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02-17-2014, 09:27 PM   #1
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A Field Report: Gear that worked!

In January 2014, I spent 3 weeks in Israel, Palestine, and Jordan. I have a full report on what I did photographically HERE, but I wanted to point out a few things with respect to the gear that worked well.

First, the bag. I had previously asked on this forum for suggestions on a bag. I ended up going with the Tenba Discovery Photo / Laptop Messenger. I used it for a month or so before the trip and wrote a preliminary but lengthy review HERE. I can now report that I was very happy with it. In that linked review, you can see how I set up the bag and how much stuff I got in it. The main thing was that I wanted easy, top access to two bodies with attached lenses (a K-30 w/ the DA 18-135 which was the most used lens and a K-x w/ a Sigma 10-20 for ultra wide angle). The bag doesn't show any sign of wear, and I really appreciated that it has a ruggedized flat bottom so that I could put it on the ground without fear of it getting ruined or tipped over. I did also bring along a fanny pack and a drawstring, nylon backpack when I wanted to go lighter.

As I mention in the photographic review, I had trouble keeping my sensor clean. The rocket blower and lenspen were essential, but I've since ordered a sensor cleaner (I'm starting with the dry type and will move to the wet type if necessary) which I will bring along next time.

I did regularly use the Marumi 62mm Super DHG CPL on the 18-135. It's a fine CPL that provides more help than any hurt to quality of the picture.

I brought a mini flexible tripod, but I never used it. I would never have used a regular tripod either. Part of that is the nature of being on a tour where one does not have time to dawdle over getting a picture. Next time I may be more tempted to take a monopod to help out on the longer shots or ones in low light.

Here's a new thing I tried that was successful. I have a Garmin watch that I use for running that I can sync on my computer to generate my route. I can export the route as a GPX file.
I synchronized the time on my camera to the watch when I was over there.
When we were visiting a site, I started the tracker.
Now, what I'm doing is using Geosetter to match the GPX with the picture timestamps and apply it to the EXIF metadata on the picture. Works well, and now all my pictures are geotagged w/ latitude and longitude.

The other gear aspect that worked well was the use of the tablet computer to backup photos every night. I then also backed them up to an extra SD card so that I had 3 copies of everything. For quick photo inspection and editing, I used the free Faststone Image Viewer. (Here at home I have Lightroom 4 and Photoshop Elements.)

The only other minor detail to add was the ways I was trying to take care of my lens cap when the lens was in use. I have an Op/Tech hand strap on each camera which is my preferred way of providing some security for my camera when I have it out. On the strap I have a clip holder type buckle. It works well enough, but I'm finding that it's scratching off the white Pentax lettering on the lens cap. So, I also got a cap holder buckle in the 62mm size of the 18-135. I attached this to the shoulder strap of the bag. It worked great... until it got caught on something and broke. I liked it well enough that I have now bought another one.

In terms of the field gear, I was really happy with my setup and am particularly happy with the Tenba bag.

02-17-2014, 10:09 PM   #2
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Interesting review. Thanks for sharing! Where is the link to you pictures? Also which sensor did you have the dust problems with? K30 or K-x?
Usually whenever not in use I remove the battery of my K10D and that has helped a lot in keeping the dust off. I never used to do that before and I guess the static charge running through the sensor attracted dust particles?
02-18-2014, 07:22 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by danny09 Quote
Interesting review. Thanks for sharing! Where is the link to you pictures? Also which sensor did you have the dust problems with? K30 or K-x?
Usually whenever not in use I remove the battery of my K10D and that has helped a lot in keeping the dust off. I never used to do that before and I guess the static charge running through the sensor attracted dust particles?
Thank you, danny09.
There are some pics in the photography review, but I'm still working on most of the pics. (There's a Bible software company that licenses some of my pics, and that's also why I need them geotagged.)
The sensor dust problem was / is with the K-30, and I was surprised because the 18-135 was on it almost all the time. I'm intrigued by your suggestion, because my thought too was that static charge had to be involved since the rocket blower often doesn't blow them off but only move them around. That's why I'm going to try the dry cleaner. I'll have to try taking out the battery.
Has anyone else had a similar experience?
02-18-2014, 12:54 PM   #4
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I'm glad the kit you chose to take with you, performed well in the field and reached your expectation levels.

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