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Review: Freemod X-CAP2 Camera Lens Cap



Overview : The X-CAP2 is the most functional and effective lens cap to protect important lenses. With X-CAP2, you do not need to remove the lens cap every time you shoot, nor will you lose the lens cap.


Features :
  • INNOVATIVE DESIGN - Unique lens cap designed for compact system cameras with smart yet simple (pull and push) slide switch system that is lightweight and easy to use.
  • GREAT USABILITY - Easy to operate: Pull to open and Push to close. Operate effortlessly on instinct. You don’t have to be troubled by a loose traditional camera cap where you must removed and safeguard all the time.
  • EASY INSTALLATION - Super easy to install: Screw into the filter thread just like a regular UV filter. The standard filter interface fits a diverse range of lenses with the same filter thread (see compatible lens models below).
  • PERFECT PROTECTION - Protect your lenses from damage and dust the easiest way. The compact cap Integrates with the lens both size and aesthetic wise. The cap can forever stay on the lens once installed. Never lose your lens cap again.
  • SUPERB QUALITY - High standard of manufacturing with superior material. The cap ring and 6-piece central shutter are made of strong CNC milled aluminium alloy with sand blasting and anodizing finish. The body is PC-ABS plastic giving precise, outstanding texture.

Quality/Usability : Having to take off the lens cap can be a pain especially if you don't remember where you placed it or if you lost it. The X-CAP2 looks to offer your protection but staying on your lens.


The packaging is fairly basic with the products name, filter size and color on the bottom and instructions on the back. It was a little hard trying to figure out how to open the package which caused me to rip some of the package. I had to work my way around.


The X-CAP2 not made from plastic but is made from CNC milled aluminum alloy with anodizing finish. It is available in two colors: black and silver. The silver is basically black but the only part that is silver is the front element. The one I received is 43mm but is also available in multiple sizes: 37mm, 40.5mm, 46mm, 49mm and 52mm. Some lenses will require a filter adapter in order to fit.

Here is a complete list of compatible lenses such as Olympus, Sony, Panasonic, Canon, Fuji, Pentax and Sigma lenses.

The X-CAP2 is also available with an optional MRC-UV Protector embedded into the cap. The protector is cuts down on UV and is anti-reflection, anti-static and anti-smudge. The glass is made by STC Optical Company.


It's not visible in the picture but the X-CAP2 that was sent has the MRC-UV Protector. So this has a piece of glass inside and not a hole when the shutters are open. The X-CAP2 with MRC-UV does cost more. If you already have a UV protector on your lens already, you can just purchase the standard version and place the X-CAP2 over your filter.

From all the information I found online, I thought I would be receiving a 37mm X-CAP2 which would require a 43mm-37mm step down adapter. The units I received were 43mm and the manufacturer informed me that they had just finished production of the 43mm and that is why I received the 43mm instead of a 37mm with a step down adapter.

However, if the 43mm is not available for purchase, just know that the alternative is to buy the 37mm X-CAP2 and the 43mm-37mm step down adapter, which is available on Amazon for about $15 including shipping. It is an all-metal design with anodized black finishing.


As mentioned, there is a filter thread on the X-CAP2. That means that the cap attaches to the front of your lens like a filter would. Installation is fairly simply. Simply screw it on to the filter thread of the lens but don't tighten it too much. But in order for the dot/red line to align with the center of the lens, I had to turn it quite a bit but the X-CAP2 still operated without a problem.

Once the cap is on, pull the X-CAP2 out and align the center line with the dot on the lens, if applicable. If your lens doesn't have a center marking like the EF-M 22mm, you would just have to eyeball it.


To operate the X-CAP2, simply pull the cap away from the lens to open the shutter and push towards the lens to close the shutter. The previous generation of the X-CAP was an auto-cap. In other words, the shutter will open automatically when the camera is turned on. I would have like this better because it makes it look like it was meant to be on the lens. However, there is more moving parts and has a potential of being damaged. But from what I read online, it was discontinued because of vignetting issues with some lenses. That's not to say that the X-CAP2 will not have vignetting but it may also depend on the lens you install it on.

I don't have a lens hood for the EF-M 22mm but if you have your lens hood on, it may be in your way from grabbing the X-CAP2 and being able to pull it out to open the shutters. The X-CAP2 does act as a mini lens hood though.


The ring you see above is a extension filter adapter that is currently a prototype. With the X-CAP2 now occupying the filter thread of the lens, the front of the X-CAP2 doesn't have a filter thread. This fits right over the X-CAP2 which allows you to install a filter such as a ND or CPL (Polarizer) filter.

Conclusion : Overall, the Freemod X-CAP2 Camera Lens Cap is sturdy well made lens cap. It definitely replaces the standard lens cap and prevents it from being lost or misplaced. The lens cap is thin and compact so it does not take up a lot of space and blends in very well. The easy of use is very simple with a push and pull of the cap. This open and closes the shutters.

The price will deter some people who are interested when they can use the standard plastic lens cap and possibly buy replacements. But this has a nice cool factor.

I know the extension filter adapter is currently a prototype and Freemod is evaluating the need for it. I personally think they should offer it for sale. Some people do use ND and/or CPL filters so this will be an easy way for them to install it rather than taking the X-CAP2 off and on just to install the filter.




Manufacturer: Freemod
Site: Buy from FreemodBuy from Amazon

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Deal: Adobe Photoshop & Premiere Elements 15 for PC/Mac



As one of its daily deals, Amazon offers Adobe Photoshop Elements 15 & Premiere Elements 15 for Windows and Mac for $69.99 with free shipping. Deal ends today.

Deal: Oben Carbon Fiber Travel Tripod



As one of its daily deals, B&H Photo Video offers the Oben Carbon Fiber Travel Tripod, model no. CT-3561/BE-117T, for $229.95 with free shipping. It features rubber feet, a panning lock, and adjustable legs. Deal ends today.

The CT-3561 Carbon Fiber Travel Tripod with BE-117T Ball Head from Oben is a sturdy yet lightweight tripod with 5-section legs that fold upward 180° to create an extremely compact package for transport – with the included head attached, folded length is only 16.8". For further versatility, one of the legs unscrews from the chassis and attaches to the head & center column to form a working-height monopod. With a system load capacity of 17.6 lb, the tripod and head ensure a stable base for many DSLR body/lens combinations.

Press Release: Think Tank Photo Releases New Signature Shoulder Bag Series



The newly released Signature Series from Think Tank Photo is a modernized version of the classic shoulder bag. Hand sewn, advanced fabrics blend weather protection and durability with the classic feel of fine wool. Genuine leather detailing and metal hardware add character and stand up to the rigors of daily use. In addition, the zippered flap provides full closure and security to the main compartment, or tucks away when not in use. The Signature 10 fits a 10” tablet; the Signature 13 fits a 13” laptop. With our special relationship with Think Tank, by clicking on this LINK you will be able to add free gear and receive free shipping on your orders of the Signature bags and all of their other gear.

Think Tank Photo’s New “Signature” Camera Bag Series Features Advanced Fabrics For A Modernized Classic Shoulder Bag

Santa Rosa, Calif. – The Signature Series from Think Tank is a modernized version of the classic shoulder bag. Whether one is a young urban professional or corporate photographer, the Signature shoulder bag is as fashionable as it is functional. Hand sewn, advanced fabrics blend weather protection and durability with the classic feel of fine wool. Genuine leather detailing and metal hardware add character and stand up to the rigors of daily use.

“The new Signature Series features a modern fabric that is soft to the touch and yet is durable,” said Doug Murdoch, Think Tank Photo’s CEO and lead designer. “In addition, the zippered flap provides full closure and security to the main compartment, or tucks away when not in use. It is a next generation design for today’s discerning photographer.”

KEY FEATURES
  • Dedicated laptop/tablet compartment: Signature 10 fits a 10” tablet; Signature 13 fits a 13” laptop
  • Secure clasps on front flap with one-handed operation
  • Dedicated phone pocket fits up to an iPhone 6s+ or S7 Edge
  • Wide handle pass-through for attaching to rolling luggage
  • Large front pocket for an extra strobe, rain cover or small book
  • Long, cushioned neoprene shoulder pad positions easily when worn cross-body
  • Zippered front pocket provides security for small items and includes a built-in organizer for pens and business cards
  • Quilted velex dividers can be customized to fit gear
  • Shorter dividers can be made into shelves to stack short lenses and primes
  • Dividers and bottom foam can be removed for a completely collapsible bag
  • Although the bag’s outer fabric is treated with water resistant coating, a seam-sealed rain cover is included for downpour conditions
GEAR CAPACITY
Signature 10
  • 1 standard size DSLR with 3–4 prime lenses and accessories
  • A complete Mirrorless camera system with 3–4 lenses and accessories
  • 10” tablet fits inside a dedicated compartment
Signature 13
  • 1 standard-size DSLR with mid-range zoom attached plus 2–3 additional lenses
  • 13” laptop fits inside a dedicated compartment
MATERIALS
Exterior: All fabric exterior treated with durable water resistant coating while fabric underside is coated with polyurethane for superior water resistance. The bag also has 240D wool-like 195G nylon/poly blend, full-grain leather, antique-plated metal hardware, highest quality YKK® RC-Fuse zippers, 550D polyspun, nylon seatbelt webbing, neoprene, 3-ply bonded nylon thread.

Interior: 210D silver-toned nylon lining, polyurethane-backed quilted Velex liner and dividers, high-density closed-cell foam dividers, 2x polyurethane coated nylon 210T seam-sealed taffeta rain cover, nylon binding, 3-ply bonded nylon thread.

PRODUCT SPECIFICATIONS
Signature 10
  • Internal Dimensions: 11.8” W x 7.8” H x 5.1” D (30 x 20 x 13 cm)
  • Exterior Dimensions: 13” W x 9.1” H x 5.9” D (33 x 23 x 15 cm)
  • Tablet Compartment: 11.4” W x 7.8” H x 0.8” D (29 x 20 x 2 cm)
  • Weight: 2.8 lbs. (1.3 kg)
Signature 13
  • Internal Dimensions: 13.3” W x 9.1” H x 5.1” D (34 x 23 x 13 cm)
  • Exterior Dimensions: 14.6” W x 10.4” H x 6.3” D (37 x 26.5 x 16 cm)
  • Laptop/Tablet Compartment: 13” W x 9.1” H x 1.2” D (33 x 23 x 3 cm)
  • Weight: 3.1 lbs. (1.4 kg)

Deal: 15% Savings for Now & All Summer Long at BorrowLenses



Wedding season is in full swing and BorrowLenses is offering 15% off rentals with code WEDSEASON17 by 4/3/17. Place your order by 4/3 and get a bonus 15% unique discount that can be used limitless on the same gear until 9/30/17.

    Oberwerth Launches Donau Line of Leather Lens Pouches



    I never heard of Oberwerth but they are a German manufacturer, best known for its high-end leather camera accessories and bags. They just launched their new Donau line of leather lens pouches. The pouches are handmade in Germany from soft cowhide leather. A surface finish provides stain protection and should preserve the natural material's shine for a long time to come. In the interior, the pouches are lined with non-pilling wool felt to keep your valuable glass scratch-free.


    The Donau pouches come in four sizes: S, M, L and XL. The different sizes accommodate lenses of various dimensions but at a width of 9.5 cm/3.74 in and a diameter of 9 cm/3.54. The XL version seems more suitable for a large prime rather than telephoto zoom lenses. The pouches are available now, starting at $150/€139 for the small size. The XL variant will set you back $214/€199. More information is available on the Oberwerth website.

    Source: DPreview

    Review: Spider Holster SpiderLight Backpacker Kit



    Overview : The SpiderLight Backpacker KIT allows you to carry your camera with extreme comfort and ease. A quick snap-in connection securely fastens the SpiderLight Adapter to your bag's strap. The SpiderLight Holster then mates with the adapter (simply slide the holster into the adapter - adapter's lock will engage automatically). The adapter pad cushions your camera, elastic band wraps around the camera lens to prevent camera movement when walking/hiking.


    Features :
    • Spider/GoPro adapter plate - allows full compatibility with GoPro accessories/cameras
    • Sliding the holster into the adapter automatically engages the locking mechanism
    • Adapter's unique design allows quick insertion of the LIGHT Holster base for camera carry
    • The adapter pad cushions your camera
    • Elastic bands wrap around camera lens for stability
    • Arca-Swiss geometry/design
    • Attaches to Backpack or Bag Strap
    • Mates with Select GoPro Accessories

    Quality/Usability : Since we have reviewed the SpiderLight Holster Camera System separately, this review will mainly focus on the Backpacker Kit only.


    The Backpacker Kit includes the holster, plate, hex key, GoPro adapter plate, backpacker holster base, pad, vertical adapter and instructions.


    The plate is essentially a mini-me version of the SpiderPro version. The holster is attached to the backpacker base but can also attach to your belt when taken off the backpacker.

    The SpiderLight Holster has a two-position lock. In it's lower position, the lock secures your camera each time it’s placed in the holster. If you pull the latch up, it allows you to remove the camera but the next time you put your camera in, its locked in until you pull the latch up. In the upper position, you don't have to constantly pull the latch as the lock disengages for quick and easy access to your camera.

    Even at the upper position, the camera won't fall out due to the weight of the gear holding it down and the long travel it would have to go up in order to fall out.


    The plate attaches to the bottom of your camera. To tighten the plate to your camera, you can use the D-ring or the included hex key. I prefer to use the hex key since using the D-ring felt a little cheap when trying to tighten the screw. The plate connects to any tripod quick release plate that is Arca-Swiss tripod compatible. You can see our comparison video between the SpiderPro and SpiderLight plate.

    The pin is pre-attached and allows your camera to move freely with you as you move. Your lens points backward allowing you to squat quickly with no worries, and your flash (if you use one) hangs parallel to your leg. The pin is removable if needed.

    Underneath the plate are two strips or rubber to help provide friction. There are also two black nylon screws that act as bumpers for your camera. If you have a grip for your mirrorless, this can be removed.

     
    (pictures from SpiderLight Holster review)

    One of the things that Spider Holster is highly excited about is the fact that the plate does not cover your battery door. If the plate configuration out of the box gets in the way of your battery door, you can actually loosen the tripod screw (it acts as a stopper), slide the base out and rotate it around.

    There is also a 1/4-20 screw mount in case you want to mount something to it.


    The backpacker consists of the holster base and pad. The pad is pre-attached to the base and offers protection to the camera and lens. The velcro strap also holds the camera close to the pad.


    The holster base is made of durable plastic similar to that of the Black Widow. On the right side of the base is a lever switch. This allows you to disengage the lock so you can remove the holster whether it be that you want to wear the holster only on your pants or you want to mount the GoPro Adapter Plate.

    I don't know if it was intended to be used this way but you can also slide your pants belt through the loop of the base and wear it on your pants if you don't want to attach it to your backpack strap.

      

    The Vertical Adapter is what holds the backpacker onto the backpack strap. The velcro acts as a strap and is used to help tighten the adapter to your strap. The backpack strap sits between the plate and velcro as shown below.


    To attach the vertical adapter, place it behind the backpack strap. Place the thin velcro over the strap followed by the larger pad. This will keep the Backpacker adapter in place.


    Trying to mount the Backpacker Kit onto my Peak Design Everyday Backpack, it was hard. If the strap is too thick, it will require a lot of pressure to snap the adapters together. I also tried to mount the Backpacker to my Mindshift Gear backpack and it also required a lot of pressure to get the adapters to snap together.


    The GoPro Adapter Plate is made of plastic and has two notches on the side. So it doesn't matter which way you insert the plate, it will get locked into place. I'm using my GoPro 3+ Black Edition and it came with a clip. However, I have the Bacpac LCD so it was too big. I had to use adapters so that it cleared the J-clip. Spider Holster showed the GoPro Session in their marketing images that used a different J-clip.

    Conclusion : Overall, the Spider Holster SpiderLight Backpacker Kit offers a different location to carry your camera. Unfortunately, trying to attach the adapter to the backpack strap can be annoying as it requires a lot of pressure to get it to snap together. So if you have a thick strap, be prepared.

    As I mentioned in the review above, you can clip the holster or loop your pants belt through the backpacker base. So its kind of like the Black Widow but with Spider Pro quality. So essentially, you're getting three setups in this: holster only on your pants belt, holster with Backpacker base to provide stability and protection and Backpacker mounted to the backpack strap.

    The GoPro adapter plate worked well and was secure. But I used the original J-clip that came with my GoPro 3+ Black and I couldn't mount it with the Bacpac LCD. I had to use an extension. I'm guessing there are newer or differently designed J-clip available.




    Manufacturer: Spider Holster
    Site: Buy from AmazonBuy from B&H Photo / Buy from Adorama

    Deal: Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 Ultra Wide Angle Lens



    Adorama offers the Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 Ultra Wide Angle Lens for a variety of cameras from $249 with free shipping, as listed below. It features hybrid aspherical lens elements, a minimum focus distance of 28cm, manual focus, and a lens hood. The deals:

    Deal: CamRanger Wireless Transmitter



    As one of its daily deals, B&H Photo Video offers the CamRanger Wireless Transmitter, model no. 1001, for $199.99 with free shipping. It allows you to control select Canon and Nikon DSLR cameras remotely via your iOS device and features a 150-foot range. Deal ends today.

    Deal: 3Pod Aluminum Video Tripod Set



    Adorama offers the 3Pod Aluminum Video Tripod Set, model no. 3P-V3AH-K, bundled with the Flashpoint 160-LED On Camera Light for $119.95 with free shipping. It features a 2-way fluid head and quick-release plate.

    Deal: Tenba Discovery Large Shoulder Bag



    As one of its daily deals, B&H Photo Video offers the Tenba Discovery Large Shoulder Bag in Black or Sage for $39.95 with free shipping. It features a pop-out camera compartment, padded side cargo pockets, and dual front accessory compartments and holds two DSLRs, up to seven lenses, and a flash. Deal ends March 11.
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