08 May 2014

more than just a body.. and lenses

A kit isn't merely the focus and capture of images, but bodies and lenses are the big-ticket stuff that get people chatting on forum sites.  A little talk of how to carry it all, some about flashes, and a bit about tripods now and then.  Ah, speaking of tripods: I looked at the 'wrong' moment at a forum & learned of a half-price sale on a good tripod and ball head, and now one is on its way.

My history with tripods is easy to describe: I use them very little, so I pay very little and get along OK.  In general it was one like the Ritz $30 type with a bubble level and enough support for a basic camera and light lens.  Then I moved up a notch and picked up a sub-$60 type which can allow the legs to swing out wide, which allows for very low shots and implies that I could take better macro images.  Both of these had alt-az controls, one for up-down and one for left-right.  If it's good enough for my big telescope it's good enough... right?

Well, the new tripod can also do the wide-spread leg action.  It can support lenses I swore I'd never own because they weighed more than 500 grams, like the Beast = Takumar 300 f/4 that arrived a week or two ago.  And the ball-head means I can move diagonally too, and pivoting for portraits doesn't require a third loose nut to manage.  But wait there's more: the center column doesn't merely go up/down, it can pivot low, between the tripod legs.  This versatility really could make closeup work pretty easy, even with a light lens like my SMC-A 50/2.8 - or any lens with macro abilities screwed on the front or added in the back.  Neat!

So the 'kit' was complete (more or less) but only with regard to bodies and lenses.  The rest of the 'kit' just got better!  And fewer photos might be forced to rely on shake-reduction to be their best.