Pu Erh and a New Tripod

I’ve owned a lot of tripods in the last few years, but I’ve never owned one I really liked. That all changed this weekend. I was at Best Buy looking for a DVD player, when I stumbled across the Manfrotto MKC3-H01.

We’re planning a trip to France this winter, and I’ve been looking for a compact tripod I could fit in my luggage. This little guy folds up to about 18 inches and comes with a pistol grip ball head. I’ve never used a ball head before, but now that I have, I’ll never go back. The locking-wheel pistol grip is the first tripod I’ve ever used that didn’t make me want to hurl it across the room after five minutes.

Meanwhile, I also recently bought a big haul of tea from puerhshop.com, the centerpiece of which was this 2008 Panchen Lama Mushroom Tuo Cha. I’ve been meaning to take pictures of it, so I decided to test out the tripod at the same time.

2008 Panchen Lama Mushroom Tuo Cha
50mm, 0.1 sec at f/1.8

The hexagonal box was almost as beautiful as the mushroom-shaped cake, which I understand is typical of tea sold for the Tibetan market. I bought this little tea knife to help break chunks of tea off the compressed cakes of pu erh.

Pouring Pu-Erh
70mm, 4 sec at f/9.0

Pouring a cup of tea. This is a pretty standard cooked pu erh. I let it steep for about 6 minutes and it produced a very strong, dark tea with earthy, leaf-mold tones.

2008 Panchen Lama Mushroom Tuo Cha
50mm, 1.3 sec at f/4.0

The tripod performed admirably. The ball head was very responsive and the pistol grip gave me lots of control for fine adjustments. A very successful evening overall.

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