MAXI MIX Premieres at NAB 2019

This week in Las Vegas, Rosco Labs are debuting the latest addition to their MIX line, designed by DMG Lumière. Have a look at our previous blog post introducing MIX—suffice to say, we’re big fans of the people and the products.

The MAXI MIX is a full-color LED light source approximately twice as big and bright as its sibling, the SL1 MIX. Together with the MINI MIX, and the previously-released SWITCH line, Rosco now offers Small/Medium/Large options whether you need basic daylight/tungsten light or full-color output that matches classic Rosco gels (and much more). They also offer kits in a variety of sizes that make it easy to get up and running quickly.

If you’re at the NAB Show, be sure to visit Rosco in booth C9518—MAXI MIX is available for pre-order today!

New York’s Latest Celebrity… and With No Attitude!

Central Park on a perfect fall weekend is always crowded, but a rare event has recently brought thousands of additional visitors, most of them with cameras.

The object of their attention (and affection) is a Mandarin duck, not seen in these parts of the world and, by our best understandings of migration, not supposed to be here. This guy’s appearance is straight out of Disney (or an artist with unlimited imagination). Can you spot him?

crowd of photographers in Central Park observing a Mandarin duck

He’s been hanging out in one corner of the park, along with all the other duck varieties, and eager to oblige anyone with optics ranging from an iPhone to a DSLR mounting a 600mm f/4 (and everything in between). My wife and I are bird lovers, so we made the pilgrimage to see for ourselves, and we were not disappointed.

a photographer with a telephoto lens making images of the Central Park Mandarin duck

close up on a camera back displaying the Central Park Mandarin duck
There was a bit of a panic earlier this week when he seemed to have disappeared, but he was spotted again yesterday. Don’t miss out – make a plan to see him this weekend! Who knows – you may find yourself drawn to the timeless hobby known as birding.

A Retrospective on Camera Bags (With a Twist)

Over the past 50 years, I’ve traveled with and depended on a variety of bags, starting in the late ’60s with a fishing tackle bag from Abercrombie & Fitch. Then I discovered the series of beautiful canvas and leather Brady Bags, made by hand in England since the late 1800s. While Brady now makes dedicated camera bags, my career favorites were the Ariel Trout and Gelderburn models, designed for fishermen and still in production. Artisanally made and now quite expensive, I don’t think they’re what I’d carry around the world today.

From there, it was on to the first version of the Domke Bag, designed by Jim Domke, a photojournalist for the Philadelphia Inquirer. He based his design on (no surprise) a fishing bag that he had been using. He wrote about its development a few years ago, and mentions several names you’ll surely recognize, including our old friends Marty Forscher and David Burnett. The Domke brand has grown (now owned by Tiffen), but new players have entered the market, and to my mind and experience the bags from Think Tank are game changers in many ways. Their latest is a line of camera bags called Retrospective v2.0 (there’s the twist I mentioned), and here’s why I’m such a satisfied customer:

Think Tank Retrospective bag, in profile First of all, they don’t call attention to themselves. As I wrote some time ago, you never want your bags and straps to shout “steal me”. If they do, make it a priority to replace the offending parts… or cover them with several patches of gaff tape so they look worn-out.

Secondly, these bags make the best use of Velcro and useful compartments I’ve ever seen. The available sizes are each designed to accommodate and protect a different configuration of gear, including tablets and laptops, which they make very clear on their website. I find that the Retrospective 5, the smallest in the line, is perfect for carrying my Fuji X-E2, two lenses, an iPad, and various chargers and accessories. My Nikon D800 would be equally well-served by the Retrospective 7.

Think Tank Retrospective bag, open with Fuji camera

Other thoughtful touches abound: Every bag comes with a rain cover even though there is real moisture resistance in the bags’ fabric itself; the shoulder strap is incredibly comfortable; there are zippered pockets where you need them; Velcro-secured flaps can be disengaged where you need to keep as quiet as possible; and the bags really conform to your body while carried over the shoulder.

I suppose I should apologize for carrying on, but I find these Think Tank bags to be nothing short of brilliant!

Think Tank Retrospective bag, as camera support