Skip navigation

Tag Archives: My Gears

Press pic to hop over to ModoSteady 585's product page

Okay, you probably have a Sony NEX-5 like I do, or the new lines of DSLR capable of shooting Full HD video like the Sony A33, A55, Nikon D3100 or Canon EOS 550D and you like me are probably looking for some sort of stabilization accessories so to enable you to shoot smoother video.

Of course one can go the professional way with systems like Redrock Nano (US$387.50 and up), Steadicam Merlin (US$849), Zacuto Target Shooter (US$475) and the list goes on and on, but these close to professional steady systems do cost a fortune. One alternative I found over the weekend, is this ModoSteady585 from Manfrotto launched way back in 2007, some three years ago.

Originally designed for small video camcorders, the ModoSteady 585 can carry loads up to 750g or 1.7lb and the newer line of video DSLR fits just right in. The ModoSteady 585 cost around HK$790 (US$100) and it sure does the job albeit mixed reviews since it was introduced. I tried it out with my Sony NEX-5 and it just fits perfectly although the quick release plate is bit wide for the slim body of the NEX5 where the circular plate sticks out on both the front and rear sides of the camera. There are tons of video on the ModoSteady 585 on YouTube, check it out for yourself and see if this works for you. It works for me.

Some pics of the ModoSteady 585 after the jump.

Read More »

Manfrotto 322RC Joystick Head

Manfrotto 322RC2 Joystick Head

Manfrotto 322RC2 Joystick Head

Manfrotto 322RC2 Joystick Head

Manfrotto 685B Monopod

Manfrotto 685B Monopod

Manfrotto 685B Monopod

Manfrotto 685B Monopod

Got these two awesome gears for my arsenal two weeks ago and took them out shooting a few times, the result, ultra steady on my Sony A900 and even better with the Canon G10.

P1030038P1030041

The reason I chose the Manfrotto 685B monopod over the others available in the market is that from all of the research I did, this one matches my need, i.e. being able to extend and retract at the fastest speed possible.  My believe was further confirmed by the following two videos which I found on YouTube and Luminous Landscape.  The YouTube video is a review of the monopod from Yuri Arcurs, one of the most successful stock photographer, check out how he utilizes his monopod in his daily shoots.  Instead of going for a custom bracket like he does, I found the Manfrotto 322RC2 joystick head which allows for fast switching from landscape to portrait position via the joystick ballhead.  As for the second video, it is a full video review of how the Manfrotto 685B works with the Canon G10.  Check them out and enjoy.

Click pic to watch video

Click pic to watch video

IMG_0726

The Nikon Porter Bag

IMG_0728

With the Panasonic LX3

With the Canon G10

With the Canon G10

Just came back from my week-long photo shoot in Taipei. Before I took off for the trip, I took some pics on the gears I brought along and Gonna share with you all here. Because I was to do a full four days shoot with some local models in Taipei, both in the city and out in the countryside, other than the camera and the full lens series, I brought with me the mobile lighting equipments for off-camera lightings. Check them out.

p1020630

Sony A900, Carl Zeiss 16-35mm F2.8, Carl Zeiss 24-70mm F2.8, Carl Zeiss 85mm F1.4 and Tamron 70-200mm F2.8

p1020632

Light Stands, Shoot-thru umbrellas and bunch of clamps and accessories

p1010926

Sony F56 and F58 flash guns, Elinchrom Skyport Transmitter and Receivers

p1010924

Lots of gels (from Photogels, LumiQuest and Honl Photo), Snoots, Barn Doors and Speed Grids (from Honl Photo)

Elinchrom Skyport Transmitter on My Sony A900

Elinchrom Skyport Transmitter on My Sony A900

Elinchrom Skyport Receiver

Elinchrom Skyport Receiver

Well it took me less than a week to decide on the wireless trigger system for my Sony gears.  Decided on the Elinchrom EL Skyport system and got it yesterday.  Put it on a few range test and the results were more than satisfactory.  Reasons for picking the Skyport  is because it is way cheaper solution than the Pocket Wizard which is not legally sold here in Hong Kong due to some stupid radio frequency/broadcast regulations.  For the universal radio trigger set (1 transmitter and 1 receiver), it cost less than HK$1,400 (US$180).  Got myself couple extra receivers for HK$790 (US$101); great bargain.  Way better than the PT-04 from Shamshuipo.

In order for the Skyport to work on the Sony system, a cable is needed and so far I only found these from FlashZebra.  It’s the Sony/Minolta proprietary hotshoe to Skyport and it also work with Pocket Wizard and Cybersync.  The price at US$46.50 is a bit steep but the construction is awesome.  Too bad I’m not good at DIY or else I’ll make myself couple.

Sony/Minolta Proprietary Hotshoe to Elinchrom Skyport

Sony/Minolta Proprietary Hotshoe to Elinchrom Skyport

The Hotshoe to Elinchrom Skyport Itself

The Hotshoe to Elinchrom Skyport Cable Itself

Front view with my Sony A900

Front view with my Sony A900

Side view

Side view

Top view

Top view

Got this lens for two weeks now and been out shooting a bit the past two weekends.  Initial feeling towards the lens – great F/2.8 lens at this range, not a fast lens, great for portrait but okay with sports.  Tamron Hong Kong now offering firmware upgrade to the lens but they can only do so by sending the lens back to Japan and it will take up to four weeks in doing so.  Reviews on the firmware upgrade from the local forums indicated that the lens focus a lot faster and more quiet.  Think I’m going to check it out after my two trips next month.

Will post up some pics I took with the lens later this week.  So far I can say, for a third of the money in getting the G lens from Sony, I’m happy with this Tamron.

The Really Right Stuff L-Plate for Sony A900

The Really Right Stuff L-Plate for Sony A900

Ordered my Sony A900 L-Plate (US$140) from Really Right Stuff last Friday and received it yesterday, nice and fast service (well, US$33.74 shipping, LOL).  Slipped it on today and took some pics.  Initial feeling: nicely built, sturdy and works perfectly when switching from landscape to portrait.  No more resetting the ball head and recomposing.  Well worth it.

In Landscape Mode

In Landscape Mode

In Portrait Mode

In Portrait Mode

The Sirui G-20 BallHead

The Sirui G-20 BallHead

As for the ballhead, Really Right Stuff’s BH-40 seems to be the best fit but given the US$300+ price tag, too steep for me.  Went down to Sham Shui Po today for a spin and found the Sirui G-20 ballhead for HK$550 (US$70) at Ying Kee, and it worked perfectly.

Source – Really Right Stuff

p10104261

Click pic for full image

This traffic accident, which ended with an explosion took place around the corner to where I live. Luckily have my Panasonic LX3 with me.  Took this brilliant shot with all AI mode.  Cannot stress enough, always carry a camera, at least a compact so you don’t miss those shots of your life.

p10104421

p10104431

p10104441

Was out on an off-camera flash shooting session couple weeks ago and saw this piece of gear from one of the guys.  It’s the Hoodman HoodLoupe Professional which is great for viewing pics out in daylight where it’s hard to view much off the LCD screen.  Spent a week shopping for it in town but no luck. End up odering it from HedlerUSA for US$76.99 plus US$29.25 for shipping.  The version I got is the 3.0 specifically for 3-inch LCD screen.

[Update: 8:30pm] Finally have time to take some more daytime shots, well afternoon shots to be exact, again of the Victoria Harbour.  The distortions on the edge of the frame does not look too shabby at all, what do you think?
1/500 sec @ F9.0, ISO 200, 16mm

1/500 sec @ F9.0, ISO 200, 16mm

1/80 sec @ F8.0, ISO 200, 16mm

1/80 sec @ F8.0, ISO 200, 16mm

1/80 sec @ F8.0, ISO200, 16mm

1/80 sec @ F8.0, ISO200, 16mm

1/60 sec @ F5.0, ISO 200, 35mm

1/60 sec @ F5.0, ISO 200, 35mm

[Posted: 11:53am]

5.0 sec at F14, ISO 400, 16mm on Sony A900

5.0 sec at F14, ISO 400, 16mm on Sony A900 (click on pic to see full view)

Got the lens last night and hopped right out to the harbour side to take a test shot of the Victoria Harbour.  The above pic was shot in RAW, straight out, no post-processing.  Will try to shoot some daytime landscape pics today.  Below I attached some closeups of the lens together with the other Carl Zeiss lenses I have.

The 16-35mm and 24-70mm side by side

The 16-35mm and 24-70mm side by side

dsc02646

the 85/1.4 on the left, 16-35/2.8 in the middle and 24-70/2.8 on the right

dsc02650

The hoods though look alike, are in fact different in size, ALC-SH106 on the 16-35mm and ALC-SH101 on the 24-70mm