Filtering by Tag: mamiya 7ii

MeFOTO at Arecibo Observatory

  by Marketing MAC Group       Category Travel Photography       Tags puerto rico, matt hill, mamiya 7ii, film, Arecibo

 © Matt Hill

Mamiya 7II on MeFOTO Backpacker 

 © Matt Hill

A little bonus shot of another radio telescope from Arecibo. 

Hola! A couple of weeks ago I was lucky enough to grab some vacation in Puerto Rico.  Once we were there and started exploring, I learned that the movie-famous Arecibo Radio Observatory was within an hour of our hotel! You may remember this gargantuan dish from Goldeneye and Contact.

Note: This was an analog vacation, the exception being my iPhone. I only brought along film cameras and no laptop. Also, being primarily a Night Photographer, I am fascinated by the night sky and anything that has to do with the study of it.

So we hopped in the rental car and headed into the mountains. Crazy drive to get there, but worth it.  Once we turned off our cell phones (no radios allowed!) and hiked up the roadway, I was excited to see the above scene (and that I packed light).

After gawking like a tourist for a few minutes, I popped the trusty old Mamiya 7II onto my MeFOTO Backpacker and got a few shots. 

Final image from Mamiya to come after scanning 

BONUS: Interesting facts about Arecibo


Using a MeFOTO Backpacker as your 2nd or 3rd Tripod for Night Photography

  by Marketing MAC Group       Category Night Photography       Tags MeFOTO Backpacker, NYC, lomo belair 6-12, mamiya 7ii, nikon d700, toyo vx125

©Matt Hill
4x5" 4-minute exposure shot with MeFOTO Backpacker

I bring along a MeFOTO Backpacker on every night photography shoot I do. Why? It's perfect as the tripod for my second or third camera.

Wait? Second or third tripod? Is this guy crazy. In a word, yes. But not because I bring two or three cameras and tripods. This is logical.

My top reasons for using a MeFOTO Backpacker as my second or third camera for night photography:

  1. Lightweight: Does not add a lot of extra weight to the tripod bag
  2. Small: Being so tiny when folded makes room for other stuff like other tripods, umbrellas, softboxes and more.
  3. Ideal for film cameras: I use a Mamiya 7II (6x7cm film), LOMO Bel-Air X 6-12 Cityslicker (6x12cm film) and Toyo VX125 (4x5" film)- lightweight cameras well within the maximum weight capacity of  8.8 lbs. If you use a mirrorless digital camera, this is also ideal for you, but check out the maximum height to make sure it's comfy for your style. 
  4. Steady: My film exposures tend to be anywhere from 15 minutes to 2 hours. The MeFOTO Backpacker is solid as a rock, and looks good, too.
  5. Increased Productivity: If a digital exposure takes, on average, 2 - 8 minutes - what am I doing during those exposures? Using my second and third cameras to double and triple productivity! A-ha!

I bought my Backpacker tripod as soon as I saw the color. Yeah. I know. But I immediately also saw the above characteristics as a benefit and started using it on every shoot. Below, you can see the same shot on two cameras shot simultaneously. Double down and win!

Film exposure on LOMO Belair X 6-12, 4 mins at f/8 with MeFOTO Backpacker Tripod
Model: Heather Whatever. © Matt Hill from NIGHT PAPER series

Digital exposure on Nikon D700 + 14-24mm f/2.8 / 1 min at f/8 with primary tripod

Model: Heather Whatever. © Matt Hill from  NIGHT PAPER series

Toyo VX125 4x5" Film Camera at Great Sand Dunes Park in Colorado. © Matt Hill

Excuse the noise in this photo, it was warm and heat plus digital sensors = noise.

Believe it or not, my Toyo VX125 (only 5.5 lbs) handles really well. Here is an action shot from the Great Sand Dunes in Colorado during a 2 1/2-hour exposure I made, which sadly was too little on the new moon; there is no foreground detail and I had no interest in meeting the local wildlife.

The resulting image from the 4x5" camera. Not spotted for dust and processing chemistry artifact after scanning (sorry!). © Matt Hill

My green MeFOTO Backpacker in action at the 69th Street Transfer Bridge on NYC's West Side. © Matt Hill

It's also very good at low angles, as you can see below.

Film exposure on LOMO Belair X 6-12, 2 mins at f/8 with MeFOTO Backpacker Tripod

Model: Falana Fox. © Matt Hill from NIGHT PAPER series

Tack-sharp 4x5 image from Central Park in NYC, shot on a MeFOTO Backpacker tripod. © Matt Hill

Now please, pretty please check the weight of your camera before considering getting a MeFOTO Backpacker as your second or third tripod. Make sure it's 8.8 lbs or less to be safe. If you are using a film camera (and not a telephoto lens), chances are that you will be A-OK.

Matt Hill is a Night Photographer, Cut Paper Artist, Educator and MarCom Manager at MAC Group.

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