7 Photography Items That Are Totally Worth Buying
In my quest to make my workflow more efficient, I am always on the lookout for new products and ideas. We are now in an innovation era where a lot of simple gadgets and inventions make the work that we do so much easier. The best camera accessories don’t have to cost a fortune, ok some of them do but you are significantly paying for its intelligence/R&D. Below are 7 accessories that I have used and they have significantly improved the quality of my workflow - be it common usage for work in Singapore or for travel. Some items are not brand conscious, they just get the work done while brand is critical for some others. I bet there are a few items here you didn’t even know they exist!
1. Storacell Battery Magazine/Caddy
Storacell came up with an ingenious idea and event photographers have to thank them for it. I’m thankful for this simple magazine-like kind of storage for batteries on the go. I first came across it while I was watching YouTube, a photographer was using it for a club shoot. The ease of taking it out from his pocket and changing batteries for his flash was neat and fast. They are not cheap at all in my opinion but you are really paying for its innovation and not the mere plastic. I have the 4xAA mag and a 12xAA mag, the former helped me keep my event shooting really neat while the latter keeps my packing neat. (Knock-offs available now)
2. Kuvrd Rubber Lens Cover
A Kickstarter item that had simplified the way I protect my lenses. The way I slip on and off this rubber lens cover is easy and fast and I do not need to bother about the thread size of the lens to find the correct lens cap anymore - they cover up to 90% of my lenses now. My biggest thread size is 77mm and I wasn’t able to cover that range when the lens hood is on it, but they have recently came up with two size thus catering to the larger lens size now. (Knock-offs available now)
3. Falcon RGB LED Lights
When I was using my Yongnuo LED lighting a couple of years back, a small form factor yet powerful RGB light was unheard of then. My YN216 served this purpose but it only catered to white and tungsten lighting. In addition that LED was quite a hassle for my travels as there were quite a few accessories (which required it to be packed with) that was needed to render it useful. Recently the insurgence of cheap pocket LED lights is getting prevalent and its price is getting very competitive. This amazing pocket light comes with RGB, letting you get really creative on the go! I am not brand conscious for LED lights as having RGB is already a big plus, the more expensive ones is not needed here as essentially you are paying for additional yet not really needed functions. (Too many brands, functions and types to consider – not brand conscious)
4. Peak Design Lens Capture
I was looking for a solution to change lens on-the-go fast and I was searching for a way to efficiently do that for many years. Sometimes when I shoot at events, I use duo camera bodies, one for longer range and another for wide angle shots. Over the years, I tend not want to draw too much attention to myself as a photographer covering the event. Thus, I always shoot with a single body unless it is really necessary I will try not to put on my harness/LBV. Came across Peak Design’s lens capture a while back and I must say they were my solution, I can easily change lens on-the-go now and moving around with it is a lot more inconspicuous. Again, having the simple system to interchange your lens on-the-go is well thought of and extremely useful in my line of work. It worked for most of my leisure trips as well when I just want to do some walkabout shooting and not wanting to carry a full sized backpack.
5. Filter Quick-Switch Bracket/Adapter Ring
Another simple idea which worked - This is more for landscape and street photography where you wish swap filters easily. They totally changed the idea of filters swapping by coming out with a similar version of someone wearing shades, wishes to have the flexibility of just pulling it up and pushing it back down when you need it instead of changing their shades. This may look simple to many but to me, this is absolutely a very practical idea that works. Landscape/Street photographers will truly understand how this invention saves them so much time and will thank the creator for it!
6. K&F Concepts Circular Polarizer/Linear (CPL) + Variable Neutral Density Filter (VND)
Another breakthrough in technology where they combined a CPL and a VND! How did they even came up with this idea of combination two different purpose filters! Yes, I’m talking about having both a CPL and VND in the same filter! I’m totally sold by it as changing filters is cumbersome and a lot of hassle when you are outdoors, having this simply means you can concentrate on getting good images without much interruption of having to change different filters at different scenarios. (At time of writing, there is a cheaper version of this but no review on its quality and usability yet so I would not mention this brand)
7. Light Stand Extension On A Tripod
This last item is actually kind of my own idea. I always try to travel light for overseas work/travel and whenever I have an indoor portrait session, I will always bring those mini-light stand along. For travel shooting - When I do bring a light stand, I will not bring a tripod and vice versa. The main difference between a tripod and light stand is that a tripod is actually a lot more stable as it is used to hold a camera while a light stand’s advantage is that it can go up to a good height of at least 2 metres. (A tripod typically goes up to about a ‘chest’ height of 1.6 metres. Suddenly I have this thought of finding something to extend the height of my tripod and came up with a solution after doing a lot of research and reviews. I bought this light stand extender which was supposed to be use to attached to the light when you have an assistant to hold the light instead of mounting the light onto a light stand. Instead of just using this extender by itself, I mounted it by adding a spigot onto the tripod and have successfully extended the maximum height of my tripod. Now my travel tripod is small and yet able to do a dual role of being both a tripod and a light stand!
These are some simple innovations which really helped me greatly in my work, I am someone who totally believe in paying for innovation to save time and in turn money in the long run. To me, all these investment do make a lot of sense and are totally worth every dollar spent. For those of you with questions or other innovative inventions to share, feel free to write to me or message me on my social media. Have a great shoot! (IG/FB: @jaycstudios)