Affiliate Page, Finally!

Over the years I’ve taken a stab at setting up an Affiliate Page, but something has always gotten in the way. I’ve never minded plugging items or gear that I use and like, no problem there. However, I wanted my Affiliate Page to be different from the page where I review products or gear I use because I want there to be a clear line. There should, in my opinion, be a line where on this side of it I tell people about products I like just because I want to express an opinion (after all, this is America right?) AND the other side of the line is where I tell people about products and may receive compensation for my opinions. So what’s the difference? For me, it’s basically ethics because I’m really telling people about these products in the same manner, with the same info, but it’s the end result that is different. If I’m saying in a product review, “this lens is incredible” that’s just me expressing an opinion and if you click the link, I get nothing. However, if I’m telling you on my Affiliate Page, “this lens is incredible” you need to know upfront that if you click the link and buy their product, I may be compensated in some way. Honestly, for me it doesn’t change my opinion of the product. If anything, possibly being compensated makes me want to be even more sure it’s a great product in the first place! I wouldn’t want to be compensated for plugging a low quality product, ever, because I feel that’s basically scamming…

So that’s my rational, the products that are on my Affiliate Page are:

1) Peak Design: I’ve been using them since 2012 or 2013, they have incredible bags, tripods, accessories for carrying your camera, and the best customer service you’ll find!

2) Canvas People: For the last year or so I’ve been a fan of this company, great canvas prints at a great price. They have lots more available as well!

3) Luminar AI by Skylum: Luminar AI has become an important part of my workflow, every bit as important as Photoshop and Lightroom has been.

4) Geekoto: They make an excellent entry level tripod I used for about a year (provided by them). They also make higher level tripods and other camera equipment.

I hope you’ll decide to try one of these products and, as always, thank you for following!

Geekoto X25 Defender Review

When the folks at Geekoto approached me about testing a tripod, at first I was flattered. However, later I was actually a little scared because I wondered what I would do if it just wasn’t very good?  Then what?  I decided that if it wasn’t very good I’d send it back with a polite, “thanks but no thanks.”  Fortunately, that wasn’t the case as this tripod was quickly a pleasant surprise!  Out of the box, the Geekoto X25 Defender tripod appeared to be a very sturdy aluminum alloy construction and surprisingly well-built considering it cost much less than my currentScreen Shot 2019-03-06 at 15.48.13 tripod.  I had everything needed to get started including a tripod plate, an allen wrench to tighten down parts, and even a decent carrying bag.  Immediately, everything on the X25 Defender was easy to understand; if you’ve used any name brand tripod you’ll understand every feature instantly from the leveling bubble to securing the legs; everything makes sense.  My attention was draw to features and quality that scream this thing should cost more than $150!  All the moving parts are smooth and everything locks down well with no drift in the ball head when you clamp it down for a shot.  Even the plastic on X25 doesn’t seem cheaply built!  While I’ve only had it for a few weeks, it does look like it will stand the test of time.  These are just my initial observations, everything about this tripod looks very promising. 

When I took it out shooting I noticed that my height of 5 foot 9 inches tall, this thing extends beyond my height out to 75 inches.  That said, like any tripod, the higher you extend it the less stable it becomes.  This tripod does as well as any other here, possibly better.  However, it’s more stable if Geeketo 2you extend the thinner legs last and go as high you can without raising the center.  On this day I wanted to see if the X25 Defender could handle a heavier load so I put a Tamron 150-600 G2 lens on my Canon 6D for a weight of about 6 pounds and extended everything out and it was surprisingly sturdy (photo at left)!  I wouldn’t recommend using this setup in extreme wind, but the point is that for every day use this tripod does a great job, but it can handle more.  If it can handle this bulky setup, I think it proves one aspect of its versatility.  One other feature worth discussing, the X25 Defender converts to a monopod as well!  When shooting I sometimes consider whether to bring a tripod or not, at times a monopod is just more practical so I then have decide tripod or monopod?  With this Geekoto tripod both options are readily available, very cool indeed! 

In my opinion, this Geekoto tripod is much better than most travel tripods I’ve owned.  When I’m at home I carry my carbon fiber tripod as it’s much more stable, however, it takes up way too much space when flying.  This tripod is somewhere between that tripod you have at home but can’t carry and the travel tripod you pack on trips because it fits in your luggage.Geeketo 1  The important item here, there’s not much compromising with this tripod, oh and it’s rated to hold 22 pounds!   This is a great entry-level tripod or an excellent travel tripod and frankly, I’ve paid more money for travel tripods that weren’t as nice as this one!  All in all, the Geekoto X25 Defender packs a lot of punch with a 360 degree panoramic ball joint combined with a center tube that also swivels 360 degrees allowing you to set this tripod up in just about any conceivable angle.  At the bottom of the center tube is a clip to hang a weight such as a camera bag, something my big name tripod doesn’t even have! Oh did I mention it has a monopod build in?  That’s bang for the bucks!

Like camera bags, no tripod is perfect, there were a couple of minor things that I personally wish were different but nothing that would be a deal break.  For instance, I prefer lever locks on the legs, it’s easier to visualize if they’re locked or not.  Also, the lockdown nut for the center tube at the base of the tripod, I’d prefer a screw type mechanism.  Neither of these are the end of the world, just a personal thing…  All in all I beleive this tripod should last a long time if properly cared for and not abused.  You can purchase your Geekoto Defender at Geekoto.com or Amazon.com for just $149.98, that’s about one quarter of what I spent my current tripod.  The Geekoto X25 Defender is a great bargain and solid tripod, I would gladly recommend this to anyone not wanting to spend a fortune yet wanting quality.  My plan is to keep using if for a while and maybe write more in the future.  Everything about using this tripod was a positive experience and I look forward to seeing Geekoto’s future offerings.  Thank you Geekoto for this great opportunity!

* Photos of me were taken by my daughters Amanda and Melinda Chizek.Screen Shot 2019-03-06 at 18.21.20