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Christmas is Coming

... Well, it's a few months away, but family are going to start asking for gift ideas soon, so I'm putting together my list.

I'm sure you have some great suggestions for affordable little bits of kit that make a big difference. Please share your ideas!

Thank you :)


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This should be made into a community wiki, as there is no single good answer. – Bossykena Sep 3 '10 at 14:54
"Kit" is British for "gear", by the way. :) – mattdm Jan 11 '11 at 23:00
Do we need to have one of these for each price bracket? See for the $50-100 range, although many things suggested there are below $50.… – Itai Jan 12 '11 at 2:36

15 Answers 15

For me, it would have to be a book. Any book of great photographs is inspirational, and can give you all sorts of new ideas that would do so much more for your photography than any single piece of kit.

However, for that price, you could get a sensor cleaning kit (though not an Arctic Butterfly), or perhaps some ND grad filters.

I like the book idea - there will certainly be a few books on the list! – AJ Finch Sep 3 '10 at 14:04
I like to receive expensive books about things I love as gifts. I hate feeling like I am spending a lot on a book, but I love read them. – Phil Aug 25 '12 at 5:53

There was a list of accessories under $25 that was recently posted at, they're not all great gift ideas, but there are certainly a few good ones.

I also like to put things that are always useful, like memory cards.

Thanks for the link. I'm an avid follower of DPS. Great site! – AJ Finch Sep 3 '10 at 14:04

I'm going to agree with a book. For whatever reason I feel pretty justified in buying the equipment I need/want (like a filter, cleaning stuff, etc.) but will almost never spend the money on a book for myself. Since you were asking for specifically gift ideas, I'd say book. Also, unless your family is into photography, I find it hard to ask for really specific things. I'm sure you do your research before buying a product, and don't want to just buy the first cleaning brush (or something similar) you see. Not that my family doesn't care ~ they just don't do the same level of research!

+1. agree 100% for the reason that I would never feel justified buying a book.... I always leave arty bookshops sad :-( – andy Sep 4 '10 at 4:50
Nice point about levels of research. I usually put things on an Amazon wish list, so they can just click and buy. (I like to make it easy for people to buy me presents - I'm thoughtful that way ;) – AJ Finch Sep 6 '10 at 9:24
I, your dashing and charming husband, came onto this site a few weeks ago to research an anniversary gift for you. I read this entire page, including this answer, and ultimately bought you a book and only now just now realized that you, my wife, wrote this. – Michael Haren Sep 20 '10 at 2:29

A vintage manual prime. One of the best ways to learn.

The viewfinder on my entry-level Nikon D3100 is too small for me to achieve good manual focus. With an advanced viewfinder with microprism focusing, this may be a good idea, but for most people it's just no good. – Seth Johnson Dec 1 '11 at 20:00
  • Polarizing filter
  • Basic Tripod
  • Portable folding reflector
Folding reflector is a nice suggestion! I can't agree with the basic tripod, I'm afraid - that's one of the few things where it's really not worth buying a cheap one. Mind you, a basic monopod - there's an idea that has legs. ;) Thanks for your answer! – AJ Finch Sep 6 '10 at 9:24

I would say a diopter (or close-up) filter, this little filter (actually a lens) allows you to turn a regular lens into a macro lens without loosing any stops.

You can get a +1, +2, +4, +10 kit for $10.

The quality of diopters pretty much suck. Why would you want to put a $10 glass (actually $2.5 each in the kit) in front of your expensive lens. – Sridhar Iyer Dec 1 '11 at 19:39
since the effect can be really nice compared to the investment you make. example: – Davy Landman Dec 1 '11 at 21:26
Along the same lines, extension tubes or lens reversal kits also let you get into macro photography for very little money. – Evan Krall Dec 2 '11 at 7:23

A UV filter for your lens. Keep 'em protected.

  1. Magnetic gorillapod is about $25-$30. Nice and promising thing.
  2. Wireless synchronization system RF-602 (warning: NO TTL!) from the manufacturer.
I like the gorillapod idea! Also, I have been hearing a few good things about yongnuo gear recently. Thank you! – AJ Finch Sep 6 '10 at 9:27

Westcott 301 Photo Basics 40-Inch 5-in-1 Reflector. I sure know I'd like to get one of them:-)


How about going to a library book sale and picking up an old book on photography.

For 50 cents, I picked up a 250 page paperback called "Creative Photography". It's loaded with pictures, tips, ideas, and information. Sure some of it is directed to film photography, but that's great too. Learning the origin of terms we use today (like burn, dodge, filter) is great.


I really like my Canon Wireless Remote Control RC1 for my Canon SLR. Im sure there's an equivalent for Nikon.


Memory card

Simple and inside your budget. But I'd suggest you wait until the beginning of December because memory prices tend to fall. Just don't wait too long so the shopping spree season would start.


Check if he has an off camera flash. If he does, Cactus Triggers would be a great gift. Also based on the type of photography you can snag a basic lighting kit.


An infrared or cable remote will fit your price range and will introduce you to new possibilities with your camera.


How about a frame? That is the best thing to give to a photographer. It is a rare thing for a photographer to have a framed photograph. WARNING Do not ask them to choose a favorite. It'll be ages before you get the answer.


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