Fan Of… Uni-Loc tripods

This is a contribution to Jez Braithwaite’s Fan Of… #58 photo challenge.

Firstly I should say that I don’t know if Uni-Loc are still in business. I emailed them a couple of years ago and after an initial response never heard from them again.  Their Facebook page hasn’t been updated since 2012. I have been using the tripods since the early 1990s and used to know Ken Brett, the man behind the design.

Uni-Loc tripods are very different from most tripods. The system tripods can be disassembled and reassembled in a different configuration with an Allen key (wrench). The legs can be locked at almost any angle and all three lock with a single locking lever. The bottom leg sections are sealed meaning that they can be submerged up to the locking knob without taking on water. If you submerge the legs above the first section they can quickly be removed and drained with an Allen key (wrench).

They aren’t a tripod I would recommend to most photographers, they’re heavy and bulky when folded but in deep water, snow or mud they’re my first choice.

 

Fan Of... Uni-Loc tripods

In 1995 I spent the summer in Saskatchewan, Canada. I took my medium sized Uni-Loc tripod with me in case I needed to use a tripod in water or mud.

 

Fan Of... Uni-Loc tripods

A Willet photographed on a shallow slough near Punnichy, Saskatchewan with the tripod. Some of the sloughs in the area can be quite alkaline so the sealed legs were useful. I could rinse any mud off the legs when I got a chance to.

 

Wordless Wednesday: 5th February 2020

To get into position for this photo I waded through knee high snow and then pushed the tripod legs down into the snow for maximum stability.

 

Fan Of... Uni-Loc tripods

The tripod in use on the Colpoy’s Bay shoreline at sunrise. I was photographing the waves forming icicles. By the time I was ready to pack the tripod away two of the legs were frozen to the pebbles.

 

Wordless Wednesday: 18th December 2019

What I was photographing while the tripod was freezing to the pebbles.

 

Fan Of… Old Fashioned Spirit Levels

This is a contribution to Jez Braithwaite’s Fan Of… #57.

These are the various spirit (bubble) levels I use to level cameras. The large ones are carried in each of my regularly used camera bags. They were originally used for leveling desktop processors in darkrooms. I walked into a camera store in the early 1990s and there was five of the levels on sale in the corner of a display cabinet. I brought them all and have been using them on the quick release clamps of my various tripod heads ever since.

The smaller (inaccurate) levels I glue to camera supports and brackets with epoxy resin. The epoxy allows me to adjust the level so that it reads accurately.

I still use them despite many of the modern digital cameras have electronic levels built in.

Fan Of... Old Fashioned Technology

 

Fan Of… OM Zuiko 350mm lens, part 2

This is a contribution to Jez Braithwaite’s Fan Of… #56 photo challenge and part two of my ramble about the Olympus OM Zuiko 350mm lens I have been using since 1996. If you missed part one it’s here.

Part 2 is about some of the unexpected photos taken with the lens.

 

Fan Of... OM Zuiko 350mm lens part 2

The 350mm lens set up in the snow on the South Bruce Peninsula in 2009.

 

Fan Of... Olympus OM Zuiko 350mm lens

A rain drop in the rain. Taken while waiting for some birds to visit the yard in 2018.

 

Tuesday Photo Challenge - Trees

Hoarfrost covered trees on snow covered farmland at sunrise near Punnichy, Saskatchewan in 1998. I was scouting a location to photograph a moonrise.

 

Fan Of... OM Zuiko 350mm lens

While waiting for the moon to rise over the snow covered farmland in the above photo I photographed a group of White-tailed Deer across a small valley at dusk.

 

Fan Of... OM Zuiko 350mm lens, part 2

A Prairie Lily, the provincial flower of Saskatchewan photographed near Punnichy, Saskatchewan in 1998.

 

A giant sun pillar.

A sun pillar behind Chantry Island, Lake Huron, Ontario in 2005. The biggest and brightest sun pillar I have ever seen made even bigger by using the 350mm.

 

Banded Demoselles.

A female Banded Demoselle egg laying while being watched by a male. Photographed in southern Cheshire in 1997. The insects were in the middle of a water inlet to a reservoir several metres from solid ground. So I used a long forgotten mix of extension tubes and teleconverters behind the lens to get the magnification and close focusing I needed.

 

Fan Of… Olympus OM Zuiko 350mm

This is a contribution to Jez Braithwaite’s Fan Of… #55 and a ramble about a lens I have been using for 24 years.

I brought the Olympus OM Zuiko 350mm f/2.8 used in 1996 and over the past 24 years it has been used to photograph a wide variety of subjects. The idea for this post came from exchanging comments with Jez after my recent Fan Of… Olympus Cameras post.

Having owned the lens for so long I have thousands of photos taken with it and I was having a very hard time selecting just five or six for this post. So this will be part one of two, this post will cover bird and wildlife images while the second post will cover everything else.

 

Fan Of... Olympus OM Zuiko 350mm

The 350mm lens on my home made ground pod. The ground pod dates back to the early 1990s.

 

Flying Osprey with flying fish.

An Osprey with a White Sucker on the Lake Huron shoreline in Southampton, Ontario in 2008.

 

Sunlit Squirrel.

An American Red Squirrel in dappled sunlight on the South Bruce Peninsula, Ontario in 2018.

 

Cee's Fun Foto Challenge: Summer Scenes

American White Pelicans on a channel where a marsh drains into a section of the Last Mountain Lake National Wildlife Area, Saskatchewan in 1999. I was sitting in the water with the lens on a tripod in the water with me.

 

A displaying Eurasian Wren

A Eurasian Wren singing in the spring of 1997 at a reservoir in south Cheshire, England.

 

Ruby-throated Hummingbird juvenile.

A juvenile Ruby-throated Hummingbird in flight on the South Bruce Peninsula, Ontario in 2018.

 

Recently emerged from hibernation.

A Richardson’s Ground Squirrel looking for something to eat having just emerged from hibernation in the spring of 1998. Taken close to the town of Punnichy, Saskatchewan, Canada.

 

Fan Of… Olympus Cameras

A contribution to Jez Braithwaite’s Fan Of… #54 challenge and a ramble about some of the Olympus cameras I have used over the years.

 

Fan Of... Olympus Cameras

A trio of my Olympus OM system cameras, fom left to right, my OM1 from 1976, my first OM2N from 1981 and my OM4T from 1998. I gave the photo an old fashioned film look with Snapseed as it seemed appropriate.

 

trees in snow, Hatherton, Cheshire, England.

An early photo taken with the OM1 in late 1976 or early in 1977. Trees in the snow, Hatherton, Cheshire. I had previously taken a very similar shot with my Zenit E camera but something happened to the negatives so I had to reshoot the scene the next time there was snow.

 

Fan Of... Olympus Cameras

One of the last shots I took using the OM system. Canada Day fireworks on the Lake Huron shoreline in Southampton, Ontario on Canada Day 2007. Taken with a telephoto lens from nearly a mile away.

 

Fan Of... Olympus Cameras

44 years of Olympus cameras. The back row consists of the three OM system cameras in the first photo. The front row is, on the left, my E-410 from 2007 and on the right my OM-D E-M10 Mark II from last year. The photo was given a Polaroid type border with Snapseed.

 

Friendly Friday: Sunrise.

The fourth shot taken with the Olympus E-410. The Lake Huron shoreline in Southampton at sunrise. The range light at the mouth of the Saugeen River is also visible in the Canada Day fireworks photo above.

 

Spring colour on the South Bruce Peninsula.

The sixth shot taken with the OM-D E-M10 Mark II. I was still on crutches after my accident and had only been out of rehab for about a week. One of the few photos taken with the kit lens that came with the camera.

 

Fan of… Old Fashioned Camera Bags

This is a contribution to Jez Braithwaite’s Fan Of… #53 challenge and a long, rambling post about camera bags.

I used the same brand and model range of camera shoulder bags for years. I got my first Tenba Pro Pak, a P595 in 1981. They were so new to the U.K. I picked it up from the importer/distributor as they didn’t have any retailers in place. I went on to get two more sizes of the bags over the next decade. I tried different brands of shoulder bags over the years but ended up going back to the Pro Pak bags every time.

My P595 in the snow at Hatherton, Cheshire, England in 1982.

A Fan Of..... Old Fashioned Camera Bags

 

Tenba discontinued the range around 2003 but it was no big deal, my bags were still going strong. They had a few stains that wouldn’t wash out but all the zips and closures still worked as if new.

However, as a result of going digital I was carrying less equipment and on occasions my smallest Tenba bag was now too big. Plus the Pro Pak bags with all their external pockets were never exactly discrete and there was times a more understated bag would have been nice. So after researching what was available I picked up a Domke F-6, a small and plain looking bag in sand canvas.

To show that some things stay the same here’s the Domke F-6 in the snow a few years ago. Around 35 years after the photo of the Tenba in the snow was taken.

A Fan Of..... Old Fashioned Camera Bags

 

I liked the simple design of the F-6 so much that two or three years ago I got the larger Domke F-2 in RuggedWear to haul my DSLR and large auto focus zoom lenses around. RuggedWear is the Domke name for waxed cotton fabric used in some waterproof jackets.

The design of the F-2 goes back to the 1970s and it’s basically a bag with a flap, a pocket at each end and two small, open pockets on the front.

Just for a change, the F-2 sitting on a rock rather than in snow.

Domke F-2 in brown RuggedWear.

 

That’s not the end of this long, rambling story however. Last spring I fell of a ladder and ended up with restricted movement in the right shoulder and a weaker right arm. As a result I had to make some changes to my kit. I went to a smaller, lighter mirrorless camera and for a lot of my personal work I put together a lightweight kit of three manual focus primes that fit into a tiny Domke F-5XB.

The Domke F-5XB hanging from a tripod on the Colpoy’s Bay shoreline at sunrise.

My small and light mirrorless camera kit.

 

I should add that I’m not recommending Domke to anyone. They’ve gone out of fashion with a lot of photographers due to their lack of padding and security. I use very flexible third party padded inserts in the F-2 and F-6 rather than the poorly designed Domke padded inserts. I have always preferred a quick to open and access bag so don’t care about the lack lack of security. Indeed, the extra security of the zip on the Domke F-5XB is proving to be a minor annoyance.