We hope you all are having a great summer. This month we will talk about a few things. The first is the Mindshift Backlight 32L. I want to thank Mindshift for sending me the camera backpack to test out.

As most of you know I have been using Mindshift and Think Tank Bags for several years now. I find that they are amazing quality in both engineering and quality. My favorite is still my Mindshift MP-3 because of the butterfly opening system and its ability to fit in the smallest of airline overheads. So what about this Mindshift Backlight 32L?

The Mindshift Backlight 32L is amazing in quality. The pack is designed as an adventure pack where it not only carries tons of camera gear, but also trail hiking equipment such as jackets, knives, first-aid kits, etc... Its little brother, 26L, is built exactly the same, just a little smaller. The 32L means it will hold 32 Liters of stuff and the 26L means 26 liters of stuff.



                                     Shown above is a fully packed Backlight 32L




The Material on the 32L is a light weight nylon and is very water resistant. The pack also comes with a waterproof cover, but so far I haven't need it, even in a fairly heavy rain storm. The pack itself carries more like a back packers pack than a camera bag. In fact it is the most comfortable camera pack I have tried. With my 600 f/4 or 400 f/2.8 it was amazingly easy to carry.  The waist belt is heavy duty as all the buckles. The back padding and lumbar support is just like a high end trail back pack.




You load the pack from the rear. At first I though this would be inconvenient but it ended up that it had some advantages. Remember the rain I had it in, well it turns out with rain, there is mud. When you place your pack down backward to get to your equipment, the back of the pack stays clean. This means when you put it back on, your clothes stay clean. Another feature of the reverse opening is security. While walking through airports, there is no way someone behind you can open a zipper to the main compartment and steal your stuff.




I have fit a 600 f/4, but my typical setup is shown above. Nikon D5 with 200-500 f/5.6, 70-200 f/2.8, 24-70 f/2.8, D850, TC-14E III and TC-17E II converters, 14-24 f/2.8, 16mm fisheye, and SP-5000 Flash.

The outside zippered compartments also hold a 15" Macbook and 10 inch iPad. There is also plenty of room for those hiking essentials.




The top of the bag has a handle which is excellent for lifting the bag off the ground or out of an airline overhead. I love the soft handle and if I had a wish list is that the they add one to each side of the bag. This would make it easier to pull it in and out of the overheads. Having one on each side accommodates us left handed folks like myself. My bag loaded weight is between 28-30 lb, depending on the equipment choice of large lens.




In conclusion: I love the bag. The construction material is light and strong and the bag is one of the best carrying bags I ever wore. The security of the back load is a nice feature as well as the back never getting dirty so when you put the bag back on on the trail, you stay clean.




Here is a link to Hunts Photo for a 20% off the Mindshift Backlight 32L and 26L.



You can also contact Alan at Hunts if you'd rather call in your order. Either way, a great offer from Hunts to my Workshop folks. Here is how you can reach Alan: 

                                      Alan Samiljan

                                 Hunt's Photo & Video

                                       100 Main St.

                                  Melrose, MA 02176

                                    (781) 462-2383 



NIKON  300 mm AF-S PF with TC14E III converter as a wildlife lens.

         FujiFilm Mirrorless system as a wildlife system


July 12, Annette and I are headed to two destinations: Triple D Game Farm in Kalispell Montana, and Glacier National Park, Montana.

Our mission is to photograph babies at the Triple D for future workshops, and hopefully, bear, moose, and landscape photography in Glacier.

We are hoping to test two pieces of gear. One is from Nikon. The Nikon 300mm F/4 AF-S PF lens with a TC14EIII teleconverter is supposed to be a great light weight wildlife and birding lens. Annette and I will be borrowing one of these from NPS and giving it a test run. We will cover it in our newsletter and blogs. Andy Dunaway from Nikon let me test his at a meet we were at together. I only took a few shots, but it was impressive. Also shot one at the Sun & Fun Fly-in in Lakeland. Results were good there too. I can't wait to see how it does as a wildlife lens.





I have been asked about mirrorless systems for several years now. I haven't given one a full test on wildlife lately. My dear friend, Bill Fortney, hooked me up with Fujifilm. If all works out we will also be taking along a full Fuji Mirrorless system to see how it does for fast moving wildlife. We should have a full report on this system within the next few months.  Thank you Fujifilm for making these arrangements. Can't wait to get my hands on this light weight jewel. I have shot some Fuji when the X-T1 came out and I have to tell you, the image quality and glass was outstanding. Looking toward to testing the new faster autofocus of their latest cameras.





At some point I will be adding a mirrorless to my system. Maybe this  Fujifilm system will fit the bill.


Gary Farber at Hunt's Photo knows I am going to be testing a Fujifilm system. If you have an interest, please email him directly for the Vinny Colucci Package.


Email Gary at:    [email protected]


Speaking of Hunt's Photo... I have received emails asking me about the ModMod Wildlife Flash extender, and if the Hunt's Vinny Colucci Special still existed.  Here is a link to the special price at Hunt's Photo.



                          MagMod Flash Extender Wildlife Kit





                          Triple D Winter Shootout Feb, 2019


We have two spots that opened up for our 2019 winter Shootout at the Triple D Game Farm. This great event will be tons of fun, plus you will come back with thousands of images. Take a look at some images captured this past year.








We will put you in front of these animals, and more. Go to our link below and check out additional details.


                     Triple D Winter Wildlife Shootout 2019


I expect these two spots to fill quickly after this announcement. Sign up today and get your spot.  We already have a great group going. This will be a lot of fun and lots of images. We will have field and classroom sessions. We will be exploring post processing as well.



Our 2019 Calender  of events will start going up on our website by the end of July. 

We anticipate some of the following: Spring and Babies at the Triple D Game Farm, Grand Tetons & Yellowstone in the Spring, St Augustine Alligator Farm Rookery (Birds in Flight) Workshop, Outer Banks North Carolina and more.


Check out our Website for these events by the end of July, and we hope you will join us for some great photographic adventures.



                                                    Until Next Time, 


                                                 Happy Shooting





                        Nikon Professional Service Member Since 2003



                                         Singh-Ray Filter Advisor