Hey everyone, as 2017 comes to a close I wanted take a few minutes and share a few items I have really liked this past year. I am not posting affiliate links, I have no incentive here…I just wanted to share some things that have worked for me. They might work for you too.
Peak Design Slide Lite camera strap. https://www.peakdesign.com/product/straps/slide-lite
I am not a strap person by any means. On most of my cameras I just connect a simple metal ring to the strap lug. If I need to ever use a strap, I would have one with quick D-ring clips. Generally…I never use strap unless I am near deep water or at a height that could mean disaster if I dropped the camera. They annoy me, they get in the way, and even quick release ends would flap around and just be like silly ears on the camera body. Don’t get me wrong, there are times a strap is necessary and I will use one…but it is rare. My wife bought me a Slide lite last winter and it has been my best friend all year. And not just to make her happy! The adjustment on this strap is instantaneous and makes it so easy to adjust when wearing a big coat or back to just a t-shirt. The quick release is actual small enough to be out of the way. The quick release ends also work from the left lug and the bottom of the camera or L bracket so they are nowhere near my shooting hand. It is just always out of the way and super comfortable. I should honestly put a review up of this strap. If I am recommending a strap, you know its good. Because I have ThinkTank straps, black rapids…op-tech, I have them all…and I don’t use any of them. I actually like to use the Peak Design strap! More later!
So this is a $200 portable speaker. Seems like a lot for a bluetooth speaker. However it sounds really good. Very pleasing. This is also considering it is about the size of a 12-40 Pro lens. It fits in my camera bags just fine. It has a super long battery life and is weather resistant. It also has tripod threading on the bottom. That means I can put a quick release plate on it and attach it to different gear on set. It also takes an mini-trs cable if you don’t want bluetooth. It makes for perfect on-location sound listening, playing music, or projecting sound to a client while shooting a music video. It gets plenty loud. Surprisingly rugged, convenient, and listenable.
3. Spineless by Susan Middleton http://www.susanmiddleton.com/Susan_Middleton/The_Books.html#0
This photobook is amazing. I just love it. The work is beautiful, tasteful, and just extremely well done. If any one could make invertebrates this attractive, its Susan. Highly recommend this book if you love excellent photography and all the amazing creatures in the sea!
4. Bugera V5 Guitar amp http://www.musictri.be/Categories/Bugera/Guitar/Guitar-Combo-Amplifiers/V5-INFINIUM/p/P0B02
I can’t believe I am recommending a Chinese guitar amp. Tube amp much less. I even feel like I have to apologize for their cheesy website. I am still hoping this isn’t all a fluke and the amp dies soon after my purchase. I stumbled upon this completely by accident. So if you are a guitarist, you know classic tube amps FEEL so much better than anything digital, or other solid or hybrid amps. Real tube amps are pricey and ultra loud. Even a 15 watt tube amp is too loud for at-home practice if you don’t have a dedicated space. To real get tubes going you need to be on volume level 3 or 4 at least on most tube amps. Well that’s hard if you respect your ears or other people. I have excellent, hand built amps…this never would have been on my radar. What a fortuitous accident. This amp plays so well, has excellent response, and the sound clean is so nice. Reverb is decent. Clean the amp sings. Gain..nope no good. But it takes gain pedals nicely. But as a clean tube amp…wow does this amp have it! For $200!!!! That’s two-hundred…NOT two-thousand. It doesn’t make sense! No sense at all. And it has an attenuator for 1 watt and a 1/4 watt or something. I keep it on 1 watt and crank up to 4 and it is perfect level for at home practice with people around. Still retains tone and feel. This still makes no sense to me. So far so good. Listen, AC30 is my favorite amp too…but I actually prefer playing through the V5. Probably because it doesn’t blow my windows out and feels just as good. I am recommending it…but try at your own discretion! Or at least buy somewhere with a good warranty and replacement plan! Just in case!!
5. Polaroid SX-70 https://mint-camera.com/en/polaroid-sx70/
I bought mine on ebay…but Mint is definitely the way to go if you want one done right. Especially their upgraded “new ones.” Shooting with this is fun. Being able to hold the picture immediately is all the magic of film combined with the immediacy of digital. So much fun. And people get such a kick out of it! I think I made my absolute favorite image of my father using this camera this past year. Who would have thought.
What about you? Was there something you really enjoyed or discovered?