Road Test

MindShift R180° Professional 38L Deluxe – Discovering nature with Craig Sinclair

Posted on Updated on

MindShift Logo

Rotation 180° Professional 38L Deluxe – Discovering nature with Craig Sinclair

Picture2

Craig Sinclair is a British photographer from the South West of the UK. Currently studying a degree in photography with the Open College of the Arts. He got his first Nikon DSLR in 2010 as a Christmas present and has always had an interest in photography.

“I am passionate about wildlife, nature and landscapes and our impact as human beings on the environment and the planet (Just like MindShift Gear’s philosophy). Photography is an adventure to me, I love learning about different cultures and I am seeking to develop a greater appreciation for the history of photography and contemporary art photography as well as building on my technical skills as a photographer. I am an avid believer in sharing knowledge and experience within the Photography community”

Craig is a customer of Snapperstuff and kindly allowed us to share his photography work and thoughts of his purchase. Before we get to his review check out the pics he sent us to share…

Craig Sinclair Deer in Autumn

Craig Sinclair Starling in a sun shower 1500x1000 resized

Craig Sinclair Mandarin Duck 1500x1000 resized

Craig Sinclair Otters at Slimbridge WWT 1500x1000 resized

So first of all what does Craig fit into his

MindShift Gear 

R180º Professional Deluxe?

Just one of the many options for packing out the MindShift Gear Rotation180° Professional 38L Deluxe:

  • Nikon D7200 DSLR x 2
  • Nikon MB-D15
  • Nikon 35mm
  • Nikon 50mm
  • Nikon 18-105mm
  • Nikon 200-500mm with LensCoat Real tree
  • Nikon Trigger release cable
  • Op/tech USA camera strap
  • Hoya Polariser filter
  • Petzl Tikka head torch
  • Multi tool pocket knife
  • Apple
  • There were also 2 cheese and pickle rolls but I ate them
  • Nature Valley Bar
  • Spare Batteries
  • Embrava Water Bottle
  • Maps
  • Notebook and pen
  • Think Tank SD Pixel Pocket Rocket
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Sun screen
  • Buff multifunctional headwear
  • Cleaning cloths and Dust Blower
  • North Face Sun Hat
  • Jack Wolfskin Waterproof Jacket
  • MP3 Player
  • i-Phone (used to take this photo!)
  • A good study book – ‘Regarding the pain of others’ by Susan Sontag
  • I also used a Manfrotto 190 tripod

Picture5

Picture4

 

 

Craig’s thoughts on the 

MindShift Gear R180

Professional Deluxe Backpack

 

The rucksack has a very solid, robust design. Compared to other rucksacks I own, this bag has phenomenal padding, using memory foam throughout the pack and on the arms of the bag. Why is this important to me? I injured my spine some years back, so comfort is essential for me and this bag delivers 120% in that field.  I am used to carrying fairly heavy camera gear on long treks and up mountains, you very quickly realise if a bag is suitable or not as it can get very uncomfortable and you will be miserable, unable to focus on taking great shots. This bag is designed to carry heavy loads for a sustained period of time in comfort.

“You could easily do a couple of days trek or longer with this setup”

One piece of advice I would give with any loading up for a trek, don’t be tempted to overload your rucksack simply because you have the capacity. Just because you can take everything doesn’t mean you need to. Try to think practically about your load up. This rucksack does deliver on capacity. I am able to go with a variety of different configurations depending on the shoot and how long I intend to be out for a trip or shoot. You could easily do a couple of days trek or longer with this setup, there is also the option for attaching some additional gear to the bag. There are ample pockets and compartments throughout the entire bag. The 3L capacity hydration compartment on the side is a great addition. I found the front pleated pocket, which runs the length of the bag from top to bottom, the best place to store my raincoat; easily accessible and keeps a wet coat separate from my camera gear.

The deluxe version of the bag which I have, comes with some great accessories, notably for me these were the photo insert and the top pocket. The photo insert enabled me to put my Nikon 200-500 lens securely in the main compartment of the bag along with a second Nikon D7200, there was also room for more gear if I needed it. The top pocket gives you that little bit of extra storage for things like your SD card holder, keys, snacks and i-Phone.

One of the little quirks I discovered was the way the arms of the rucksack move freely and independently with your walking movements as opposed to being really rigid like other rucksacks, this is a really key design feature. 

Observations and things to note:

Rotating belt pack

“always remember to clip the waist belt”

Whilst testing the bag out on a trip to a local nature reserve, I had mistakenly forgotten to clip the belt pack’s waist belt around my waist. Whilst walking through the woods listening to my friend talk about the array of wild orchids on show, I saw this fascinating little red cardinal beetle, I had to get a shot! I went to whip around the belt pack and nearly dropped the whole belt pack on the floor, much to my friend’s amusement. Thankfully no beetles were harmed in the making of this review! It’s just an observation but always remember to clip the waist belt. Thankfully MindShift Gear have thought of everything and the belt pack is actually attached to the bag using a small clip in latch clipped to the inside of the bag (which can be unclipped to use the pack independently), so the waist pack didn’t fall to the ground.

I found it takes some getting used to releasing the latch to pull the waist pack around to your front and I found sometimes I couldn’t get the latch to release so I left the side flap up. I think this was mainly down to me using the wrong motion to release the latch.

TIP: Here’s a an overview of the MindShift Gear r180 Professional Deluxe backpack, you’ll see a nice demo of releasing the magnetic clip within the first 30 seconds.

The rain cover

On another trip to a different nature reserve we were out in the middle of nowhere in the middle of a thunderstorm, a great chance to try out the rain cover! I found it was a little tricky initially to work out how to get the rain cover on, to be fair it was bucketing it down with rain with thunder and lightning overhead. So my advice is to try out the rain cover before you need to use it, so you know how to put it on properly. It’s a really good design now I have tested it out and keeps the bag dry, which is the point! The rain cover allows you access to continue using the waist pack. The waist pack also comes with its own independent rain cover.

“I absolutely love this rucksack, it’s extremely versatile. I can now focus on taking great shots and not worry about my gear”

Picture6

TIP: Here’s a demonstration on how to attach your rain cover, it’s definitely worth testing before heading out!

Click here for more information on the MindShift Gear Rotation 180 Professional Deluxe 

You can follow Craig Sinclair on…

IG_Glyph_Fillcraigsinclairphoto      Photocrowd    craigsinclair


 

MindShift Gear UltraLight Dual 36L – On an adventure with Sam Mossop

Posted on Updated on

MindShift Logo

UltraLight Dual 36L

– On an adventure with Sam Mossop –

MSG306 UltraLight Dual 36L - Black Magma 14 S

MSG306 UltraLight Dual 36L - Black Magma 89 S

 

Sam Mossop – a great photographer who works at one of our specialist photographic retailers – Wilkinson Cameras in Kendal, gave us his thoughts on the MindShift Gear UltraLight Dual 36L.

Before we do check out these beautiful shots taken by Sam –

7 - Photo 2 - Ullswater (1)Broken jetty at Pooley Bridge, Ullswater, sunshine and warmth during the pre sunset, temperature dropped drastically when sun set but I had all warm clothing in my bag with all the gear.

7 - Photo 3 -Derwent Water (1)  Isthmus Bay, Keswick at sunset, balancing on rocks in the water was helped by slinging back on to shoulder to set up tripod and filters for long exposure of sunset.

7 - Photo 1 - Rydal Water (1)Rydal Water at night, Milky Way visible, short hike to the water itself, plus climb up to Rydal Caves and Loughrigg Fell.

What does Sam think of the MindShift Gear UltraLight Dual 36L?

I have been using the MindShift UltraLight Dual 36L for some time now and have found it to be an incredibly versatile bag for general photography trips and longer walking in the hills. The first thing that strikes me about this bag is just how light it is for a 36L bag, this is even with the additional inserted case for camera equipment, it really lives up to the UltraLight name. The camera bag is split into two main sections, an upper section for personal equipment or photographic gear and a lower section with a removable padded case intended for photographic equipment. This insert can be removed to function as an external camera bag in its own right slung over your shoulder with the supplied strap, I found removing the insert and using it as a base to swap lenses quickly was very useful especially in wildlife and scenic areas where you never know what is round the next corner and are changing lenses frequently.

“it really lives up to the UltraLight name”

I have been using the bag for walking in the Lake District and for photography trips around the local area. Being able to pack in all the photographic equipment I need including my camera + 1-3 extra lenses along with my filter system and a tripod and then be able to also carry a 3L water bladder and waterproof coat and trousers, food, first aid and survival equipment is absolutely invaluable. The weather on higher ground is incredibly variable and so packing everything you need is essential especially for winter walking. The tripod holder is on the outside centre of the bag which is key for longer walks as the weight of the tripod is not pulling down on one particular side.

The Mindshift UltraLight bag is made of a lightweight but tough, water resistant material on the outside and a high quality durable inner material. The advantage of the bag being made of rugged water resistant material is that even if you do need to put the bag down you know it will be fine on any wet ground and will not soak through in the minute or two you need to access the bag. With the adjustable chest and waist strap you can really tailor the fit of the bag to make it comfortable for long periods of time. The bag comes supplied with waterproof covers for the bag itself and the removable case so you can be safe from rain in all scenarios, the waterproof cover will also fit over a tripod mounted on to the bag.

“In short, the bag is light weight, practical, versatile and comfortable even when loaded with equipment”

How much gear does Sam pack?

Well, this much…

2 - Gear next to bag (1)

1 - Gear in bag (1)

  • Sony A7ii body + attached Sony FE 16-35 F4 ZA OSS
  • Canon EF 70-200 F4L USM + attached Sigma MC11 adapter
  • Cokin 100MM filter system bag
  • Giottos Tripod
  • Sony Remote Release
  • CamelBak 3L hydration reservoir
  • LED Torch
  • LED Headtorch
  • Survival Bag
  • Food
  • Winter Gloves
  • Polar Buff
  • Thermal Hat
  • Waterproof Coat
  • Spare batteries/cards/cleaning cloth
  • First Aid Box
  • Bags Waterproof Cover
  • Waterproof Trousers
  • Map

 

In the next video Sam packed his astrophotography camera equipment:

  • Sony A7ii + attached Sony FE 16-35 F4 ZA OSS
  • Sony FE 28MM F2
  • Samyang 14MM F2.8 + attached Nikon adapter
  • Canon EF 70-200MM F4L USM + attached Sigma MC11

 

Click here for more info on the MindShift Gear UltraLight Dual 36L

It’s like winter clothing for your gear… . 

I used the bag for a night time walk to Rydal up to Rydal caves and then on to Loughrigg in just below 0 degree temperatures. The bag kept my equipment relatively warm even though the outside of the bag was actually being coated in condensation when I stopped, due to the temperature. For several shots and extended periods of time the bag was on the floor and no moisture got inside the bag, I could just rely on the bag and carry on taking photographs.

Whilst walking up Helm Crag and around the Easedale Horseshoe as thick cloud and snow closed in on me being able to carry all my photography equipment comfortably and safely, being protected from the elements and still able to navigate with map and compass and keep warm in the winter clothing I was able to pack meant that a potentially miserable situation was actually fairly enjoyable. Even if there was very little photographic opportunity with 5 metres visibility.

If you’d like to meet Sam you’ll find him at Wilkinson Cameras Kendal. Where you can also find stock of MindShift Gear bags and accessories.

Wilkinson Cameras logo

If you want to see more of Sam’s work find him on…

(Click on the logo’s to be directed to his page)

 TwitterLogo_#55acee        FB-f-Logo__blue_50

ioShutter Timelapse in Bristol Harbour

Posted on Updated on

Freia & Helen took the ioShutter to Bristol Harbour for a Time-lapse shoot.

Here’s how they did the shoot…

With very little planning & preparation we gathered the key things we needed…

  • ioShutter N3 cable (Canon fit)
  • Tripod (Manfrotto)
  • Camera (Canon 5D MkII)
  • iPhone 4S (you can use an iPad or iPod Touch instead)

…then we headed for Bristol Harbour to find a good location for our Timelapse. After a wee bit of wandering we found a good spot on Pero’s Bridge and set up the tripod & camera.

Next we connected the ioShutter cable to the iPhone and turned on the ioShutter LITE App (that’s the free one).

We chose the intervalometer setting of: Every 5 secs for 10 mins to trigger the camera’s shutter, and here’s the result:

Next we thought we’d compare the Timelapse option of the LITE App with the PRO (paid for one) and found heaps more functionality, so we set the intervalometer every 1 second for 10 mins and here’s the result:

While the ioShutter was working its magic we hung the phone in the blue bag that comes with it on the tripod and kept an eye on the passing pedestrian traffic to ensure our gear stayed in place!!

It really was as simple as that :0)

With hindsight we made a list of things that should be checked before going out to do Time lapse photography:

  • Ensure your sensor is clean – every little spec of dirt will show up!
  • Remember to install the App before your shoot… otherwise you may get a little frustrated waiting for it to load…
  • Remember to bring the quick release plate (Camera to Tripod attachment)
  • Bring an umbrella if the weather’s not looking too good
  • Set the file quality to JPEG only so you can fit plenty of shots on your card (& for quicker post production)
  • Remember to turn your iPhone to Airplane Mode as this could interrupt your shoot
  • Charge all your batteries before heading out!

How to do POST-PRODUCTION:

We put all the JPEG images from one 10 minute Timelapse shoot into ONE folder on the computer.

Then we used some Time Lapse assembly software to create the movie.

Typing ‘Time Lapse Assembly’ or ‘Time Lapse Assembler’ or ‘Time Lapse Software’ into a search engine will give you a multitude of free & paid for software to choose from and lots of useful websites guiding you through this too.

The one we used to compile our shots was: Time Lapse Assembler (Mac) (free)

Here are the settings used:
Codec: mp4v
Framerate: 30 fps (frames per second)
Dimensions resized to: 1280 or 1024 and scaled proportionally
Quality: High or Normal

Apple’s QuickTime 7 Pro (Mac/PC) (paid) is also highly recommended.

Just for fun, here’s one of the most amazing timelapses that I think has ever been made… something to aspire to!!

Produced by Neil Lucas, narrated by David Attenborough, Executive Producer Michael Gunton for the BBC:

Woodland Timelapse from the BBC LIFE Plants series

You can see some more fantastic BBC Time Lapse footage in their online Nature Video Collections archive. (click on link)

Does My Kit Fit? Retrospective 10 pinestone

Posted on Updated on

Pete Rawlinson, Sales Specialist at London Camera Exchange in Winchester, was privilaged to be asked to test out the new Nikon 1 cameras at the press launch in Shanghai, back in October…

“I thought I’d need a bag that would better suit all my kit. Now, like most photographers, I have many different bags and cases yet none seem to be able to handle the kit I’d be taking out with me.

While at work I looked at the Retro series and thought I’d appeal to my rep, Helen’s, kind nature and ask if there were any Retro Demo bags I could borrow. Unfortunately none of these were available, but Helen kindly lent me her own Retro 10. The bag was big enough to fit all my kit plus the chargers and my vitals, phone and wallet.

The main things I really found great about this bag were;

  • Enough room for all my kit plus more
  • Not your typical “Camera Bag” (meaning I could happily walk around the streets with £8000 worth of camera equipment on my shoulder)
  • The cushioned strap was more than welcomed as I spent 5 days carrying all this kit for the whole time
  • The carrying handle made picking up my gear from the taxis, buses and boats easier than having to pick it up via the long strap.
  • The sound silencers were probably the best feature with this bag. I found this particularly handy while exploring the Buddhist temple when I had to switch over memory cards.

All in all I don’t think I could say anything negative about these series of bags and since returning from China I have bought myself a Retro 10 which has become my primary Camera Bag.”

www.LCEGROUP.co.uk

www.Pete-Rawlinson.co.uk

Congratulations to Pete who recently wind 3rd prize in the Sony World Photography Awards (staff competition)!
Here he is collecting his prize:  Pete collecting prize

Pete Rawlinson shooting in Shaghai with the Nikon 1 camera

Shaghai at night, taken on the Nikon 1 camera – Copyright Pete Rawlinson 2011

Shaghai People, taken on the Nikon 1 camera – Copyright Pete Rawlinson 2011Fellow Nikon Photographers Simon Stafford & Will Cheung (Advanced Photographer Editor) with their Think Tank Photo Urban Disguise shoulder bags in Shaghai, shot on the Nikon 1 camera – Copyright Pete Rawlinson 2011

Shaghai, taken on the Nikon 1 camera – Copyright Pete Rawlinson 2011

Nikon 1 camera gear, which Pete fitted in the Retrospective 10 bag – Copyright Pete Rawlinson 2011

To see more of Pete’s work please check out this link: www.Pete-Rawlinson.co.uk

To find out more on the Think Tank Photo Retrospective 10 and other bags in the range to can catch up with Pete in the LCE – London Camera Exchange – store in Winchester, Hampshire. Website: www.lcegroup.co.uk

You can follow LCE on Twitter here: @LCEUsedCameras

and here: @LCEOffers

You can follow LCE Winchester on Facebook here: LCE Winchester

For more info on the Retrospective range click on this link: RETROSPECTIVE RANGE

Sling-O-Matic goes for a spin

Posted on Updated on

Whilst doing an In-Store Day with Clifton Cameras we thought it would be a great opportunity to road test one of the Think Tank Photo Sling-O-Matic bags, so Clifton’s sales specialist Gareth took to his bike…

Copyright: Helen Atkinson

If you’re in the Gloucestershire area, then you can find out more about the Think Tank Photo bag range by visiting the Clifton Cameras store in Dursley.

Alternatively you can check out their website: www.cliftoncameras.co.uk

or give them a call on: 01453 548128

Find out more info on the Sling-O-Matic range from our website here:
SLING-O-MATIC