Monday 17 August 2020

A Good Hike, and Peak Design Changes My World Again

Lilies and Grass

Fujifilm X-T2, Fujinon XC 35mm f2

Saturday was a very early day for me. I got up at 2AM to leave for Algonquin Park hoping to get some pre-dawn misty lake shots as well as a good sunrise from a favourite spot of mine on Smoke Lake. I ended up with some amazing mist shots, but the sunrise was a little disappointing, it was too clear to get a really epic one.

After the sunrise, I headed a bit up Highway 60 to hike the Mizzy Lake Trail, which is a moderate trail listed as 11.1KM, just a touch more than the longest hike I've done to date. They lied, it was actually 12.4km, almost 25% longer than my previous best.

It was a good hike though. I got through it in better shape than any of my previous longer hikes. Did 12.4km in 4.5  hours of walking, a little over 5 hours all told including stops for photography and to get stuff out of my shoes.

A couple gear changes made this a lot easier. First off, I carried my Deuter Race EXP AIR pack instead of a camera bag. This pack is a fairly small hydration pack, which let me carry a fairly minimal kit (X-T2, 12, 25, 35, 55, 135 primes, 70-300 zoom, Platypod and Manfrotto 293 tripod) plus 3L of water in the reservoir. For the first time this year I came back with water left over, having drank 2L of water over the course of the hike. This pack also has a mesh backrest with an air gap, reducing back sweat immensely. I'd stuffed an internal 2 lens separator into it and that worked very well for the small kit I was carrying (multiple lenses, but small & light ones)

The second and frankly more important change was that I got a Peak Design Capture Clip and used it heavily on the hike. This is a clip that allows you to hang your camera securely from a shoulder strap or belt.

I have some lingering injury issues with my right elbow that limits how long I can carry a camera in my hand, and the heavier the camera+lens, the less time I can carry it. I also hate neck straps in general, I find they get in the way when shooting and I can only carry a camera on my neck for an hour or two anyways, again the heavier the camera+lens, the shorter a period I can carry it that way. I'd been looking at both the PD Capture Clip and the Cotton Carrier solutions for a while, but hesitated to buy in because of the cost, especially the Capture Clip which is decidedly more expensive than the Cotton Carrier. I did like that the Capture Clip plates are Arca-Swiss compatible unlike the standard Cotton Carrier plate and the Capture Clip attaches to what I'm already carrying rather than requiring me to wear a dedicated harness. 

I decided to pick up a Capture Clip and try it out, because I really did need to find a better solution than a neckstrap. 

I initially tried the Capture Clip on my belt, which carried fine but was finicky to get the X-T2 clipped in. I then moved it to my left shoulder strap and that worked very well for 2/3rds of the hike. I've later found out that Peak Design has a solution for Belt use that will solve the issue I had.

The more important aspect of the Capture Clip however is the test I did today on my lunchtime walk. I put the Capture Clip retainer on my D750 and went for a walk with it and the Deuter pack. Carrying the D750 with a lens set but no water worked extremely well and I barely felt the D750 on the clip. That means that the D750 just became a viable hiking option again and I can stick to shooting interesting primes on the Fuji's and a mix of primes & zooms on the D750, which is my preferred setup anyways. So I'll definitely be keeping the D750 for now and probably investing in some more Capture Clips & plates.

No comments:

Post a Comment