I plan on increasing the frequency of blog postings on equipment. I receive a lot of emails asking me about what equipment I use and which camera settings I prefer. So instead of keeping my thoughts (but not secrets) to just those that ask I think I will share.
The first item I want to talk about is The Blubb which stands for (Big Lens Ultimate Beanbag). This is also the most recent piece of equipment I have picked up receiving it as a Christmas gift from my beloved wife. The Blubb is the brain child of Art Morris, Avian Photographer extraordinaire. (If you click on the link above, you can see more images and Art’s commentary on The Blubb).
So far I really enjoy using The Blubb. I have looked far and wide for a versatile bean bag. What attracted me to The Blubb in the first place was its design. It is designed from the ground up to use in a car. I often find myself using my truck as a blind when photographing birds. It is not always practical to “sneak up on” birds. It is especially not practical to sneak up on them when the temperature is below freezing! The reason you need something between your camera lens and the naked car door is vibration. Even with the car off, any vibration from the camera is amplified by the hollow metal car door which results in blurry images. It is virtually impossible to get sharp images unless you use some medium in between lens and car body.
I have tested The Blubb on several different car doors and it seems to work well regardless of model or size. I have also used The Blubb on the hood of my truck and given how high it is (and how short I am) it works just like a tripod. If you were to use this on a car hood, you would need to hunch over considerably. The unit I received was well made, sturdy as a rock. I suspect it will hold up well for many years to come. I really like the overall construction.
A few points here. 1) DO NOT use your power windows as a way to adjust the hight of your Blubb and long lens, it will not hold up to the weight. In fact, I like keeping the window down if at all possible. 2) Art mentions in his instructions included with The Blubb to use approximately 16 lbs of pinto beans as filler. I found that 12 lbs was right for my needs. I did also experiment with using bird seed as filler and I think that is a better solution given the decreased cost of seed over beans!
So if you are looking for a bean bag to help you stabilize your camera and long lens from a car, or a dock, or a patio or the ground for that matter, The Blubb is a great compliment to any camera bag.
Note: I do not currently receive any compensation or free products from Birds as Art or its affiliates.