Gear Reviews

Big Savings! Free Gear with your Orders from MindShift Gear!

retrospective 6

This holiday, Think Tank Photo, the leading camera bag design firm for serious photographers, and MindShift Gear, the top bag designers for outdoor photography, are offering a big selection of their camera/video bags, laptop bags, and accessories for savings of up to 50% off! By using my special links not only do get these big savings, you get free gear and free shipping on all Think Tank and MindShift Gear you order. Order now while supplies last.

Big Savings! Free Gear with your Orders from Think Tank Photo!

retrospective 6

This holiday, Think Tank Photo, the leading camera bag design firm for serious photographers, and MindShift Gear, the top bag designers for outdoor photography, are offering a big selection of their camera/video bags, laptop bags, and accessories for savings of up to 50% off! By using my special links not only do get these big savings, you get free gear and free shipping on all Think Tank and MindShift Gear you order. Order now while supplies last.

Think Tank Photo Launches the Restropective 6 in Sandstone

retrospective 6

Hey folks, here's the latest from Think Tank Photo. They have just released a new Retrospective 6 shoulder bag. If you want to buy direct I've included a link here you can take advantage of, simply click on the image to go direct to think tank's website. Enjoy!

Think Tank Photo Launches A New Test Drive Program!

Our friends at Think Tank Photo just announced an exciting new Test Drive program and the release of a new version of its monster rolling camera case, the Logistics Manager™ 30.

With the Test Drive program you get to try out any of Think Tank’s very popular Retrospective® soft shoulder bags for 30 days for free! Should the shoulder bag meet your needs, then your credit card will be charged at the close of the trial period. Should it not meet your needs, return it within the Test Drive time period and your card won’t be charged. The Retrospective series was created as an homage to classic photographers such as Henri Cartier-Bresson and Robert Frank. Designed for the photographer who wants to remain inconspicuous in any situation, its "old-school" look mixes with "new-school" features giving tribute to the days when bags were visually simple but highly functional. It comes in nine models and three colors. This offer is good only on shipments to U.S. addresses.

And, Think Tank just released a new version of its largest rolling camera case, the Logistics Manager™ 30. Its roomy internal dimensions of 13.75”W x 27.5”H x 8.25 – 10”D (35 x 70 x 21 – 25.5cm) allow it to hold multiple combinations of cameras and lenses, lighting gear such as strobes and reflectors, and accessories of all kinds. Use this link and you will receive a free gift with your orders from Think Tank.

And don’t forget, there is free FedEx ground shipping on all U.S. orders through May 31, 2013. Enjoy!

Get ready for summer with Think Tank Photo!

To help you get ready for traveling with your photography gear this summer, our friends at Think Tank Photo have announced two fun promotions.

Free Shipping! – For the month of May all orders placed on their website or by phone will be shipped for free, with no minimum order amount.

Free 15” Laptop Bag with every order of their popular Airport Rolling Camera Bags! Think Tank’s rolling camera bags are renowned for their durability, security systems, and sizing so that they can be carried on board airlines, as opposed to you having to check your valuable gear at the gate. Sizes range from the Airport Security, which fits on board domestic flights and holds a 600mm lens unmounted or a 500 f/4, 400 f/2.8 and smaller lenses mounted to a pro-size camera body, to the Airport TakeOff combination roller and backpack, which fits on international and domestic flights and holds up to 400 f/2.8 and other assorted lenses or two pro or regular size DSLR bodies with or without lenses attached.

This is a great opportunity to save money and get a free laptop bag from the world’s best camera bag design company. And don’t forget that with Think Tank’s “No Rhetoric” product warranty they guarantee and warrant their products against any defects in material or workmanship for as for long as you use the product.

Click on the image above to take advantage of this great offer today!

Purchasing from Chinese Retailers

If you’re like us and purchase a fair amount of camera gear on a regular basis for work or personal use you have likely considered purchasing directly from China at one point or another. The biggest deterrent to this move is confidence or the lack thereof I should say. As the Chinese market continues to grow and their product quality increases, doing business with Chinese retailers will only make sense provided you are not in a rush to receive your products as most deliveries will average 2-3 weeks by regular mail.

Path-Tech was recently in the market for an additional speed light for strobist work and wanted to give the popular Chinese brand Yongnuo a try. The YN-560III seemed to be just what we were looking for but after considering a North American retailer we thought it might behoove us to make a connection with a Chinese retailer in the event we want to do more business in the future. We also noticed an unusually wide range of pricing from existing North American retailers which didn’t exactly inspire confidence to make a purchase.

We ultimately decided to take the plunge after connecting with Grace Zheng of Why, you might ask? Because she speaks English which went a long way to giving us the confidence that we would receive our goods as purchased. We also noticed her pricing seemed reasonable for the products she had listed and she was quite willing to answer some product questions we had by email.

I think ultimately when purchasing products, both initial and repeat business comes from two very important factors. Firstly, the confidence that you are getting a fair price and second, good customer service.

So that’s our two cents worth on purchasing from a Chinese retailer. I hope that’s helpful and we’ll keep you abreast of any such future experiences that we feel might be helpful for your photography ventures.

All the best, Path-Tech.

Fluorescent Studio Lighting Primer

Since day one here at Path-Tech, we have used the Impact Brand, Three Light Mini-Boom Kit we purchased at B&H Photo. Initially lighting was supplied by two 500 watt incandescent bulbs which worked fine for two years with the exception that the switches on both the light stands melted out due to poor quality. A quick repair was done eliminating the switches and we were back in business.

In comes Fluorescent bulbs. They’re better for the environment, project a lot less heat during use, last longer and use less energy to boot. No wonder they’re gaining popularity in the photography industry.

What you need to know about these bulbs. Firstly, when you go to purchase Fluorescents you should know the approximate output wattage you’re looking for and the temperature rating in Kelvin.

The first bulbs we tried were made in China by a company called Globe and sold at Walmart for $14.95 each. They were 45W which gave us an incandescent equivalent light output of 200W per bulb at 4100 Kelvin and we bought two for the studio. As long as you white balance your camera for these bulbs, you should find them acceptable for general studio use like YouTube videos.

Wanting a more professional lighting feel we tried Cowboy Studios 105W bulbs–500W–incandescent equivalent at 5500 Kelvin daylight balanced at a cost of $32 dollars for a pair shipped from Curious to see the difference in the light that is produced by these bulbs we created a comparison image between the 45W and 105W bulbs. One picture is surely worth a thousand words as you can clearly see.

We hope this info helps to give you a general overview of what you can expect from these bulbs. It’s true there are many applications for these bulbs and this is just one but it really all depends on your light requirements and what you’re ultimately trying to achieve.

Best regards!

Initial Impresssion of the Sigma 18-50mm F2.8-4.5 DC OC HSM Lens.

We were in the market recently for a lens that would allow us to capture portrait shots in the below 70mm range. Already owning a 70-200 F2.8, 28 -105mm, 50 F1.8 and our trusty 15-30mm wide angle we felt a lens under 28mm that was not a dedicated wide angle could be useful for portraiture, group shots etc.

After doing some research we opted for the Sigma 18-50mm F2.8 - 4.5 DC OS HSM lens. We made this choice based on our requirements for the type of work we do but mostly due to this lenses’ good performance reports and reasonable cost. Compared to the Sigma 17-50mm F2.8 lens the 18-50 is one third the cost and yet still offers the zoom range we needed.

Our initial opinion of this lens is that the build quality is quite good. It’s well balanced on our D200’s, has internal focus, a lens hood and cap that both lock in to place easily and the main OS and AF switches are well placed. A rubberized grip makes for easy zoom adjustments and adds to the quality feel of this lens.

Our initial opinion of this lens is that it does offer great value and quality for the money. We’ll follow-up shortly with our thoughts on it image quality but our initial impressions are good.

Visit our YouTube channel to see the corresponding video review and thanks for stopping by.

Think Tank Photo to Release Completely Updated Change-Up Multi-function Camera Bag, Shoulder bag, chest pack, or belt pack, it does all three successfully.

This just in! In February, Think Tank Photo will release a completely updated version of its popular Change-Up multi-function camera bag. The Change-Up V2.0 has updated sizing and new features. This bag, a chameleon of sorts, can change from belt pack to shoulder bag to chest pack via the harness system. In addition, many Think Tank Modular and Skin Components can attach to the waist belt straps. The included compression straps provide for a custom fit. The result of all this flexibility is a bag that can serve many uses: one day it serves as a lens changer, another day it’s a conventional shoulder camera bag, and another day it becomes a chest pack. It is this flexibility that makes this bag special and explains why novices to pros love it. With the ability to carry a standard-size DSLR and a 70-200 2.8, (detached), it has a significant amount of capacity in a lightweight, body conforming shape. Alternately, it holds a standard-size DSLR with 24-70 2.8 attached, plus one to three additional lenses. “While many camera bags convert from one thing to another, they generally are not great at any one thing,” said Doug Murdoch, Think Tank’s lead designer and president. “The Change-Up V2.0 camera bag is an exception to the rule; it converts from one great storage solution to another.”

We hope to have a video review posted for you shortly. In the mean time, click on the image to visit the TTP site for complete details.

Thanks for stopping by!

Think Tank Photo to Release Sub Urban™ Disguise Premium Quality Shoulder Camera Bags

This just in! Think Tank Photo announced that in February it will release a new concept in premium quality camera shoulder bags, the Sub Urban™ Disguise. The Sub Urban Disguises are designed for the professional photographer seeking smaller capacity camera bags and amateur photographers upgrading their bodies or using one to two lenses along with their new body. The Sub Urban Disguise Series will be available in four sizes: the Sub Urban™ Disguise 5, Sub Urban™ Disguise 10, Sub Urban™ Disguise 20, and Sub Urban™ Disguise 30. Their features include a flip-top lid that folds away from the body to provide quick and unencumbered access to gear. The series meets the high-quality design standards of the original Think Tank Urban Disguise® series, but for smaller gear or photographers who want to travel light.”

We hope to have a video review posted for you shortly on this bag as well. In the mean time, click on the image to visit the TTP site for complete details.

Thanks for stopping by!

Think Tank Photo Releases Two New Bags, Airport Navigator & City Walker 20

We got the chance recently to review both of Think Tank’s new bags and we were equally impressed with both offerings. The Navigator allows two full size dslrs to be accessed from the top while other items are easily accessed via a large front opening panel. The City Walker 20 was a refreshing change from carrying a ton of pro gear around. It was so nice to just get out around town with a lighter kit. It reminded us why we got into photography in the first place–it’s fun!

Both bags will not be available until mid November but if you wish to be notified when they are in stock, click on the bag image link.

Full details are available in the videos, just click on the YouTube button at top to view. We'll be sure to post more reviews as they become available.

Thanks for stopping by!