Camera Gear Request for Info: Shooting Blinds

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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
I am considering buying a shooting blind later this year. I'll use it to photograph backyard birds from my back deck so that my equipment and I don't have to sit out in the cold, rain, and wind. It may also help me photograph some of the more skittish birds, such as flickers and other woodpeckers

An initial online query at Cabela's showed several brands and models. The evaluations and comments were all posted by hunters with respect to their specific needs. Many of the needs of photographers are probably the same, but some may be different. I would appreciate any comments and recommendations from those who have used shooting blinds.
 
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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
I should add that I plan to set up the following inside the blind: a walker to sit and move around on, a small table to set a camera + 100-400L II telephoto zoom and other things on, and my 600L telephoto + camera mounted on a tripod.

My main concern is maneuverability and shelter from the elements for me and my equipment. Concealment is not a primary factor as so far only the flickers and small woodpeckers are skittish about my presence.
 

BobH

Administrator
Staff member
I’ve not used one, unless you count my car (works quite well with a wide variety of animals, they see people as threats but not cars).

That disclaimer aside, I’d look at dedicated photo blinds. This one for example, has some nice features. Lens sleeves, slits for tripod legs to stick out, etc.

I have no experience with this one, never heard of the brand, just like what I see of it.

 

BobH

Administrator
Staff member
Also, if you want a walker and a table, most regular ones will be too small. May have to do a bit of research or go with a hunting blind after all.
 

BobH

Administrator
Staff member
Nice review, looks very well though out. Not sure if it’s large enough for your needs though.

 

Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
Thanks, Bob. I'll check it out tomorrow. The ones listed on Cabela's website list specifications such as dimensions and footprints, which is helpful.
I guess hunters use "blinds" while photographers use "hides." ;)
 
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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
Watched the video. Looks like a first rate system, maybe a little too much for my needs. I certainly like his taste in cameras and lenses. ;)
It may be that in my case, a canopy will be sufficient, although I would like the wind protection of a blind.
 
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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
Here is Cabela's house brand that looks promising.

The largest model:
Specialist XL – Roomy 5-hub design with a total of 8 windows. 2 sides of the ground blind utilize 3 triangle-shaped windows each to maximize vertical and horizontal shooting zones. Extra-large single windows on the other 2 sides have 2-panel covers, letting you adjust openings from the top, middle or bottom. Incredible 88" hub-to-hub width. Foot print: 67" x 67". Ceiling Height: 76". Weight: 25 lbs.

One term used in the write-ups that I don't understand is shoot-through mesh. Bearing in mind that these are for huners and not photographers, is a hunter expected to shoot a gun through the window mesh? You can only do that once. ;)
 

BobH

Administrator
Staff member
Not sure I like the idea of "shoot through mesh". I think it would definitely have an affect on image quality. I'd want to be sure I can poke a lens out unobstructed.

Oh, just noticed you say it's for hunters. What the hell? Like you say, how does that work? LOL!
 

Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
That explains the "shoot through mesh" feature with a bow. I would prefer to draw the mesh back when using a camera.
 
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