This page is for thoughts, info & activities
Quick Release......
Am I the only one who struggles with camera strap attachments? I assume not! There's the following situations : attach the strap to the long lens foot-->remove the attachment to put the lens/camera on a tripod--> remove attachment to change from long to standard lens and finally remove attachment to put your camera (with standard lens) on a's all a bit of a faff.
I have finally found a solution that works for me - 2 x SUNWAYFOTO QR Arca plates with QD sockets  - 1 attached to the camera base the other attached to my long lens tripod foot this coupled with a QD sling mount attached to my camera strap. FYI tripod feet are available with a QD socket but these are quite expensive, I think the SUNWAYFOTO option is effective & great value for money.
This set up allows me to change attachments in literally seconds going from strap to tripod or from long lens to standard lens - I can't recommend it enough!
P.S. I bought my own, so this is not a advertorial!!!!!
To take a camera or not? That is the question.....
The weather has improved the last couple of week and I have got out around Rossendale avec camera in a search of wildlife a little more.
One early evening last week we were out walking the dogs sans camera...I typically debate with myself whether to take the camera out on dogs walks, sometimes I do other times I don't. This evening was a don't...we were happily walking around the local resr, the dogs nose down in search of something disgusting or a ball. I generally keep my eyes open for wildlife, when low and behold a barn owl could be seen quartering in the distance. Great to see but miles away I thught, so no regrets about the lack of camera. The walk continued and the owl got nearer and nearer, alternating between looking for it's tea and perching on the nearest post. In the end we got within about 50' and were treated to a great aerial display before the owl eventually headed off across the resr. The light was fantastic, the owl was great, but no camera........
The walk continued for another 100' when much to our disbelief there was another barn owl on a different post! this one didn't hang around long but still great to see.
So do I regret not having my camera? YES! However I'm still happy to see the Barn Owls camera or no camera, so you know...take the positives!
P.S. The next day, also on a dog walk we spotted a Long Earred Owl perched in the trees. This time camera in hand.....much clicking ensued!
Long Earred Owl

Long Earred Owl

Wet wet wet
Having a full-time 9-5 job which isn't camera related means I am most definitely a weekend warrior when it comes to photography. I do spend quite a lot of time Monday to Friday contemplating photography, gear & planning. Most of these recent plans have been dampened by the rain falling in the Rossendale valley. I'm hoping that sometime soon the weather will dry out and the sun will be shining so we can have some decent light - he says as he listens to the rain lashing against the window.....
I have been out a couple of times down by the Irwel and around Grane. Nothing very exciting to report and the light was not favourable but I did shot some dippers hunting around for grubs and also a Siskin, which was nice.....
My wildlife kit
I currently have two cameras a Sony A9 & Sony RX100vi, I used to have three but realised that one (Sony A6500) was not seeing much use so I got rid! The size difference Sony FF (A7iii at the time) to APSC did not seem so great, so I only ever reached for the Sony FF. I wasn't then much into wildlife though. If I'd known then what I know now I might have kept the A6500, that said I was never overly loving of the A6500 ergonmics, so who know.....
I don't think that I really need to say that the A9 is what I use for wildlife coupled with the Sony 200-600mm lens. These two IMHO may a fantastic combination; both matching each others performance levels without caveats! I've not had the A9 long, I previously used the Sony A7iii, which is a great camera but I felt that the autofocus speed was was stopping me from getting the pinsharp images I was hoping for especialy with birds in flight and headed directly towards me. The A7 does 20 AF calculation/second and shoots 10FPS, which is no slouch but the A9 with it's stacked sensor manages 60 calculations/second and 20FPS. If you imagine a bird flying at 20 mph which is equivalent to 9 metres per second then the A7 is calculating focus every 0.5m and shooting every 1m, wheareas the A9 is calculating focus every 17cm and shooting every 0.5m. Clealy the A9 has a big advantage for focusing on moving subjects!
I am a bit of a wealking , so whenever I can I'll use the above with a tripod of monopod. I haven't spent silly money on either using a Manfrotto Befree Advanced Aluminium tripod and a SIRUI P-326 Carbon Fibre Monopod. I also use a Black Rapid FastenR Tripod plate to quickly mount the Sony lens foot onto the ball head that use on the tri/monopod. It works reasonably well, but is still a bit of a faff to unclip from the Black Rapid shouder strap, I could do better on this........

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