by Mike McNamee Published 01/07/2016
As photographers we live by the use of our hands as much as our eyes. We also frequently work in cold conditions; we need a good grip on our cameras to avoid expensive disasters; today we often need to operate touch sensitive screens for laptops, phones and some cameras. To do all of these things we need warm hands and dextrous fingers, so gloves represent a tricky design challenge.
Fortunately we are not alone with our wish-list and glove-maker, MacWets, have solved almost all of our problems! Their website shows their gloves in use by the hunting, fishing and shooting fraternity along with a huge list encompassing water sports, driving, golf and a host of others. The only surprising thing is that it has taken a while for us photographers to cotton on to what is available.
Primed during The Photography Show we set about testing MacWets and arranged for Paul McMullin (drone pilot), Ian Cook (pro sports photographer) and Mike McNamee (magazine editor with a limpy leg cold hands and a dog to walk!) to have a go with some samples.
The gloves are made with a high-grip working surface which is an advanced material called Aquatec whose magic properties require a microscope to reveal them in detail. The prime advantage of this material is that it retains its grip in the wet and it allows the user to operate electronic touch screens - all while keeping their digits warm (the ones on the hand that is). The gloves may be backed with either a warmer Climatec fabric or an open mesh material. They are available in both short- and long-cuff versions and a variety of colours.
Picking exactly the right size is very important for almost all uses, indeed the gloves are packaged in such a way that the prospective purchaser can try them on without dismounting the gloves from their packaging. MacWets also provide guidance on measuring your hand size if you are web purchasing. MMcN went for a size 8½ which was an error, he should have erred on the smaller, tighter side so the finger tips are a little bit floppy on the test pair.
The gloves are out for field testing and we will report in a later issue of Imagemaker. The experience so far is all good they have passed with flying colours for driving and dog walking! We understand that Macwets have a strong following with Porsche owners and a tale is told of selling 100 pairs in 10 minutes to a bunch of American Harley Davidson bikers - how cool is that?
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