|"The White Pelican" Anglesey © Glyn Davies 2011 - Click image to use sales site|
The perfect link between sea, land and sky, the realm of The White Pelican
I'm not sure why, but just recently, even faced with a sudden quiet patch in the gallery, I have been buying odds and sods to benefit my working methods, from specialist clothing to outdoor gear and camera accessories. In the freezing cold of winter, when your shooters' mitts are under Goretex mits and so on, it can be a fiddle to hold the camera, compose and lock off tripods all at the same time, without the benefit of tactile sensation in your fingers at least, so I recently invested in an old style Manfrotto 322 Pistol Grip. I bought this from the amazing Cambrian Photography in Colwyn Bay.
Manfrotto had promised to send me sample units to 'try before I buy' but they never acted on their promises so I just ended up visiting Cambrian instead, the best move by a long way! I looked at the beast of a 327 and it was clunky, and even with friction adjusted, way too imprecise to adjust minutely. The power you needed to squeeze the awkwardly placed right handed trigger was inordinately excessive, and after just five minutes of practice my fingers felt like I'd been half an hour on the climbing wall! Reversing the handle so that I could use in in my left hand was even worse, as the squeeze trigger had to be 'pushed' not pulled. The smaller 324 was much lighter but simply wouldn't hold the heavier camera/lens combinations during the test in the shop. If you adjust the friction wheel to compensate for this, then you could hardly move the trigger lever smoothly.
And then I was shown the old style 322 vertical joystick grip and it was spot on, in terms of ergonomics and ease of use. It was also cheaper, so I just bought it on impulse there and then.
Last weekend was my first chance to try it out for real and I am 95% happy with it. The 5% unhappiness is that it is still almost double the weight of the Compact Ball head I have been used to, and I noticed that the grip did 'creep' a little when using the 70-200 f4L IS fitted with a 1.4x converter. I compensated by setting it a few mms higher, but what I need to explore is increasing the friction a little more to negate the need to do that. Technically I should have just done it there and then but honestly, I was so busy looking at the beautiful landscape that I simply overlooked it ! I don't see myself using this grip in the hills, as it's just too heavy when I am trying to minimise what I carry, but I can see myself using it regularly for all other landscape work. Handily when you are over 6ft like me, the head itself gives you an extra few inches of shooting height, which reduces next strain !
All words and images are strictly copyright © Glyn Davies 2011 - All rights reserved
Glyn's landscapes are all available as 200 year archival prints on his website at www.glyndavies.com