Tip of the Month
Buy this! If you own a camera with a pop-up flash, buy this! I've never made just a declarative statement before, but I think this product is the best thing since ... sliced bread, or whatever the cliche' is.
I sort of retired my 7D cameras, although I always liked the fact that the camera was so light and, with the 1.6 crop factor, was a good wildlife camera with the appropriate lenses. There are negatives, of course, but bottom-line, this lightweight camera was a great and handy piece that was light enough and convenient enough to take on any hike. Because I regularly don't do that, I've missed some incredible opportunities with Spectacled Bears in Ecuador, Pumas in Chile, and various wildlife in the US. That may have just changed!
The Rogue Safari is a tele-flash unit that slips on to your camera's hotshoe. Afterwards, pop up your pop-up flash and you're ready to go. The unit is extremely lightweight, and maintains a fairly low profile, so carrying the camera and a telephoto lens over your shoulder won't cause many problems in snagging, and you won't even know its on.
The web site lists 8X, that's almost three stops of light, not eight, at 30 feet, 5X - just over two stops, at 50 feet, 2 stops at 60 feet. I haven't tested the ranges myself, but frankly I'm not worried about that. I see the Rogue Safari's use when I'm hiking the jungles in South America, or stalking warblers and songbirds at my home here in Hoot Hollow, or in Arizona where I may bump into a Trogon or Painted Redstart and fill-flash will be essential. At these distances I'm not worried about 50 or 60 feet, I'm going to be 30 feet or less, and the added boost of the Safari will be perfect.
from the Rogue website
If you are anything like me, I'm sure there have been times when you've thought twice about lugging a telephoto and pro body camera with a traditional hotshoe flash mounted around just in case you saw something. Granted, a good photographer shouldn't think twice about that ... but sometimes I'm happy just for the walk and the sightings although I've regretted the missed shots when they did happen. With the Safari, a 7D and a 100-400 or 400mm 5.6, I've got the perfect combination for a 'kick around kit,' lightweight and handy. I'm positive I'll be catching stuff I've missed before with the new combo.
Four points. The Safari is not compatible with the Canon 10D, 20D, 30D, 40D, or 50D. It is not compatible with the Nikon D600, D700, and D800, nor with Sony DSLR cameras (this is from their web site). It is compatible with most Canon APS-C sensor DSLRs, and all Nikon DX sensor DSLR cameras.
Two, the first time you mount the Rogue Safari it may not fit into your camera's hotshoe, or so it may seem. My hotshoe mount was so tight that I was afraid that by forcing the Safari I'd break it, and I emailed the company to check. I was assured I wouldn't break it, and as the instructions indicate, after one or two forceful insertions into the camera hotshoe the unit slips in easily. So don't panic the first time you try to use it.
Three, the unit lists for $19.95, so you simply can't go wrong. Honestly, I can't see how anyone owning one of the compatible cameras wouldn't have one of these. The unit is so inexpensive, how can you lose? You can order one from Hunt's Photo - mention you read about it here and I think you'll get a discount. Contact Alan Samiljan, at 781-462-2383, my representative at Hunt's Photo, for ordering.
Four, because there is no parallax between the lens and the flash, you are likely to get some version of red-eye (or green eye, blue eye, etc., depending upon the species). Unless a flash is held away from the lens, and depending upon how far the subject is requires greater and greater distances between flash and lens, you get red-eye. However, that's easy to correct in Photoshop, and with small birds it might not even be noticeable. For me, this is a non-issue considering the efficiency of the piece.
Previous Tips, July 2009 onward
Converting Color to B&W
Using Extension Tubes with a Zoom Lens
Nature Photography Magazine
Bataflae Photo Backpack
The Guide to Tropical Nature Photography
Essential Gear for Safaris
Take our Digital Nature Photo Course FIRST!
GPS and Home Security
Range IR Camera Remote
Gitzo Monopod 5561T Monopod
Easy Macro with Extension Tubes and Zoom Lenses
FotoSharp Camou Rain Covers
Canon 17mm T/S Lens
Locking Button for the Canon 7D
NIK HDR Program
Silver Efex Pro for Black and White Images
Beware the DELL Software Solution Rip Off
How and What We Pack for Trips
Canon Digital Learning Center
The Movie Mode with the Canon Mark IV
Batch Renaming in Bridge and CS5
Alternate Uses of some Bogen Products
Using High ISO and Live View for Focusing in Dim Light
Art Print Scams for Hungry Photographers
Hungry Vultures ruin vehicles in the Everglades
Use a Short Lens for Depth of Field
Get Professional Help!
Access America Trip Insurance
Bogen Base for Macro Work
Archived Tips of the Month
prior to July 2009
Most of my original Tips of the Month for the last several
years are available through this link. Warning - some of the links are broken, so some are not available at this time. Also, the 'look' is from my
original web site, although if I ever have enough time I might redo these pages to match the new web site But that's not a high priority.
Check out our latest website,
where we'll be adding portfolios and eventually building up
a searchable data base for photo buyers. We've just started,
and the selection is limited, but it is still worth a visit!
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