I thought it time to mention some kit I have recently added to the bag and am starting with the Peak Design Capture Pro camera clip. I came across these Californian guys by accident and thought that this clip might well come in handy! They began with a Kickstarter but now its in full production and is getting well known and they are adding to their range of accessories.
What struck me was the robust construction and ease of use but I guess I better first explain what the hell it is! Well, I often need to put my camera down to free up my hands… thats because I hate straps! Straps can be super but often get in the way and unless you invest in a really good system like the Moneymaker Holdfast or the BlackRapid they can really restrict your ability to move fast and get that shot! The Capture and CapturePro clips let you quickly attach your camera to a belt or strap to free up your hands and then you can easily unclip it for action.
The red plate attaches to the bottom of your camera where the tripod screw hole resides. The CapturePro also doubles as a commonly found tripod plate so there is no reason to take it off if I want to use my tripod.
The body of the clip unscrews and opens to allow you to attach it to your belt or a strap. It clamps firmly onto your chosen belt so you might not want to put it onto your favourite Gucci trouser holder!
With it firmly attached to you and the plate attached to your camera, you can slide the camera easily into the plate and it locks in place. Its released by using the little red button. Your camera has the benefit of being held in place by both the clip and gravity! It locks with a nice safe sounding click and with the safety lock on the red release button turned, it seemed as safe as houses.
I have been on a couple of walks with a single camera and it easily holds nearly 3 kilo (6 lbs) of camera kit whenever I need my hands free. Its fine with a light camera and whilst I was comfortable enough for a while, I wouldn’t recommend it with my kind of heavy gear for long periods. What is great is that the camera stayed nicely on my hip and didn’t swing around as it tends to do on a strap. You can see it in action in this promotional clip… https://www.peakdesign.com/landing/capturepro/
The other bit of kit I wanted to chat about are the protective covers that I have found for my long lenses. LensCoat make them, they have a design for most common lenses and are adding to their range all the time. Well made, they fit nicely although its a little fiddly getting at all the controls while they are all covered up. The pack of neoprene hoops looked pretty unimpressive when I unpacked them but its just a matter of sliding them over the various sections of the lens.
Obviously there has to be a different hoop over each moving part and on my 100-400 which has four rotating rings and four switches it all gets a bit piecemeal! However, once on it does ok. The main rotating control I need is the zoom ring and I rarely have to move the focus and tripod rings so thats fine. The zoom friction ring gets twisted at the start and finish of a shoot so thats no problem either. For access to the buttons there is a flexible transparent window and its possible to move them through the plastic but I tend to just lift it out of the way.
When I zoom this lens it extends which reveals a section of uncovered barrel but they do provide an extra piece to cover this. With it on I would be stuck at max zoom which is nuts but I guess if you were settled down in a hide and going to stick to one focal length that would work ok. For a little extra they do provide a flexible mesh hoop which allows movement but camouflage isn’t the reason I use it!
My 70-200 is more successful as this lens zooms internally so no need for to cover an extending barrel. The company provide a range of camo patterns to suit different environments as well as some plain options.
So why the LensCoat… well I get to shoot in some mucky places whilst being splashed and bashed by packs of very energetic dogs so any protection to these expensive lenses must be good. I baulked a bit at the price but just the impact protection of a layer of neoprene seemed a good idea.
A little hard to find LensCoats outside of the USA but they are light so shipping should be cheap. http://www.lenscoat.com/
Up next time… the MeFOTO RoadTrip tripod.
By the way… the kit I talk about I have purchased myself and I have no connection with the providers. Do your own research before making any purchases and if any kit I write about doesn’t match your expectations please contact them, not me!