Category Archives: Gear

Gitzo New Traveler Tripod GT2545T Review

Shooting Fujisan with the Gitzo GT2545T captured with the Nikon D800E + SIGMA 35mm f/1.4DG HSM | Art
Shooting Fujisan with the Gitzo GT2545T captured with the Nikon D800E + SIGMA 35mm f/1.4DG HSM | Art

I’ve used a Gitzo G1228MK2 Mountaineer tripod for mountaineering and travel. Although it is a good portable tripod, I’d always wanted to reduce the weight of my backpack. Gitzo just renewed their Traveler Series tripods. The latest models seem to have some great advantages over their predecessors:

1) By adopting the Carbon eXact technology, the final leg of the new traveler tripod is 22.5% thicker than its predecessor, and thereby providing better stability

2) Provides near eye-level shooting without extending the centre column._9E64534

A Sunway Foto levelling base is installed in the tripod. The height of the car in the pic is 1665mm. If your height doesn’t exceed 6 feet, you don’t feel the viewfinder is too low.

3) Although it provides better stability, the weight remained nearly the same (1.34kg/2.9lb)

4) The folded length is 44.5cm (17.5″) also remained nearly the same, and so it can be carried in the hand luggage.

The tripod comes with two centre columns, one standard column (31cm, 119g) and short column for ground level shooting (8cm, 42g). For me, the standard one is too lengthy but you cannot put on the weight hook to the short one because it has no screw hole. I also noticed that the centre column weight hook was not included in the package, which was rather disappointing. Because the tripod is light-weight, the weight hook can be handy when the wind is strong.

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Honestly speaking, I don’t want to carry two centre columns and change them frequently. I ended up purchasing a GS2511KB short centre column (19.5cm), which comes with the weight hook. The ground level shooting  isn’t possible in a strict sense but you just need to extend the centre column by 1.5cm to do near-ground level shooting. The weight is slightly lighter (97g) too. I wanted them to include a 18-cm centre column with a weight hook rather than providing too lengthy and too short centre columns, since the short column doesn’t have to be that short. It just shouldn’t touch the ground.

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I attached to the tripod a Gitzo GLEVEL2 bubble level and the Benro B00 arca-swiss compatible ballhead, which weighs only 227g and features a separate pan lock function. Because I sometimes take panoramic photographs by stitching multiple shots, the bubble level is necessary. Needless to say, if you can carry a levelling base, it would be much more handy but they usually weigh over 200g. I want to make my setup as lightweight as possible. To perform flawless panorama stitching, the ballhead must rotate on the base and be locked separately. So far I’ve never found any usable ballheads lighter than the Benro B00. For example, an RRS BH-30 Pro with B2-mAS clamp weighs 280g and Markins Q3iTRQ-BK weighs 380g.

SIGMA 24-105mm F4 DG OS HSM | Art

Diamond Fuji from the Southern Alps
Nikon D800E + SIGMA 24-105mm f/4 DG OS HSM | Art
HDR image created out of 4 brackets to expand the dynamic range.

Many photographers with a big budget buy the so-called trinity, that is f/2.8 constant aperture wide, standard and telephoto zoom lenses. Why? Because it is the common knowledge that is the way to go for any serious photographer. But my ‘go-to’ standard zoom lens is a f/4 constant aperture zoom lens, SIGMA 24-105mm f/4 DG OS HSM | Art, although I can afford more pricey standard zooms. I’ve taken tens of thousands of shots with this lens . Let me explain why I prefer this lens.

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Nikon AN-SBR2 Black Rapid Quick-Draw Strap

Yuga Kurita Nikon AN-SBR2 Black Rapid Quick-Draw Strap _9E53013jpgYuga Kurita taking a photo of Diamond Fuji with a camera attached to the AN-SBR2

I have been using the AN-SBR2 Black Rapid Quick-Draw Strap for nearly a year. I can say this is one of the best items I ever got. Before I got it, I had been using normal straps that came with cameras I bought. They are, of course, usable. But the product has some remarkable advantages over them.
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NiSi 150mm Holder System for the Nikon 14-24mm

Yuga Kurita NiSi Half Grad 14-2430 sec. LE shot at sunrise. Nikon D800E + AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED + NiSi Filter Holder + Soft Nano GND8 (0.9)

The Nikkor AF-S 14-24mm f/2.8G ED is one of my favourite lenses. It is sharp from the widest open, and provides very dramatic perspectives. There is, however, one drawback that could cause photographers to hold back buying this awesome lens, that is, the bulbous front lens prevents users from attaching filters.

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Protect Your Fingers! Nikon Offers Great Gloves for Photographers

Yuga Kurita Nikon Photographer's Gloves_DSC1441Nikon D5300 w/ AF-S Nikkor 85mm f/1.8G

When someone wants to take beautiful photographs, he probably buys a DSLR with a kit lens at the begning. Since he’s a novice, he doesn’t understand all jargons written in the spec sheet, and so he makes a decision based on marketing categories defined by manufacturers such as “Professional Grade” and “Consumer Grade.” As he gains knowledge on photography gradually, he realises he needs a wide aperture single-focal length lens. Then, he continues to things he never imagined that he would need such as flash units, tripods, L-plates, Arca-swiss compatible ball heads and so on.  Do you know what he wants when he eventually becomes a pro level photographer? Quality gloves and a quick draw strap. No doubt about it.
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