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on Jun 25, 2014 in Gear Head Wed

GearHead Wednesday 14 – 24


Got a gear question you want/need 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. My apologies, but it’s a little short this week because so many of the questions were repeats of ones already answered here. I simply don’t have the time to repost already answered questions. 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 just saw your video on tripod maintenance and it was very informative. I saw that you have a Gitzo carbon fiber tripod and it has knuckles (g-locks) to lock the leg sections in place. I have a Giotto carbon fiber which also has knuckle leg section locks. The problem I have is that the locks are very hard to turn in cold weather say around freezing and the leg sections do not lock into place. My brother has a Silk carbon fiber tripod with knuckle leg section locks and he has a similar problem. Is this a problem common to carbon fiber tripods and knuckle leg locks? I really don’t like flip locks so don’t want to switch to them. Any suggestions or thoughts would be appreciated.


Bob, what a great question! I’ve taken my Gitzo 3540XLS and Gitzo 5561SGT and Really Right Stuff TVC33 Tripod to as low as -42 and not had that issue. I don’t know the insides of the tripods you’re talking about, but for them to literally freeze, there must me a moisture content to freeze. The three I mention here there is none. When I’m working in cold country, I am really anal about making sure that after a day in the cold and wet, the tripod goes inside and gets all the TLC is needs to not have any moisture from the day’s shoot getting into those knuckles. It’s what a hair dryer was made for, right?

I have been a Tahoe follower for a few years. I am interested in how you use your I Pad in your workflow development. Would such a purchase help me in my photography workflow when I travel. I own a D 800e and my present portable computer will simply not handle my NEF Raw files without a struggle.
Thank you for your interest …


Roger, many are thinking about and looking at the iPad in such a way. The iPad is a very important business tool for us, but I don’t use it all for mainline photography. You can’t upload to the iPad, can’t edit on the iPad directly and there is no open file folder structure to organize images. I’ve seen the D800 files take down many a notebook, I think the iPad would simply disappear in a puff of smoke with just one D800 Nef. Now there are many solutions with CC Cloud for working your Nefs via the cloud which might be a solution for you. It’s not for me because of the volume of images I shoot and that internet with the speed is usually nowhere to be found where I work.

300f4Hi Moose,
I have been a nature photographer since age 11, and since then I have really only been able to dabble in landscape and macro photography due to the fact that my finances have stopped me from purchasing the glass needed for high quality wildlife photos. I have always been able to get rather close to wild animals (especially birds), but glass has always been my limiting factor in capturing beautiful images of wildlife. I am now in my early 20’s and I am ready to purchase a lens so I can start to get more serious about photographing wildlife (mainly birds and mammals). So, my question to you is, what would be the ideal lens for someone who is able to get close to wildlife, and has a budget of under 2000 dollars?

Leo, you ask the questions hundreds of others ask. I wish I had the answer as I’ve talked about this a lot on GearHead Wednesday. With the limit of $2k, it leaves out the one lens I would recommend, the 80-400VR3. With that limit, I would go with the 300f4AFS and TC-14 1.4x. That’s a killer combo that I’ve used for a longtime. After those two, not sure what else I’ve not already mentioned before.