Hello dear friends. There has been no secret here on the bloggings, surrounding my desire to find the perfect 85mm lens. It has become my own photo gear holy grail, and a fun journey it has been. I’ve owned, sold, used, borrowed or rented at least a dozen different 85mm (or equivalent) lenses for a few different systems over my years. It’s probably the single most fascinating focal length, for me. The most popular classification for a lens of this focal length, is going to be portraiture. It balances minimal distortion, with flattering spacial compression when working at traditional distances for portraits, and is a go to for many portrait photographers. I do like a good portrait session, but a mid range tele lens like a nice, fast 85mm can offer much more than merely head and shoulder shots. I want to look at this lens on its own at first. How sharp is it? Bokeh? What kind of value does is present at its price point for a photographer like me, or you? Later, I’ll be comparing this lens to a couple other fast portrait lenses that I have here on the blog, but for now let’s see how this beautiful new Sigma Art lens stands on its own…
If you’ve been overwhelmed by global news or light shed on the huge variety of conflict and injustice being inflicted globally, I can understand as it has been taxing to wake to a seeming constant flow of issues ranging from bizarre to horrific, daily. This month, we wanted to focus our effort on the horrific Chechnyan anti-gay purge seeing people of the LGBTQ community in that country, literally put into what are being called “torture camps” with the Chechnyan government hunting anyone even rumored to be gay or transgendered with families being urged to kill their children, or face having it done within these torture camps. Chechnya’s police call it ‘Cleaning your honour with blood.’
I know that I have subscribers and readers from all over the world. I’ve used my blog as a way to converse with many of you, I continue to follow many of you as well, and I have greatly enjoyed doing so. As it has progressed, my new camera strap business has naturally worked its way into the site here, and I appreciate all who have helped support me in that venture. With the state of the world, and the country that I live in, it’s role in the global community and the affects our policy have for many planet wide, I’ve made a conscious effort to try and use Nauti Straps to help in ways I was unable to before. If you live in a place that affords you freedoms enabling a relatively safe and secure lifestyle, appreciate that and we’d urge anyone willing to listen, to do what they can to support those in greater need that are living in places where they’re not afforded similar freedoms. It is difficult for many of us to singlehandedly, financially support causes, but if we circle the wagons, band together, we can help spread that burden out so that we create a chorus of voices as opposed to feeling as if we are trying to tackle any injustice we’re troubled by, alone.
This month, Nauti Straps will donate 10% of all sales of our camera straps to the Rainbow Railroad, an organization focused on advocating and directly aiding LGBTQ people all over the world. Currently, much of their need and effort resides in the horror happening in Chechnya. You can see more about Rainbow Railroad and what they do HERE. From the Rainbow Railroad’s website:
In countries all over the world, lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans-identified (LGBT) people still live in basic fear for their freedom, their safety and their lives. They often have nowhere to turn because their government and police not only tolerate but encourage this brutality. Rainbow Railroad exists to help these people get out of danger to somewhere safe. In the spirit of and with homage to the Underground Railroad, the mission of the Rainbow Railroad is to help LGBT people as they seek safe haven from state enabled violence, murder or persecution. Through funds collected by people like you, we’re able to support, provide information, and help to arrange safe transportation for these LGBT people to somewhere in the world where they can live their lives in safety.
We’ve decided to say the hell with being politically and ethically neutral at Nauti Straps (just in case you haven’t yet noticed) through our monthly donation program where we choose a cause we feel is in immediate need, to donate a 10% portion of all our sales to. While we fully support every person’s right as a human to have differing views, opinions and framework for your lives and the lives of those you love, we respect EVERYONE’s ability to live life as who they are, as long as that life in no way inflicts direct harm or oppresses anyone else’s ability to have the freedom to do the same, and hope you feel similarly.
If you, or anyone you know would like a hand built camera strap, while helping the Rainbow Railroad you can see what I make at Nautistraps.com HERE. If you feel you are in a position to financially help, and don’t necessarily need a camera strap, you can donate to Rainbow Railroad directly through their website HERE.
Thank you and as always, any help in spreading the word is greatly appreciated.
*we will return to our semi-regularly scheduled photo review blogging shortly. Thank you for your support.
I cannot think of a situation more dire than that which is taking place in Syria and affecting Syrian people right now. I’d imagine we’ve all read about, and seen the horrific footage of the most recent spate of chemical attacks and while extremely hard to watch, if you haven’t, I think it important to do so to understand just what the evil in this world is capable of. The Syrian Civil Defense, known as the White Helmets are a group of Syrian rescue workers who risk life and limb to respond to bombings, chemical attacks and any other act of violence against innocent children, women and men, and do so outside of any political or religious framework. Pure humanitarian motivation. I would suggest seeing who they are, and what they do here: www.whitehelmets.org
As of the time of this writing (according to their website), 166 White Helmet volunteers have been killed, and yet they continue to charge into affected areas to help the people, the families, the children who are otherwise helpless.
Politics aside, and regardless of who is responsible for the continued aggression against Syrian civilians, we can at the very least, financially help. We will be donating 10% of all sales of Nauti Straps (find Nauti Straps HERE) to the White Helmets this month, and even if you’re not in the market for a camera strap, even a few dollars can help if you feel so inclined to donate directly. I’ve tried to find worthy causes to support each and every month, and right now, I cannot think of any cause in more immediate need. We may not be able to do much in the grand scheme of things, but this is one way that we’ve decided to try and use our new business to help a little bit.
We will be getting back to our regularly scheduled programing shortly as I have multiple lens reviews and comparison articles in the works.
Thanks all, be well and happy shooting.
Mrs Squeeze and I have been going back and forth about what to do, and how we can implement ways to both help others while alleviating the feeling of depressing hopelessness that seems to have crept into our collective consciousness. With a young family and ever increasing cost of living, we don’t have unlimited funds, nor, often time to dedicate to those who are on the front lines. Months back, we did a special sale code which led to us donating to Standing Rock this last Fall (thank you guys for helping out on that!), and now we have decided to eliminate a specific code, and just donate 10% of any and all sales through NautiStraps.com to a particular cause each month. It’s not going to change the world on its own, but it will help us feel as if we’re able to do a little something.
This month, we will be donating 10% of all sales of camera straps, to the Southern Poverty Law Center. The SPLC functions as a non-profit group which observes and tracks known hate groups throughout the United States. It provides legal and on the ground support to individuals as well as local law enforcement in cases where individuals and communities are threatened by these hate groups.
We recognize the danger behind marrying business with a political stance, but we’re at a point in our lives that we feel we should be trying to do whatever we can to push back against hatred in any form, and this is a small way we’ve chosen to do this. Over the years, I’ve worked hard to build relationships through this blog over the many years I’ve been writing it, and hope to continue to do so. If this offends you, I apologize, respect your difference of opinion, but feel you can now choose to continue to read my ramblings, or use this as an excuse to unfollow me. Of course, any and all help in spreading the word is greatly appreciated. I’m not going to lie, I don’t give these camera straps away (not often anyway) and have always looked to build this as it’s own standalone business, but we’re choosing to use this new business to provide a little financial support to causes we support moving forward.
You can see more about the SPLC and what they do HERE.
If you or anyone you know is in the market for a new, hand built camera strap, we’d be honored to make you one, and donate 10% of that to the SPLC. We will continue this monthly donation program through the year, while keeping an eye on areas that we feel are going to be in need of financial help. Many of us are very privileged in ways we may not even see or know. I am certainly guilty of taking many of my privileges for granted, and want to try to use these privileges to do something positive for those who may not have the same privileges.
Thank you all for the continued support, the read and the friendship. Let’s try to be good to and for each other.
You can find my hand built camera straps at Nautistraps.com
The Speed sling strap has been a mainstay for me, but over the last year, I’ve gotten feedback that an adjustable version would be something of interest to many. Well, I sourced a lightweight, but sturdy cam lock buckle to fit the strap material, re-designed how I was splicing the clasp on, and locking the strap, and boom. New Speed 2.
Weighing in at a mere 2.2 ounces, and utilizing the same high strength materials, stainless steel quick release clasp and proprietary hand built design, the new Speed 2 sling strap is perfect for mirrorless and compact cameras, for on the go photographers.
Available in Blue/White, Yellow/Gray, Orange/Gray, Red/White, Black/White and a new Solid Black with 3M® reflective tracer, the new Speed 2 is ready to go over at NautiStraps.com now. The straps can adjust from 16″-29″ (the original Speed sling strap was a fixed 25″) and are designed to wear across your body as a sling, attaching to the camera via a quick release spring clasp and 170lb test split ring (included). I like being able to switch between a Speed sling, and other straps using the quick release clasp. Especially handy when wanting to get straps out of the way on the tripod.
Available now for $48 including delivery (in the US), and for blog readers you can get a 15% discount for the next week (discount runs through Sunday, February 12th) using code “SPEED2” at checkout, these guys are ready to rock. As always, shipping via the US Postal Service is free within the US, and is a flat $10 rate for anywhere outside of the US.
Thanks for all of the support over the last year as I’ve been working on all of these straps. It means a lot, and I greatly appreciate the feedback and conversations I’ve had with many of you guys over this time.
To stay up on new articles, you can add your email address at the top of the page (via standard browser) or below if viewing on a mobile platform.
Ultra wide angle options for every system, tend to be expensive and/or compromised. It can be difficult to optically correct and transfer light onto these digital sensors which are far less forgiving than film ever was, especially outside of the center frame. Add to that, with various “crop” formats, the physical focal length needed to achieve these angles of view has to be remarkably short which provides other engineering challenges. Panasonic saw the need for an ultra wide angle zoom lens from the very early stages of the Micro 4/3 format, and has offered a very solid 7-14mm f/4 lens for years, but many system shooters wanted both a faster option, along with one that was environmentally sealed for outdoor work. Olympus answered that call with the m.Zuiko 7-14mm f/2.8 PRO lens. A substantial, weather sealed, tank like 14-28mm f/2.8 equivalent lens (in light gathering you FF fanatic naysayers, you) that costs a pretty penny, especially considering the Panasonic Lumix option at close to half the price, it’s not necessarily one for the budget minded shooter. It is however, a pretty damn stellar performer. I have had this lens for the better part of the year, and I’ve just returned from a trip to Portugal and Holland where I used this lens on the GX8 for my travel documentation needs. I have some other shots sprinkled in, but I want to give a bit of perspective when using this lens as a travel companion. C’mon in for some shots and thoughts…
Happy Tuesday from an extremely cold, wet day in the Pacific Northwest. Here in Portland, we’ve had more snow on the ground for a longer period of time than I can ever remember seeing in my years. This has led to mass school cancellations resulting in a Lord of the Flies type atmosphere around here with our kids and the others in the neighborhood. They’ve literally had one day of school since they had nearly 3 weeks of winter break. Shit has gotten serious. By serious, I mean seriously mental. This may explain why I’m feeling the need to move some straps as I’ve also been home, working and staring at these things on the shelf.
Normally $42, all Speed Sling Straps are available for 40% off when using code “SPEED40” at checkout which drops it down to $25.20 with free shipping in the US or a flat $10 international rate. (go to Nautistraps.com HERE) Good while the stock I have lasts, and currently, I’ve got every color stocked up – solid black, black/white, blue/white, red/dk gray, yellow/dk gray and orange/dk gray.
The Speed Sling is a lightweight, comfortable shoulder sling style strap with one connecting point, worn across body and attaching to the camera via a 170lb test split ring and steel spring quick release clasp. A great strap for compacts and mirrorless system cameras. I use these with my Sony a7II and Panasonic GX8 all the time. When wanting to switch it to a handheld, I wrap the strap a couple times around my wrist and it works wonderfully. Find the Speed Sling, and all my other designs at Nautistraps.com
Use code “SPEED40” to get 40% off the Speed Sling straps while I’ve got them in stock.
Find Nauti Straps on Instagram HERE, and tag me #ishootnauti to share with the NS fam.
Thanks and happy shooting,