peak design everyday messenger bag review…

I will start out and say that this bag is by far the best bag I have ever used….bar none! An enormous amount of thought has gone into its design and its materials as well as the quality. Its not the cheapest out there but it is the best.

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The bag is particularly suited to my default travel Olympus Micro 4/3rds kit. I have just about everything I need and there is still room for another lens or two.fullsizerender-6

The back pockets contain a 17″ laptop plus an iPad air2.

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Very clever pockets on either side take mobile phones and keys and the one handed clasp system is secure and a pleasure to use. There are numerous very clever pockets which are very usefully placed such as the red pocket below which I use for passports which is accessible from the quick access zipper on top of the bag. As you can see – the divider system is also very flexible and lightweight allowing for lenses to be stacked.

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As you can see here – all this fits into the bag with ease…5 lenses and a body with grip; iPad air2 and a 17″ MacBook pro with power brick; various batteries; carry strap; iPhone; lots of bits and pieces and a set of keys

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The one thing I forgot to photograph is a very flexible strap system with various configurations that you can see on the Peak Design website

I am so happy with this bag that I felt compelled to tell you all about it. Don’t even think twice about buying one if you are in the market for a new bag.

 

An interview with me in Ragazine…

Marc Rogoff  Interview:

From Bosch to Hopper

by Jean-Paul Gavard-Perret

Contributing Columnist

 

Marc Rogoff : The Capgras Invocation, London, 2016

With “The Capgras Invocation” Marc Rogoff invents a story where there woman is prey or an executioner in a theatrical game of shadow and light. The legs of the black angel become the elements of the dream within the “material” light. The riddle crawls within ambiguous and noxious places. The ” pact of photography” (Denis Roche) is in the service of mystery and of doubt. The world is suspended. The borders of the reality are disrupted to allow an uncertain crossing of an eye labyrinth where innocence is no longer appropriate.

(Avec « The Capgras Invocation » Marc Rogoff invente une narration où là femme est proie ou bourreau dans un jeu théâtral d’ombre et de lumière. Les jambes de l’ange noir deviennent les éléments du songe au sein de la « matière » lumière. L’énigme rampe au sein de lieux équivoques et délétères. Le « pacte photographique (Denis Roche) est au service du mystère et de doute. Le monde est suspendu. Les frontières du réel sont disloquées pour permettre une traversée incertaine d’un labyrinthe oculaire où l’innocence n’est plus de mise).

Rogoff 5Q) What makes you get up on morning? 

A) I guess the thing that gets me up every morning is the opportunity another day on earth presents me for discovering more about life, the universe and everything. I am lucky enough to be able to pursue a creative career that enables me to explore and learn and that is something that drives every minute of my day.

Q) What happened to your dreams as child? 

A) I wanted to be a pilot like my grandfather and it was a shock to discover at the age of 16 when I was put in front of a career counselor at school that I did not have the qualifications to pursue this. In retrospect I am quite glad I didn’t as my life would have taken an entirely different turn.

Q) What did you give up? 

A) If you are asking ‘me what I gave up in terms of my career – nothing. I transitioned my career to what I do today. If you are asking what I have given up in life then again I would say nothing. I don’t really give up – I am an extremely determined person so if it looks like I have given up something then rest assured it was done on my own terms.

Q) Where do you come from? 

A) I was born in South Africa and went to boarding school in England from the age of 11.

Q) What is the first image you remember ? 

A) It was a print of The Garden of Earthly Delights by Hieronymus Bosch (a depiction of heaven and hell) that was hung on a wall of our house in South Africa. I used to stare at it for hours… I still think it influences me today.

Q) And the first book ? 

A) My first book I can remember reading was “The Magical Faraway Tree” by Enid Blyton, which was a book about a series of worlds that existed at different levels of a tree. This probably still influences me to day too!

Q) That is what distinguishes you from other artists? 

A) Not sure I am able to answer that. I think each artist is an individual and if you put 10 photographers in a room together and asked them to photograph an object you would end up with 10 very different photos. My collective experiences inform everything I do subconsciously and I do have a very strange set of experiences to draw upon to make me different.

Q) Where do you work and how? 

A) I work in the UK primarily and spend a lot of time on various locations for shoots.

Q) To whom do you never dare write ? 

A) I can be pretty outspoken so if I feel that I need to write to someone I will do so if I feel that I am able to engage from an intellectual perspective.

Q) What music do you listen ? 

A) I have extremely varied taste in music ranging from Rock through Ambient, to Indie as well as Classical.

Rogoff 2Q) What is the book you love read again? 

A) “The Buddha in Daily Life” by Richard Causton

Q) When you look yourself in a mirror who do you see? 

A) I am like a mirage. I can’t see myself clearly – I change from moment to moment. I think I reflect the basis of all reality in that way. Nothing is static and nothing lasts. I sometimes scare myself by looking into my own eyes too long!

Q) What city or place has value of myth for you? 

A) I love the city of Capetown in South Africa. It is a city that has limited space to develop as it is stuck between Table Mountain and the ocean. It is the city that is most connected to nature that I have been to. It’s all around. You can smell the sea from an office block and get in a car and within 10 minutes be in the wilderness. I love that.

Q) What are the artists you feel closest? 

A) I guess I feel closest to Edward Hopper. I feel that if I had pursued painting that he would have been the kind of artist I would like to have been. At the same time I love Dali for the depth of exploration of the mind.

Q) What film make you cry ? 

A) Toy Story (no idea what that says about me?)

Q) What would you like to receive for your birthday? 

A) An end to Rhino poaching in the world.

Q) What do you think of the sentence of Lacan: “Love is giving something that we don’t have to someone who does not want”? 

A) I feel that that this is a rather depressing view of Love as this suggests that love is unattainable. I am a romantic so believe that love is taking a risk by giving the most intimate and personal part of yourself to someone and saying “Guard this well”….and hoping they do.

Q) And w. Allen: “The answer is Yes but what was the question?” 

A) Would you go through this life again?

Q) What question I missed ? 

A) Where do we go from here?

 

Marc Rogoff was interviewed by Jean-Paul Gavard-Perret, June 2016.

See more of Marc’s work at: www.marcrogoff.com

Blood Moon….

I decided to wake up and take a few shots of the Eclipse 2 nights ago. Instead of the obvious system to shoot it with I thought I would give my little Olympus OMD EM1 a go with the superb Olympus M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 40-150mm 1:2.8 PRO Lens with MC-1.4 1.4x Tele Converter giving me a 420mm equivalent focal length. Not as close as I would ideally have liked to be but very usable indeed and the colour rendition was spot on.

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Mini review of the Voigtlander Nokton 25mm F0.95 Type 2 for Micro Four Thirds

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First thing to say is that this is a hefty lens. Not too heavy but it feels like it means business with its all metal construction and abundance of glass. It balances well on my OMD EM-1 and is perfectly useable as a walk around lens. It is also a good looking lens and has a subtle aesthetic that is not too loud and as a result not that noticeable for street work (non-threatening). Mechanically it feels like quality….very smooth on both focus and the aperture ring. The aperture ring conceals a very useful Film function which allows for a stepless aperture. By pulling and turning a barely noticeable ring in front of the aperture ring it gives the facility to quickly move into a stepless mode which is useful for all you filmmakers out there. The close focussing capability is great too – not sure exactly how close one can get but in the image below of the Unicorn’s head I would say it is maybe 5cm. Coming to the most important aspect of the lens – image quality… All I can say is wow! For a full frame 50mm equivalent lens it is superb. This gives Micro Four Thirds users a great way of isolating detail at 0.95 and it is nice and sharp theretoo… By F2 it is even sharper and has an immaculate bokeh – “buttery” is the adjective I would use. It has just the right amount of contrast and the colour rendering is spot on. Downsides…? Well weight is one and the fact that it is a manual focus lens in the obvious other but once you get used to using it – particularly if your camera has ‘peaking’ it is manageable. It does slow you down but that is not entirely a bad thing IMHO as it makes even mundane images stand out the way a Leica Summicron 50 does. There are no other reasons to not buy this lens if you are looking for a great 50mm that has Filming capability.
Here are a few unremarkable and random handheld images taken with it that will give you an idea of its capabilities… The unicorn and crystal were shot at 0.95, the one of my step sister was at f2 I think and the power lines at f8.
I got my lens from Robert White (There is currently a £50 cashback on all Voigtlander lenses too see here)
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