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Over time I have been on both sides of the Customer Service desk, and it always amazes me that companies today do not realize how important that contact is. Especially today where so much is done via the 'Net with no personal contact Customer Service is the only point of contact between the business and the customer. Whether that contact is via the phone or email, a small bit of courtesy and helpful attitude goes a long way. For me, and I consider myself an incredibly picky consumer, good customer service is one of the things that will keep me coming back to a merchant, and this exchange has simply reinforced that NatureScapes should always be my first choice. Greg, great job with NatureScapes. I am going to take a guess that your entire organization displays the same customer-centric attitude that I see from Tara. That is apparent to me in the usability of your site and store front as well. I would highly recommend that as you have Tara as a part of your "training team" for any new Customer Service folks that you hire. I have been thinking about a pair of the NEOS for quite a long time now, well over a year, maybe even two. But I have never been able to see a pair "in person" and I am often hesitant to purchase "blind", mainly due to concerns over issues of support. This year when I saw your ad, and your excellent pricing, I decided to go ahead and try, and not only have I been happy with the product but I have also had the opportunity to experience a company that cares. Pretty darned special. So often when I speak to someone regarding specific product information I am met with a simple reading of what is already on the web site. The fact that you went to the trouble of actually doing a measurement off the overshoe, along with just your general product knowledge, is just another example of what sets you folks apart. And I can see why you would take pride in that, as well you should.
Bill Dewey - Washington
A little while ago I was looking for a top of the line tripod and various attachments for my lenses, etc. The advice, suggestions and help in general I received from a staff member was excellent and made the purchase a very pleasant experience. Ernst Schneider
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The Skimmer Ground Pod II
Approximately 10" in diameter and 1.5" high, the Skimmer's flat bottom allows it to slide and pan easily along the beach or mud without scooping up earth, protecting equipment from grit and moisture. The sides are turned out slightly to push sand and mud out and away, helping to keep debris from coming over the top. A protected area inside the plate can even be used to store teleconverters, extension tubes, and other incidentals for quick access while shooting.
The Skimmer was designed by photographers for photographers to meet our rigorous demands in the field. After years of using various ground supports, we felt the shortcomings were keeping us from our best productivity in the field. Sharp edges on plates would often get caught in the ground and swivel, halting movement, or scoop up sand and dirt - exposing ballheads and other equipment to grit and water and weighing down the plate with accumulating muck. We were constantly replacing lost bolts from plates that didn't have captive screws. Also, as frequent travelers, we are always looking for weight-conservative options - the Skimmer is less than half the weight of some ground pod options. The Skimmer is our field-tested solution!
Average customer rating:
5 Most recent customer reviews (see all reviews):
September 23, 2012
I just received the item and was not able to test it in the field yet. It is well made (better than I expected - the plastic is good and it looks very solid) and I am confident it will be useful.
The big drawback for me is that it does not work well with my RSS BH-40 ballhead – the main locking lever cannot be completely locked as it is hampered with the base of the skimmer. I can manage it to some extent by tightening the “drag set knob”, but it still is not a perfect solution – the head will not lock completely.
Maybe it could be resolved with “Riser block”, not sure.
September 14, 2011
Great innovative product especially when coupled with a beanbag and a quick release plate only. Also the perfect low to the ground sled type device for big lenses. I use mine with an Arca Swiss ballhead and a Nikon 500mmVR lens
Advantages: Light, stable and strong. Easy to carry with an added clip
Disadvantages: For $99 it should come with a clip!
September 13, 2011
You can save a lot of money by making your own better version out of a larger diameter, heavy plastic snack dish, kiddie snow dish or sled, or aluminum fry pan.
Advantages: Lightweight, low to the ground
Disadvantages: Exorbitant price for what this is. The small footprint is unstable and risks plowing your expensive long lens into the sand. This pod should be redesigned, elongated, and be sold for 1/3 the price.
September 13, 2011
The Skimmer was designed after a number of prototypes and while there are home made options this is perfect for a 600mm lens either on a wimberley head or just on a quick release plate. The size is perfect and the round shape lets you slide it in any direction without getting stuck in sand or mud. When pushing forward it's best to push down on the camera to lift the front edge up. It's expensive as the previous reviewer complains but being in the plastics industry myself I imagine an injection mold of this size costs as much as a small car! The material is indestructible and light at the same time. I doubt this is a high volume item so I'm willing to pay $99 - I saved $20 when I purchased the matching beanbag called the Skimmer sack
Advantages: Super strong, light and just the right size. Works with any ballhead, the full wimberley or with just a quick release. LOVE it on a beanbag! Round so it rotates and slides easily and has a hook to hang from your belt.
Disadvantages: Cost - see note above