Think Tank Tag

And its stuffing. A final guide to Christmas surprises. Many things are Christmas surprises. People buy garments on-line that they would be ashamed to put on their washing line. People buy tiny puppies without looking at the size of their feet and are surprised six months later at what runs through the house knocking over furniture. Family dinners can resemble something from either Dickens or Machiavelli. You just never know. If you would make your holiday giving into happy surprises look for odd things that are helpful. Here are three to consider: a. Lume Cubes. Mount these on your mirrorless camera, vlogging camera, or smartphone for a quick and easy solution to lighting. I have one on a stalk that sits to the side of my X -T2 when I record video - it's not the main light for anything but it is a great catchlight for eyes and a good way to pump enough light out for the autofocus mechanism to work. You can get filters, diffusers, and other accessories and the battery life is stupendous - I can do a whole dance show...

We normally don't promote a manufacturer's range of products with a picture of someone else's goods in the same advertisement - it certainly wasn't done in the golden age of Madison Avenue. They might have hinted about " Brand X" and " Brand Y " and made fake motor-car tyres out of plaster and wood to pretend that one was superior ( and they did...

The hatch? What hatch? The hatch of chaos. That ever-threatening trapdoor of disorganisation that is waiting for every photographer - and in particular for the studio or location worker. If you have a set of strobe lights or a video rig, the hatch is very close to you right now...

That's a play on words, with the basis being the Think Tank bags you see here. They are referred to as " Mirrorless Movers ". They move quite well, thank you, and for a good reason - they are one of the most sensible camera cases for modern use. Camera bag design and branding are one of those topics - like camera brand loyalty - that occupy a lot of spare space in forums and group meetings. It might sound trite or pedestrian, but there are times when pedestrians would do well to think the matter out clearly. Walking around with camera equipment is a lot of fun if you are visiting interesting places and getting great shots. Walking around with an entire armamentarium of DSLR lenses in case the great shot presents itself is also fun, but most of the enjoyment occurs when you see a bench and can sit down. Thus one of the sales features of the mirror-less camera systems - lighter weight and smaller gear. Those of you with professional-quality full-frame mirror-less cameras and the entire armamentarium of...

At any one time, our choices in photography can be surprisingly limited. Limited by artistic convention, fashion, and commerce. Often we do not notice it until some exception to the rule comes to hand - then we feel it all the more. This is the case with today's offering - the Think Tank Retrospective Leather 5 Sandstone. Colour is not exactly new to Think Tank - They have experimented with sandstone, olive drab, and RAF blue for years, and have made some wonderful large bags. Their DSLR bags are a standard of the industry. Now in the smaller mirror-less, they have combined that distinctive cloth with 50's leather style. Of course, it is far more business-featured than anything we bought back then - The iPad mini pocket on the back gives that away. Also the myriad of internal pockets and slots for pens, cards, phones, business papers, passports, etc. It would not be too much to say that this could be a complete mini-studio for the travelling pro. That impression is re-inforced in the equipment compartment. Besides the main mirror-less cradle, there are...

Choosing a back pack for exploring the less developed corners of the empire is a delicate task. One must accurately assess the opportunities that will be presented as well as the risks that will be run. This is why our featured article - the Think Tank Trifecta 8 -  will be on the short-list of many adventurers. The basic idea of the Trifecta 8 is to take enough equipment onto the wild to enable you to capture images of the savages whilst not weighing you down in case you need to make a run for it. Modern thinking has provided us with mirror-less cameras and lenses of reduced size and weight and this is all to the good. Now we have a way to carry them about the person. Just as Kipling’s cavalryman spent the winter preparing his spring campaign - paring an ounce of weight where he could to extend the range of his mount - so we can reduce the amount of gear we carry. But it still needs to be accessible at short notice when we come across a...

Whenever I write an article that says the day of the giant camera outfit  - and equally giant camera bag - is dead, someone writes in to complain and tell me that they have 5 DSLR bodies, 16 lenses, 8 flashes, and a lucky key ring…and they want them all to go into a bag that will fit into the overhead locker on the next Virgin flight. I welcome feedback like this from my readers, and advise them to change airlines. The RAAF runs C-130 Hercules flights to lots of places and they should be able to get that camera bag in the back door of the aircraft on a pallet. They may elect to unload it with a low-altitude pass and a parachute, but that is the chance you have to take. They have better snacks than a lot of commercial flights*. Having prepared you, let me introduce a better idea - the Think Tank Turnstyle 5 sling bag. Never mind the pun in the name - I’ve done worse here and you’ve read it. The interesting thing about this sling...

If you have ever gone to a photographic trade show, collector's market, or enthusiast's conference you know roughly what the exhibition hall will look like.There'll be a number of stands set out by major manufacturers, a couple of tables from a local authority or professional body loosely allied to the theme of the day, and one or two little card tables set up with sad-looking people behind them. They'll generally be in the least favourable position in the layout - near the toilets or down behind the service corridor. Do yourself a favour - seek them out.We're not saying that the major players don't have good stands - after all, they've got the money and prestige and corporate power to get the best place in the show. And they'll be the ones with the big new products that everyone has been seeing hints of for the last two months on the internet forums. Go to them and heft the new cameras and lenses and have a good time. Enjoy their latest slogans...

Here it comes, folks. The biennial German trade fair, Photo Kina, for all things photographic. Clatter down off the fire-step into the dugout and hunker down...