Tag Archives: Photo Gear

Canon EOS Rebel G

Canon EOS Rebel G body

Canon EOS Rebel G body

I was going to give this to a friend but now that’s not needed so i think I have a new camera. I wanted to find a simple and light 35mm camera that was better than a point and shoot. Also something cheap.

Super small and light for a SLR. It looks like a baby next to my EOS 3. I kinda want to put a 40mm f/2.8 pancake on here. The body is about 14oz (for comparison Canon 5D Mark III is 34oz.) and I think the 40mm lens is 4.6oz.

I don’t know if this will come on my next bike tour but based on size and weight it would be my first recommendation for a low cost SLR camera. If I still own this when I depart on my next tour I’ll be sure to put this in my box of spare crap I intend to leave with a friend so they can mail me replacement/re-up items.

Pros: cheap, light weight, very small for SLR, fun to use, uses any Canon EF lens.

Cons: all plastic so not super tough, only 3 auto focus points & they do not light up, viewfinder only shows 90%.

Made in Taiwan

Update: stolen Jan. 2013

Joby GorillaPod Micro 800 Tripod


Joby GorillaPod Micro 800 Tripod

Joby GorillaPod Micro 800 Tripod. Probably the smallest useable tripod.

I didn’t buy this, just saw one at the store. Kind of impressed and think it would be a good choice for a bike tour. Joby also makes a smartphone clamp that attaches.

Folded Length: 3 1/2 inches
Load Capacity: 1.7 lbs
Weight: 2.3oz (65g)

Tokina RMC 135mm f/2.8 lens

RMC Tokina 135mm f/2.8
Tokina RMC 135mm f/2.8 lens (image source)

This old lens was a gift from a friend of a friend. It didn’t take long for me to buy an adapter so it would fit to my Canon. Right away I did some test shots in my house using my DSLR. I was not super stoked on it and pretty much just set it aside for a few months before I decided to shoot half a roll on my SLR. The outdoor portrait shots were way better. And this is a good lens I’ll keep around. Small, light in weight, and really good for portraits. But I lose AF, not bad because the focus ring is very good, and I lose light metering. That second part is not so bad either but does slow down my shooting because I resort to a free phone app that calls its self a light meter to calculate exposure settings.
Anyway, only 50% chance this would come on tour with me. But maybe, it is build tough enough.

Cost: Free +$30 for adapter. I did see a couple on eBay for $50.

Made in Japan


#RIP Fuji Superia 400 36exp

fuji superia 400 35mm film

Fuji Superia 400 36exp

Today I learned that my favorite, and pretty much the only 35mm film I use, was discontinued about 3 weeks ago. I bought the last rolls I could find. Gonna look for more tomorrow.

I love this film. very good, and a good price. sad now.

I was getting this for under $3 a roll

There are other options, the 200 speed in 36exp for a few cents cheaper. Or the 400 speed BUT in only a 24exp for about the same price. Still confused about why Fuji cut the 400 36exp??

Argus C3

Argus C3 35mm rangefinder camera

An Argus C3 is not my first film camera but this is the camera that made me want to shoot 35mm film regularly. Unfortunately, the copy that got me hooked was only a loaner and I was again taking pictures with my only camera at the time, a Canon DSLR.

At some point I figured out that my DSLR lenses would fit onto an older Canon SLR, so i found a used Canon EOS 3 to shoot film again. Auto focus, light metering and auto film advance is all good but there is something really nice about a 60 year old, all manual rangefinder.

I did finally find an Argus C3 for sale on the street in Brooklyn. I knew what to look for to be pretty sure it worked. The seller was asking $20 but took $15.

Mine has a 50mm f/3.5 lens. All of them are really heavy. I like having black and white film in this camera.

Pros: 35mm film, no batteries, 50mm lens, made in US, conversation starter(rare-ish, looks cool), low cost, very tough build, the feeling of shooting thru a 70 year old lens and getting rad pictures back.

Cons: heavy, very small viewfinder, difficult to focus, max shutter speed is 1/300th, no light meter, must wrap up to carry or it will win in a backpack fight with whatever it rustles around with (they dont call it “the Brick” for nothing)

Made in USA

Samsung Galaxy SII


As of today if i was to go on another bike tour i would do the same as I did last time regarding phones. Almost the same. Take a phone device, that has no phone service, to use apps and have music and get online at wifi spots. But this time drop the iPhone 3G (that I quit using as a phone in mid 2011) and take the Galaxy SII(that i bought used late 2012). The SII is no longer the best phone out there but it does a lot.

  • Better camera w/ flash
  • Bigger screen
  • More storage
  • Swype will make Touring notes easier to do
  • I don’t like the music player as much as iTunes

None of this matters though. It’s gonna be a while before I do any tour long enough to cancel my phone service for. And by time that happens who knows where I’ll be phone-wise. I guess this is just me daydreaming about gear and travel. I keep looking at touring sites and photos online, imagining that I’m in my tent when really I’m really just trying to sleep in my bed. Today I weighed my two different tire lever sets to see the actual weight difference. 2 Park levers are .8oz (24g) and 2 Pedros levers are 1.4oz (42g). My passport weighs 1.1oz (34g) for comparison, and my SII is 4.7oz (134g) w/o charger.

Previously: iPhone (no phone plan)

Drift HD Action Camera


I have one of these and only use it a little bit. But if i wanted to take a wide angle video camera on a bike tour this would be the one, versus a GoPro or one of the lesser brands.

I like the Drift HD for three main reasons.

1. It has a dedicated screen. Some of the others are catching up on this point but they are add-ons. Or phone apps that have a time delay. Drift got it right early on.

2. The lens can be rotated. There are so many places a camera this small can be mounted. And many more if it need not be mounted level to the horizon or even right side up. The sensor rotates with the lens. So if i mount this at an odd angle i can look at what I’m getting on the screen and rotate the lens until im getting the shot I want.

3. It has a standard 1/4″ tripod mount. I have no idea why, other than selling more plastic crap to their customers, any camera would NOT have a 1/4″ tripod mount. GoPro does not have this so theirs must be mounted with their shitty plastic mounts that break and fail all the time.

I mount this to just about anything with a nano clamp and mini ball head

The battery life is good. The video quality is good. The sound is good. Its size is good. It charges with a common cable. It costs about the same as its competitors. Its weather resistance is good. And Drift sells replacement parts, if you were to crack the lens cover.



386B Nano Clamp and BD-0 Mini Ball Head

Screen Shot 2013-03-02 at 3.30.21 PM


Oben BD-0 Mini Ball Head and Manfrotto 386B Nano Clamp + 1/4″ – 3/8″ work well together. They do need a male 1/4″ To 3/8″ Adapter Stud to be attached but this makes a versatile low-weight way to mount a compact camera, or Drift HD action camera, just about anywhere on a bike. And at about any angle one could want. GoPro sucks with their limited, proprietary, plastic mounting system. I might tour with a small camera next time.

Cost for the set up: about $50
Weight: 5.9oz (169g)


Camera Cleaning Kit



A lens cloth, dust blower and lens brush make up a basic cleaning kit for my camera. I’m not sure where these things are made, other than the cloth, it’s made in Japan.

Just more shit I have to carry but keeping my camera clean while out on the road is important.

I collected these items over time. All together I probably spent $20

If I lost any of these items I’d buy another right away because any one is not very expensive and does a specific job well.


Manfrotto MTT2-P02

Manfrotto MTT2-P02 Table Tripod

Solid and easy to use. Alternately I have an Ultra-pod II (Made in USA) and have used it with both SLR and point and shoot on tours before. But from that experience I found that I needed something better. The plastic in the Ultra-pod does not keep a SLR stable. Just too much weight, but with a point and shoot it’s fine and the extra mounting options are great.

For shooting with a SLR the Manfrotto wins. 100% metal vs 100% plastic. This is just a bit smaller and marginally weightier. I’m OK with that because I want something that won’t sway in the wind.

I bought this from the B&H store in Manhattan.

Folded Length: 7″
Weight: 5.8oz (166g)
Load Capacity: 4.4 lbs
Cost: $25

Made in Italy


OP/TECH USA Super Classic Strap-Bino 3/8″

After using stock camera straps for a few years I, for some reason, decided to look for something more comfortable. Hmm. Maybe because the factory strap most cameras come with are really just logo holders. It’s not important to me that my camera strap is an advertisement, the opposite really. Give me simple black. But that’s not the main reason for this purchase. Comfort is. I might have my camera hanging from my neck all day. After getting this I’ve told some other new photographers about it. But it’s one of those things you gotta just try for yourself.

Tailored 2.0″ wide neoprene strap that uses a “Comfort-Stretch” binding with an internal “Control-Stretch” system for added support. There is a non-skid surface that won’t slip on shoulder.

Most new camera straps have quick-release clips on them, this is the Bino version and it’s the one w/o little plastic clips that hold the whole thing together. Makes no sense to me why anyone would want that. It only take about 10 seconds to remove the strap if I want it off the camera.

Bought from B&H store in Manhattan.

Cost: $20

Made in USA



Kodak 2CR5 Battery

Well, not all batteries are the same, some are made in USA and some are not. Buy two, the last thing I need is to miss a shot because I didn’t have a spare. An extra is small and light and I could be miles from the next camera shop when I need it most.

Bought at local camera shop.

Cost: $7

Made in USA



Canon EF 35mm f/2 Lens

This is not an expensive lens. It’s been in production for over 20 years. You can still buy one new but I’m sure they are all just old stock by now. It was introduced in 1990. It’s AF is noisy because of non-USM auto-focus drive motor but that don’t mean it can’t take a pretty picture.

7 oz. and smaller than 2″x3″

I bought this from the B&H store in Manhattan in 2007

Made in Japan

iPhone (no phone plan)

An old iPhone 3G that has no service. I’d use it like an iPod Touch. No phone, no data plan, no bill.

I can check email, weather, maps, and twitter and such. What more would I need?

The thought of bringing this has been on the seesaw more than anything else. Not for the decision to have a phone(that makes phone calls) or not. I know I do not want a phone while on tour. But rather the decision of having the internet in my pocket at all. I don’t really want to have the internet with me if I’m touring. But I likely will(meaning i think i will bring this). Although internet would only be in places that offer it, coffee shops, spots like that.

I figure I can post here and on twitter and email friends. I’d use the calculator in grocery stores to get the best deals.

It has an alarm and I’ll put some of my favorite Lil’ Wayne songs on there too.

Worth the weight? We’ll see.

I don’t think it would last through a long trip.

I bought this used from a friend who upgraded. I did use it as my phone for about 6 months but I got sick of giving AT&T money.

Cost: $80 used

Weight: 4.8oz (138g) w/o charger

Made in China