The Quest Ends

Poswlto Portable Screwdrivers Tool 4MM Hex Head Allen Wrench Hex

The Poswlto Portable Screwdrivers Tool 4MM Hex Head Allen Wrench ends my search for the perfect tool to always have with me for attaching and detaching camera plates! Made of stainless steel and only 2.76 x 0.59 x 0.31 inches in size, I have them hanging on the OUTSIDE of all my bags where I can find them fast! I enlarged the hole on the drill press on a couple to use the small carabiner and on others use S-Biners. One of the big points is you can’t over-torque the screw when attaching because you don’t have that kind of leverage with the tool. It’s such a simple thing but I don’t have to worry anymore about finding an allen wrench when I need one. It’s always right there!

Finding “The” Allen Wrench

Neiko Ultra Low Profile Allen Wrench

If you’re like me, you have a drawer (if not crate) full of fallen wrenches. We need them to attach and remove our cameras and lens plates as well as other misc photo parts. Yet with that tonnage of them, having on the moment I need it seems to be an issue for me at times. So I went out looking for a better solution. I found the Neiko Ultra Low Profile Allen Wrench which is an all-metal flat bar with a knob of a 4mm allen wrench attached. What I like is not only its low profile but I can hang it from the outside of my bag so I can always find it when I need it. It’s the best $2 camera accessory I’ve purchased in a long time!

Neewer 3-Wheels Wireless Video Camera Dolly

Neewer 3-Wheels Wireless Video Camera Dolly

I’ll be honest with you, when the Neewer 3-Wheels Wireless Video Camera Dolly came up in my Amazon feed, the first thing I thought of was, “What a great toy to bug Maggie with!” And while it is, it has actually turned out to be a really cool tool. It sells for less than $60 (it goes on sale a bunch) and supports the Z 6II and lens no problem!I added the SmallRig Mini Ball to it which works perfectly. This mini dolly is of course to shoot video like a slider and if the ground is smooth enough, works great. It has three speeds which you can vary and drive with the simple small remote. While I first thought of that use working with aircraft in hangars (which have great floors), I’m using it more for stills. Using Snapbridge, I can see exactly what the Z 6II / Z14-24 see and “drive” the camera to locations under an aircraft I’d rather not crawl to in which to photograph. Snapbridge can then be used as a remote to set and take the photo. It’s a simple little thing I wanted to share. Works pretty darn well!

RRS Ground Pod

Really Right Stuff TFA-32G Ground Pod

The Really Right Stuff TFA-32G Ground Pod is a fabulous tripod I have been using for decades! I talked about it during my aviation seminar on Saturday and have had a number of emails about it and where to get it. It’s an aluminum tripod with 12″ legs that double with the extensions. The extensions can be reversed for spikes or rubber tips. You can literally go from flat, flat, flat to standing 24″ tall in seconds. It is NOT a lightweight tripod and can hold in a strong wind the 800mm with D6 rock solid. I depend on the Ground Pod for my aviation work!

Sadly, it’s been discontinued and the only place I’ve seen them of late is eBay. Is there a substitute? Well, that’s really a great question. For the work I do, I’ve never found a substitute. Placing our pano box with camera/lens in the cockpit of a plane to do a pano, the flexibility and stability is matched by none. Now if you’re just wanting to put a camera flat on a surface and it’s just a small lens, there are lots of options. I’m never lucky enough to have a flat surface or work with small lens. While that answers folk’s questions I regret it really doesn’t help them obtain one of the finest tripods I’ve ever owned.

How I Use Autofocus in My Photography – A Vid

Autofocus is a powerful tool that in many instances, can make a photograph possible otherwise that might not be. Unfortunately, this power tool is misunderstood or misapplied in some small way so it’s not helping to its fullest the photographic situation. There are many variables in the Autofocus equation, autofocus mode, their settings, and what it requires to operate to being with. What I have here are the modes I use, the settings, and how I apply Autofocus. I hope this helps you use this great tool to its fullest in your photography!

Nikkor Z105f2.8 MC – Breath Taking Spectacular!

Bitterroot captured by Z 6II / Z105mc @f25 1:1.2

A few weeks back, the Bitterroot started to bloom. Montana’s state flower, we have quite a few of them on the south slope of The Ranch. They are a really pretty flower a tad larger than a dollar piece best known from the Journals of Lewis & Clark (their Latin name is Lewis …). Sharon and I had seen a couple of our walks over the slope but noticed that they weren’t always open. Wondering how they propagate I looked up their biology. They have an unique biology thriving on dry, hot slopes opening up for a short period then closing to conserve moisture. Then the Nikkor Z105mc arrived and my appreciation for this flower went nuts!

Yep, I went looking for fresh Bitterroot with the new Nikkor Z105mc in hand! The first thing I noticed with the Nikkor Z105mc is the focusing is IF, the lens barrel does not expand or contract when you focus. It displays the reproduction rate you’re shooting at, in this case I set it to half lifesize. I used the Really Right Stuff B150-B Focus Rail to do the actual focusing on the pistil. It’s when the pistil first came into focus that I was blown away by the delicate pattern hidden inside. Though the temps were just hitting 90 degrees, I kept working the image, slightly rotating the tripod/camera to get the angle I liked the best. I then photographed it at various f/stops (and lucky for me, clouds started to float by diffusing the light, I didn’t have to use the scrim I had with me). 

Getting back to the computer two things happened. First, my fast love affair with the Nikkor Z105mc was quickly solidified as the first 24×30 print rolled out of the Epson P7000 (printing the f/25 image). Simply bloody spectacular results for a guy who doesn’t do macro! The second thing is a love for our state flower. It comes in many shades, this being its white shade. This one was growing up through pine needles between two pine cones. Others on our slope are coming up in various other situations. For the last five days I’ve spent my morning when the temps starting hitting 85 degrees on our slope with my two new loves enjoying a new world. And all it took was a great lens and flower to get me there. I love this latest addition to my kit!

Z105f2.8 @f9 1:1.2
Z105f2.8 @f51 1:1.2

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