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My Canon EOS 1D Mk III Survived in Songkran Water Festival 2011

Incessant Songkran - Photo by Kristupa Saragih
Incessant Songkran - Photo by Kristupa Saragih

Incessant Songkran - Photo by Kristupa Saragih

Songkran สงกรานต์ is one of important festivals in Thailand. People celebrates Thai traditional New Year by throwing water to symbolize cleansing for good fortune. This annual festival is celebrated throughout this Buddhist country.

Canon EOS 1D Mk III and Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM in Songkran #1

Canon EOS 1D Mk III and Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM in Songkran #1

Photographically, Songkran is a must-shoot opportunity. This is the first year I shoot Songkran, together with a group of fellow Indonesian photographers. We went to Silom and Khao San in Bangkok to capture the “water battle”.

I realized that keep camera safe, it had to be covered properly against water. All fellows covered their gears with various brands of plastic rain cover for photography gears. Considering my Canon EOS 1D Mk III is weather-resistant and splash-proof, I did not put any cover.

The only cover in camera body is Camera Armor. It is not a protection for water, as actually Camera Armor is designed only to protect camera body from scratch and impact. Anyway, the lens I used Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM was not covered by anything.

Canon EOS 1D Mk III and Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM in Songkran #2

Canon EOS 1D Mk III and Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM in Songkran #2

I read in a photography magazine a story about photographer shooting similar festival in India using Canon EOS 1Ds Mk II. The camera was totally showered by colored water, and it was working normally. To clean it up after shooting, the photographer switched off the camera body, took off the lens and put the body cap on, then gave a flowing hot-water from a hose. The camera then got dried up properly, and worked again normally.

A couple years ago, I went to shoot traditional bull race in rice field in West Sumatra, Indonesia. A fellow Singaporean photographer somehow fell down into the mud of rice field. He got himself covered by mud all over his body, and so was the camera which was Canon EOS 1Ds Mk II.

He then went to a nearby house, got himself a hose and gave a flowing water to the camera body to clean it up from mud. After giving it a proper drying up, the camera then worked properly with no single malfunction. I noticed it myself and it convinced me to go to Songkran without any water protection to my EOS 1D Mk III.

Canon EOS 1D Mk III and Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM in Songkran #3

Canon EOS 1D Mk III and Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM in Songkran #3

Me and my group hit the road of Silom in downtown Bangkok around 9 AM. Then, after lunch, we continued to shoot more extreme water battle of Songkran in Khao San Road. No one, I repeat: no one, came out dry from Khao San. It was around 4 PM in the afternoon when we decided to cease fire and struggled to come out from water-battleground.

My camera and lens was totally wet. Some part of the camera body and lens even got some powder, as powder is also part of the water-battle of Songkran. I took some proof pictures of my camera and lens using my mobile phone. My wallet, mobile phone and some other important stuff was kept in a splash-proof plastic bag.

As written in the specification, Canon EOS 1D/1Ds serie is designed to endure the weather, including water splash. No, it is not designed to be waterproof, if you tried to sink it into water. It is designed for professionals working in unfriendly shooting situation and extreme condition.

And I feel satisfied to prove myself that Canon EOS 1D Mk III works and functions normally until now.

Songkran 2011 in Khao San, Bangkok - photo by Kristupa Saragih | taken by BlackBerry 9780

Songkran 2011 in Khao San, Bangkok - photo by Kristupa Saragih | taken by BlackBerry 9780

After succeeded to get out from Songkran water-battleground in Khao San, Bangkok. From left: Armand, Yoyon, Dimar (sit), myself, Romi and Edy. All Indonesian photographers.

After succeeded to get out from Songkran water-battleground in Khao San, Bangkok. From left: Armand, Yoyon, Dimar (sit), myself, Romi and Edy. All Indonesian photographers.

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Disain “Swing” Black Rapid RS-7 Camera Strap

Black Rapid RS-7. Photo by Kristupa Saragih
Black Rapid RS-7. Photo by Kristupa Saragih

Black Rapid RS-7. Photo by Kristupa Saragih

Fungsi memang perlu, tapi kenyamanan pun penting tanpa mengorbankan keamanan. Ide membuat camera strap seperti Black Rapid RS-7 patut diacungi jempol. Tak membungkukkan tengkuk dan tak mengiritasi leher namun responsif, aman dan nyaman.

Black Rapid RS-7 dalam posisi diselempangkan. Photo by Kristupa Saragih

Black Rapid RS-7 dalam posisi diselempangkan. Photo by Kristupa Saragih

Bisa dibilang 99 persen bodi kamera pasti diikatkan pada camera strap. Sedemikian penting fungsi camera strap, semakin kritis pula fotografer menyikapi disainnya. Ada camera strap yang dibuat dengan bahan lentur, ada pula yang terbuat dari bahan anti-slip dan ada pula disain camera strap yang mudah dilepas-pasang.

Black Rapid mendisain RS-7 secara cerdik.

Bisa dibilang RS-7 merupakan shoulder-swing camera strap, untuk membedakannya dengan disain konvesional yang digantung di leher. Dalam keadaan standby, kamera terselempang tapi dalam posisi bodi mudah diraih tangan. Jika hendak bersiaga, kamera mudah diraih dan dibidikkan lantas secara nyaman diselempangkan kembali sesuai memotret.

Ujung RS-7 ditancapkan ke bodi kamera dengan baut yang bisa dipasang dengan mudah dan cepat di tripod mount. Kait yang diterpasang di baut berjenis fleksibel dan bisa diputar 360 derajat. Spesifikasi teknis menyebutkan kait dan baut bisa pula dipasang ke tripod-collar mount di lensa 70-200mm f/2.8 dan mampu menanggung beban lensa berikut bodi kamera.

Black Rapid RS-7 dalam posisi kamera dibidikkan. Photo by Kristupa Saragih

Black Rapid RS-7 dalam posisi kamera dibidikkan. Photo by Kristupa Saragih

Dengan segala fleksibilitas dan kenyamanannya, RS-7 tetap mengedepankan fungsi dan kemudahan. Meski demikian, perlu ada waktu ekstra untuk melepas baut jika bodi kamera hendak dipasang di tripod. Pada waktu berjalan dalam keadaan kamera diselempangkan, sebaiknya tangan tak jauh-jauh dari bodi kamera agar posisi kamera tetap terjaga.

RS-7 disarankan untuk dipakai fotografer semi-pro, pehobi serius fotografi dan peminat pemula fotografi. Harga berkisar Rp 500-600 ribu relatif terjangkau mengingat bahan ripstop nylon dan bomb-proof webbing tentu tak murah, demikian pula dengan baut dan kait yang kuat.

Pilihan jenis camera strap memang amat pribadi, tak sama bagi semua fotografer lantaran sesuai selera masing-masing. Tapi RS-7 patut dipertimbangkan bagi penyuka street photography. Selain itu, jika tak banyak memakai tripod dan monopod, RS-7 terasa amat nyaman dan bisa diandalkan.

Jika memakai dua bodi kamera secara bersamaan, ada tipe camera lain buatan Black Rapid yang bisa dipertimbangkan.

Black Rapid RS-7. Photo by Kristupa Saragih

Black Rapid RS-7. Photo by Kristupa Saragih

Black Rapid RS-7 dalam posisi preview LCD kamera. Photo by Kristupa Saragih

Black Rapid RS-7 dalam posisi preview LCD kamera. Photo by Kristupa Saragih


Disain “Stylish” Lowepro Classified Sling 220 AW

Lowepro Classified Sling 220 AW nyaman disandang. Foto oleh: Kristupa Saragih
Lowepro Classified Sling 220 AW. Foto oleh: Kristupa Saragih

Lowepro Classified Sling 220 AW. Foto oleh: Kristupa Saragih

Ada banyak tipe tas kamera produksi Lowepro. Sebagian besar bersosok garang penakluk segala medan pemotretan. Tapi ada seri Classified yang berdisain stylish, modern dan minimalis.

Dari sekian banyak line-up di seri Classified, model termutakhir adalah tipe sling berlabel Lowepro Classified Sling 220 AW. Tipe sling punya disain khas berupa tas selempang. Bukan berupa tas sandang, bukan pula tas punggung. Tas tipe sling mempermudah akses mengambil kamera di tas tanpa melepas tas dari badan.

Kapasitas muat Lowepro Classified Sling 220 AW: 1 bodi pro-DSLR dengan lensa 70-200mm f/2.8 terpasang, 1 bodi medium-DSLR, 1 lensa lebar dan 1 flash serta 1 laptop 15.4 inci. Foto oleh: Kristupa Saragih

Kapasitas muat Lowepro Classified Sling 220 AW: 1 bodi pro-DSLR dengan lensa 70-200mm f/2.8 terpasang, 1 bodi medium-DSLR, 2 lensa tambahan dan 1 flash serta 1 laptop 15.4 inci. Foto oleh: Kristupa Saragih

Tipe sling membuat Lowepro Classified Sling 220 AW punya akses mudah untuk buka tas dan ambil kamera dengan cepat. Foto oleh: Kristupa Saragih

Tipe sling membuat Lowepro Classified Sling 220 AW punya akses mudah untuk buka tas dan ambil kamera dengan cepat. Foto oleh: Kristupa Saragih

Classified Sling 220 AW berkapasitas 1 bodi pro-DSLR, 1 bodi medium-DSLR, 1 lensa 70-200mm f/2.8 yang terpasang di bodi pro-DSLR, 2 lensa tambahan dan 1 flash. Ada juga ruang penyimpan laptop yang mampu membuat hingga ukuran widescreen 15,4 inci. Akhiran AW, yang kependekan dari All Weather, menandakan tas ini dilengkapi sarung pembungkus kedap siraman air.

Akses membuka tas amat mudah dengan sandangan model sling ini. Tali tas cukup lebar dan tebal, sehingga pundak nyaman dan tak terasa berat. Posisi kantong-kantong tas berada pada posisi yang aman untuk penyimpanan sekaligus mudah diakses saat dibutuhkan cepat.

Tas Lowepro Classified Sling 220 AW direkomendasikan untuk fotografer dengan perlengkapan profesional. Volume ruang penyimpan cukup memadai tapi ringkas. Disain tas yang elegan bisa mendukung penampilan fotografer profesional yang membutuhkan citra terpandang di depan klien.

Disain pula yang membuat tas ini aman karena penampilan yang menyamarkan fungsi sebagai tas kamera. Untuk bepergian, letak kantong-kantong penyimpan cukup efektif dan aman. Bahan pembungkus tas terlihat apik sekaligus fungsional untuk melindungi peralatan fotografi di dalam tas.

Lowepro Classified Sling 220 AW nyaman disandang. Foto oleh: Kristupa Saragih

Lowepro Classified Sling 220 AW nyaman disandang. Foto oleh: Kristupa Saragih


Camera Armor Lindungi Kamera Sekaligus Buat Penampilan Gagah

Tulisan pada tombol terlihat jelas, demikian pula layar LCD. Terlihat hot shoe juga terlindung rapi. Camera Armor dipasang pada Canon EOS 1D Mk III. Foto oleh: Kristupa Saragih
Camera Armor & Canon EOS 1D Mk III - Foto oleh: Kristupa Saragih

Camera Armor & Canon EOS 1D Mk III - Foto oleh: Kristupa Saragih

Semua fotografer setuju bahwa bodi kamera adalah alat penting dalam pekerjaan memotret. Harganya mahal dan musti dijaga baik-baik. Tanpa kamera, pasti tak bisa memotret.

Bodi Canon EOS 1D Mk III yang saya pakai memang sudah didesain untuk tahan berbagai situasi ekstrem. Selain kedap percikan air, juga kedap debu. Kamera kelas profesional ini memang sudah saya buktikan sendiri kehandalannya di lapangan.

Meski demikian, pekerjaan sebagai profesional menuntut fotografer siap di berbagai situasi, beragam kondisi dan situasi tak terduga. Sebagai sahabat sejati, tentu kamera harus dilindungi. Kamera musti tetap bisa ditembakkan dan musti selalu menghasilkan foto kualitas terbaik.

Warna hitam doff. LCD atas masih terlihat jelas. Camera Armor dipasang pada Canon EOS 1D Mk III. Foto oleh: Kristupa Saragih

Warna hitam doff. LCD atas masih terlihat jelas. Camera Armor dipasang pada Canon EOS 1D Mk III. Foto oleh: Kristupa Saragih

Urusan goresan bisa saja dianggap sederhana, tapi tentu sayang melihat kamera andalan penuh parutan di tubuhnya. Demikian juga pelindung layar LCD belakang yang tak cukup hanya selapis plastik tipis. Untuk fungsi-fungsi itu, saya mencoba memasangkan Camera Armor ke EOS 1D Mk III.

Camera Armor dipasang pada Canon EOS 1D Mk III. Tampak LCD atas dan LCD belakang bagian bawah terlihat jelas dan terlindung. Foto oleh: Kristupa Saragih

Camera Armor dipasang pada Canon EOS 1D Mk III. Tampak LCD atas dan LCD belakang bagian bawah terlihat jelas dan terlindung. Foto oleh: Kristupa Saragih

Proses pemasangan cukup sederhana, nggak ribet. Seperti memasangkan sarung pelindung pada ponsel. Bahan Camera Armor cukup elastis karena terbuat dari silikon. Ukurannya pas sehingga bisa mencengkeram erat bodi kamera.

Pelindung LCD berupa sekeping plastik kuat yang dikaitkan pada jendela bidik. Camera Armor dipasang pada Canon EOS 1D Mk III. Foto oleh: Kristupa Saragih

Pelindung LCD berupa sekeping plastik kuat yang dikaitkan pada jendela bidik. Camera Armor dipasang pada Canon EOS 1D Mk III. Foto oleh: Kristupa Saragih

Pelindung LCD berupa sekeping plastik kokoh. Bukan ditempelkan ke layar LCD seperti di ponsel, tapi dikaitkan ke jendela bidik (viewfinder). Sisi samping dan bawahnya dicengkeram oleh silikon Camera Armor.

Posisi tombol masih terlihat jelas dan berlabel. Camera Armor dipasang pada Canon EOS 1D Mk III. Foto oleh: Kristupa Saragih

Posisi tombol masih terlihat jelas dan berlabel. Camera Armor dipasang pada Canon EOS 1D Mk III. Foto oleh: Kristupa Saragih

Secara keseluruhan, bodi kamera jadi terlihat gagah. Apalagi Camera Armor berkelir hitam doff, bukan mengkilat, sehingga terkesan garang. Layar LCD terlihat jelas.

Tombol-tombol kamera sebagian besar tertutup oleh Camera Armor. Jangan kuatir, tulisan-tulisan keterangan tiap tombol tercantum pula di Camera Armor. Jadi tak perlu mengingat-ingat posisi dan fungsi tiap tombol.

Penekanan tombol pelepas rana (shutter release) memang perlu penyesuaian. Setelah dipasangi Camera Armor, sensitivitas jari telunjuk perlu disesuaikan untuk mengaktifkan fungsi autofocus dan melepas rana. Untuk kamera kelas profesional lain, sekelas seri EOS 1D dan 1Ds dengan tombol pelepas rana di posisi vertikal, berlaku pula penyesuaian yang sama.

Selebihnya, Camera Armor nyaman dipakai. Penampilan gagah. Satu set Camera Armor untuk Canon EOS 1D Mk III terdiri atas body armor, LCD shield, lens armor dan lens cap leash.

Satu set Camera Armor untuk Canon EOS 1D Mk III terdiri atas body armor, LCD shield, lens armor, dan lens cap leash. Foto oleh: Kristupa Saragih

Satu set Camera Armor untuk Canon EOS 1D Mk III terdiri atas body armor, LCD shield, lens armor, dan lens cap leash. Foto oleh: Kristupa Saragih

Camera Armor direkomendasikan untuk fotografer profesional yang bekerja di luar studio dan luar ruangan. Pekerjaan yang membutuhkan Camera Armor seperti pewarta foto, fotografer pre-wedding di luar ruangan, travel photographer, fotografer petualangan alam bebas dan fotografer satwa.

Camera Armor memang impact-proof dan scratch-proof tapi tidak water-resistant. Meski seorang teman pernah mengguyur Canon EOS 1Ds Mk III dengan air tawar karena terguling di lumpur sawah, bukan berarti kamera aman dari siraman air. Kamera kita adalah sahabat setia kita, dan Camera Armor yang melindungi sahabat setia itu.

Camera Armor dipasang pada Canon EOS 1D Mk III dilengkapi dengan lens armor yang dipasang di bagian depan lensa. Hanya tersedia untuk lensa wide, yang pada foto ini berupa lensa Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L. Foto oleh: Kristupa Saragih

Camera Armor dipasang pada Canon EOS 1D Mk III dilengkapi dengan lens armor yang dipasang di bagian depan lensa. Hanya tersedia untuk lensa wide, yang pada foto ini berupa lensa Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L. Foto oleh: Kristupa Saragih

Perlu penyesuaian sensitivitas untuk menekan tombol pelepas rana. Camera Armor dipasang pada Canon EOS 1D Mk III. Foto oleh: Kristupa Saragih

Perlu penyesuaian sensitivitas untuk menekan tombol pelepas rana. Camera Armor dipasang pada Canon EOS 1D Mk III. Foto oleh: Kristupa Saragih

Tulisan pada tombol terlihat jelas, demikian pula layar LCD. Terlihat hot shoe juga terlindung rapi. Camera Armor dipasang pada Canon EOS 1D Mk III. Foto oleh: Kristupa Saragih

Tulisan pada tombol terlihat jelas, demikian pula layar LCD. Terlihat hot shoe juga terlindung rapi. Camera Armor dipasang pada Canon EOS 1D Mk III. Foto oleh: Kristupa Saragih

Camera Armor pada Canon EOS 1D Mk III. Foto oleh: Kristupa Saragih

Camera Armor pada Canon EOS 1D Mk III. Foto oleh: Kristupa Saragih


Sirui N-1204, A Lightweight 4-Sections Carbon-Fiber Tripod

Sirui N-1204 tripod and Sirui Ballhead G-20 at sunrise shooting in Angkor Wat, Siem Reap, Cambodia
Sirui N-1204 tripod and Sirui Ballhead G-20 at sunrise shooting in Angkor Wat, Siem Reap, Cambodia. Photo by: Kristupa Saragih

Sirui N-1204 tripod and Sirui Ballhead G-20 at sunrise shooting in Angkor Wat, Siem Reap, Cambodia. Photo by: Kristupa Saragih

Talking about tripod, photographer always needs a light one but yet strong. A tripod must be compact when folded but tall enough when needed. In most of the criteria, Sirui N-1204 matches all of them.

Sirui N-1204’s angle-adjusting button is comfortable and easy to use - Photo by: Kristupa Saragih

Sirui N-1204’s angle-adjusting button is comfortable and easy to use - Photo by: Kristupa Saragih

Physically, Sirui N-1204 looks like a pricey tripod. It looks like a typical carbon-fiber tripod which costs a lot. Its build quality, material and accessories enforce the notion of it.

If one says that IDR 2,000,000 is a lot, it’s like half or one-third of the price of other carbon-fiber tripods. Let’s take a look at some important specifications that Sirui N-1204 has.

A 4-section thing is essential for traveling and storage. It saves space. It weighs as low as 1 kg only. Contrastingly, Sirui N-1204 may handle total load of gear up to 10 kg. It may handle Canon EOS 1D Mk IV weighs 1.18 kg and Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L IS weighs 5.31 kg.

This tripod is a tube-locking type. It might bring you to your personal preference of leg lock. Anyway, N-1204 angle-adjusting button is comfortable and easy to use. Each leg of tripod can be adjusted to three different supporting angles.

Sirui N-1204 minimum height of 160mm. Photo by: Kristupa Saragih

Sirui N-1204 minimum height of 160mm. Photo by: Kristupa Saragih

Should you need a low angle shooting, N-1204 features a reversible center column. As found in my brand and type of tripods, the reversing procedure is similar and easy. The center column has a hook to hang some stable articles for steadiness.

An important thing about Sirui tripod family is their additional feature of knock-down monopod. Well, it’s hard to find a carbon-fiber monopod, tough. But it’s easy to disassemble knock-down leg of the tripod and assemble it to be a monopod.

Additional mounting screw and mounting platform for monopod come along with the complete set. They are packed in a small tripod bag, which is included as a package. There is also a complete package which includes ball head.

Sirui N-1204 Specification

Sirui N-1204 Specification

Say the package includes Sirui G-20 ball head, it means the head adds an extra  0.4 kg weight, which is not much. As an addition, actual maximum load of this head is up to 20 kg. It also features a bubble level for horizontal adjustment.

Sirui N-1204 is recommended for traveling photographer for its compact size and sturdy structure. This tripod is also recommended for urban photographer for its simple operation and light weight. Any price-sensitive photographer may consider this carbon-fiber tripod for its low price.

Sirui N-1204 carbon-fiber tripod has sturdy design. Photo by: Kristupa Saragih

Sirui N-1204 carbon-fiber tripod has sturdy design. Photo by: Kristupa Saragih

Sirui N-1204 knock-down monopod when completely assembled with mounting plate and mounting screw. Photo by: Kristupa Saragih

Sirui N-1204 knock-down monopod when completely assembled with mounting plate and mounting screw. Photo by: Kristupa Saragih

Sirui N-1204 also features a knock-down monopod complete with its mounting screw and mounting plate. Photo by: Kristupa Saragih

Sirui N-1204 also features a knock-down monopod complete with its mounting screw and mounting plate. Photo by: Kristupa Saragih

N-1204 also comes in a package where Sirui G-20 ballhead is included, maximum load up to 20 kg. Photo by: Kristupa Saragih

N-1204 also comes in a package where Sirui G-20 ballhead is included, maximum load up to 20 kg. Photo by: Kristupa Saragih


What’s Inside My Camera Bag

What's inside my ThinkTank Streetwalker camera bag. Photo by: Kristupa Saragih

What's inside my ThinkTank Streetwalker camera bag. Photo by: Kristupa Saragih

People might get impressed by photographer with camera in hand. It would be more interesting to explore more inside the bag. I would like to share what’s in my bag. A brief bag, actually, which I think compact enough to bring minimum requirement in my traveling standard.

I used to use another brand till I get ThinkTank Streetwalker in hand. The fabric is good enough to resist water drops and splash. I find the stitch looks strong to handle heavy load. And, it’s designed simple enough to disguise what’s inside it.

You may find a pro-DSLR body in my bag, attached to a 70-200mm f/2.8 lens which lens-hood is reversed. I also bring one medium-sized DSLR body, to make it total 2 bodies of DSLR. Actually, the medium-sized DSLR is infrared-modified body.

I bring 2 additional wide lenses in different focal length. Here, I bring 17-40mm lens for normal color DSLR. Another one is 10-22mm lens for infrared-modified body.

Considering I mostly have to travel for shooting, I always bring camera battery charger. There’s also a simple rain cover for the bag, which is included when you buy the bag. In case I need to bring a flash, I remove the charger, and put it in my other bag.

There are also a polarizing (PL) filter and gradual neutral-density (GND) filter in my bag. They’re not seen in the photo here, I put them in front pocket of the bag. Both filters are mandatory for outdoor shooting.

Well, if I bring what I want, I could put the whole camera shop into the bag, which is not wise. I would like to suggest you to bring the gears you need, not the gears you want. Keep travel light.

I find the size of ThinkTank Streetwalker is compact enough to handle numbers of gears. Shoulder pads are very comfortable. Photo by: Kristupa Saragih