Category Archives: New(ish) stuff

The continual search for a tripod … it’s orange this time, not so flexy … MeFOTO, youPhoto.

So … as you know the GorillaPod was not the tripod that worked best for me. It is still a pretty interesting tool, especially for those people that will use a lightweight camera … the ability to wrap the legs around things actually is pretty handy. For my SLT and Macro lens, it was just too much for it.

I have been keeping an eye on Mefoto. Recently they just released their new Air series. I like them, but not enough to spend that much money on them … I mean for my need of a small tripod, for cheap (I already have a Manfrotto tripod). Knowing the need for people to upgrade or change, I have kept an eye out for those wanted to get rid of their old ones … so I ended up getting a good price on a MeFOTO Daytrip.

mefoto

The MeFOTO Daytrip is (what I consider) a mini-tripod … cause it is small, even at max height it’s still small. The photo above shows a comparision to my GorillaPod, and due to the positioning and angle of shot, it looks like the Daytrip is much taller … it is in fact the same height when I took this shot.

The last time I took out the GorillaPod I was hunting mushrooms in Algonquin Park. I noticed that it was just not steady enough … the great things about the Gorilla is that I did not even notice I was carrying it (weight), and the legs can wrap around things … but for my shots had too much camera shake, and because of that I had to look for something else (I was hoping it would be sufficient).

When I was first hunting for my macro tripod I did consider the Daytrip … but the cost was just too much. I was hoping the Gorilla was good enough.

That was last year … MeFOTO has made a new series of AIR tripods, which look great, and I was hoping that this would drive the price down on the older stuff. Just last week I did find a mint used Daytrip (now discontinued) for less than the price of the GorillaPod !!!

Construction is solid. The small ball head locks without any drift … and is secure. The rotating locks feel like they do the job. Overall this tripod is made very well.

I slapped my Sony A77II with the Sigma 150 f/2.8 macro on it … snapped some 20s (yeah, full seconds … not 1/20s) exposure shots.  Even with full centre column extension it did well. I think this is the one … well for now. The middle leg position seems to be the best overall for steadiness and low height. Note that the leg locks are not spring loaded, so you got to push them in to lock. Not sure if it was worth it putting the sand bag hook on the bottom, as there is not much room down there … possibly for those who actually crank this thing to full height (in which case I would suggest getting a different tripod).

So for those of you looking for a steady tripod to shoot close to the ground, or even just something very small … I suggest you give this MeFOTO Daytrip a consideration, and keep an eye on those used ones … I think many people going to upgrade to the Backpacker AIR.

The Gorillapod would be great for not so long exposures, just enough to steady, or selfies, or if you just like wraping legs around something … and if you have a mirrorless camera (it would be a great companion for my Sony NEX-6).

Below is a shot (yeah not the best but you get the picture … literally) of it attached to my Lowepro Transit Sling 250. I could have folded it to its most compact size, but it was too short for the upper strap.

sling


Gorillapod … first use.

Ok, so went to Algonquin park … I knew there were going to be at least one chance to get some mushroom shots, so I packed the pod.

For traveling this is great in the fact that it is small and I did not even notice the weight addition. I think that my Sigma 150mm macro is too much for this pod for long exposures. Shooting down to 1/4s is OK, but beyond that … not so much. I did get some sharp images when I did not push the shutter speeds. The quick release shoe is not very tightly secured to the head (it snaps into place) so there is a little bit of play on it.

mushroom

This one is at 1/4s @ f11 … though I did have the lens OS enabled, not sure if that helped or hindered.

One thing that I did notice is that with a heavy lens you really have to watch the angle/positioning of the legs … as the weight can make them move. One thing that I did miss is the height, as sometimes I would have liked to shoot at a higher angle … but I did make a decision for small size … though I might consider getting a MeFoto Daytrip.

Overall I would say that it is a handy tool. It does stabilize, and most importantly it is not a burden.


Joby Gorillapod SLR-Zoom … initial thoughts

Well just got it in the mail.

Is taller than I thought (forgot to add height of ball head and tripod collar). The camera sits about 35cm / 14″ off the ground (mid sensor).

joby

I slapped my Sony A77mII with the Sigma 150mm f/2.8 Macro … total weight 1.8kg / 4lbs. Seems steady enough for low shutter speeds, though I would still use the 2s timer or a remote to trigger the shutter … it feels not solid enough. That’s to be expected for such a device, and I was not expecting it to be.

The rated capacity is 3kg / 6.6lbs but the ball head and the quick release shoe make is a little shaky on top. The shoe snaps in and there is no way of tightening it so there is a little play … I took of the Joby ball head and it feels a little steadier, though you do loose the directional control of the ball head.

I tried a long exposure … 30s … set it for a 2s timer delay … I left the Sony SteadyShot on … the there is obvious  shake in the image. I turned off SS and set the Sigma OS on 2 … much better … then I turned that off, so no stabilization (which is the recommended setting when using a tripod) and it did produce a pretty sharp image. Not bad for a slightly shaky tripod, though I don’t think I would rely on this tripod for such long exposures if the wind is blowing.

Will see what I get in actual field use.

 


Stuff

Ok, so I was going to make a new page about … well, new stuff … but I can’t make it into a blog updated page, so I am just going to add this content to my regular repair stuff. Another reason I’m adding this stuff is cause I am slow to add new repair content, so I gatta add something.

Lately I have been thinking real hard about tripods. I like tripods, I have two of them … I like monopods, and I also have two of them … both have their uses … and both have limitations. I shoot wildlife with a telephoto zoom, I shoot landscapes, I shoot fungi, and I shoot macro … while hiking … soooo, what I need is a tripod that is as compact and light as a monopod that has some height and can shoot low.

I have been hunting around for the past couple of weeks for such thing, and really thinking of what I really need. There are some very light and compact tripods, but they are either not strong enough or they are very $$$$$$ … hmm, I really don’t like spending that much money for a tripod. One other thing that I noticed is that many of the travel tripods do not have a split center column, this means that I would have to invert it to shoot low (and there are some that the column is not even retractable or removable) … I was never crazy about invertion shooting on a tripod.

I think I am asking for too much.

I have ordered a Joby Gorillapod SLR-Zoom with ball head … will make another post about it after I have tried it out … and the reasoning behind getting such a thing.


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