Lee Big Stopper Filter
Our latest purchase is the Lee Big Stopper Filter. Glass quality is great, foam around the filter blocks all light from sides, which is fantastic. Be careful thou and cover your viewfinder eyepiece when using this filter as the light can come through and affect the quality of your picture.
It is really nice to be able to achieve "milky" water at lunchtime without overexposing your photo. It is great for anything that is moving in the image to become blurred or ghost like, e.g. clouds, waterfall, the sea, rivers or to blur traffic on motorways.
Few things to remember:
- use of tripod is essential for long exposures,
- compose your image without a filter,
- switch your camera from auto focus to manual focus,
- use remote control to take a shot to avoid shaking
We took few shots over the last few days and are very happy with the results. Our 25-30 seconds long exposures at bulb settings achieved the result we were after without any problems. At sunrise and sunset, exposures need to be as long as several minutes!!
Overall, this 10 stop long exposure filter deservers big thumbs up despite the price (around 180 AUD) and long waiting times to get it (sometimes several weeks).
3 legged thing Tripod (Brian)
Because we travel a lot and carry a heavy photographic equipment with us when we hike, we were looking for a tripod that is light yet strong, versatile and durable. We came across the 3legged thing tripods range and it was love at first sight:-). 3 legged thing just released the Evolution 2 Brian tripod. Although it weighs only 1.7 kg, including the head, this tripod is built to withstand loads up 8KG, and is powerful beyond it's size. Made from the stealth carbon fibre, it is multi-functional and very easy to use.
We love the copper-coloured leg locks and the fact that one of the legs has a zipped-up padded sleeve which you can take off and turn it into a very effective monopod. That's pretty cool.
Brian folds up to less than a thirds of its size, letting you easily attach it to your camera backpack. It comes in a very neat and durable case, which itself is easy to carry around as it has got a long strip.
What we really like about this tripod is that it can hold the heavy telephoto lenses and still stands rock solid, even in the strong wind.
Along with the monopod trick, Brian has a removable, reversible, three-section center column you can extend up to 2 metres high. We wouldn’t recommend putting a DSLR with a telephoto at that height because it is too unstable, but you could certainly mount a flash or a continuous light on top and use Brian as a light stand.
You can also pop the center column out, extend the legs while pressing the tripod down, and get it as low as just 11 centimetres off the ground, making it great for tabletop or macro photography. Brian’s legs can be angled in up to three different positions that you can set independently. This is a big help when trying to level the tripod on uneven ground. There’s also a hook at the bottom of the center column to hang a counterweight for added stability. The AirHead 1 offers separate controls for locking pan-and-tilt rotations and two bubble levels. The latest model of the AirHead 1 has had a complete redesign, it is now smaller, lighter with great detailing and ease of use and has a load capacity of 35kg. Pretty impressive.
The bottom line is, that this is one of the best tripods we've tried so far.