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Messages - Xpat

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1
Depending on the riding style - if you are touring you will get 400 km out of that 20 liter tank, if you gun it probably less than 300. But generally the consumption will be less than 5 l/100km - I haven't done any scientific testing though.

I have 2016 that I bought new, Better suspension - not sure about it. For my riding it is perfectly fine, and mine was lowered by Hilton which makes it more stable and manageable in technical terrain (i.e. rocks). But I don't race. And I deliberately went for cheaper open cartridge suspension instead of more expensive CC one on 6 days version, as that is supposedly bitch to maintain and set-up, but better for racing.

I genuinelly don't believe you will see big difference in suspension, unless you are going to race it. And if that is the case, you might lookon Husky 501 as that has better suspenders even older, plus it has linkage, that makes it even better - or so I was told, never have ridden one.
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2
Ian, you left the country code out  :).

Here is thread with contact details for variety of biking dealers in Namibia, including Duneworx:

http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=224425.0
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3
Also - rather open new thread in Planning a Ride section, it is much more frequented. This one is a bit abandoned - not many people come here.

And one more thing - in Namibia they have very tood overnight delivery service to major towns. So if you for example locate KN oil in Windhoek, but are not going there but rather to Swakopmund, you can ask them to send it there. It will be there overnight.
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4
Hi everyone,
We are making our way to Namibia. We will be in Sprinbok tomorrow.
We shipped our bikes from England. We noticed that the shippers removed some essential items from our luggage.
We need to replace that.
Most important will be the K&N air filter oil. We also need a mini can or WD40 ( or local equivalent) and good quality chain lube.
( so far this is what we realised is missing  :xxbah:

Can we find that in valwys bay or Keetmanshoop?  We were not planning to go to Windhoek, but if we must, kindly let us know of your suggestions.

And if by chance any wIld dog-er is in sprinbok, let me know. Although we do not have local SIM card yet, so we rely on WiFi for communications.

Thanks a lot in advance.
( and sort for typos, my iPad is knackered!)

You will get WD40 in every hardware shop - you should be able to get one in Springbok or any bigger Nam town without issue. I believe you should be able to get chain spray in Springbok as well, but you might need to ask around a bit. K&N airfilter oil - not sure. Ask around in Springbok, and you will probably get foam airfilter oil, just not sure if it will work on K&N.

You could get lucky in Windhoek or Swakopmund (there is official Yamaha dealer in Swakop, there are BMW, Yamaha, KTM and other dealers in Windhoek). I would recommend to call them upfront and they will be able to tell you if anybody in Nam may have something like that. They will for sure have foam airfilter oil - but you might get that one alread in Springbok.
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5
General Bike Related Banter / Re: Honda CRF450L is coming
« on: May 27, 2018, 11:21:57 am »
...

how big is the adventure bike spectrum? are there any key things adv bikes need to have, be able to do?

There isn't any hard and fast rule about where does DS bike end and adv bike begin. They occupy the opposite ends of continuum of road legal (or rather plated, as quite a few DS including mine wouldn't probably pass the roadworthy test  :peepwall:) bikes that have some kind of dirt riding ability engineered into them (yes I know Peterhansel can ride R1 in dunes, but you know what I mean). On the spectrum of offroad (double/single/no-track) - offtar (dirt roads) - tar, the DS will lean towards offroad end with some offroad/tar capability (i.e. one can grudgingly ride hour or two on dirt roads, worst case scenario tar, if on the other end they can spend many many hours doing offroad). And vice versa, adv bike will be much better on tar and good dirt roads, but you are not going to enjoy yourself in 100km of deep sand (apart from few masochists).

Generally, adv bikes are geared towards long distance comfort on tar and dirt roads (i.e. they are heavier - which is good for comfort, have windshield, big load carrying capacity, passenger allowed), while DS for maximum dirt enjoyment (lightweight - good offroad, not so good on tar and good dirt roads, no windshield to break your neck or nose, can carry some minimum luggage, but really minimum, no passenger allowed whatsoever).

Of course where is the line between the two is subjective. I guess it is somewhere in the spectrum 690 - Tenere (XT660Z or T7 or 790). For most people 690 (without rally kit) is probably considered too dirt focused and hence DS, for me now that I'm conditioned on 500, it feels like intercontinental cruiser. My personal rule of thumb would be - windshield = adv bike, no windshield = DS (and yes there are many exceptions to that).

I talk about it here only because if the released info is correct this new 450 is at the very extreme DS end of the spectrum  - as I think you will agree. I think it is important for people to realize that, otherwise they may end up buying wrong bike for their job - if the job is adv touring.  If they are looking not so much for touring, but dirt enjoyment in their plated bike, this looks like very interesting alternative (once the 25 hp choke is removed by aftermarket) to currently the only option on the market 500/501.
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6
General Bike Related Banter / Re: Honda CRF450L is coming
« on: May 27, 2018, 12:03:49 am »
Is this WR sold here like this? Can it be plated here? http://www.cyclespot.co.nz/bike/Yamaha/WR450/999516453



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7
Honda CR / CRF / Africa Twin 1000 / Re: CRF250 Rally/DS
« on: May 14, 2018, 12:30:33 pm »
Anybody wants a free crashbar or pannier racks for their Rally? Surprised nobody jumped at this yet (the heading is not very clear though)

http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=224236.0
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8
Wild Dog Pictures / Re: Snake Photos
« on: May 10, 2018, 10:44:01 pm »





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9
Day 9  - part 5
(pictures from this episode can be viewed in higher resolution here: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmhwPdbH)


Right after Die Poort one can take two different ways - continue east in the Hoanib riverbed or turn north and follow Ganamub river that eventually crosses the D3707 route that Bertie took. We followed Hoanib and even though we were out of Ampoort gorge now, we still continued in narrow valley through the mountains.

View up the Ganamub river that I still have to do some time in the future:




And good old Hoanib:




Few km later I spoted Justin ahead running around in the river and got a bit worried:




And sure enough, it was a carcas - this time particularly enticing zebra one. I was too far behind to make sure that he didn't eat any of it by the time I arived, but at least once there I made sure he didn't put any if it in his mouth, though he may have played with few bits.







Yummy:




Once the child in Justin was suficiently entertained, we rode on through increasingly wet and green riverbed valley:






































There was so much vegetation and water at the top of the valley before it opened to much wider plain, that we battled to find the way through. There were couple of tracks on T4A, but they all have been flooded or overgrown and it took us quite a while to scout a way through. Justin also started complaining about the pain in his carpal tunneled hand and asked if there is an easy way to get out and onto the road. Which there wasn't, or rather it required backtracking more than it would take just to get there on the route we were on. Again as two days ago, it was quite a bummer. I know I'm repeating myself here, but we were riding through the best scenery of the trip so far, which was made even more special by the rare occassion here - clouds, shadows of which emphansized even more the start beauty of the place. And Justin just couldn't wait to get out of there and be done with it due to the pain. Although, he is not the one for scenery anyway and he had a great luck with the zebra carcass, so maybe not a total waste of the day for him...

He clearly was out of shape and lost it here and there while trying desperately to find the way out of the reefs and bushes, which provided many dead ends frustrating our efforts:






















Justin almost losing his dignity again:













Just to get caught out by another dead end:



















Eventually we found a way out of the valley and onto the wide plains leading up to Sesfontein:











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10
Day 9 - part 3
(pictures from this episode can be viewed in higher resolution here: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmj4kc6m)

As mentioned, the route today consisted fromthree distinct and quite different parts: about 35 km of Hoarusib riverbed running down the unique Puros canyon, then about 70 km of flat open desert running south along the boundary of Skeleton Coast NP to Amspoort gorge on Hoanib river, and the last section running up the magical Hoanib riverbed east to Sesfontein about 70 km away.

We have just came out of the Hoarusib, and after short break where I explained to Justin that it really is not cool to throw cobras at me after all that I have done for him, hit the desert with gusto. The scenery changed immediately and dramatically from green vegetation of the riverbed to the dry open desert plains with minimum vegetation and plenty of mirrages. Naturally, we opened up and moved a notch or 10 faster than in the river:














































On top of the central plain that runs between the two rivers for about 40 - 50 km. Flat featureless vastness in every direction for dozens of km with remote solitary mountains floating on mirrage cushins above horizon can have surprisingly uplifting effects on ones soul:


































As I've mentioned, Justin didn’t seem to be too fazed by the Kaokoland scenery so far. So it was nice to see at one of the stops that the flat monotonous desert finally touched something deep inside him. So much so, that he suddenly felt strong urge to “share the experience”, whipped out satellite phone, and used some of the expensive airtime to annoy few of his mates (including Kamanya I believe), who were busy rat racing in assigned corporate cages, sorry cubicles.




























Once Justin was satisfied that everybody he cared about has been sufficiently pissed off, we rode again:







Justin riding mirage:
















About 10 km before Hoanib, we started descending to the rivebed and the flat plain gave way to low mountains dug out probably by the water in the Hoanib watershed. The brown rocky outcrops often partially covered by the yellow sand dunes create very unique scenery that has been made famous in many travellers magazines:




























Eventually we arrived at the Hoanib river and stopped the check the local signatures.







Bikes riding in the Hoanib river was a source of controversy for a while now, when private Wilderness Safari company was trying to get bikers banned from the area and in fact their guides often told bikers that they are not allowed there for quite a few years. For example I was told that last time by safari car driver and of course ignored it. I guess it was grey area as the river is the northern boundary of Palmwag conservancy, where bikes are officially forbiden - so to use an analogy one can look at it as either riding inside Kruger along the fence, or outside doing the regular and perfectly legal Kruger fence ride. Anyway, as I said, bikers has been riding this river forever (the few of them who venture up here), but according to Hardy de Kock, Namibian government -  lobbied heavily by those private fat catson some kind of 'conservancy' pretext - recently decided that Hoanib indeed is off limits to bikes. We didn't actively asked anywhere, but checked the signs at the river and there was nothing about bikes not being allowed, so after short break we hit the river with gusto. If this was to be the last time I am riding this riverbed on bike, I was determined to enjoy it to the max, as IMO this one is even more spectacular that Hoarusib. This is simply my favourite river to ride anywhere.
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11
Day 8 - part 1
(pictures from this episode can be viewed in higher resolution here: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmjWDWMi)

The night before we agreed to take the day off to hopefully get the gang recovered sufficiently for the last part of the trip. Everybody had their own plans for the day. Bertie opted to stay within 5 meter radius of bed - well most of it unconscious on the bed. Justin also wanted to get some rest, but was also keen to get a glimpse of the elusive elephants - so far we had no luck even though we have come few times over of what to these inner city rangers looked like fresh spoor. Locals told him that elephants were grazing down river in Puros canyon, so he decided to make a quick dash down there for a look-see.

I wanted to explore the upper reaches of Hoarusib ideally all the way up to D3707 running between Orupembe and Opuwo. I.e. the route I have originally planned for us to take up to Opuwo on the way up from Uis, but was warned off by Hardy - or rather baited away by his suggestion to try Robbie’s pass instead. Hardy told me that a month or two ago two mates of his riding up there also on KMT 500s had an accident when one of them crashed into deep hole in the riverbed covered up fesh fesh and broke his collarbone. According to locals there is some kind of phenomenon occuring once every few years at the confluence of Hoarusib and one of its noname tributaries, when (my utter speculation) the whirls at the confluence of the two rivers dig out deep holes in the riverbed, which then get covered by soft sand. Basically creating a trap for an unsuspecting victim riding merrily perfectly fine dry riverbed one moment at enjoyable 40 - 60 kmh, and the next moment coming to a sudden stop in deep hole up to their neck in soft sand.

Hardy recommended to stay off, but I decided to go and have a look anyway - just take it easy and check carefully riverbed for potential traps.


Puros community lodge and surrounds in the morning:
















As it was the rest day, we got even more than usually sloppy with the breakfast made out of variety of whatever we could forage out of our bags. So Justin and I managed to set-off only at about 11am, each of us heading in opposite direction - Justin south and me north.

First 25 km I was basically backtracking the route we came down the river yesterday. I’ll let mostly the pictures and their captions to tell the story - and some of the images will inevitably be repetition of the scenery from yesterday. But the beauty of the place can easily bear some (a lot of) repetition in my view, so you will just have to deal with it  O0







Jan Joubert’s koppie, overlooking the upper reaches of the Hoarusib river on the one side and Puros valley on the other:













Himba kraal to the east of the koppie:










Viewpoint at the top of the Jan Joubert's koppie:










View south at the Puros valley and its dunefields:










View to the west across the Hoarusib river:



















View north following the river towards the pass to Khumib river where we came from yesterday (to the left of the peak/mountain third from the left on the horizon):





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12
Photography / Re: Learning photography
« on: April 28, 2018, 02:18:38 am »
Back to one controversy discussed earlier - why is telephoto lens just as good if not better for landscape than wide angle

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13
Planning a Ride / Re: Tatasberg Restcamp - Richtersveld
« on: April 20, 2018, 07:32:01 am »
Bikes not allowed in Richtersveld Park

Yup, bikes not allowed, plus i dont think anybody on anything overloaded would enjoy the ride there.
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14
Ride Reports / Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
« on: April 13, 2018, 03:39:57 pm »
From the photographic evidence thus far, we've only seen you seated during the process.

We need to know whether you meerkat please?

Asking for a friend

On this kind of trip very rarely - that is the beauty of 500 that it allows one to sit and ride sand and rocks, conserving energy in the process. On 690 I might have been standing a lot of time. And on Tenere that was the last bike I used there I stood most of the time as it is such a fat pig.

And of course if I take 500 through a enduro loop like DeWildt I stand a lot as well. I do whatever it takes in that particular case  to ride smoothly and enjoy myself.
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15
Photography / Re: Learning photography
« on: April 06, 2018, 10:47:43 pm »
Breekbeen the photos look good.

Use spot focus and focus on the eye.

I try that, but still ends up with lots of pics out of focus. Maybe F-Stop too high?

F stop is not going to affect pinpoint focus, just depth if field. Sometimes camera and lens are out of whack and need to be calibrated. Test that spot focus on some unmoving subject - doll, toy, whatever- in controlled conditions like having camera fixed on tripod and taking many shots. Then check pictures in detail if they are sharp.

Also, make sure you are using fast enough ss on moving subject, otherwise you might get motion blur that may look like it is out of focus. What camera and what lens? Maybe post some out of cocus images so we can see what went wrong.
Nikon with Nikon lens or sometimes Tamron lens.
Why I am thinking Aperture is that for example an animal's body will be in focus but not the head(eye).
Maybe I'm shaking to much for single point focus.


Sent from my SM-G950F using Tapatalk

Dude, nikon what? Tamron what? We will not be able to help if you cannot give basic info.

Again, either your camera is badly out of whack with lens or you are doing something wrong - easy. You can check if camera is wrong ghe way i decsribed in first reply.
Nikon D3200 with Tamron SP 70-300mm f/4-5.6 Di VC USD Lens .
Think the camera is fine, rather the operator doing something wrong.

Sent from my SM-G950F using Tapatalk

Then do the basic test i recommended to eliminate/confirm potential calibration issue.and post some images where focus didnt work - based on image information we may be able to figure out something.
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16
Planning a Ride / Re: 4months ride around Southern Africa
« on: April 01, 2018, 09:04:39 pm »
@maria41 : OK, I understand and your choice makes sense. 250 will do fine, but I would recommend strongly to stay off the main roads (not difficult as there is always some dirt alternative) and try to see if it has enough oomph in deep sand to get out of sticky situation with wildlife, before you venture into the riverbeds in northern Namibia.

For some reason I thought you were on CRF250 Rally, which is tall and heavy beast, about the same weight as DR650, so I would rather recommend that one over Rally, because of the more torquey engine. But I see now that you are on XT250, which is about 30 kg lighter, which will definitely help when riding technical tracks. And light is always good idea - my main adv bike now is KTM 500 which weights about the same as your XT. I should have been more specific - I didn't mean to suggest to go for BMW f650 or Tenere or any such fat ass abomination, that would be just silly.

Anyway, if you need help with planning, shout and we will see what we can do.

Cheers
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17
General Bike Related Banter / Re: Starter adventure bike suggestions
« on: March 27, 2018, 12:38:42 pm »
Then I agree that XT660R is probably the most suitable choice. Either that or properlu upgraded DR, XRL. Personally if I would have to choose in that territory I would go for XRL as according to Runner with some upgrades it can get very close to XRR, and zacapa here on the forum always boasts that he got his to about 135 kgs wet I think. If true that thing really has proper potential. And plenty of accessories, unlike XTR.

That said for long trips like the one you did to CT, fuel injected smooth and low consumption XTR is probably better choice - though really heavy for what it is. And please get that pipe rerouted from under the bike - that thing is just unbelievable abomination!

Edit: and if she thinks XR is ugly just show her this:

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18
Ride Reports / Re: Lesotho Rock'N'Roll
« on: March 26, 2018, 11:32:50 pm »
@wilfwalk & @billy-joe: Cheers  :thumleft:
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19
Planning a Ride / Re: 4months ride around Southern Africa
« on: March 26, 2018, 11:20:19 pm »
I use Drift Ghost S or some such, but I do not capture pictures with it. I record relatively high quality video (1080p at 60fps), and then scrap the pictures/images off the video afterwards. I tried the interval picture taking, but didn't like it - the image is almost always captured too late or too early and one ends up with half a person in the image or half an elephant or some such.

I follow a strong principle here - the picture taking/video making must not hinder significantly my trip. So I use very extensive approach, where I do not stop all the time to start and stop the camera (I have remote, but do not use it), but rather when I come to a section that looks - or I know is - interesting I stop, swhitch the camera on, and then just ride until the interesting bit is over, often for 20 or more minutes, in effect recording long sections of my trip (the interesting bits though only- the problem is though that for example in Kaokoland sometimes the whole day is interesting). It requires few spare batteries (but Drift is good on batteries unlike GoPro which is useless) and quite a few fast speed memory cards. And a lot of time post trip going through the videos and selecting the pictures - still much less than if you would try to make videos though. For me this works best as it required minimum effort during trip not distracting me from the experience, I am pretty sure I have the images I want - the downside is just work required post.

Regarding the trails, most of them are pretty well known and well-trodden (even though you might not meet anybody on some of those for whole day). Most if not all of them are on Tracks4Africa - there are too many really. You just need to know where to go. In Namibia I would strongly recommend to focus on North West - Damaraland and Kaokoland. We can give you good loops that would include most of the good that is to see there, no problem. I have actually returned from there last week and will be doing another RR, but it may wait till May. If you want good routes, just let us know and we will provide them. Just one word of warning - many of those tracks run in riverbeds with deep sand and AFrican crickets around (like lions, elephants, hyenas and such). I am not familiar with 250s (or I am, but in Vietnam and Cambodia, not in Africa) and I'm not sure if they are powerfull enough to tackle that sand and potentially some quick evasive action. You have to judge that (I recommend to look up other RRs on the area, especially from Metaljockey, who has even ridden the place with his wife and little daughter (4 at the time) on bikes), but in terms of routes, we will be able to give you most of the guidance you need.

Wildlife is tricky question - a lot of people are perfectly relaxed around it, I'm a bit of a coward, though for some reason this year I eased up as well. Generally speaking I would be during day worried about elephants and maybe buffalos (e.g. in Botswana), but not that scared of lions or hyenas (during day, night is different situation). Elephants hate bikes because of the noise and speed (you have to usually keep some speed in deep sand). Lions and hyenas sleep during the day and I would assume they would run away from bikes - at least they - lions - did once when I bumped into them near Chobe. But there are other people on this forum (Hardy de Kock) who got chased on bike by lion in Kaokoland, so there is no guarantee. But again, the risk is not the same everywhere, and we can recommend some routes where risk of running into animals is quite minimal (or at least the road is good enough for you to get away). Give us idea about your timelines and we will get you good routes quickly.

Here are some other RRs from Kaokoland/Damaraland worth having look at:


http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=215299.0


http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=39411.0


http://advrider.com/index.php?threads/goat-meat-good-friends-and-riverbeds.134368/


But quite frankly, if you keep your wits about you should be fine. It gets tiring though riding some of the riverbeds in Kaokoland in deep sand and at the same time had to scan surrounding bush for potential animals. How comfortable are you in sand - especially on 250 with limited power?

HEre is a video from my trip in Kaokoland few years back that will give you an idea about what riding riverbeds with animals around in Kaokoland entails:

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20
Photography / Re: Learning photography
« on: March 24, 2018, 08:52:35 pm »
Tom, out of interest, what is the advantage of the full Manual mode apart from learning? I do find using semiautomatic regimes - mostly Aperture priority in combination with exposure compensation dial much more convenient and faster. And it gives men exactly the same control as full Manual, just achieving it the other way around.

And why do you say that dialing -0.7 exposure compensation results in negative 2 stops exposure? As far as I know that results in 0.7 stops negative exposure - you would have to dial in -2 to get 2 stops less

Just curious.
....

WRT exposing negative and stopping down '2 stops'; My camera (both) stops down negative per 'click' when I turn the dial and I though that was the correct term to use but seems I am wrong:
One click will give me 0.3, the second click 0.7 and the third -1.0 and same visa versa - just +
The same way that I though ISO is stepping up per click: ISO100, then I stop up one click to get ISO200 and so on. It is very likely that I do not understand the camera 'language' here although I do know what each click means or brings to my photography.
I would like to learn more about the correct terminology here.

Well I was using the word 'stop' in the specific photographic sense which means 'stop of light'. And I thought you are using the same meaning - if you were using to imply mechanical stop of the dial, than disregard my comment, but I think that may be confusing on the photographic thread, where most people probably assumed the same as I did.

I think you know what 'stop of light' is as we discussed it here quite extensively, but just to be sure and for people who might not know: Stop of light (or shortly stop) is generic photographic parameter that is used to measure changes in the amount of light allowed into camera (i.e. changes in exposure) relative to whatever setting (or rather exposure) camera is in at given point in time. Increasing exposure by one stop means doubling the amount of light available on the sensor, decreasing the exposure by one stop means halving the amount of light.

To use simple example: let's say the camera is at aperture 3.5 and SS 1/60s and is exposing with this settings at 0 on the camera exposure meter - in other words, where camera would expose automatically if we do not use exposure compensation (i.e. 18% of greyness at the measured area). Leaving all other parameters aside, increasing the shutter speed (make it faster) twice to 1/120 will means that only half of the light (or one stop less) compared to the original state is now available on the sensor, as the shutter is opened only half of the time when the it is triggered. I.e. underexpose by one stop and one will actually see that on the camera exposure lever, where the indicator would be now on -1.

Conversely, if we decrease shutter speed (make it slower) to half - i.e. 1/30s, camera will let in twice as much light (or 1 stop more) onto the sensor once the trigger is pushed compared to the original state. I.e. overexpose by 1 stop and again the camera exposure lever will now be on +1.

The same of course applies if we would change correspondingly aperture or ISO. Tom you can test this easily in manual mode on your camera: In manual setting get it set-up (SS/Aperture) so that it is at 0 (or whatever starting parameter you prefer at the exposure meter) and then increase or decrease alternatively shutter speed dial and then aperture dial by one click (withtout moving the camere of course - you must be exposing the same area with the same lightning as in the beginning) and you will clearly see that the lever on exposure meter will jump by full stop (i.e. three little marks on the exposure meter dial) up or down.

Now Tom you are right that SS, Aperture and ISO dials (or menu's) on most cameras  are designated in one light stop increments (some modern cameras allow more granular changes, but one usually have to use some special menu). So if one moves one of those dials by one value/click, they will double/half the amount of light in camera (or increase/decrease exposure by one stop).

But that is not true for Exposure Compensation dial/control. On all cameras that I have seen (either on manual dial or in menu) smallest increment of exposure compensation is third of a stop. So 0.3 or 0.7 of EC will increase/decrease exposure by 0.3, resp. 0.7 of stop of light. In a way, this allows one to control exposure more precisely if one is not in fully Manual mode, but rather in one of the semiautomatic ones (i.e. Aperture or SS priority, with manually set ISO) using compensation dial, as it allows third of stop increments/decrements of camera exposure, while using fully manual mode one can control exposure only in full stops (unless they manage to dial in SS or Aperture values in between the ones that camera offers by default - which as I said some cameras allow, but one needs to probably use some special menu for that).

I hope it makes sense.
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