Lowepro Pro Messenger AW Series

I don't normally get excited about new camera bags, but these new Lowepro Pro Messenger AW Series bags look really nice. Understated, not too big but they still hold a lot of stuff, and a trolley sleeve. I want one of these, probably the big one - the 200. I think that's the 200 in the pic above.

I love my old Compudaypack, and it's been bulletproof, but it's not always the handiest bag to work out of. It's also International Distress Orange. Check out the video at the link below.

Via Lowepro blog.



A friend just sent me this link, it's a gadget called the Roundflash and it might be awesome.
I've got a ray flash, but this thing is still intriguing.

The Ray Flash is very efficient, doesn't lose much of the flash power. But i like the larger surface area of that Roundflash. Plus it's light and packs up small. The Ray Flash is about the same price, and they're molded to your particular model of flash, not universal fit.

There aren't a lot of sample shots around yet, and I'm curious to know how many stops of light it loses. It's like a mini AlienBees Moon Unit.

Via Gizmodo.

Nikon D7000 vs D700 for Football Photography

7000_DSC_3353, originally uploaded by infrar3d.

I've been shooting football all season, mostly with a D700. But this weekend I really needed two bodies, so my backup was a D7000.

The game started at 5pm, so it went from daylight to dark over the course of 3 hours. I started with a 70-200mm on the D700 and an 80-400mm on the D7000. 400mm is a lot of reach on a cropped sensor camera. the D7000/80-400mm combo worked fine in good light, when things weren't moving too fast. It allowed me to get some shots I couldn't have gotten otherwise. I kept it on a monopod and switched to the D700 around my neck when the action got closer and/or faster.

After halftime the battery in my D700 died (and I didn't realize there was a hot spare in the truck), so I stuck the 70-200mm on the D7000 and kept going. It worked, and having the extra reach was actually great, but it was frustrating as well. The D7000 just isn't a fast action camera. The AF is slower, and less reliable. The buffer is slower, and smaller. It made me miss shots.

The D7000 has a lot going for it; it's small and light, and the high ISO shots look great, but despite the fact that it's smaller and lighter, the deep, yet narrow, grip isn't as comfortable as the larger cameras for all day use. At least not for me. This isn't just the D7000 either, the D80 was the same way. And it's too slow. It sucks when a play is right in front of you, and suddenly nothing happens when you press the shutter button.


More Stuff I'm Reading.

Just some interesting items from around the photo blogoshpere.

More Football Photos

East Central Community College freshman quarterback Jesse Blakemore
East Central Community College freshman quarterback Jesse Blakemore (10)

This past weekend I went to Decatur, MS to shoot the East Central Community College homecoming game. Since it was homecoming the game was early, kickoff was 2pm. So, since there was plenty of light I decided to shoot the whole game with the Nikkor 80-400mm and left the 70-200mm in the bag.

I just wanted to try shooting the whole game with something that would give me the extra reach. Zooming all the way in to 400mm let's you get photos like the one above. I couldn't have done that with the 70-200.

But I don't know if it's worth it. The 80-400 is really slow compared to the 70-200, in more ways than one. First it's got a slower aperture, f/4.5-5.6 versus a constant f/2.8, but that would be OK for daytime games if it weren't for the other problems. See, it's also a lot slower to focus. I mean a lot. And it's slower to use, because the zoom ring is so stiff. So stiff that the rubber grip is coming loose. It's just got a cheap plastic-on-plastic feel. The zoom ring on the 70-200 is smooth.

And the last thing is the close focusing distance. Even zoomed all the way out to the short end at 80mm, it still feels like the closest focusing distance is about 6 feet. The 70-200 can get down to around 3 feet I think.

So, until we buy a 400mm f/2.8 (never), I'll still use the 80-400mm, but I don't think I'll shoot a whole game with it again. It's a pain to shoot football switching lenses on just one body, but that's the way it is.

Oh, and the final score: MGCCC 37, ECCC 21.


Popular Point and Shoots

004_R1174136, originally uploaded by infrar3d.

I was surfing the Point-N-Shoot forum at rangefinderforum recently, and noticed that the entire first page of 25 posts was dominated by just a few models. And most of them weren't recent models either.

  1. Ricoh GR-D (I,II,III)
  2. Ricoh GR1/v/s
  3. --
  4. Hexar AF
  5. --
  6. Hexar AF
  7. Konica Hexar AF
  8. Ricoh GRD4
  9. Lumix LX-5
  10. Hexar AF
  11. Klasse W
  12. --
  13. Ricoh GRD III
  14. Klasse W
  15. Fuji Klasse/Klasse S
  16. Olympus Infinity Stylus/Infinity Stylus EPIC
  17. Hexar AF
  18. Hexar AF
  19. --
  20. --
  21. Hexar AF
  22. Hexar AF
  23. Lumix LX5
  24. Ricoh GR Digital
  25. --

Here's the breakdown.

Konica (Hexar AF) - 8
Ricoh (GR series, both film and digital) - 5
Fuji (Klasse series) - 3
Panasonic (LX5) - 2
Olympus (Infinity Stylus series) - 1

The Konica Hexar is still pretty popular isn't it? Gotta get my hands on one of those eventually. Is the Fuji X100 the new Hexar? Or maybe the Sony Nex-7 with it's new Zeiss 24mm lens?

Steve Jobs: Visionary, Inventor, and Very Challenging Photo Subject | PDN Pulse

PDN has an article up about Steve Jobs as a difficult portrait subject. It also has the behind the scenes story of the 2008 Albert Watson photo that was posted on the front page of Apple.com yesterday.

Steve Jobs: Visionary, Inventor, and Very Challenging Photo Subject | PDN Pulse


Steve Jobs 1955-2011

Steve Jobs 1955-2011
The front page of apple.com today. Photo by Albert Watson.

Steve Jobs passed away yesterday evening.

Friends texted me, and it was all over the news. Celebrity deaths don't normally affect me, but this is different. This is someone that has had a very real impact on my life. I have a hard time imagining how different the world would have been without him. He will be missed.


Pentax Ricoh Imaging Company

Well, it's official; my old favorite camera company, and current favorite camera company, are now one. They issued a press release today stating that the deal is done. I wonder if they'll continue with two distinct camera lines under the Pentax and Ricoh names? Or maybe they'll just go with Pentax Ricoh, like Konica Minolta did.

Via Ricoh-28mm.