Since my initial review of Rogeti’s debut RG-1 geared head a year ago, I have thrown the proverbial kitchen sink at this tripod head. As long-term experiences go, I could not be happier with the performance that I managed to squeeze out of the RG-1. It served me well in a range of weird scenarios, including trying to capture images from precarious leans over balustrades to complex shifted HDR panoramas of ceilings. I used it on small residential shoots and big commercial jobs alike, in sun as well as rain (well, once at least). It did so with zero play in the mechanism while retaining the smoothness of its controls.
Note: This article was updated with long-term impressions in 2021. See the end of the article for details on corner performance, wear and tear, and other commonly asked questions.
Fujifilm announced their first X-System camera, the X-PRO1, way back in 2012. Initially suffering from a lack of lens options, the system has since grown to include over two dozen lenses, with many more added every year. Third party lens offerings are equally increasing in numbers.
A few years ago I did not get the fuss that some photographers made about tripods. At that point, all I wanted was a stable platform for my camera. I had a reasonably priced aluminium tripod that came up to eye-level. You could even attach a camera to it, so what more could I possibly have wanted?
A little later I found that tripods are like lenses: You are always one short of what you think you need. My affordable jack-of-all-trades tripod was soon replaced by a sturdier version for commercial work. Since it was a bit on the hefty side I decided to add a half-height tripod for camping trips in the mountains to my collection. Did I mention shooting in the ocean yet? Salt water does funny things to a tripod, so I added a waterproof one to my collection. You see where this is going …
For years I had been shooting alongside photographers who use panoramic heads. For my style of photography I never really saw the need. I would shoot the odd single-row panorama, but I was totally fine doing so with a standard tripod head.
As more panoramas started creeping into my work, I encountered more issue with panoramas that would not stitch properly. Ridges in the distance would not align or my foregrounds had zig-zag patterns of misalignment running through them.
This is not a fully fledged review. If you are after a comprehensive analysis by someone who has spent weeks with the GFX you will be bitterly disappointed. What you will find here are honest first impressions by a not-so-very-technical guy who makes a living with photography. Chances are that I got some things wrong in the little time that I had with the camera. I will trust you take my musings with a grain of salt.
In the spirit of full disclosure you should also know that I am a Fujifilm X-Photographer. The Fujifilm NZ team was so kind to provide me with a sample GFX and assorted lenses for some personal testing. Why they trusted me with kit equivalent to the value of a mid-range car is beyond me, but hey, you know the one about gift horses!
How to combine an ergonomic day pack and a camera insert to create a pain-free alternative to classic photography backpacks.
I’m 38 years old, and I’m a bit of a wreck. A lifetime spent behind a desk combined with bad luck playing the genetic lottery will do that to you. I love tramping (aka hiking, if you are a non-Kiwi), but years ago I was not enjoying the experience any more. Back and neck pain had finally caught up with my sedentary lifestyle. It was time to find a new carrying system.
I fell in love with Aarn Packs, a New Zealand outdoor gear company that specialises in ergonomic backpacks (or bodypacks, as they call them), after exploring the market for a while. Considering that they completely reinvented backpacks, that’s a bit of an understatement. I started using one of their bigger overnight packs and my pain just went away.