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The quest to find a new camera bag for long hikes – part 2

This is a follow up on my previous post from 2016, after having made more experience and more thoughts about this topic.

Here is just a not so short recap on this topic:

I’ve always been struggling with a good solution to pack away camera equipment during long hiking trips which might take several days. On the one hand it’s practical if you use one of the present ICU systems by f-stop or Mindshift backpacks , however it has the disadvantage that those backpack internal camera bags are note very flexible when it comes to only carrying them for a couple of meters. Let me give you an example:
On a multi-day hike camp is set up in the afternoon, the tent is pitched and all camping related stuff resides in the tent or next to it, while the camera gear needs to be available for sunset or night shooting which might happen 1-2km away from the camping spot. Surely you can empty your backpack completely and only carry the camera gear in it for strolling around next to the camping area, however it comes with additional effort of re-packing which can be quite annoying on a week-long hiking trip. ICUs from f-stop at least can be detached from the backpack and carried with both hands or with a simple shoulder bag. This already gives a lot of flexibility for different packing styles and workflows, but it’s not there yet. I’d like to have the flexibility to carry an ICU either in the backpack or outside of the backpack, for example in front of me, like a slingshot shoulder bag or a bumbag. This gives you the freedom to have quick access to your camera gear during the hike and might enable you to get photos you otherwise wouldn’t have taken because of the hassle to get the camera gear out of your big backpack.


Back to today:

I’ve been on several long hiking trips since 2016, like on Yakushima in Japan and Tasmania in 2017, several multi-day hiking trips in the Alps and my recent 8-day hike trough the Drakensberg area in South Africa.
I’m still using the solution mentioned in my previous post, having a big Deuter 70L backpack and cheap shoulder bag which I can either carry in front of me by hanging it on the backpack carry system over both shoulders

What I noticed on each hike is the strap of the shoulder bag compromises the carry system of the backpack by putting weight on the load balancing straps next to the shoulders and hence prevents the carry system from putting more weight on the hip belt, which might be convenient at times when you want to carry the backpack away from your back. This is not catastrophic, but not good either, especially on very long hikes.
That’s why I recently looked into other solutions which allow you to carry a camera bag on your waist like bumbags. I want to try out the bags listed below and will update the post once I have new insights or decided to change mit kit by choosing one of those bags.

Waistbags / Bumbags:

  • Manfrotto Street CSC camera Sling/Waist pack
    • Exterior dimensions (L x W x H): 32 x 12 x 23 cm
    • Interior dimensions (L x W x H)30 x 11 x 20 cm
    • Weight: 0.58kg
    • Thoughts: TBD
  • Crumpler JP5500-001 Jackpack 5500
    • Exterior dimensions (L x W x H): 35 x 21 x 15 cm
    • Interior dimensions (L x W x H): 32 x 20 x 12.5 cm
    • Weight: 0,8kg
    • Thoughts: TBD
  • Mantona ElementsPro 20
    • Exterior dimensions (L x W x H): 19 x 24 x 17 cm
    • Interior dimensions (L x W x H): 17 x 22 x 15 cm
    • Weight: 0,72 kg
    • Thoughts: TBD
  • CAMSLINGER Outdoor
    • Exterior dimensions (L x W x H): 22 x 17.5 x 11 cm
    • Interior dimensions (L x W x H): 19 x 16 x 9 cm
    • Weight: 0,48 kg
    • Thoughts: TBD

Sirui tripod repairs – part 2

Remember my post 2 years ago about the past Sirui tripod repairs? I had to send in my already discontinued Sirui  M-3204X tripod again!

The half shells / shims – which are part of the inner sliding mechanism seem to have easily gotten out of their place and as a result the whole sliding mechanism didn’t move smoothly anymore or even would block completely. Back then I sent in the tripod for repairs and received it back with fresh half shells / shims and on one leg Sirui even replaced the top-most sliding element because the notches where the half shells / shims sit on were already fringed which makes the fit between the leg element and the half shells / shims quite loose. In the picture above you see the difference between the replaced leg segment (bottom) and the old ones, where the notches are clearly fringed. I’m glad that Sirui didn’t charge for the repairs.

What happened now:
As it was to expect after some time also the other two  top-most leg segments on the other two legs showed the same problem. After writing the German Sirui service what happened I sent in my tripod again and just received it back a couple of days ago. I was quite surprised what Sirui had come up with now: Apparently they figured out that their half shell / shim part was not fit for the job and replaced it with a different construction, see in the next image:
You can clearly see that the the leg segments have been exchanged by new ones where the notches are fresh and sharp. Also the shape of their sliding shim / shell changed noticeably. I guess this construction makes way more sense because it fits and sits well on the end of the leg segments without any play in either direction. I’m actually curious whether Sirui already uses this kind of sliding mechanism for their more up-to-date tripods. Can anybody confirm?

New Gallery: Landscape Aerials

I recently started with aerial photography so I thought it would be a good idea to make a new gallery for those pictures. May I present you my first attempts at aerial photography, all done with a DJI Inspire 1 Pro.

Test: Filterhalter von für Olympus 7-14mm f/2.8

Im Test: der Filterhalter fürs Olympus 7-14mm f/2.8 von

Anmerkung für alle Fotos: es wurden nur RAW Bilder verwendet und ohne jegliche Entzerrung und Vignettierungskorrektur mit Standardeinstellungen entwickelt.


Für die erste Bilderserie wurde der Filterhalter samt zweireihige Filter Befestigungsclips links und rechts aufs Objektiv gesteckt

In der zweiten Serie wollte ich testen ob der Teil links und rechts im Bild von den Befestigungsclips oder vom Filterhalter selbst stammt, deshalb habe ich alle Befestigungsclips entfernt und den gleichen Test wiederholt:

Und siehe da, es ist nur eine dezente Vignette zu erkennen, welche sich sicherlich relativ leicht mit Software entfernen lässt, die Abschattung link und rechts im Bilde kommen wohl wirklich von den Befestigungsclips.

Dann habe ich nochmal einen Test gemacht und den einreihigen Befestigungsclip rechts eingesetzt um zu sehen wie groß der Effekt mit einem einreihigen, statt einem zweireihigen Bestigungsclip ist:

Im Vergleich zum zweireihigen Befestigungsclip sieht das schon besser aus, aber eine restliche Abschattung ist bei 7mm und selbst bei 8mm noch dezent erkennbar.

Mir ist ausserdem noch etwas aufgefallen, je nachdem welchen Fokus man eingestellt hat ist der Abschattung mal mehr oder weniger. Bei nahen Fokus ist die Abschattung größer als bei fernem Fokus:

Leider ist es unmöglich diese Form von Abschattung mittels Software zu korrigieren oder gar ganz zu entfernen.


Filterhalter hat Verzug

Mir ist ausserdem aufgefallen dass der Filterhalter einen enormen Verzug hat:


Öffnungen die Licht durchlassen

Ausserdem scheint der Filterhalter nicht mit Einschubfiltern kompatibel zu sein welche abgeflachte Ecken besitzen:
Filterhalter nicht mit allen Einschubfiltern kompatibel



Hier handelt es sich um einen unausgereiften und nicht gerade preiswerten Filterhalter aus dem 3D Drucker. Nach Kontaktaufnahme (Oktober 2015) mit dem Hersteller habe ich vergeblich auf eine Rückmeldung gewartet und bis heute keine bekommen, d.h. ich gehe davon aus dass Feedback nicht so gern gesehen wird. Service scheint man bei wohl nicht zu kennen. Mein Filterhalter ist mittlerweile im Müll gelandet, da wo er schon beim Hersteller hätte landen sollen.


Wer nach einer funktionierenden Lösung fürs Olympus 7-14mm f/2.8 sucht sollte sich die “Zu” Filter-Adapter von Zheng JIANG ansehen:

Dieser hat folgende Vorteile:

  • Besseres Design da man den Filterhalter seiner Wahl (HItech oder LEE) einfach an dem Adapter befestigt, anstatt ein komplett neues Halter-System zu kaufen, welches den etablierten Systemen technisch unterlegen ist.
  • Er ist günstiger obwohl das verwendet Material viel besser ist (feiner und gefühlt robuster)
  • Er funktioniert tatsächlich, Vignettierung ist durch die Nutzung der mitgelieferten Führungen fürs Hitech oder LEE System ausgeschlossen.

Sirui tripod repairs

Remember the post Finally a new tripod from approx. 3 years ago?

Finally my Sirui M-3204X (nowadays N-3204X) tripod  has shown some wear and it was about time to get it repaired. Nothing actually broke, only the half shells – which are part of the sliding mechanism – in the upper segment were worn out and sliding out the segment was really hard or not possible at all. Sometimes the sement even came off, like shown in the picture on the right.

Actually I wanted to get it repaired already earlier but never was sure whether I would get it b14215410_1032975160154142_1926410967_oack in time for planned photography trips. After I returned from the Faroe Islands a bit more than a week ago I knew that I can spare the tripod for a while because no other photography trips were planned.

What can I say, I sent the tripod in for service and received it back within 4 days only! Fully repaired and covered by the warranty (which is 6 years) coming with a nice letter stating what has been exchanged and repaired. Wow, when I received it back I couldn’t believe that it took not even a week. I’m impressed Sirui! This makes me confident to keep recommending Sirui tripods to other people. The price / value ratio is amazing!