My photographic journey

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Haven’t had much luck with tripod heads

In the last few weeks I’ve been on the search for a new tripod head. After extensive research, I settled on the Manfrotto MH055M0-Q5 Magnesium 055 Ball Head with Q5 Quick Release System to go with my Manfrotto 190CXPRO3 3-Section Pro Carbon Fiber Tripod. I received it, loved it, placed it on the tripod and attached the release plate to my camera. The moment of truth came when I slid the camera onto the mount and began to tighten the screw to hold the camera in place. After, maybe, three and half revolutions of the screw to tighten things, I heard a crack and I looked down and part of the QR platform, along with the screw, was in my hand. I was thankful I kept my other hand on the camera. The tripod head had broken. Boxed it up and off to Amazon it went. Just as an FYI, I hadn’t overtightened the screw, the camera was still loose when this had happened.

So, the research started again. I thought maybe instead of a ball head, I’d try a pan head. After some research and reading reviews I decided on a Giottos MH-5001 head this time around. I was super excited about it, paid to have it overnight shipped (I’m an Amazon Prime member, which is why I buy a lot of my stuff from Amazon) and eagerly awaited the arrival of the new head. I received it yesterday, unpackaged it, liked the heft it had and began to assemble it. After getting the handles on and then screwing it on to the tripod, I played with the locking handles and lo and behold, the locking handle that supports the platform the camera sits on wouldn’t tighten. I cursed my bad luck, packaged the head back up into the just delivered boxes and off to Amazon it went.

Now I have the original Oben BA-1 ball head that I received as part of a starter kit. It’s a nice head, it hasn’t broken, so there’s that but it doesn’t have enough adjustments for me. The panoramic and ball head are on the same screw. I also don’t like the QR plate (I’m a fan of the Arca-Swiss style). But again, so far it hasn’t broken on me and I give it big ups for that. At this point I think I’m just going to upgrade to the Oben BB-1, one of their higher end models that has the Arca-Swiss style QR and has separate adjustment knobs for panoramic and the camera itself plus for tension. One thing I don’t like about it is the bubble level sits under the camera once it’s been placed on the tripod. That seems counter-productive and sort of a major design flaw (but they aren’t the only company doing this).

I’m also looking at the Manfrotto 327RC2 joystick head but after my recent experience, I’m a little gun shy about purchasing another head from them. I know weirdness happens and I shouldn’t let that taint a well-known and well-used brand but as I said, I’m a bit gun shy at the moment. However, it has the QR style I don’t like but at least the bubble level is on the outside.

Any suggestions on tripod heads? The only reason I’m really looking at the bigger names is because once I find one that lasts, I want to know the company will be around with parts should I need them. Oben, it appears, is made specifically for B&H Photo Video and who knows how long they’ll be around (Oben, not B&H). I don’t think I need a super expensive head because I mostly use the tripod (at this point) to shoot the moon. I may do some landscape photography in the future though (urban not pastoral), so something sturdy but inexpensive (less than $200) would fit the bill for me.

BTW: I’ve been on vacation the last week, which is why you’ve been seeing more “leafier” photos. I’ve not been motivated to get up off my heiney to do much. I like to spend my one vacation a year in my pajama’s. 🙂

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Instagram says it now has the right to sell your photos

I just deleted my Instagram account. I’m fortunate that there wasn’t anything there that was really worthwhile but still, this new policy is concerning. It also makes me wonder about Facebook’s policy about intellectual property rights.

From CNET:

Instagram said today that it has the perpetual right to sell users’ photographs without payment or notification, a dramatic policy shift that quickly sparked a public outcry.

The new intellectual property policy, which takes effect on January 16, comes three months after Facebook completed its acquisition of the popular photo-sharing site. Unless Instagram users delete their accounts before the January deadline, they cannot opt out.

Under the new policy, Facebook claims the perpetual right to license all public Instagram photos to companies or any other organization, including for advertising purposes, which would effectively transform the Web site into the world’s largest stock photo agency. One irked Twitter user quipped that “Instagram is now the new iStockPhoto, except they won’t have to pay you anything to use your images.”