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|| News Item: Posted 2000-11-21

Road Warrior: Mongo Approved Christmas Gifts
By Mongo

Photo by
Ho, ho, ho!

It's that wonderful time of the year again.

No you idiot, not the Holiday Season, the end of the fiscal year! The time when photo department managers go crazy trying to spend any left over money, cause they lose it, if they don't use it.

As a hard working member of your photo staff, it's your duty to help management expend those monies! Your mission is to look over this list and determine which products would benefit you or your fellow photographers.

If you're a freelancer, then you should print out this article and leave it lying around for your friends and family. Save them the stress and agony of trying to guess what they should get you for Christmas.

The following products are MONGO APPROVED, MONGO TESTED.

Photo by
MOUNTAINSMITH, Fanny pack, Tourpack

$69.95, or

Everybody's got a fanny pack. Some of you have that obnoxious RED freebie pack that Canon gives away at events (you know the one that everything spills out of when you open it). Some of you might have the awful Nikon copy of the Canon pack, it was gray, and everything spilled out of that one as well. If you went to '96 Olympic Games in Atlanta, you probably got the blue and yellow pack Nikon gave away. (A design so well thought out by my good buddy Capt. Ron, that it was copied, and marketed as the "sideline shooter" by LowePro). Oh yeah, and who can forget the green FUJI fanny pack? At least that one had side pockets you fit a teleconveter into.

The main problem(s) with all of those packs:

- Over padded or under padded (depends on model)? Pants fall down while running up and down the sidelines? No place to keep a caption envelope? No easy way to separate shot and un-shot film or cards

The Mountainsmith solves all these problems:

- Contoured lumbar panel of 3/8" EVA foam for a close and comfortable fit (no more lenses digging into your back)? Unique suspension, contoured Omni Belt with Delta Compression System which compresses weight to the lumbar area for a stable load (fabric "molds itself" to your waist and won't slip down)? Three compartments include main pocket, Inner Sanctum valuables pocket, and zippered front pocket (secret pocket on back side is perfect for caption envelopes? Two side mesh water bottle pockets (just right for film, cards, or teleconverters

The pack has four carrying options: as a Lumbar Pack, as a shoulder bag, as a briefcase, and on the shoulders as a backpack using Strapettes accessory A quick-store bungie on the front of the pack is great for stashing a towel or rain cover, and the exterior of the bag has a matrix of lash-on points accommodate a light meter, cell phone, pager, and radio.


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STATPOWER, Power inverter, NOTEPOWER 75

$69.95,, 1-888-205-0064.

Most Road Warriors carry a cell phone, and an AC charger for the battery, a laptop computer and an AC charger for the battery, a digital camera, and an AC charger for the battery, a CD player and an AC power adapter you get the idea. Heaven forbid you should want to use this shit while in your car, because then you have to get a cigarette lighter adapter for the cell phone, laptop computer, digital camera, CD player Jeez, we're talking another $200.00 to $300.00 just for extra adapters! That's where a power inverter comes in handy. It takes the DC that comes from your cigarette lighter and converts it to AC, so now you can use all your regular AC chargers and power supplies.

BEWARE! There are many different brands of inverters on the market, some are good and some are downright dangerous to your equipment. (Something to do with waveform conversion.)

Mongo likes the STATPOWER series of inverters. They come in 75 watt, 150 watt, 250 watt, 800 watt, and 1500 watt models. Pick the wattage that best suits your needs, keeping in mind that if you plug to many toys in, you will kill your car battery pretty quick.

The NOTEPOWER 75 is MONGO's choice. Small, light and easy to use.

Photo by
BROTHER, P-Touch label printer

$99.00 to $199.00, Staples or Office Depot.

Did you ever notice that everybody else's D-1 looks just like yours, or that your battery pack looks just like everybody else's? Maybe you have an "equipment magnet" (bob) on staff who mysteriously always ends up with front and rear caps for all of his lenses?

I can regale you with tales of equipment getting mixed up, people grabbing the wrong cards, or sob stories of forgetful photographers leaving gear at a game, never to see it again.

Your fellow photographers are an honest lot, and would return gear to it's rightful owner, IF, there was a name and phone number on the equipment.

The PT-2200 creates professional-quality, laminated, adhesive-backed labels that can be used for virtually any serious office application. The PT-2200 labeling system uses laminated "TZ" tape labels that are available in a wide variety of color combinations and 4 different widths. Each label adheres to practically any surface, withstands temperature changes and is water-resistant. The PT-2200 is easy to use. It's also loaded with useful features including 4 built-in fonts, 8 type styles, 7 type sizes, vertical and mirror printing, 5 line printing (up to 48 points). Complete with one black on white "TZ" tape, 8 AA batteries (optional AC adapter), user's manual and tape separator, the PT-2200 is perfect for organizing all your professional needs.


JABRA, Mini Boom Headset


Photo by
Last year, the JABRA headset was the hot setup for $39.95 and it worked pretty well, BUT if you were outside and the wind was blowing or driving around with the windows down, the wind noise was deafening. The "new" Mini Boom, solves all those problems by incorporating a short boom mike with a windscreen. The sound quality is terrific and in high ambient noise environments, the "ear gels" do a great job of filtering out the background sound. It plugs into any phone with 2.5mm headset jack, and includes soft, washable EarGels in three different sizes, right and left sides.

Best of all it's less money! $19.95.


REMIN, Flightlite 525 cart

$69.95. Available at just about any luggage store.

I've got the big ass, TRI KART 800, and it does a great job hauling big ass loads, BUT it's overkill when you're doing a small job or on a quick day trip. The 525 is just perfect for carrying your LIGHTWARE digital pack or a smaller carry-on size LIGHTWARE or Pelican hard case.

Designed to fit into limited cabin storage, it's all steel and able to carry 100 lbs. It also features: a new patented, push-button locking system and 3" high quality rubber wheels; recessed, polycarbonate handle with foam insert for comfort grip; raised chrome plated platform; chrome plated steel wheel guards to protect load. Also the handle accommodates optional Garment Bag Caddy (GBC). Conforms to airline under-seat storage specifications.

So write that letter to Santa (or the significant other or your D.O.P) and say that MONGO sent you!

(Mongo Johnson, noted travel expert and gadget-freak, spends his off-hours in search of the best noodle and plate-lunch joints across the U.S.)

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