stop Kenti great for dual system shooting. Place your Mirrorless in the left and you DSLR in the right. This being said I did feel that the access zip areas were just a little too tight to quickly pull out a camera, I found myself struggling a bit at first. Also the side compression straps were more of an obstacle then anything. Maybe with more use this will change for me. I’m betting this is an intentional design feature to protect your gear from hitting the ground when the compartment is unzipped.

Both bags have an upper pocket area for “DAY-PACK” items. The Roll-top of the Kenti is a little odd initially. Once I used it and wanted to roll down the pocket back down it didn’t seem to close quite as tight as originally. Probably my doing. The large zip pocket on the back has a half zip opening that I found a little limiting to access everything, and the pocket is very slim. Hmmm.

I do love the pockets on the waist belts of both bags, I just wish the Kenti pocket was large enough to hold a filter or two like the Photo Sport does.

CONCLUSION:
I think if you are on a bike the Photo Sport 200 AW takes the cake for me for my body type and riding style. The Photo Sport 200 AW just seems like a more versatile sports pack. The Kenti worked well for the hike as expected, and feels like a more specialty bag. If I were going out shooting with two camera systems I would def be reaching for the Kenti even with its quirks.



On 2 Wheels (Part I)

Started biking a few weeks ago, and I put together a way to carry gear that I am pretty happy with.

I purchased a Jandd (touring handle bar pack). This thing is extremely rugged, well made, and should last a life time. The bike pack has loads of pockets consisting of 1 large main compartment pocket, two front pockets, two water bottle holders and dual compression straps.

It even has a top flap clear insert pocket for a maps (I use it for my iphone GPS). The whole thing attaches to the bike via a quick release bracket for easy on-off with one click.

For the camera gear I’ve coupled the Jandd with a Mountain Smith (Kit Cube). The Mountain Smith adds the padded protection the Jandd lacks and leaves me with a nice portable shoulder bag. The Kit Cube is a pretty tight fit. The two are almost made for each other.

I wouldn’t normally travel this heavy but for this ride I wanted to test the load bearing capacity of the bag on the front handle bars.

- XPRO-1 + LENS + Extra Battery
- GX1 + LENS
- LENS CASE +4 LENSES
- 1 x FILTER WALLET
- 1 x Money Wallet
- 2 x iphone
- 1 x Car Keys

Even with all this gear the load was not an issue for me or my balance.

It even has a draw string that cinches the unit closed and safe from the elements. I love this set up.

***UPDATE*** A lightly pack Think Tank Retrospective 5 also fits the Jandd.

SLR Magic HyperPrime CINE 50mm T0.95 PART II

I wanted to compare these two lenses in a shoot out in part one but the Canon 50mm f0.95 won’t fit the SpaceCam Leica M mount. (The locking ears are too thick and prevented the lens from fully making contact with the back of the mount.) This is the only lens that I experienced this with, so part II of this review will be done using a GX1. I will probably revisit this when my RED Leica M mount ships out. But until then…

DAY TIME BOKEH and OOF AREAS:

In day light the SLR_M renders smooooth OOF areas. It almost reminds me of bokeh/oof produced by a long telephoto lens. The SLR_M can produce classic looking bokeh but just had to work a little harder to do so in the daylight. Maybe this was due to the subject being photographed in this comparison shot. Curious if this might be due to the different field of view of these two lenses and/or the different close focus distances. The SLR_M has a much close focus range (.7m) then the Canon “Dream” lens.


Split view on a PANASONIC GX1
(Full resolution on Flickr)


Backgrounds completely melt into a soft field of color in the SLR_M shot…while lacking the oof bokeh circles . The SLR_M renders an extremely sharp image and coupled with the smooth oof/bokeh the image evokes that Leica “3D” effect. The Canon gives you the dreamy soft-ish focus, diffuse/glowy hi lights and slight low contrast and saturation images, and classic bokeh.

NIGHT TIME BOKEH and OOF AREAS:

The same smooth oof/bokeh performance from the SLR_M on the EPIC-X. I almost needed a ND filter shooting 800 ISO at night with the EPIC X and the SLR_M Hyperprime on the streets of Los Angeles. The streets at night are pretty bright and I seriously had to up the shutter rate to compensate for the extra stops this lens produced. I was a bit suprised… I can only imagine the performance on the EPIC when its rocking a RED DRAGON sensor. Night vision???

I did run into something of note with the SLR_M Cine. I noticed this in the RED EPIC footage more so then the images from the GX1. At 5K you could see that there are dark dots or white dots in some of the bokeh circles. This only showed up occasionally in a shot or two. Its visible in the footage around 6:22. I have been told that this is a side effect in all lenses f1.0 and faster due to the inherent design of the optics.




http://vimeo.com/39774350

Not a deal breaker but something to keep an eye open for while shooting with these fast lenses. I will have to test this further…as it is apparently present in the Leica Noctilux as well.

Conclusion/Thoughts: For the price the SLR_M CINE you can’t beat what you are getting. A low light monster that can deliver that LEICA 3D effect while staying very sharp wide open. To me the SLR_M delivers a super clean, sharp modern feeling image. As for the Canon, I do like the size and the vintage feel the “Dream” lens brings. The flaws of the Canon are what give it a ton a character. Each has its place in my arsenal of lenses.

LINK TO PART I http://todaystomorrow.tumblr.com/post/20357714115/slr-magic-hyperprime-cine-50mm-t0-95-part-i