Vallerret Photography Gloves
I first came across the Vallerret Photography Gloves on Kickstarter back in December 2015 and today they were waiting for me when I got home from the coffee morning.
They got my attention as I’ve never found a pair of gloves that will keep my hands warm and allow me to operate my camera as well. It was either cold hands or fumbling with the camera, with the increased risk of dropping it. These gloves are designed for photographers and come with some useful features as well as a nice warm merino wool inner.
Unfortunately initial impressions are a bit poor. They’ve obviously tried to present them nicely whilst keeping the budget down but they’ve been let down by their packaging supplier. The Vallerret logo and writing have been embossed on to the cardboard sleeve, but the overprint has missed by a large margin so it all looks very odd and amateur. The sleeve itself is supposed to be rectangular, but again they’ve been let down as it hasn’t been folded up in to shape so it’s half flat, half popped up on one side. The die cut logo on the front is also tatty, it looks like the die cutter has been over-used, leading to an unclean cut.
The gloves themselves are in a simple plastic bag, and separated with a piece of tissue paper to stop them sticking together, more of which later.
I ordered a medium size based on the sizing guidelines given in the Kickstarter survey, they are’t quite a perfect fit, as you can see below the thumb is quite long which results in it flopping over when trying to press any buttons on the camera. I can get it to fit perfectly, but after 3 or 4 movements it’s back to where it naturally starts, with the joint raising away from my hand. The other fingers all sit pretty much perfect although between the fingers, especially around the index finger they pull down quite hard which can be a little uncomfortable. I don’t think I’d have wanted a large size as I think they would have been too baggy everywhere else, but without having a pair to try I can’t say for sure.
There also appears to be another small problem, the forefinger and thumb have flip over finger ends, so if you need you can get better control over your camera. The forefinger closes up perfectly, you’d not know it was there, the thumb however doesn’t, gloves on or off it won’t stay closed up on either hand. I don’t know if this is a manufacturing fault or just how they’ve been designed, so I’ll be contacting Vallerret to ask about it as the idea is that these should keep your fingers completely covered and warm when needed.
Both gloves feature a small zip up compartment on the back of the hand near to the wrist opening which you could fit a couple of CF cards in, or quite a few SD cards.
They are also textured with a rubber that is incredibly grippy on most surfaces and gives you a much better hold on your camera than you’d get with an ordinary pair of neoprene gloves. Even with a medium pressure, trying to pull them along our kitchen table top is practically impossible.
The thumbs are microfibre on the back which is great for cleaning of your viewfinder, lens or screen in a pinch, although how well it’ll attract dirt from elsewhere beforehand remains to be seen.
It’s a bit “nippy” in the wind today and they’ve kept my hands warm and toasty. I think they key to them is that you’ve got to be generating a bit of warmth yourself, so I am not sure they’ll be much good for anyone sat around in a bird hide for hours.
The baggy thumb is really annoying though, you really notice the feel of it when you’re got your camera up to your eye. Perhaps I do need a bigger size.
They feel warm, and with the exception of the floppy thumb my 5d3 and 7d2 are easy enough to operate without the finger/thumb flipped back which is good. The final proof will be in the shooting when the cold weather comes back round again, I’m hopefully they’ll make autumn location shoots much more comfortable.
|Vallerret Photography Gloves||550kr / ~£47||7⁄10|