We are living in a time where our photographic reality is absolutely overflowing with optical options. Regardless of which system or systems a photographer is invested in, the choices are plentiful.
I was an early adopter of mirrorless system cameras, in fact this very blog was largely built upon the back of my passionate love affair with the micro 4/3 system over a decade ago. In the time that I’ve been writing about photography on this site, I’ve wholly switched over to mirrorless cameras which has provided me with certain benefits as well as a few drawbacks. A facilitating factor for much of my excitement originally was adaptability and that factor has, over these years, turned into a revolution in many ways with the birth of smart adapters for the mirrorless setups I have and am currently shooting with in the micro 4/3, Canon RF and previously the Sony E system.
One drawback to investing in newer mirrorless system architecture is that many new lenses are expensive. A global economic landscape, combined with investment needed by the companies building these newer systems, in optical engineering, manufacturing and marketing results in that cost being passed to the consumer, especially with proprietary offerings.
In come third party manufacturers. Whether you’re shooting a mirrorless or DSLR system, third party lens options can offer huge cost:performance benefits. The last few years have seen some changes in my life, not the least of which seeing me move from part time working independent photographer, to hobbiest. Cost is now more important to me than ever as I’ve seen my fun budget reallocated elsewhere by necessity these days. C’mon in to see more from this Sigma super tele zoom lens on Canon, Sony and Micro 4/3 bodies, and to see if it’s up to snuff.
2020 has been one hell of a year. Few have scraped through unscathed. As we hit full holiday mode, we are constantly bombarded with sales, deals, and arguments to purchase many, many things. Some of us are struggling to provide what in past years have seemed “normal” for our families as we are affected by the continuing global pandemic.
This year has seen many ups and downs for our household between work, school, family and friends. Something we have found great solace in, is finding ways to enjoy spending time together (as we’ve had a lot of opportunity). While we have had some issues and loss over the last 9 months, we feel very fortunate to be able to continue to make a living through all of this.
We talked as a family about what we would want to do with any support we could muster. Because of Covid, volunteering (especially with two school aged children) is a difficult option. Financial donations were the next obvious choice. When discussing who we wanted to donate to, the boys (with a little helpful guidance) decided it made the most sense to help people who were struggling with the necessities, food and shelter. There are millions of people in the US, and many, many more around the worldthat have been hit very hard by this pandemic, and as a family, we decided to find a way to try and give a little to some of those families if possible.
We’ve found an organization called Family Promise that focuses on homelessness, primarily for families with children.With a 99.95% overall rating through Charity Navigator, we felt good about donating to an organization that is very transparent, and focuses so much of their received donations toward the actual goal of helping families in need, with food and shelter through community organization, outreach and support that will hopefully last long after we get through all of this crazy crap.
This holiday season, as we’ve done annually, we’re offering a 30% discount on all camera straps through NautiStraps.com with 10% of all sales donated to Family Promise. Use code “NAUTIORNICE20” at checkout to get 30% off any and everything we build. On top of that, the kids wanted to match donations out of their savings. In lieu of buying their loving, and arguably deserving parents any gifts, we told them they could donate as much as they wanted to Family Promise, and that the Mrs and I will cover any remainder.
If you, or someone you know might enjoy a quality hand built camera strap for the holidays, we’d be happy to build one for you. We’ve felt very lucky to be able to use this business to donate to various organizations in the past as it enables us to utilize our well controlled livelihood (we have two employees) to hopefully help out where we might not have had the opportunity to in the past.
If not needing a camera strap, and you have the means, it is a good year to try and find organizations that are aiming to help many of us that have been more directly affected by this horrible pandemic. We like Family Promise, but there are many, many others.On top of that, try to support small, family or employee owned, and local businesses wherever possible. We need as much help as we can get.
We are a large, global community and through our collective power of purchase, we can truly help keep many friends, families, neighbors and wonderful strangers afloat by choosing to buy through them when and wherever possible.
Happy holidays, and happy everything to everyone. We hope you and your families are well, healthy and have the happiest of seasons that we all can.
To say that the last few years have been politically challenging would be a huge understatement not just where I happen to live, but globally. Unfortunately, where I live happens to have proven to be impotent in its ability to see off these horrible setbacks and struggle to lead globally where we’ve been able to do in times past, which has been hugely disheartening. To see the emboldening of a cynical, outdated and remarkably limited outlook on the past, present and future through the ugliest forms of the abuses of power, racism, sexism and classism has offered a bleak vision for the future, and has laid the roadmap for the political fight that must come. I’ve never liked to combine politics with my livelihood, as I’ve always tried to see myself as one to look to the many sides and experiences in this great human experiment, but I do feel we’ve gone so far past the idea of politics and have crashed head first into a fundamental place of human rights and the struggle for simple decency.
Anyone else going a little crazy lately? It’s an unprecedented time in our collective human history, and while I am very ready to be done with it, I also understand the huge importance of staying the course lest we set ourselves back months or possibly open this pandemic up into irreversible territory.
I know there are a lot of retail panderings as many small businesses struggle to stay afloat, and I’m one of them. So, in that vein, I’ve decided to try and buoy the strap business by offering the deepest discount I’ve ever offered. 35% off of any handbuilt strap I make by using code “SPRINGCLEAN35” at checkout over at nautistraps.com live now.
All neck/shoulder straps, all wrist straps are included in the sale. I’m even able to do custom stuff if so desired (and the material is available to do so). Just hit me up at email@example.com or here through the blog.
I genuinely hope everyone is well, and while I know we will eventually get through all this, it feels rough some days, but does feel nice to kind of reconnect with a hobby and passion I’ve been missing quite a bit lately.
You can find everything atnautistraps.com and useSPRINGCLEAN35at checkout for 35% off.
Hey! How is everyone? I’m going a little stir crazy and tired of reading/viewing stupid articles from various forms of media needing us to continue to read and watch the same, slightly warmed over pieces of information. I get that it’s serious, and perhaps more than we’re giving credit to, but I’m gonna find ways to play with my camera as a break from it all. Interested in some ideas and collaborations?
Well, as I’m sure most all of us are, I’m totally exhausted by the Corona virus and it’s toilet paper hoarding frenzy. Seriously, please stop being insane and accept that a couple months supply of toilet paper will be fine. Some of us actually need toilet paper, so please, I’m days away from taking a lot more showers. I’m fine without hand sanitizer, that crap dries my hands out something fierce anyway. Mrs Squeeze and I have two kids, which I’m sure if you’ve been following along at all over the last decade or so, you’re well aware of as they often pop up as photographic subjects for reviews and such. I mention this, because we’ve all of a sudden become stay at home teachers/parents/fulltime grad student (the Mrs)/fulltime employee (yours truly) and we’re, as everyone else seems to be, juggling how to do all of that on such short notice. We have at least 6 weeks (currently) where the kids will be at home/out of school, which has changed our daily routine to say the least. I will be using this next month and a half (at least) to start really teaching my kids about photography as one of our “home school” blocks daily, so I’ll keep everyone abreast about how that goes as well.
Things feel different, certainly, and if trying to digest this rapid change in one large bite, I find that I get stressed and overwhelmed, so I’m actively looking for ways to bring some more normalcy back while finding routes to incorporate things I enjoy doing. So, here’s to hoping this is the first of a few new entries where we can provide a bit of inspiration for one another. C’mon in and I’ll share how I’m thinking of tackling some isolated “at home” time with some easy to do photo projects that require nothing more than a phone cam and a lamp, but can easily translate to more “advanced” photo equipment if you’d like…
While Panasonic seemingly focuses on video featured GH cameras along with their new full frame platform, and Olympus hopes pros jump to its EM1X, I’m over here enjoying my now aged, and in my mind legendarily ‘just right’ Goldilocks GX8 with some new glass. I’ve long blown the horn for Sigma’s full frame optics, providing industry leading optical performance at honest, realistic prices (every one of the half dozen lenses I’ve tested/reviewed and/or purchased over the last few years have been wonderful), I started to wonder why I’d not tried out their crop frame offerings. Well, I have now, and I don’t know why I’m surprised, but the Sigma 56mm f/1.4 DC DN Contemporary lens is another absolute gem.
I’m using the micro 4/3 mount option, which crops to a 112mm equivalent focal length, putting it right in that mid tele, portrait sweet spot between the traditional 85mm and 135mm focal lengths. For the APS-C lot, this lens falls right into the more standard short tele ~85mm slot, which will certainly appeal to many (as it absolutely should). I for one like the extra cropping as it starts to compete with my long standing, and stellar Olympus 75mm f/1.8 lens for time on the camera when portraits or more isolated subjects, with bokehfied backgrounds come calling.
Weather sealed at the mount, compact, lightweight, fast and sharp as a tack, this lens is one I feel many system shooters can find great value in. C’mon in to see my take…
Shameless self plug alert, but my kids gotta eat, and I’m also very proud of these. ***Nauti Straps has a new colorway available in 3 different straps. The new mottled Forest Flora blends light and dark greens along with a clay beige to put a pop in your camera fashion for the summer months. Mimicking the dappled light through a forest canopy, Forest Flora blends into nature, or compliments more monochromatic backdrops. Available in the Regatta and Wayfarer shoulder straps, along with the Cascade wrist strap, it’s a new look for the three popular strap designs. As always, every Nauti Strap is 100% hand built to the highest standard (by moi) using high end sail racing line designed for open ocean races under the harshest conditions.
A fully adjustable rope strap enabling a longer, looser throw for the cross body sling, or a tighter, closer length to keep it from bouncing off your belt when over your neck. Available in 8 different colors, this design came from a desire to have a nice rope strap that didn’t have to be built in various lengths for different needs or body sizes. One size fits all, and can be adjusted between 32″-55″ (81-140cm) long. Held by nonslip O rings, and fastened by stainless steel quick release clasps, the Wayfarer is a great strap when needing versatility and comfort while looking slick. Having a double strap at your neck also helps distribute weight better than a single rope strap. Available in 8 different colors.
Our most popular wrist strap has a new look as well. The secure and adjustable Cascade wrist strap is fastened to the camera via a 170lb test, steel split ring and is fully adjustable to fit any sized wrist with ample room to operate the camera. Strong nylon, dyneema and high tenacity poly dual braid line, finished with hand spliced and whipped ends makes this, quite possibly, the strongest rope wrist strap in existence. It feels and looks good too. Available in 7 different colors…
Are you more of a traditionalist? The Regatta shoulder strap uses the same high end rope, and keeps it simple in design. A straight 46″ (117cm) non adjustable, hand built rope strap attaches to the camera via two stainless steel quick release clasps. A stylish and elegant rope strap while out and about. Available in 10 different colors, the Regatta suits most any shooter’s style.
I handbuild each and every strap I sell, and I’ve extensively used and refined each and every design to provide both a practical, and comfortable option in the strap game. I guarantee these straps will last, and have now been building and selling them for over 7 years now. You can read what others have to say via the reviews at Nautistraps.com if you don’t want to take my word for it.
I hope everyone in the Northern hemisphere is enjoying the summer months, and for our friends in the south, here’s to hoping the winter solstice has found you well, and know that your days are now getting longer. Drop a comment to let us know where you shoot and reside, and if you’re a Nauti Strap user, let us know how it suits you.
I’ve just passed the 9th anniversary of this particular blog, and about the 12th overall of me rambling on about camera gear, software and photographic technique online, and as Ladies Love Cool James once eluded to, I have seemingly come full circle. I’ve waded through and swam in many different pools. Technology has made some pretty exciting leaps over this time. After years with a few EOS bodies, I then got excited with the advent of mirrorless as an early adopter in Panasonic, then Olympus, Pentax, Sony, even GoPro while dabbling in various film formats with my 35mm and medium format cameras, and now for the first time in about 6 years, I’ve purchased a Canon branded product again. At first, I feared I’d made a horrible mistake, but as I’ve now had this camera for the last few months, I’m starting to come around to what it does offer me, and I think I may finally get rid of my Sony full frame gear.
C’mon in for my thoughts, why and where I feel its worth while, and where I foresee Canon going with this format.
My long standing relationship with Lensbaby as a fan, and friend has rewarded me again with the ability to use and review the Burnside 35mm f/2.8 dual aperture lens. I was asked to play around with the new Burnside 35, but as is always the case here, all my opinions are purely that. Mine. I don’t get paid (unfortunately) to do this, nor was it required that I write up a fluff piece, so while I do have a soft spot for the local, independent Portland based company, I’m also in no way contractually required to like their stuff. As you’ll read, I don’t hold back criticism where I see fit. Lensbaby tends to get the online readers divided based on perception that cameras and lenses need to test off the charts in all ways, and anything that isn’t trying to accomplish that should be burned at the stake. If that’s what you’re after, feel free to argue scientific test charts somewhere else, also, I feel a little sorry that the joy of photography has seemingly evaporated in your life, assuming it was ever there to begin with. I’m not saying you need to like the weird, wild and quirky, but you certainly don’t need to piss in the cereal of those who enjoy creating different effects in camera. The true beauty of free will is just that. We all get to decide what we like, and I often like in camera effects. …okay, are all the curmudgeony troll pessimist chart nazis grumpy enough to have clicked away? Good.
Hello and happy holidays! Long time no write, eh? Yeah, life. So, while I’ve been largely absent on the blog here, I have been busy elf’n away on the life and biz side of things. The Mettle Speed strap that I’ve designed in conjunction with my friend and fellow small business creator Randall at Mettlecycling.com is keeping me busy as well as being showcased in the upcoming Bicycling Magazine, so keep an eye out for Randall’s interview! The Mettle Speed strap was designed for shooting one handed while riding, but it also works wonderfully for various outdoor activities. I’ve used mine rock climbing, hiking, paddle boarding (with a waterproof gopro), filming while skateboarding and just out and about around town. They’re awesome for small to mid size camera setups.
On the home front, I’m spending most of my time between work, adulting and building the Nauti Straps which has been going smashingly. Thanks to all of you for that. So many of you that I’ve been interacting with over the years have chosen my straps, and for that, I and the Squeeze clan are eternally grateful. Thank you.
New news on the Nauti Strap side of things is that I’m incorporating new colorways into many of my existing designs and will continue to showcase these as we release them. We will be getting back into the monthly fundraising/donation schedule come the new year with us aiming to donate 10% of all our sales to a variety of causes and groups in need, so stay tuned for that. We raised hundreds of dollars for causes in 2017 with the monthly fundraising donations and while life required me to take a break in ’18, we’re gearing up for 2019 and looking forward to finding wonderful causes to support.
Our first new release is a silver, high tenacity polyester material with the same 3M reflective tracer we use in many of our Black w/3M straps (see above). The HT Poly is smooth and silky to the touch, and the 3M material is a near identical color match to our silver strap material, so it is unnoticeable until hit with light. A great compliment to those sporting a silver camera body and lenses, or liking to contrast with the black cameras. The Silver Glow is available in the Tommy wrist, Vector wrist, Vector Excel QR wrist and Genoa shoulder straps, the Silver Glow w/3M is pretty tight.
As it is our second holiday season (officially as Nauti Straps, anyway), we’re going to offer ALL straps at 30% off through the end of the year as a holiday thank you. If you need a gift idea or stocking stuffer for the shooter in your life, or would like to grab one for yourself, it’s a great time to do so and this way, I can potentially afford to buy Mrs Squeeze stuff for the holidays and her shortly after the holidays, birthday.
Find us at www.nautistraps.com and don’t forget to use code “NAUTIORNICE” at checkout to get 30% off any and all orders. We’ll be running it through the end of the year.
I wish everyone a happy holiday season, no matter what holidays we may celebrate this time of year. I hope that everyone, along with your friends and families are well. With all the anger and chaos in the world today, it is a great opportunity to focus on the good and do our best to shelter those in less fortunate situations, from the bad by being positive, giving, and a contradiction to the garbage that is going on by example. As Bill and Ted once brilliantly said, “be excellent to each other”.
To all out there reading, here’s to another year nearly in the books. I look forward to what the future brings, and if you have any ideas on collaboration, reviews or just want to say hi, hit me up on the Contact Me link, or via the socials below.
Find Nauti Straps on Instagram HERE, or Facebook HERE and share your shots using the hashtag #ishootnauti to share with all of us, and for a chance to win future giveaways.