Archive for Nikon

Revised and updated my 3 1/2 season backpacking list today

Posted in backpacking, mountaineering, Photography, Reviews, Travel, ultralight techniques, Video with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 19, 2014 by William Hooks

I’ve added the super ultralight (SUL) Hyperlite Mountain Gear Summit pack at 12.7 oz, with correspondingly light MSR Carbon Core /titanium skewer stakes for shelters.

My current pack for an overnight trip including water, food, and an alcohol stove system weighs about 10 pounds, so I wear my Nikon camera under one shoulder strap- pull out 2 trekking poles- and go. This setup will allow me to stay out to conditions of about 25 degrees F.

Snow trip with HMG tarp

Posted in backpacking, mountaineering, Photography, Reviews, ultralight techniques with tags , , , , , , , , , on December 13, 2014 by William Hooks











At 7400 ft in the San Gabriel mountains, I finally got a chance to experience snow with this new shelter and it was all too brief, but great fun.

Used the ULA Catalyst pack, snow anchors instead of regular stakes, and 20 deg F Western Mtg Alpinlite 850 down sleeping bag/Vapor jacket.

Stayed on a torso length TR Neo Air pad atop Gossamer Gear groundsheet. This pack seems to be the winter ticket for my use- enough carrying capacity for what I usually use, and very light, well built. Setup was very easy, for both the shelter and the packup.

Light winds, clear with patchy clouds, about 30 deg air temperature…. sweet. If I didn’t have to work this evening……and I ‘ll be sure to bring bright wands to mark the location of this tarp in winter, since it blends with snow environments.

I’m finding that using trees at one or both ridgeline points as anchors yields very strong, versatile attachments for a wide variety of tarp rigs (especially more complex setups also using poles) and sticks easily exceed the heights of my trekking poles where I want to pitch a flying diamond, for example.DSCN1715




Tri City Park_2014_12_14

Newest images from 8000 ft with HMG flat tarp

Posted in backpacking, Photography, Reviews, Travel with tags , , , , , , on December 11, 2014 by William Hooks

A significant storm is predicted to head this way tomorrow evening. If we had 2,356 more storms like this we ‘d be caught up for water…..

Here are some shots I did with the Hyperlight Mountain Gear square tarp this afternoon above Wrightwood, CA:DSCN1666






Had some hot food in low 40 deg F temps and explored the area before returning to ‘civilization’. Saw no ostensible Republicans.

Just posted recently updated gear list for 3 1/2 season backpacking on a new page

Posted in Photography, Reviews, Travel, Video with tags , , , , , , , , , , on October 27, 2014 by William Hooks

I hope that this information will be of help to those who ‘d like to get in the ultralight backpacking game, and even stimulate discussion of other’s experiences and lists.

I didn’t include detailed discussion of options such as UL canister stoves from Soto and Snowpeak which I use as substitutes for alcohol stoves whe n they are prohibited by regulations (as is happening in some CA locales due to extreme drought conditions), and some other alternative gear I use at times. I didn’t include equipment for more comprehensive video in the backcountry, as much of that is mentioned incidentally in my separate gear list for alpine mountaineering.

Have fun out there- and vote anything but Republican (I mean, stay safe)!

To the Dark Side… I ‘ve gone Canon 5D Mark III

Posted in Captain's Personal Log, Photography, Photojournalism, Reviews, Video with tags , , , , , , , , on August 30, 2013 by William Hooks

After much consideration, I’ve taken the leap to the Canon HD-DSLR system and sold my Nikon system except for the Coolpix S9100. Admitting that I miss the built-in intervalometer of the D600 and especially its ability to create in-camera timelapses…..

Key features of the Canon 5D Mark III (5D3) over the Nikon D600 —FOR ME
1- Tethered shooting with Lightroom 4 (no need to upgrade to version 5)-but caveat emptor…
2- Power aperture in LiveView
3- LV histogram
4- CF and SD cards; I prefer the durability and ease of writing on CF cards in general, and the ease of just inserting an SD card into my notebook’s built-in slot is there when desired
5- Native ISO of 12800 for video
6- Selected better specs for stills incl bracketing, 6FPS, AF points, advanced multiple exposure
7- Time code, including drop-frame and other features (record and playback); at the least this will be used for shot logging, and potentially for post (multicam sync)
8- Ability to manually adjust sound settings, ISO, and exposure while recording video-silently!
9- Accepts the same Hoodman Custom Finder Baseplate
10- Video can be actuated remotely with a $30 RC-6 IR wireless unit and tethered for video and stills via a free
EOS Utility software download (Nikon-it’s free)
11- Extensive video clip info available after recording
12- In-camera slow motion review
13- EF lenses compatible with a wide variety of dedicated, advanced cinema systems such as BlackMagic, EOS C
Cinema camcorder series, and RED. I anticipate at some point venturing into the C 100/ C 300 universe.
14- This camera is a current industry standard for HD-DSLR filmmaking. As such, there is free and paid firmare and software available which is uniquely designed for Canon/5D3 such as the free Technicolor and Marvel Picture Styles.
There are also a number of hardware items made by Manfrotto and other companies which are specific to Canon firmware, such as the Sympla Remote Controller.

Taken in totality, I found these and other considerations to be compelling. Among the other things I though about was the issue of normalizing or standardizing the cameras throughout my crew- and everyone else is already using 5D2, 6D, and 7D. Doesn’t necessarily mean I won’t use Nikons in the future, I ‘m a huge fan of their lenses and flash for example. Very likely I’ll be using a Nikon D5200 for backpacking and timelapses. But for now, I’m starting off very happy indeed with the 5D3.

More stills from the ArtBus shoot- including the Nikon D4 on a hi-hat

Posted in Captain's Personal Log, Photography, Reviews, Video with tags , , , , , , , on August 27, 2013 by William Hooks

I used my 14-24mm f/2.8 Nikkor on the D4. The Hi-hat was wonderful for use in close and in small spaces. I had to take special care to warn of its presense because it’s so small, and had a $5000 camera on it.

The Marshall 5″ HDMI monitor works very well with this setup, allowing easy exposure checking, focus, and viewing; it also provides the option of flip-image (useful for the jib setup).