With the holiday season kicking in to high gear you might need some ideas for holiday gifts or stocking stuffers for the photographer in your life. It’s always difficult to decide what to get as you might not be sure what equipment they want or need and there is so much to choose from.
MindShift Gear has a number of possible solutions for you. MindShift is one of the most innovative accessory companies in the photography business today. Created by the founders of Think Tank Photo, MindShift provides equipment for the photographer that likes to get outside.
At the top of their line they have full-sized rugged backpacks but they also have a variety of other camera accessories all to encourage photographers to get out in the wild.
I have seen and tested several different products from their accessory line and I have been very impressed by the quality of the products that MindShift puts on the market. It’s in everything they do; from the packaging it is shipped in to the product itself. Nothing about their product is cheaply produced, its’ build quality is such that you can feel confident that your equipment is well protected.
The Contact Sheet
How often have you been out in the field and struggled to have enough workspace to set your camera equipment up? You balance a lens on your backpack but that’s never ideal. You hold a lens or your camera between your knees because you don’t want to put it down on the wet grass. Even when there are tables available, if you’re outside they’re probably covered in dirt or water, hardly an ideal environment in which to change lenses in preparation for your next shot!
To solve that problem MindShift has created the Contact Sheet, a large, 3.5 x 5.0 feet, lightweight and waterproof sheet that a photographer can use to set their equipment out when they’re out in the field. It’s even big enough to sit on while you change the equipment out.
Loops at each corner allow the photographer to attach the tarp to something creating a small sheltered workspace or possibly stake it down to create other options for working.
Once your done using it as a portable clean work surface you can wrap your equipment bag in the tarp ensuring it stays dry regardless of how wet the environment happens to be.
The tarp only weighs 5oz and comes in a mesh bag. It’s the perfect accessory to take with you on those hikes where you know you’ll be switching out lenses or filters to get the shot just right and you have no access to any kind of work area. It takes up hardly any space and can be used as a divider or extra packing in your backpack to ensure your equipment is packed well.
The Lens Change Case
The Lens Change Case is a recent addition to the MindShift line and it might be one of the most useful products in their line.
Worn as an accessory to the Rotation 180 Professional backpack it can also be used as a stand-alone accessory as the Velcro attachment flap will allow the case to be looped through and securely fixed to any standard belt.
The lens change case can accommodate wide-angle lenses with ease and readily accommodates the standard zooms that most photographers use, 24-105mm, 24-70mm or 70-300mm.
If you unzip the extender the pouch can accommodate a 70-200mm lens with hood reversed.
As an alternative use the main pouch has sufficient capacity to be able to accommodate a pro-sized flash and a lens and the MindShift people provide a padded divider should you want to use it that way. Their attention to detail in this instance is what sets them apart.
Another example of that attention to detail is the outer pouch. Sufficiently large to house some filters, cell phone, keys or other critical items the outer pouch has a zipped opening that extends across its top and fully down one side. However, to ensure no equipment or your car keys fall out there is a stitched compartment wall that creates a deep pouch inside the zipper; simple in its design but completely functional and user-friendly.
The lens change case also comes with its own waterproof cover that is contained in its own compartment on the bottom of the case.
If you like travelling light this lens change case can eliminate the need for a separate bag. Or in the event you want additional capacity over and above any backpack you might be carrying it can provide that too.
Either one of these accessories would make a great additional to any photographer’s kit and priced at under $50 you or your photographer will get considerable value out of either one. MindShift products are designed by photographers and made of the highest quality materials, two attributes that should impress.
MindShift is not broadly available across in red brick stores in the United States but these accessories and their entire product line is available online at www.mindshiftgear.com.