I’m not gonna lie to you folks, I like gear. I’ve been in at Leo’s a few times lately – my favourite camera store in Vancouver. With a several trips abroad coming up quickly – Africa seems likely in October, then India twice in early 2007, then potentially Turkey in April 07 – I am looking at a couple pieces of new gear as my travel style and shooting habits change.
Gitzo Basalt Tripod. I’ve been shooting with a Manfrotto 190 for a long time. I’ve owned three different Manfrotto tripods and lost one in a fire at a camp in Manitoba. That tripod was recovered a couple years later and still serves the guy who dredged it up. Manfrotto builds a great set of sticks. But I am jumping ship this month to a set made by Gitzo. The Basalt series is made of mag-fibre, similar to carbon fiber but without the shattering at cold temperatures. The one I am looking at is small, light (1.8lbs), takes my old Manfrotto ball heads, and is so sturdy it makes my old 190 feel wobbly. I can’t tell you how impressed I am with the build of this tripod. And the legs lock with a rotating friction-type of collar which i find easier to adjust than the buckles Manfrotto uses. Those buckles also seem to catch on every strap, bag or tripod carrier out there. I’ll be thrilled to get rid of them.
Sigma 24-70/2.8 EX lens. I know my shooting style well enough to know I could shoot 95% of my shots with two lenses – a fast zoom in the range of 24-70, and a sweet portrait lens like Canon’s 85/1.2L lense (which weighs over 2 pounds!). There’s little chance of my getting the 85/1.2 in the near future so I’m very happy to stick with my 85/1.8. But I’ve been eyeing the 24-70/2.8L that Canon makes. Until now. Sigma makes a professional lens with the same range and speed and it’s a full $1000 cheaper. It’s not the famed L glass, but it’s built well, it’s fast, and for the price I can replace it twice before I’vew spent the money I’d spend on the L lens.
Also on my list of desireable items.
Jobo Giga Vu Pro Evolution. While it looks like I have an Epson p4000 coming, the new Giga Vu Pro Evolution from Jobo looks like it will be a far better product. Digital wallets like these are the next big asset in a working professionals bag – and I can’t think of a better way to travel light and securely manage your digital resources than with a pair of 120gb Giga Vu Pro Evolutions in your bag. Actually, put one in your bag and one in your vest pocket. From what I have seen, Jobo did an exceptional R&D job on this product. Kudos.
LowePro Specialist 85AW. I’ve travelled alot of places with LowePro, and I’m proud to say they sponsor me. I will be up on their Imaging World site anyday now. And this bag is the first one they’re sending me. For travel and walk-about it looks perfect. I’ve never once been disappointed with a LowePro bag.
** Sorry I didn’t link these items to their corresponding websites – I’ve been having internet issues and just don’t have the heart to fight with the internet just to find the links. My apologies.