500mm of Pure Fuzz

500mm of Pure Fuzz

Back out again to get my head around the R5 from Canon. This week I picked myself up a CFexpress card which basically unlocks the high-grade video functions of the camera. I also wanted to see how the Sigma 500mm lens went on it when using it with the lens adaptor.

I took myself down to Long reef, a local headland to have a play with the video functions and the 500mm. There was plenty going on down there but conditions weren’t the greatest. A weird haze sucked the colour out of everything. Oh well, it’s only a test.

The 500mm was a cheap lens. I picked it up second hand a while ago for around $600 practically brand new. Poor thing though, it’s not the sharpest point in a pack of pencils but it’s certainly not as bad as the blog title suggests. It used to struggle to focus on my 5D but I didn’t notice this issue today. But for just playing around its fun. Everything below was shot with the 500mm from around 700m away according to Google

And the video….. well I just had to test the slow motion functions of the camera 😀

Posted by Richard in What's going on
Practice makes…..better.

Practice makes…..better.

My poor 5dmk 3 has definitely seen better days, bits of the protective rubber have fallen off, it’s missing a label that tells you which setting it’s on (thankfully I know this camera so well that I know where its set anyway) and it has numerous cosmetic chips and scratches. After 7 years of shooting events in rain and dust, it shows its age but it still fires away as reliable as ever. I’m just not so sure for how much longer though. Enter the R5

The new R5 from Canon has just a few more (roll my eyes in sarcasm here) features than my 5d3. I’m not going to go into all that here as there are plenty of reviews and comparisons on the internet. But this does mean that I need to go out and get my head around the new buttons and new functions, to try and get the camera set up the way that I am comfortable with so I can change all my settings without thinking about it. Hence practice makes, maybe not perfect, but better at least.

I took myself off to one of my local bike tracks. It’s a great track for shooting with some super cool locations but of late the mosquito population there has gotten out of hand. It is right next to some wetlands but I don’t remember my first few shoots there being swamped by mosquitoes. Now to make matters worse it has been reported that Ross River Virus is present there. Its a nasty virus and definitely not something you want to get. Either way my days shooting there are done for the moment. It’s probably fine riding but when you are standing around waiting for riders the mosquitoes tend to mob you. I got a couple of shots there but then had to leave. If i go back to shoot again it will be set up with a rider where we go in and get the shots quickly and get out again

Still determined to get my practice in I took myself off to my local dirt jumps for an afternoon session and caught up with my friend Sam who I hadn’t seen for a while. Always a friendly fellow and always keen for a bit of DJ action. There was a fair-sized crew up there so plenty to shoot but I’ll be up more and more as I try to nail all the functions and settings on this new beast of mine.

Oh and so far all my impressions of the R5 are definitely positive. Below are a few shots from the day and you can find some more and grab yourself a copy here in the sessions gallery.

Posted by Richard in What's going on
Lander Cairn Powerbank

Lander Cairn Powerbank

The Lander Cairn Powerbank Is Shining The Way For All Other Lanterns

The hideous white glare of the typical camp lantern is something akin to creating a scene from a refugee camp, not forgetting the hordes of bugs that come travelling from miles around for a kamikaze nose dive in your face. Well, we have seen the light, pardon the pun, and it’s come to us in the form of the Cairn. An ingenious little lantern that has a couple of nifty tricks up its proverbial sleeve.

First Impressions

There are few brands, although I can think of one right now (sounds like schnapple) who are masters of creating things we thought we’d never need, but now there is another; a lantern called the Cairn.

Whereas other products often clutter our lives with needless things, the Cairn has brought a marked degree of pleasure to our camping activities. The Cairn is a thing of beauty and as soon as you hold it in your hands, you’ll be charmed, just like we were.

The Cairn is not only a lantern but also a power bank for charging external devices. It’s incredibly versatile at setting different lighting moods, robust and durable for the outdoor lifestyle and just looks bloody great!

The Lander Anchor System. You can hang the Cairn pretty much anywhere you like.
Are you charmed yet?


The Cairn, made by the brand Lander,  is first and foremost a lantern, but it does have another pretty cool feature, and that’s being able to charge other electronic devices. Admittedly, this will reduce the number of hours you get out of the light but at least you’ll be able to make that important phone call or group selfie if need be.

Variable Dimming

The Lander Cairn features a 300 lumen LED light with a fully adjustable dimmer functionality, designed to fit into any setting, be it dusk, late night or the early morning. The LED light creates an intimate soft glow for smaller spaces and all the way up to a super-bright light that floods the entire campsite.

Changing the brightness is easily achieved via the dimming feature, which is integrated into the power button. Simply press and hold and the light dims and brightens, then release when you get to your desired brightness.

Battery Life

Lander claims that you will get around 2.5 to 3 hours on full brightness (300 lumens), and we agree that is pretty accurate. We got around 2.5 on a very cold night in the Blue Mountains but on other warmer nights, we got a little more out of it, which was expected.

But 300 lumens is very bright, you would probably use only half that (150 lumens) for the majority of campsite use, and lower still when in the tent. You can expect to get about 6 hours + out of the device if you are solely using it at 150 lumens and not using it to charge any other devices.

When you hit the 3-hour limit (at 300 Lumens), it doesn’t just shut off completely, it reduces the brightness to around 10 lumens and can continue at this brightness for about 10+ hours. Admittedly, 10 Lumens isn’t bright, but it’s certainly better than nothing. The Cairn takes about 2 hours to charge from flat to full.

Power points in the Cairn powerbank
The Cairn is rechargeable and can also charge other electronic devices.
Lander Cairn Powerbank can charge your phone
The Cairn powering up a smartphone.

External Device Charging

The Cairn is a rechargeable unit thanks to the built-in 3300mAh battery and is also equipped with a 2.1 amp USB charging port to power external devices.

When the Cairn is at full charge, you can juice up your smartphone to about 75% and still get around an hour’s worth of light at 300 Lumens. This could provide a solution to an urgent problem when in the bush and your phone is out of juice.


The Cairn Powerbank can be mounted pretty much anywhere you like with the Lander Anchor System, an innovative multi-axis reflective nylon cord. Simply choose your preferred spot and hang away – this is the definition of ‘set and forget’ technology.

The Cairn has two cord sections on each side of the light, one with a plastic T bar piece on one end. You simply loop the T bar through the other loop of the cord which creates the hanging system. I found it really handy when setting up camp and organising the gear in and around the tent.


There’s nothing more annoying than worrying about your tech when in the great outdoors. Thankfully, the highly functional Cairn is P65 rated for water and dust resistance, protecting it from splashes and downpours.

However, we highly recommend you do not fully immerse the device. We did this out of curiosity and it killed it. So as Lander has stated, it’s water-resistant, not waterproof. On the other hand, it can handle a fair bit of rain splashing over it.

Lander Cairn Powerbank is p65 water rated
The Cairn is P65 rated for water and dust resistance.


  • Equipped with an integrated 2.1-amp USB charging port to power devices.
  • Variable light dimming and strobe modes (including SOS pattern)
  • Multi-axis anchor system with reflective nylon cord allows you to hang the light wherever you need.
  • Waterproof Rating: IP65
  • Bulb Type: LED
  • Max Light: 300 Lumens
  • Avg Run Time: High: 10hrs; Low 40 hrs
  • Batteries: Rechargeable lithium-ion
  • Rechargeable: Yes
  • Dimensions:  19.8 x 12.7 x 5.5 cm
  • Weight: 284 grams

Where to Buy/Price

Price: $79.95 

Available from the Lander website or other good online retailers.

Words: Jason Lorch, Chief editor at Tyres and Soles.

If you like hearing about great bits of gear or tales of adventures in either MTB, hiking or camping then be sure and swing by the Tyres and Soles website and check out the content there. Just click the logo and check it out

Posted by Jason Lorch in Reviews
Shimano GP Orange

Shimano GP Orange

Back out on track again with Outer Image and kicked the season off with a trip out west to Orange for Rocky Trail Entertainment‘s first round of the Shimano GP

I made a quick stop in the Blue Mountains World Heritage area to see some of the devastation brought on by the recent fires. It was a complete burn-through leaving only tree stumps everywhere. Seeing houses in still standing in amongst all this carnage is a testament to the amazing work of the volunteer bush firefighters. I hope to get back up there shortly for a better look around.

Two locations I like shooting mountain biking are amongst green ferns and in pine forests (sometimes I think I am in the wrong country) When the light is right in the pines then it can be beautiful. Plus as an added bonus pine needles are a lot more comfortable to lay around on than the native scrub usually. Kinross forest is a nice forest and there is a lot more there for me to explore. It’s a shame it’s all due to be lopped this year but that’s what the plantation is for. And I would much rather they chop that than some of the old-growth they talk about chopping.

Swing over to the Outer Image website to see the full gallery. Next up, Thredbo Super Enduro. See you there!!!

Posted by Richard in Bikes, Events


After taking breaks from the camera I like to get out and shoot for a bit before I pick it up again for a job. It doesn’t have to be anything too complex or challenging. It’s so that while I am shooting, operating the camera controls just become second nature again and I don’t have to think about things too much. I think about composition and exposure, aperture and such but not about which dial do I need to turn in which direction to change my settings, it all just flows automatically.

And with my first job locked in for this coming weekend, so it was I took myself to Maroubra yesterday for a day at the beach shooting the Red Bull Airborne. They may have been small waves but they were still getting some airtime in.

I also got to play around with my 500mm lens. It’s not a lens that sees the light of day too much. It can be a little slow to focus and a little too big for the things I normally shoot. Plus you need a lot of light. It’s perfect for surfing, especially when it’s mounted on a cropped sensor

Posted by Richard in Events, Surfing, What's going on
Top 19 for 2019

Top 19 for 2019

I know, I know. Traditionally it’s only supposed to be a top 10, not a top 19 but I always struggle paring down my images and I take so many each year. How can you expect me to pick just 10? My picks are a mix of shots I like and shots that, for me, invoked memories or feelings. A couple will probably not mean much to you but I will try and explain them as we go. If you just want to look at the photos just click the first one to open up the gallery.

So without further ado, my top 19.

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Posted by Richard in What's going on
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