Serene Life

by garik

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35

Small accessories that will get the photographer trying out a new technique (though you should expect they might replace your gift if they really get into the technique), some examples: A GorillaPod mini tripod (if they have no tripod or only a huge one) A cheap tripod (assuming they don't have a Pro camera/lenses) A shutter release cable A shutter release ...


19

Books For someone just starting out there are plenty of options (see DrFrogsplat's answer) but for serious amateurs and professionals there really isn't much in that price range. Another problem is that what is available in that range will be very basic / small. Case in point, the next accessory I'm after is a Really Right Stuff L-plate for a 1D, which is ...


16

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.


13

Yes there are a couple of options for doing macro on the cheap. The most common is extension tubes which are hollow tubes which basically just move the lens further away, decreasing the minimum focussing distance in the process. If you're really stuck you can in fact just hold your lens in front of the camera focus and composure are a bit hit and miss with ...


10

I just ordered one of these Nikon lens mugs from Photojojo - https://photojojo.com/store/awesomeness/camera-lens-mug/ I'm pretty sure any photographer/coffee/tea drinker would love them. I know Canon had an L-series mug back during the Olympics, but the Nikon 24-70 actually zooms!!


9

There was a list of accessories under $25 that was recently posted at digital-photography-school.com, 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.


8

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 ...


8

A camera lens is made up of a number of individual glass elements (lenses) which work together to focus an image onto the plane of a piece of film or a digital sensor. Each element in the 'stack' of a lens is either there specifically to make the image hitting that sensor more accurate, or to correct for some inherent deficiency that has been introduced as a ...


7

Matt has already covered a number of options, which I won't try to repeat here. Unless I missed something, he did miss one possibility though: this is to use a relatively long lens on the camera, with a relatively short lens, reversed, in front of it. This is basically the same as the closeup-lens option Matt did mention, but instead of buying a new ...


7

Check out Nikon speedlights from the 1990s: SB-24 and SB-26. The lower the number, the cheaper. The higher the number, the more features. The SB-26 has a broader manual range, and the SB-28 has a built-in optical trigger. They have manual control, hotshoe and PC sync sockets, and are broadly compatible with Canon and Nikon DSRLs. Strobist on the Nikon ...


7

You mention second hand, and I commend that choice, however I think it's worth noting that there are some at-least-relatively quite inexpensive (though perhaps over £30-40; I don't know the exchange rates off hand). One is the Vivitar 285HV (or I guess now these are the Cactus KF36) (or an old higher-voltage 285 or 283, and perhaps other models, second hand ...


6

Cleaning Kit Invitation to a photo art gallery/seminar and some of items listed by drfrogsplat


6

All of the major brands make a rugged camera, but since I'm a Pentax shooter, I might suggest the Pentax Optio W90. A quick Google search on it will turn up a number of reviews, but spec wise it's pretty good and it's designed to take abuse.


6

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.


6

That is what a Camera Finder is for. There are 7 current DSLRs with a rotating display. Those do exactly what you ask for twisting away from the camera body rather than simply tilting up and down as some articulated displays do. For a specific recommendation, the truth is that they are all good, particularly if you cannot tell the difference. Newer ones ...


4

Two gifts I received recently myself included the following: LCD Timer Remote Control: $50 Intervolometer cable release, allows unlimited number of photographs to be taken at any interval from 1s to 100hrs X-Rite ColorChecker Passport: $100 A small-scale portable color checker card that may be used out in the field (or anywhere) to ensure correct white ...


4

To follow up on Genius' reply, DP Review had a Waterproof Camera Group Test last year. It tells you a bit more than just the comparison page, and from there you can easily check how the new models since then have improved. I've quickly skimmed the article, and it appears that John Cavan's suggestion of an Optio is quite a good one - the W60 is the runner up ...


4

Shooting indoor fast action is hard enough with a dSLR, asking that from a medium-price point and shoot is quite much. At least try to get a front row seat, so you would not have to amplify blur with a long focal length. If you only need to shoot one event, you could rent a dSLR with a fast tele lens for considerably less than your budget. You could also ...


4

"Cheapest" is easy to answer: the Rokinon 500mm f/8.0 (also sold under the Samyang or Walimex brands), and for a beginner, it might even be the best, to gain experience more than to make great photos, because it's really not a good lens at all (is anyone surprised, at a $200 price point?): horribly slow, manual focus, comparatively low optical quality. But ...


3

open DPreview Compare (or any similar digital camera comparison page) fill the form with: Format = "Compact" or "Waterproof" Live View = "Yes" () Image Stabilization = "Yes" (even if photo quality doesn't matter for you) Only current = "Don't mind" choose your one (there should be a few pages of comparison). Prices are listed there also. I heard that ...


3

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


3

Magnetic gorillapod is about $25-$30. Nice and promising thing. Wireless synchronization system RF-602 (warning: NO TTL!) from the manufacturer.


3

Check out the Go Pro cameras. They're marketed as wearable/mountable (e.g. on a surfboard, helmet, car, boat), waterproof sports cameras. A friend just got one for a trip to Antartica (I can let you know in about 3 weeks when he gets back if it survived ;). He's used it successfully in the surf and on a kayak and is generally pretty happy with it. They are ...


3

In photography, as in everything, you get what you pay for. What you'll see from cheaper products in general is more chromatic shifting, loss of contrast, more blurriness, etc. However, it will still probably give you the desired effect, and if it's something you don't often use, you might consider it, so...


3

For my flash I use the wide rubber band with Velcro on it approach to hold stuff in place. Something like this... (argh, hopeless URL; just google for the term "flash velcro rubber band" without quotes, the first one is a reference to a page with a Gary Fong whaletail setup which is the page I mean) It works well enough for me, though I haven't used it for ...


3

If all you care for is the ability to control flash power (i.e, no zoom or fancy digital games like stroboscope), then there is another alternative to manual flash: use the cheapest flash you can find with ND gels! You can buy these gels in sheets and cut to the size of your flash head, and if the reduction is not enough, then stack a few of them. This ...


3

Yongnuo YN460 You have to look out for build issues with these, but they should be available second hand for your budget. There is a newer version, the YN560, which is a slight upgrade, and slightly more expensive (GBP 55+ new).



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