“The more storage you have, the more stuff you’ll accumulate.” – Alexis Stewart

The advice from past Olympic shooters seems to follow a function of 2 :

  • Plan on the simplest tasks taking 2x longer than usual.
  • You’ll get half the sleep you need.  And with every biathlon race in PyeongChang starting after 8:00pm, that’ll be especially true at these Olympics.
  • Whatever you think you need for storage, multiply that by 2x.

That last one has me worried.  I’m committed to shooting twenty-six (!) races in x-c skiing, biathlon and nordic combined.  I’d really like to shoot at least one alpine event and hopefully some jumping.  Add in Opening and Closing ceremonies.  It’s a lot of images.

On the camera side, my D5 pushes out 20mb files.  And depending on settings, this new D850 has monster file sizes between 30mb and 52mb(!).

storage box

Bottom line — I’m going to need a bigger boat.  And after looking at every option under the sun and talking to the folks at B&H, I’ve settled on the Glyph Blackbox Pro.  8tb, 7200 drive and USB-C.  This obviously won’t be the only drive I bring to PyeongChang, but this will be my “central storage unit.”

It’s worth noting that I already have a Glyph Nano.  It’s also worth noting that it crashed last year after a particularly hard weekend of shooting.  But it was how Glyph got me back up & running that led to the Blackbox Pro.

Stuff breaks.  It happens.  But its how companies deal with those failures that build customer loyalty.



Magic Arms and Arca-Swiss Clamp Heads

This will be — without question — the single most boring post in the history of blogging and suitable only for the most discerning gear head.  But if you use a magic arm, I might be able to save you a little time.

A Manfrotto Magic Arm is just that.  Want to mount a camera on a basketball backboard?  You need a Magic Arm.  Hang a camera from rafters?  Magic Arm.  Tuck a flash up near the ceiling?  You know it.

The challenge is the connecting clamp.  I moved to Arca-Swiss style plates a long time ago.  Each camera has one mounted on the bottom.  Which means if I wanted to use my 244RC arm, I needed to stack a Manfrotto plate on the bottom.  Inconvenient for sure, but also unstable.

So as I started thinking about the Olympic trip, I thought about replacing the clamp with something Arca compatible.  And that, my friends, proved more difficult that you’d imagine.  The Magic Arm has an “anti-twist” flange that sits in a groove on the clamp.  Works great, but it also means that — for patent reasons or otherwise — most 3rd party clamp heads don’t work.  I tried a couple from Amazon with no luck.  Asked the kind folks at B&H and they didn’t have any suggestions.  Ditto with Really Right Stuff.

Then I found Chris of Hejnar Photo.  And quick email exchange later, I bought this clamp.  Fits perfectly.

Chris doesn’t call out the 244RC in the copy — which I hope he charges — but if you’re looking to replace a magic arm clamp, this is the way to go.