Bob Atkins Photography

Kinesis "SafariSack" beanbag

I'm not sure how much there is to say about a beanbag. They aren't very complex devices, but I recently shot using the Kinesis "SafariSack" and here is a brief report on what I found. 

The "SafariSack" is a flat bag, about 10" x 16" which is  (optionally) filled with about 6lbs of small, hard plastic beads. It is also available in a lightweight version filled with buckwheat husks. It has adjustable side straps which allow it to be used in a "A" configuration in which the inverted "V" part of the "A" is the bag folded in half, and the crossbar of the "A" is the side strap. This allows the bag to be raised slightly from a surface to cradle a lens, or to be draped over a car window when shooting from a vehicle. The bag also has a handle which can be extended to form a shoulder strap for easy carrying. 

I used the bag as a window support when shooting from the car on a recent trip to Brigantine NWR in NJ. With lenses up to a 600/4 (and a 1.4TC) the beanbag provided good support, allowing sharp exposures to be made down to about 1/90 second or so, sometimes even longer. That's pretty much all you can expect a beanbag to do. Sharp exposures at slower shutter speeds with such long lenses are tricky, even with a tripod. 

The bag appears to be well made and has a single zipper so the bag can be filled or emptied easily. It can also be used on top of a lens to damp out vibrations (useful with long telephoto lenses), or as a ballast to stabilize a small tripod or light stand.

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