These days its hard not to hear about doom and gloom news with the economy and for many photographers part of the “fix” they get with photography is picking up gear. While it may not make sense to pick a couple thousand dollars in gear in this economic climate there are things you can buy for under $30 that will certainly help you when in the field or studio. Here are 5 products that fit the bill and will keep you swimming in biodegradable foam peanuts.
invisibleSHIELD Camera LCD Screen Protector
For the sake of truth in advertising if you have a cell phone, digital camera or even a laptop I would recommend the invisibleSHIELD product for it. I’ve had a screen protector on my camera LCD screen from the first day I got it and it was the best thing I ever did. It cost me $12. When compared to other screen protectors my friends have purchased, mine is the only one that hasn’t been messed up by some weird age related effect. My screen isn’t dimmed by it, there’s no fogging and its virtually indestructible keeping my screen from getting chipped or scratched. I liked their product enough I forked out $55 for their MacBook Pro 17″ product. Definitely money well spent.
A good microfiber lens cloth is so cheap its worth getting two. Keep one in your camera bag and one in your jacket or wallet. This should be your first line of defense to keep dust specs from polluting your digital photos. Clean the front and rear element of your lenses to be sure that you’re not picking up clearly defined dust specs when shooting at f/22 or beyond.
Giottos Rocket Air Blower
The large version is under $20 at B&H, Amazon.com, etc. and its the fastest and least invasive way to rid your sensor of dust particles. I’ve owned one since 2004 and it’s never let me down. I should also add its my dogs favorite camera accessory. No matter where my dog is when I’m using it he runs over thinking its a toy. Dog owners beware.
If you’re looking for a quick way to determine if your camera is level this is the way to do it. A hot shoe two axis or three axis bubble level is easy cheap and effective. It’s not uncommon to find these on sale so keep your eye open.
This is the latest addition to my camera bag. I recently noticed that one of my lenses was working loose from the camera mount ring near the rear element. I was lucky that I didn’t break or lose my lens. Using a key or fingernail is no way to tune up camera equipment. In short order I got one of these multi-blade screwdrivers and now use it on my lenses and tripod.
Have any other must have accessories that you can pick up for under $30? If so share’m here.