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Old May 10, 2009, 10:44 PM   #1
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Default Slingshot and Tripod trip report

Today I took a little hike with the Lowepro Slingshot 200 and the tripod mounted on the side. For those who might have missed what I ended up doing to mount it, I posted pictures in this thread: http://forums.steves-digicams.com/pe...d-convert.html .

My trip started off just before noon. I checked the tripod, made sure I had batteries and a card in the camera, and added a bottle of water to the camera bag strap (I have a holder that has a belt loop on it, just slip it on the Slingshot's strap). I decided to leave my usual assortment of items in my camera bag - I had the K20 with DA55-300 mounted on it, A*300, Viv 105 macro, DA12-24, Rocket air blower, 540 flash and stand, both the wired and wireless remotes, 77mm circular polarizer, 12" folding reflector, lens brush, microfiber cloth, 2 step-up rings, macro coupler (but no 50mm lens to use on it), lens cleaning cloth, and several SD cards. Then I put the GPS (Garmin 60CXS, not exactly small) on my belt along with the phone, slathered myself with sun screen and off I went.

Half way up to the trailhead, I remembered that I had forgotten to change into hiking boots - the sneakers I was wearing are stretched out and have little support. Ooops - that's a big mistake.

My first thought was to do a fairly quick hike, not stopping much for pictures - my purpose was to see how I got along with the extra weight of the tripod on the bag. There weren't any flowers that high (too early for 8,000 feet elevation - there was still a few patches of unmelted snow in some shady spots), and I've got hundreds of pictures of pine trees, pine needles and pine cones.

Toward the end of the first mile, I thought that the pack didn't feel all that much heavier than when I was hiking with two camera bodies (I tend not to any more, preferring to leave the flash in my bag), and that it wasn't a big deal. Toward the end of the second mile, my shoulder was starting to feel a little numb and I was starting to re-consider my initial "no big deal" thoughts.

About that time I got to the top of Mt. Pinos, my destination. By this time I had already used the tripod a couple of times and figured out that I could remove the tripod without taking the pack off, but couldn't remount it while wearing the bag. I spent about an hour taking some bracketed shots for HDR pictures, setting up and moving the tripod around, etc. Adding a tripod and shooting autobracket adds too many variables for me to think about - I'd either forget to turn off IS or I'd forget to shoot Av mode, specifying the aperture. I didn't think about using the reflector, which would have helped a lot once or twice. I did use the remote on occasion and remembered the 2 sec. mirror lock-up.

The hour plus break I took to take pictures and just enjoy the beauty of being on a high spot (Mt. Pinos is the highest point in the Los Padres National Forest), meant that it no big deal to put the camera bag back on my shoulder for the return trip.

On the way back, I got an opportunity to get a really neat photograph of the trail and a mountain biker. I got the camera out, lined it all up, waited for the biker to get in the right spot and pushed the button. The mirror went up and the camera beeped as it waited the 2 second delay time. Ooops again, missed that shot!

Jelpee had asked if mounting the pod on the side would cause problems with the weight distribution. I didn't think it made much difference at all - it changes how it rides on my back only a slight bit, and that didn't make any difference to the comfort level even after just over 4 miles. The extra weight did make a big difference, though. If I were going to be doing a longer hike, I'd want to limit my kit more, being more selective about my lenses. Not that I can ever do that - whatever I leave behind is just the thing I want.

My final conclusion is that the set-up I have is probably fine for half day hikes, even longer ones if I leave stuff home. I'm pretty satisfied, though I might seriously look for the Kata 3N1. I know that I won't want to use a true rucksack - it irritated me to have to take the bag off to re-mount the tripod the couple of times I did it.
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Old May 11, 2009, 12:40 AM   #2
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Terrific report, but where's the photos ?
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Old May 11, 2009, 7:49 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtngal View Post
Jelpee had asked if mounting the pod on the side would cause problems with the weight distribution. I didn't think it made much difference at all - it changes how it rides on my back only a slight bit, and that didn't make any difference to the comfort level even after just over 4 miles. The extra weight did make a big difference, though. If I were going to be doing a longer hike, I'd want to limit my kit more, being more selective about my lenses. Not that I can ever do that - whatever I leave behind is just the thing I want.
Thanks for the report

I have a monopod and I do mount that on the side of my SL200. The bag handles it really well with decent balance.

The only problem that I have is to scale down the lenses I take nowaday


Daniel
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Old May 11, 2009, 7:49 AM   #4
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Thanks for the update on how you made out with the tripod on the hike. I still think my idea for a "Camera Caddy" is the way to go !!
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Old May 11, 2009, 1:05 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Rodney9 View Post
Terrific report, but where's the photos ?

She forgot to posts them...
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Old May 11, 2009, 1:34 PM   #6
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The mirror went up and the camera beeped as it waited the 2 second delay time
this sounds so, so familiar...

Great report, waiting for images to.
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Old May 11, 2009, 2:52 PM   #7
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Pictures weren't all that exciting, I'll post some tonight. I did take one that I might put in the monthly challenge if I can't come up with something else. But the topic has given me a desire to take a day-trip somewhere next weekend, if I can manage it.
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Old May 11, 2009, 10:17 PM   #8
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OK - here's a couple of pictures. They are a pretty boring lot. While the surroundings were inspiring, I wasn't.



This pine cone is quite small - the tree it belongs to has short needles and doesn't grow very high. It's located at 8,800 feet elevation, the highest spot for miles, so the climate is quite hostile (high winds most of the time, lots of snow, cold as well as the high elevation).

The trees grow in odd shapes. This isn't one of my better shots, but it does give an idea of how they grow;



A different type of pine. As you can see, that's about the only type of tree that grows up here.





Not all of the wood in the forest is alive. I like how this stump has weathered and decayed.



Finally, I would call this a very tall mountain (I'll probably post this for the monthly challenge though I have another idea that will have to wait until next weekend).



These were all taken somewhere around noon, so the light was horrible, very harsh. Shots 2, 4 and 6 are all HDR to try to deal with it a bit. It was partly successful, but not completely.
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Old May 12, 2009, 2:10 AM   #9
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Beautiful Trees. Wow, it must be very windy up there.
Boring, Trees and landscapes are never boring. The colour, the shapes and the feel of these shots are wonderful.

Rodney.
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Old May 12, 2009, 2:05 PM   #10
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I'm not sure, Harriet. Subject, composition, exposure etc is as high class as always from you, but on my screen the photos looks kind of harsh, like if they were oversharpened or something. I dont know if it's the harsh light or the HDR process, but something makes them grainy (not noisy). There is the "unsharp mask" in Photoshop, is there a "sharp mask" to unsharpen the details? Would be a pity not getting these photos to their best potential.

Kjell
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