Mindshift Gear Comes Out With A Photography Tarp – Here Are My Thoughts

Mindshift gear (ThinkTank’s little sister company) just came out with a piece of gear I am pretty happy about. It is called the Contact Sheet and it is a lightweight, waterproof tarp aimed at the outdoor photography market.

Mindshift Gear Comes Out With A Photography Tarp - Here Are My Thoughts

I am happy because a photography tarp is a great idea, this tarp is seems to be made extremely well (I have not touched one, this is based on their PR, site and product specs).

I’ve been using a tarp myself when going on location, and think it is one of these essential pieces of gear that you learn to appreciate only after you’ve used one for a while. Once you do, you’re hooked. Here is why:

Use it to avoid forgetting equipment on location. Here is a rule that I use with a tarp – if you are not using that piece of gear, place it on the tarp. It works great with big teams as well. Now you don’t have gear placed all over the location. It is all placed in a single location – on the tarp.

Use it to protect your gear from dirt – this is kinda the obvious use, you can use a tarp as a makeshift “table” on muddy or sandy areas and keep your gear off the ground.

Use it to keep your knees dry – Ever shot in a wet location? Right after it rained? You can rest a tarp on the ground and now you can kneel without getting your pants wet.

Use it to protect your bag – since it is waterproof, you can set it on top of your bag as a rain shield. The contact sheet is black on both sides, but a black/white or a black/silver would make great sun protection as well.

Use it as a reflector – Most good tarps have holes on the frame which can be used to stretch the tarp and convert it into a makeshift reflector. Sadly, the Contact Sheet is pure black so it can only act as a flag.

The contact sheet is priced at $39.99, and you can get it direct or via Amazon. Of course your other option is to get a non-photography tarp. If you went to camping store, you would find that camping has a similar price range for simple products too.

Anyone else? would love to hear your thoughts.

  • Bob Mulholland

    I shoot mud runs all the time so this would be great. I agree that there should be a silver/white side. Keeping my gear as cool as possible and using it as a reflector are excellent ideas standing seven hours under the sun.

    • Luke
      • https://plus.google.com/115197896619361127605/posts Aaron W

        Nice. Waterproof, reflective, with grommets for tying… and half the price of the “photography” tarp.

  • https://plus.google.com/115197896619361127605/posts Aaron W

    Um… what makes it a photography tarp, other than it costing 4x as much as a plain camping tarp?

    • ext237

      The expense may be the difference from a typical tarp and a contact tarp. typical tarps have a weave, when something comes in contact with the surface, moisture will move through. So typical tarps you can get at HomeDepot become a wet mess on damp ground. Contact tarps are usually a bit more expensive.

  • The JennCast

    I like using a tarp, too, but the idea of using it to keep track of items on a shoot is awesome.

  • Greg Easton

    So many little companies on the internet make stuff like this. Not THIS in particular, but various products focused toward photographers with too much money in their pocket. Some people would buy a $20 wooden ruler if you told them it’s a ‘special PHOTOGRAPHER ruler’. It does all the same stuff the $.59 ruler does but it’s BETTER because it’s for photographers.

    You want a tarp that doesn’t wick moisture through and ISN’T hilariously small for the money? Go to a camping store. For the money this company is gouging you for you can get a tarp five times the size.

  • Big Zig

    Poncho works every time…ripstop, green or camo…and on the way home it keeps YOU and the camera bag dry.