An unfortunate name in that there is nothing on top of this hill made of wood, stone or even chocolate. Just an iron age hill fortification with commanding views across Somerset and into Dorset.
The sky was quite overcast and the low bank of cloud threatens to curtail my photography earlier than originally expected. For the 4th day in a row however, it is not raining which hopefully signals that the weather is on the turn.
I have been experimenting with four bits of gear today: the WCL 100 wide angle converter for the Fuji X100s, an 850IR infrared filter and a Hahnel compact C4 Triad travel aluminium tripod. These accessories and more have been snug inside my Ona Bowery canvas and leather shoulder bag. The tripod has been slung over the strap when not in use.
The Bowery bag is smaller than most girls handbags but holds all the accessories I need for a landscape of travel shoot. My only criticism would be the seatbelt like shoulder strap which has little friction and slips off my shoulder with alarming regularity. Most people probably wear this bag across their bodies but this feels slightly constricting and I don’t like the feeling. Next time out I will attach the Billingham Shoulder Pad and see if this helps. A really small bag encourages me to travel light and not lug unnecessary gear up the hill.
I was led to believe that the IR850 infrared filter turns skies black and green foliage white. Either the one I have is not fit for purpose or I have been misinformed. All it would appear that this filter does is act as an 8 stop neutral density filter turning everything red unless you are set to Black and White. I was also told that these filters cut through the haze as infrared light is everywhere. This didn’t work either.
The WCL100 wide angle converter will probable live permanently on the front of my X100s. It improves camera handling giving a solid grip for the supporting hand to hold. Taking the view from 35mm to 28mm which is more similar to my favourite vision focal length.
The Hahnel Triad tripod feels better made than the Velbon UT43D. It doesn’t stand as high but packs down as small and light as the Velbon. The rubber leg turns don’t rip at your skin like the Velbon either which is a bonus. I particularly like the head with quick release plate which is perfectly weighted and balanced for Fuji X Series cameras.
A pleasant walk and overall I was impressed by the kit. The filter was about as underwhelming as the lack of a chocolate castle. Maybe it is in the pub.