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Overland News of the Week: Photography Edition

With fall approaching, this is the perfect opportunity to dust off your photography gear in anticipation of changing leaves, dynamic golden-hour light, and scenic overland adventures. To help you prepare for spectacular photo opportunities, this week’s Overland News of the week is all about photography gear.

 

Breakthrough Photography Filters

Based in San Francisco, Breakthrough Photography is a camera accessory manufacturer that specializes in producing exceptionally high-quality lens filters. And while there are many manufacturers out there promising a high-quality filter, Breakthrough stands out in a few ways. They are one of only two US-based filter manufacturers (and have plans to offer a completely US-made filter), they utilize Schott optical glass and guarantee the world’s sharpest CPL filter, and all of their filters come with a 25-year, iron-clad guarantee. If you are a new photographer looking for something to instantly increase the quality of your photos, check out the Breakthrough’s X4 CPL filter, which will add contrast and incredible color-pop to your landscape and outdoor images.

Breakthrough Photography Filters | $50+ | Breakthrough Photography


Metabones Lens Adapters

If you dabble in photography for long enough, chances are that you’ll eventually switch camera systems, either by choice or out of necessity. But switching systems can be frustrating since your collection of lenses, which are often large investments, can instantly become obsolete. Many photographers who switch systems often opt to sell at a loss so that they can afford lenses that work on their new camera, or they simply put their lenses into storage. Metabones seeks to change the fate of incompatible lenses by offering adaptors for just about every major manufacturer. Got a new Canon DSLR and some old Nikon glass? No problem. Want to adapt your cinema lens to a Fuji APS-C digital camera? They’ve got you covered. Lately, I’ve been using a Metabones Canon EF to a Sony E-mount adapter to shoot Canon lenses on my Sony A7R with fantastic results. It’s worth pointing out that autofocus performance can be slightly reduced in comparison to using native lenses. Still, for all but the most demanding of subjects, this performance sacrifice feels reasonable.

Metabones Lens Adaptors | $-$$$ | Metabones


Pelican 0915 Micro Memory Card Case

Sometimes it’s the simplest things that make the biggest difference in the field of photography. And when it comes to longer trips or big projects, organization is king. This Pelican card case is one of those indispensable pieces of gear which, now that I own, I cannot imagine living without. Offered in both SD or CF versions, these IPX4 water-resistant, dustproof, shockproof protective cases can store enough media for extended trips and keep your full memory cards safe until you can transfer all of your images to your computer or an external hard drive.

Pelican 0915 Micro Memory Card Case | $26 | Pelican


Lee Filters Lee100 Landscape Kit

Seasoned photographers will tell you that getting the shot “right” in-camera is always preferable to fixing things in post, even with digital photography. Landscape photographers take note, the Lee Filters system and graduated neutral density filter kits are an excellent tool for achieving perfect photos in-camera without the need (ok, with a minimal need) for post-production. The Lee100 landscape kit has everything you need to get started, including a filter holder and a .6 medium ND grad.

Lee Filters Lee100 Landscape Kit | $192 | Lee Filters


Peak Designs Leash Camera Strap

If Peak Designs sounds familiar, it might be because you recently saw their travel tripod featured in our Overland News of the Week column. Peak is a San Francisco-based camera accessory designer that has gotten quite a lot of attention since its first products were brought to life via crowdfunding campaigns. The Leash camera strap is slim, with a well-designed quick-release system that makes removing it very easy. Because of its slim profile, the Leash is best suited for smaller mirrorless or 35mm film cameras.

Peak Designs Leash Camera Strap | $40 | Peak Designs


Sigma Art Series Lenses

There was a time when I would have described Sigma camera lenses as “cheap, entry-level” and not worth buying, but my, oh, my, have times changed. Sigma has evolved into one of the most revered lens manufacturers out there, offering primes and zooms in native mounts for most major camera brands, at reasonable prices (well, reasonable in the world of high-quality camera lenses). Specifically, Sigma’s “Art” line is comprised of 23 lenses that offer exceptional sharpness and color rendering, with apertures as fast as f/1.2. Sigma has been around since the 1960s, and their dedication to designing and producing exceptional lenses has won them many awards.

Sigma Art Series Lenses | $$$ | Sigma


Tenba Protective Wrap

Traveling can be rough on your gear but leaving your camera at home out of fear that it might get dirty or damaged defeats the purpose of owning said camera. If you want to get those epic shots, you need to take your camera out into the scary, dusty, dirty world. Tenba protective wraps are my answer. These padded, multipurpose microfiber wraps can be used to protect everything from cameras to lenses, and even delicate electronics like drones. They have velcro tabs on each corner and stick to themselves, making it easy to wrap up awkwardly shaped items. They are great for photographers who don’t like to use camera-specific backpacks but want compact protection for their camera that will fit in a daypack.

Tenba Protective Wrap | $14-$16 | Tenba


 

Mindshift Gear Filter Hive

One of the realities of owning multiple cameras and lenses is the need for many different lens filters. Inevitably you’ll want a CPL, a couple of NDs, and, of course, a UV filter. But because different lenses have different front element diameters, you’ll wind up with more than a few filters. Instead of having a pile of individual cases, the Mindshift Gear Filter Hive can house all of your filters in one place. The Hive will accommodate a mix of up to six 82mm circular filters, as well as six 100x150mm rectangular filters. The internal organizer of the Hive can be used as a stand-alone unit within its included padded case, or removed and incorporated into a camera bag.

Mindshift Gear Filter Hive | $60 | Mindshift Gear


MeFoto Globetrotter Carbon Fiber Tripod

A solid tripod, even a small one, is a photographic necessity. Trust me, as someone who has used shoes, jackets, and just about everything else within arms-reach in an attempt to stabilize my camera for a long-exposure. Basically, nothing can do the work of a tripod as well as…a tripod. And when it comes to tripods, MeFoto is a great middle-of-the-road option. It’s certainly not cheap, but it also won’t set you back $1000 like some of the more well-known brands out there. And for 95% of photographers, its 26.4-pound capacity is will be more than sufficient. The Globetrotter’s legs invert and fold up against the center column, resulting in a small footprint that travels easily. And it only weighs 3.7lbs.

MeFoto Globetrotter Carbon Fiber Tripod | $369.95 | MeFoto


Recommended books for Overlanding


Lone Rider
by speth Beard
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Matthew Swartz is originally from Connecticut and currently lives in Denver, Colorado where he passionately pursues rock climbing, trail running, and skiing. Matt’s love of travel has inspired him to through-hike the JMT and part of the PCT, bike across the United States, and explore the West coast of South America from Ecuador to Patagonia. Matt and his partner Amanda have also travelled across much of the Western US in their 1964 Clark Cortez RV, which they lived in, on the road for the better part of three years. Matt has worked for the USFS as an Interpretive Ranger and Wildland Firefighter and Matt's photography and writing has been published in Rova Magazine, the Leatherman blog, 'Hit The Road' by Gestalten Publishing, and Forbes.