Photography News Issue 46

Photography News | Issue 46 |

34 Accessories test

Buyers’ guide Travel right You’ve booked your ideal photo trip and waited for the opportunity; now it’s time to take some great shots. But hang on – is your kit up to the job? Take a look at this month’s list of recommended travel gear, and you’re sure to find something to improve your travel shooting...




Nest Explorer EX50 Shoulder Bag £30

3 Lee Filters’ 100mmSuper Stopper ND £99 ND filters are a vital part of the travel photographer’s arsenal, enabling you to use long exposures when the light wouldn’t normally allow. And this means you can, for instance, blur crowds of people at tourist hotspots, allowing you to focus attention on architecture or monuments. Lee Filters’ Big Stopper pretty much revolutionised the use of long exposures, and now there’s the Super Stopper, which gives even more light-dimming potential. The Super Stopper is an ND glass filter rated at 15 stops, so you can get slow shutter speeds even in the brightest sunlight; for instance taking a 1/1000sec shutter speed as low as 15 seconds. It’s available in 100mm size to fitmost filter holders, and also in larger SW150 (150x150mm) and smaller Seven5 (75x90mm) fits. 4 Joby GorillaPod SLR- Zoomplus BH1 head £65 If you want to keep your kit to the absolute minimum, but still have the option of creative effects like long exposures or time-lapse, why not try a mini-tripod? The SLR- Zoom tripod from Joby’s GorillaPod range is the second biggest in the line-up, but still weighs only 340g (with ballhead) and supports up to 3kg. That means you can mount a large DSLR and lens pretty much anywhere the flexible legs can be wrapped around. Non-slip rubber feet mean the legs can also be used in a regular stance, at a maximum height of 25cm, or splayed to shoot as low as 5cm. The legs are available alone for around £40, but for an extra £25 you get a BH1 ball head and quick-release plate included.


There’s a lot to be said for travelling light, and Nest’s Explorer EX50 shoulder bag is a great choice if you want to streamline your kit. With internal dimensions of 20x10x16cm, it’ll fit a small DSLR or CSC, plus an extra couple of modestly sized lenses and a 7in tablet. At 365g it’s light, so won’t contribute much to the weight of your kit, but that doesn’t mean it lacks features or build quality: the outer is water-resistant 210D rip-stop nylon, and its zips are premium YKK branded; and it has a proper rain cover for the worst of the weather. The bag is available in photographers’ favourite black, or vibrant blue, lime green or orange. Rather than taking several lenses on your travels, there’s a lot to be said for a single, shoot-anything option: the travel zoom. The variety of focal lengths on offer mean you can shoot most subjects from landscapes to wildlife without switching glass, and while there are compromises to using a single lens, if you pick a model such as Sigma’s 18-200mm f/3.5- 6.3, you’ll be assured of sharp, contrasty images throughout its extensive focal range. Fitting Canon, Nikon, Sigma, Sony and Pentax mounts, it’s designed for APS-C sensors and is small (86mm long) and light (430g), but keeps build-quality high. Sigma’s Optical Stabilizer will help you out in low- light conditions, and what’s more, its macro feature enables focusing as close as 39cm for detailed shots. 2 Sigma 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 DCMacro OS HSM£290



Rogue Flashbender 2XL Pro Lighting System£125

Kenro Karoo Ultimate Travel Tripod Kit £185

Tamron SP 45mm f/1.8 Di VC USD £600




Shooting portraits on your travels usually means responding to the natural light as best you can, or if possible bouncing your flash off walls or ceilings to improve the look. If you want more control, the Rogue Flashbender 2 XL Pro Lighting System is small and light enough to take with you. The kit includes a Pro Reflector, Pro Soft Box Diffuser and Pro Strip Grid, allowing you to shape the light perfectly and with its folding design it can be flattened, fitting into an included bag or a 15in laptop compartment. It’s incredibly light, too, weighing only 391g, yet expands to a whopping 254x280mm, creating a large light source and therefore lots of low- contrast, soft illumination.

On your travels, making efficient gear choices is important – you need as many creative options as possible at theminimumweight. For instance, your tripod needs to be light, strong and pack down small. The Karoo Ultimate Travel Tripod kit ticks all the boxes in this regard. Made of strong, eight-layer carbon fibre, it’s still light enough to carrywith ease at 1.93kg, including its BC2 ball head. It reaches a maximum height of 187cm and packs down to 48cm, while the centre column can swing out or be fully reversed. One of the legs can be detached for use as a monopod, too. The maximum load is a hefty 10kg, so it’s no compromise, and it’s guaranteed for six years. A short centre column, spiked and rubber feet and a carry case are included.

While the versatility of zoom lenses can make us a bit lazy, using a prime lens on your travels is a great way to focus your mind, particularly a standard focal length, which gives a view similar to the human eye. Check out Tamron’s 45mm f/1.8, part of the company’s high-quality SP line-up, offering classy build, performance and image quality. Coming in Canon and Nikon fits, it’s useful for a wide variety of subjects, like landscapes and street, while the f/1.8 maximum aperture is perfect for low-light city scenes and portraits. A 29cm minimum focus distance alsomakes it great for detail shots on your travels, while the lens’s Vibration Compensation feature helps keep everything pin sharp, even at slow shutter speeds.

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