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on Mar 19, 2014 in Gear Head Wed

GearHead Wednesday 14-10


Got a gear question you want answered? I want to help and answer it. Send your gear questions to me at Gear Questions and I’ll do my best every Wednesday to answer as many questions as I can. Questions a little light this week, I’m sure you’ve got them, ask them! Keep in mind the answers are just my $.02 worth and you have to take what works for you and your photography and embrace it and ignore the rest. So here’s this weeks questions ….

Hi Moose
I’ve really enjoyed the Bt Journals and the fact that you share your experience and no nonsense approach to photography with us. Thanks! Knowing that you’re a big fan of the IoSafe Rugged Portable 1TB Drives, I thought you might know where I might purchase a couple. B&H list them as discontinued, Amazon and the others I’ve checked list them as out of stock. Hope they’re still going to be available.
Thanks again,


Mark, I hate to say, but I’m not finding much hope either. Have you tried Newegg?I have sent out two emails looking for answers but they are not coming back with any for us. Their website doesn’t make it seem any brighter by stating 100unit minimum order. Bummer!

Hi Moose,
Over the last couple of years, I’ve seen you refer to the fantastic results you get in black-and-white with both Nik Silver Efex Pro and OnOne’s Perfect Black and White. If one could afford only 1 set/suite of plug-ins, which would you recommend and why?
Thanks and take care,


Chuck, man, you have asked an incredibly difficult question to be totally honest with you. And a very valid one! Since you get the ENTIRE Nik Suite when you buy it, for the money that’s the killer deal as you get Color Efex Pro and Dfine which are great plugins as well. Comparing just the two B&W plugins though, I think I’d go with the Nik Silver Efex over the OnOne at the moment. Both are excellent but the latest “silent” upgrades to Silver Efex puts it out in front with the amazing smoothness of its gray transitions. Hope that helps.

Appreciate this direct line to ask you questions. You know, searching your website for answers can be a little daunting. You think you have a few pages there bud? 🙂 My question is simply, how do you clean your lens elements?


Tony, first for trying the Search Engine! Ya, the site is a bit large and while we worked on the search engine when we updated the site, it’s still not perfect. To your question, I clean my filters and lens elements the old fashion way, with fluid and lens tissue. I personally am still not a fan of lens clothes as I’ve seen too many elements scratched using them when some foreign material was stuck to them. I use what in the repair business is called “Pink Juice,” or its proper name, LensClens. This is killer stuff I use to clean all elements and body parts except the sensor. DON’T use it on the sensor! Then I get my lens tissue from the good folks at CopperHill. Finally, understand that all my lenses (except the 800mm & 16Fish) have a Nikon NC Filter protecting them so I don’t clean the front element of the lenses, but rather that filter. And then those filters get replaced about every 2-3yrs because I often wipe them clean in the field with whatever is handy.

my question is pretty simple, with all the ballheads on the market, which is your favorite ballhead?
Much appreciated!


Jon, thanks for an easy question! The Really Right Stuff BH-55 hands down. I’m still using the original prototype I received and believe in it so much gave them, way back when originally introduced, to folks like Scott Kelby and Joe McNally who still use theirs. It’s a rock that just rocks with security!

Enjoy your site. Question; You post photos using the 18-35mmG lens, wondering if you have used the Nikon 16-35mm lens and what your thoughts on the 2 lens are?

Craig, yes, I have shot with the 16-35AFS back when it first came out and liked it very much. I know many shooters who own and swear by this lens. Comparing the two side by side I’ve not done though. My thoughts on the two are, the 18-35AFS is wickedly sharp and costs a whole lot less so to me, it’s a hand down winner between the two. The 16-35 is very popular and very sharp as well, but the heavier weight and higher cost steers me towards the 18-35FS. That being said, those shoot DSLR video absolutely sweat by the 16-35 so if you’re using it at all for that application, you might want to consider it. If only this lens buying thing was clear cut, huh? 🙂