f-stop Guru and Loka

When I was planning my trip to Costa Rica earlier this year I searched the web for days to find a suitable backpack for my photo equipment.

I already owned two Tamrac backpacks at that time: The large 5588 Expedition 8x and the smaller 3385 Aero Speed Pack 85. The 5588 is fine my for macro tours where I want to bring all of my equipment including a huge tripod, but it is way too large for a holiday trip and offers not compartments to store food, rain covers or spare cloths. The 3385 is fine for lightweight travelling if you want to bring your body with one or two lenses and some extra room for other stuff. I used this on my trip to Yellowstone National Park, where I brought my Canon EOS 7D together with a EF 16-35mm/2.8, EF 24-60mm/2.8 and a EF 70-200mm/4.0 and no tripod. Continue reading

Travel Tripod

Packed size comparison

Packed size comparison

I the last two years I only owned a Gitzo GT3541LS tripod with an Arca Swiss Monoball P0 ball head. I really like this combination as the tripod from Gitzo's systematic series can handle up to 18 kg load capacity with a maximum height of 146 cm without a center column which tends to make a tripod unstable. The tripod is made of carbon and weights only 1.72 kg plus about 350 g from the ball head, but together with the ball head and a Kirk quick release clamp it has a closed length of about 65 cm. This is way too much to put it easily inside a back pack for travelling! Thus, on my recent trips I left my Gitzo tripod at home and only carried a GorillaPod Focus with me (You might want to have a look at my GorillaPOD SRL-Zoom vs. Focus comparison). This is better than nothing, but on my trip to Grand-Teton- and Yellowstone-National-Park I regretted not bringing a real tripod. My next trip will bring me to Costa Rica with all of its nature and so I wanted a real tripod which I could carry around easily! Continue reading

GorillaPod SLR-Zoom vs. GorillaPod Focus

Panasonic DMC-FZ38 mounted on GorillaPod SLR-Zoom

Panasonic DMC-FZ38 mounted on GorillaPod SLR-Zoom

When I bought my DSLR a few months ago, I also bought a small, flexible tripod to put it in my photo bag as a backup when I have my good tripod not in range. After some research on the web I decided to buy a GorillaPod SLR-Zoom with a GorillaPod Ballhead which is capable of holding up to 3 kg according to Joby. But on the first tests I noticed that my Canon EOS 7D with a mounted EF 70-200 f/4 L IS USM lens is too heavy for this combination to work properly. Continue reading

Read out Canon EOS 7D shutter count on OS X

If you own a Digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) camera you might want to read out the shutter count. For my Canon EOS 7D this can be done very easily using gPhoto2. gPhoto2 is a free open-source tool which supports more than 1300 cameras. As it is written for Unix-like systems it can be compiled for OS X very easily. If you have Homebrew installed, you can install it easily via the terminal by running

brew install gphoto2

Homebrew will install some libraries and gphoto2. Now we can switch on the camera and connect it by USB. Continue reading