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
It’s again time of the year to recapitulate. Already while I was browsing through my photo archive to select photos for my 2019 calender earlier this year I was quite shocked how the amount of photo folders declined this year.
Here is a little overview of the amount of photo folders which correspondent to occasions where I took photos, over the past 7 years.
– 2011: 33 folders
– 2012: 33 folders
– 2013: 42 folders
– 2014: 39 folders
– 2015: 33 folders
– 2016: 31 folders
– 2017: 31 folders
– 2018: 9 folders
At least it’s not surprising to me when I think about all the other time-consuming things I’ve been doing this year, like attending a Japanese language class once a week, plenty of training for my first Olympic triathlon this year, finishing a three semester long degree at an online university which required approx. 18h/week and constantly learning new stuff for work in my free-time, while working full-time and still accumulating plenty of over-hours.
For next year I can already say that I want to do less different things at once and focus more on fewer things, especially photography. At times I was really missing the free-spirited feeling on being outdoors and on the road, experiencing new places and get inspired by them while trying to capture the essence of those places.
That’s why I want to give a big shout-out to my friend Alexander Otto who has been such a great company and source of inspiration during all my big photo trips this year, to Tenerife in late March, to the Alps in July and to the US South-west in October. Who knows, without him and his constant drive to explore new places I might have not done many photo trips by myself this year.
Last year I was writing that it might take a couple of months to catch up with processing of my shots from Japan, Australia and Tasmania from 2017, I could not have been more optimistic, I think I barely processed a half of the shots yet. The same goes for my shots from 2018, that’s why I have to cheat a little bit this year and probably next year with my top 10 photos of the year. For this years’ photos I considered also photos from 2017 which I was only able to process this year.
When I look at my abstract architecture prints hanging above my TV I feel really sad that I again didn’t shoot anything like that this year and for 2 years in a row already.
I really hope I get to do this next year again, I already have plenty of places in mind which I want to experiment with.
Now I’ll leave you with my personal top 10 photos which I published this year and wishing you a happy new year, enjoy
Guess what, there will be a calendar for next year again!
As per usual I’m pretty late with the completion, but I eventually decided to do one also for next year. So if you’re interested or already looking for Christmas gifts go ahead and drop me a message.
It’s a matte print on premium paper in A3 format.
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?