Category Archives: Equipment

Gimbal for bird photography – Beike-45

If you like wildlife photography and especially bird photography then eventually you might need a gimbal on your tripod.

The gimbal makes it easy to follow the bird when it flies by you. It is easy to use, it rotates the way I want it to. I can easily follow fast moving objects with this gimbal.

I can recommend Beike-45. Why?

Because it is great! It is also good value for your money. It only cost 70 US dollars nowadays. Normally similar kind of gimbals cost around 300-450 US dollars. I bought mine in 2015 at Aliexpress from China, then it cost me 78 US dollars. I got it delivered in 3 weeks. So if you are planning to go somewhere for wildlife photography order it in time for it to be delivered before you go on a trip.

I used to always have this Gimbal ready on my tripod when I was going somewhere for bird photography and I knew I would be there for a while. It is not that heavy to carry. It weighs around 1 kilo. On the above picture I have a Canon 70D and Tamron 150-600mm attached to the Gimbal. I dont have to worry that it might tip over, it is very stable and it is easy to rotate.

When you use a gimbal make sure that you have the level meter on your camera. Usually it will look like a red/green line that gives you direction on which way to turn to make the camera straight.

2017©Expressive Photos

 

Capture PRO – accessory for your camera

Gadget that can make life easier as a photographer

Imagine when you are hiking or walking in the forest and you don’t want to have the camera around your neck but still want to access it fast. Then a camera clip attached to your camera bag’s strap is a good thing to have. I have found one from peakdesign. It is called Capture PRO. You can have it on the belt around your waist or on your bag. You can have it horizontal or vertically. You put the red plate under your camera then you attached the rest on the straps of your camera bag.

It is easy to use and that is the most essential when it comes to camera clips. It has a red button that is the release button. You can also turn the top of the button to stop the plate from moving. There is another screw that can be turned to give more safety and locking it safe. The screws on the far end of the sides control the size of the gap so that you can attached it to a big/small bag strap.

Another good thing is that you can attached it to your tripod. It has a fast grip so you fast can put it on or take it off the tripod. Just release it by pushing the red button.

The picture above demonstrate how the camera will be attached to the bag. I even tried with my Tamron 150-600mm lens which is a huge lens. It still could hold that lens with a camera house. I would suggest to only have smaller lenses on the camera clip for your own safety and because you should avoid uneven and heavy weight on one side of your bag.

If you need to use two cameras and you want to switch fast between them then one you can have around your neck and one attached to the camera clip. That will make the photography process go fast. Otherwise you would have ot open your bag again just to take out the other camera. With the camera clip you can avoid wasting time and enjoy photography.

The cost for the Capture PRO is at the moment around 61 US dollar. I got a good offer from a online site so I bought two. One for me and one as a gift.

To see a video clip of how to use it check it here. If you want to know more about Capture PRO from peakdesign press here. On their homepage they have a lot of other great inventions.

If you have any questions you can always leave a comment.

2015©Expressive Photos

Lowepro Format 150 – a small bag

Looking for a small bag to fit your camera gears?

I needed a smaller bag for my vacation when I travel. Since I only needed to fit a camera house and 2 lenses I found Lowepro Format 150 bag to fit my purpose. On the front of the bag there is a little pocket where you can have extra batteries, memory cards and pens, etc. There is one pocket on each side of the bag for a tripod or bottles. There is no rain cover for this bag which is to bad because its a great bag otherwise. It weighs basically nothing only 0.5 kg.

I also tried to fit my big Tamron 150-600 mm lens in the bag and I could fit it too. See picture below to see how it looked. On the inside of the lid there is also a pocket for a 10″ tablet (Ipad etc). The bag can fit 5 small lenses and a camera house. To the left of the camera house you can see that the padding is divided to make it easier to have a lens attached with a camera house, that is a plus.

I have put the Lowepro Format 150 next to my usual bag the Lowepro 300 AW, so that you can have something to compare with.

All in all it is a great bag for travel. I used it for my vacation in Europe. I could pack it with all that I needed for my travels to different places. It will be the bag I am going to use if I am going out to take some pictures, especially for macro photography where I do not need any big lenses.

 

2015©Expressive Photos

GorillaPod – a item you might need

If you need a tripod but do not want to carry a huge and heavy one. I have a solution for you. A JOBY GorillaPod. It is a small and flexible tripod that can grip on to anything. You can for example tie it around a tree branch or a chair. I bought one because I like to take things that might be on the ground or near the ground. Then this tripod is the perfect choice. There are many versions of this tripod. The one on the picture is for a DSLR camera with a big lens. Even though it might look small, it is strong and stable to put the camera or the lens on.

I used it to take long exposures of this small waterfall. It worked fine and the result can be seen below:

This tripod is also good for macro. If you see a insect on the ground or on a leaf then this will be helpful. I usually take those pictures without a tripod but after awhile you will get pain in your knees and in your hand/wrist. This tripod will take care of that problem. The best part is that it can fit in any camera bag. It weighs around 0.5 kg (11 pounds). It is 29 cm long (11.4 inch) and can hold up to 3 kg. It cost from 18$.

2014©Expressive photos

Extension tubes, close-up filter or macro lenses – What to choose for macro photography?

What is the best way to get closer to the object?

You can choose for example macro rings, extenders, close-up filters or you can go for the real deal and buy a macro lens.

The good thing with extension tubes is that you do not need to have a macro lens to use them on. Any lens can become a macro lens with a little help of macro equipment’s. Although the real deal, a macro lens, always gives the best result. Since a macro lens is intended for macro photography it is easy to get good result without any fuss. If you use close-up filters it might take longer time to get ready when you change between the different strengths. There are usually 4 options to choose from. They are for example +1, +2, +4 and +10. It also depends on what brand you buy. Some brands are cheap and might not be as good in clarity like the more expensive and well known brands. It all depends on how much time and money you want to spend on macro photography. If you only want to try something out then it is fine with the cheaper versions but if you want a good result you need to go for the more expensive versions.

On the picture above I am displaying one extender with 2x magnification and one with 1.4x from Canon. There is also a Tamron 90mm f/2.8 macro lens. Close-up filters from Hoya and extension tubes and another extender with 2x magnification from unknown brands.

If you are not happy with the magnification you can always combine 2 equipments. For example I have combined a Canon Extender 1.4 with a 65mm macro lens 1-5x. This combination gives me a chance to come really close to any object. For example if you would take a picture of salt you would be able to see the crystals on the grain of salt. With the combination seen on the picture above I get this close to the grain of salt:

Try your own combination. Let me know which one is your favorite macro equipment?

2014©Expressive Photos

Tripod – Triopo GT3232X8C + ball head NB-3S

I bought my first tripod and after many searches on internet I decided I wanted a Carbon fiber tripod. Carbon fiber tripods are light weight which is good when you are walking a lot and do not want to carry heavy tripods.

I saw a offer on Triopo GT3232X8C where I got the professional ball head Triopo NB-3S for free. It cost me 2299 Swedish kronor ($332 or €249). So I thought that was a pretty good offer. I have not heard of  Triopo before but I was willing to give it a chance.

I got it delivered today and here is some pictures of it.

The folded size of the tripod is about 48 cm. The tripod can become 190 cm, that is really high. It is good if you want to be able to take pictures over everyone’s heads. It is really light weight, it only weighs 1.4 kg and can have a max load of 15 kg. I have read in some reviews about this tripod that they have a hard time folding it into the bag. I have tried it without any problem. So it works to have both the ball head and the tripod in the bag if you know how to turn the legs 180 degrees. That its what the first picture shows, it is folded with the ball head.

At the end of the legs you can turn the rubber feet and the spikes will come out. The spikes are good for outdoor photography when you need extra grip on the ground. Make sure to keep the spikes hidden in the rubber feet when you are indoor to not damage the floor. One leg can bee screwed off and use as a monopod.

The camera plate is having a smart function where you do not need a tool to screw it into the camera. There is already a handle that you can turn easily.

There is a smaller bar included for example when you are taking macro shots. It means you can spread out the tripod legs and use the small bar to get as low as 28 cm from the ground. You can always turn the camera upside down and use the bigger bar as well. There are lots of options with this tripod.

There is another function as well and that is the hook. You can use the hook to put some weight on the tripod to make it even more stable when you are in a windy place.

The ball head I got in the offer is called NB-3S. It is Triopo’s very own professional ball head. So I did not have to worry about if it would fit the tripod. It weighs 0.57 kg. This ball head can take 12 kg, so it is good for bigger lenses. I will be able to use my Tamron 150-600mm on it without any problem. It does not have the quick release button that many ball heads have. This one uses a screw to open and remove the camera plate, it makes it slower but it does not matter to me. It goes pretty fast to screw the plate on place too. The ball head is smooth and easy to use.

I have not tried it outdoors yet but I will write about the tripod when I have tried it out more and give a full review.

Do you have any questions? Feel free to comment and I will answer. If you have used Triopo what is your experience from it? Do not forget to like my page on Facebook to keep yourself updated with the latest news. You can also follow this page so that you get the new articles.

Copyright©2014 Expressive Photos