Personal blog of Derek and Margaret, now living in Dominica, W.I., founders of Ozone Zone – an Independent Canadian book publisher specializing in coffee table books of architectural treasures and lush gardens. We also promote fine artistic photography. This blog contains unofficial reports and comments from our various trips, photo sessions and jobs – an unofficial scrapbook of our travels, explorations and photo-related work. See “about” for more.

Archive for August, 2010

Some more technical comments for photographers

it is a while since my last post. We were busy as always, promoting first book, organizing cargo of our second book (Exotic Gardens of the Eastern Caribbean), and actively working on our third one – The Caribbean Architect. Unfortunately, there was some delay at customs with our Exotic Gardens book, and it caused a delay in the launch date. It should be in stores by now, but it may be another 10 days or so, before it will reach amazon and other retailers. sorry – to all who are waiting for it. And, there must be quite a few of such people, since this book – available for pre-ordering only – is for last couple of months #1 best-seller in Amazon’s gardening section.
From other news, i just would like to share with you another review of our Tropical homes book. there were many of these, some as long as 26-pages long, in really fine mags. but this particular one is on a bit weird side, as far as I can tell.  Well, thank you – to the reviewer and San Francisco Book Reviews!

Anyway, I wanted to share some thoughts with fellow photographers here.
As we are preparing for another location trip in the Caribbean (in October), together with Lex we decided to get some good carbon fiber tripods, light enough to carry around, but sturdy enough to hold D300 with the heaviest lens, flash, etc..
Lex bought a nice, rated 12 kg Gitzo, which is renowned as a Mercedes of Tripods. I, on the other hand have always a tendency to go sideways and experiment. I looked at less renowned brands. I like Manfrotto, but their carbon tripods are too heavy. So, I checked some others, and – decided for a relatively little known brand from Taiwan – Feisol.

Based on photo and description, I ordered on-line ( )  model FEISOL CT-3441S Travel Carbon Fiber Tripod. Rated 10 kg and weighting less than 1 kg (just about 2 lbs), standing tall over 170 cm – it tempted me, specially with its price $300 – less than 1/2 of that Gitzo.
Just recently we had a chance to compare them together, next to each other. And we both were impressed with Feisol. So strongly built, it is very sturdy and has no tendency for vibration. Maybe fully extended it can be a bit less perfect, but i rarely use such height – with the Markins head it is almost 180cm high – no need for such height in 90% of my photography. Of course Gitzo is really fine too, but it is to be expected for its rather steep price.
So, our verdict? They are similarly good, a bit different in handling but Feisol is an excellent value, and fantastic quality – if you don’t care about using only most recognized brands, you can go for it without regret. A big bang for the buck. Kudos for Feisol! Personally, I prefer it over Gitzo, just feels nice in hand.

Ah, there is something else from this kind of information i wanted to tell you. (Some of you know it already and laugh at me, that is OK 🙂
Fellow photographers – if your neck hurts after handling a D300 or similarly heavy camera with 300mm lens for a few hours – consider an amazing camera strap. made by Crumpler, it has typically extravagant name as all their products. It is called “Industry Disgrace”. I thought it is a funny name. But hey – you don’t know why it is called like that, until you try it! It really brings shame to cheap, lame straps included with the finest cameras.
It is AMAZING! So light, but soooo comfortable. You owe it to your neck and your body. I only regret I did not buy it sooner…
Until next time!

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