10 Photography Accessories for Under $250
4 10 accessories for under $250
- Street price: $179.00 (US) / £130.99 (UK) / €TBC (EU) Check Price / Buy Now (Canon version)
|The Kenko DG Auto Extension Tube Set is available for users of Canon, Nikon and Sony DSLRs|
Extension tubes force a lens to focus closer to the subject than would be otherwise possible, and with no optical elements in their construction they don’t degrade image quality in the same way as a close-up lens or teleconverter might. This, and their low asking price compared to dedicated macro optics explain their enduring popularity, and Kenko’s DG Auto Extension Tube Set is one of the most popular options.
The set comprises three separate tubes - 12mm, 20mm and 36mm - each of which may be used on its own or in combination with any of the others. Each tube is equipped with contacts to maintain autofocus and TTL metering communication between camera and lens, and each also sports a large release button to make dismounting the individual tubes from each other easy.
True, their design is a little dated, and those looking to get into macro photography on a budget should keep in mind that there are a handful of more affordable alternatives available, such as reversing and coupling rings, both of which can be picked up very cheaply. Still, these extension tubes are a more flexible option for photographers with only a few lenses, thanks to the combinations in which they may be used. The most recent Canon version of the tubes provides support for EF-S lenses and both Nikon and Sony-fit versions are also available.
|The 055PROBX weighs 5.3 pounds (2.4 kg) and its centre column can be lifted and swung around to face the ground making it ideal for low-level macro work.||The 498RC2 ballhead offers panoramic markings around its base, as well as a quick-release plate.|
Manfrotto’s aluminium 055XPROB has been around sufficiently long to have earned a favourable reputation among photographers, and with a 7kg load capacity it can comfortably support anything up to professional DSLR and lens combinations. Its main draw, however, is its centre column. This column can be lifted and swung into a horizontal orientation in seconds, making it ideal for low-level macro photography or copy work.
The 055XPROB's adjustable aluminium legs can be set to one of four angles, to allow the camera to be positioned as low as 10cm away from the ground. The legs themselves have three sections, and each can be adjusted with clasp locks to elevate your camera to a maximum operating height of 178.5cm when the centre column is fully extended.
The 498RC2 ball head, meanwhile, is finished and specified to a matching standard, sharing the tripod’s aluminium construction, and slightly exceeding its weight capacity. Its base is also encircled by degree markings for panoramic shooting, while three ergonomically designed knobs allow it to be quickly locked and released.
If you'd prefer something a little lighter, the Manfrotto 190XPROB3, which is also constructed from aluminium features the same headline specifications as the 055XPROB but weighs in at 4 pounds - 1.3 pounds lighter.
|Smartphone applications range from simple depth of field calculators and photo uploaders to more elaborate location and meteorology tools.|
You've probably heard it said that the best camera you own is the one you have on you, but even if you don't use your smartphone's camera all that much, it has the potential to be one of the most useful photographic accessories that you have at your disposal.
Weather information, including times of sunrises and sunsets, can be found within seconds while local transport service updates can help re-plan a route should there be any delays. Most smartphones are also equipped with a GPS system linked to a mapping software as standard, which is ideal if you’ve lost your way or you simply don’t know how to get to a particular location. More recent models may also be equipped with a compass, for when you really have no idea where you are.
As well as its built-in online and geolocation functionality, your smartphone can also host countless mobile applications, many of which have been developed specifically for photographic purposes. Apps are available that can help you to calculate depth of field or work out hyperfocal distance with your camera and lens combination, while others are designed to help you display and upload your images to the web. Still more are on hand to transform the images from your smartphone's camera into minor masterpieces via filter effects.
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Take one Digital ELPH (or IXUS), rotate it vertically, add a fully articulating LCD and a lens with a camcorder-like focal length, and what do you get? Why, the Canon PowerShot TX1, of course. In this week's Throwback Thursday we revisit Canon's one-of-a-kind hybrid stills/video camera.
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To celebrate the Daguerreotype Achromat 2.9/64 lens' successful Kickstarter campaign, Lomography has announced a chrome-plated version of the lens in Nikon and Canon DSLR mounts.
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Looking to level up your video capture capabilities without buying a whole new camera? Blackmagic's Video Assist 4K is well worth considering, despite a few flaws and its lack of 4K/60p support.
We're big fans of Fujifilm's fast-growing GFX system, and the GF 110mm F2 lens is no exception. Positioned as the system's classic portrait lens, its optics are just as impressive with non-human subjects as well.
Nikon turns 100 years old today, and the company is celebrating with a wacky music video, some tributes to its history, and a new vision presented by president Kazuo Ushida.
Phottix just released the Premio Parabolic Umbrellas series, replacing their Para-Pro line with a stronger, deeper and better made set of parabolic umbrellas.
The Moto Z2 is Motorola's first dual-camera smartphone and, compared to its predecessor, comes with a number of improvements and new camera features.
Researchers at Stanford have revealed a new '4D camera system' built for robots. The system is based on the same light field tech that allowed Lytro cameras to refocus images after they were taken.
If you want 'beautiful rendition' from your lenses, follow this simple rule: only buy classic low-element prime lenses with lead glass elements—everything else is junk.
In an interview with CNBC, Leica Chairman Andreas Kaufmann said he dreams of a 'true Leica phone,' and hinted at what's next for the Leica and Huawei partnership.
Wildlife and nature photographer Peter Mather tells the story behind this exceptional shot of a mama grizzly and her cub searching for salmon in Yukon, Canada.
Popular YouTube channel TastyTuts has put together this 33-video Beginner's Guide to Adobe Photoshop—a godsend for anybody who wants to learn Photoshop from scratch.
The long anticipated replacement for the popular Rode VideoMic Pro is almost ready for shipping. The price of the upgraded VideoMic Pro+ will be £290/$300 when it goes on sale in mid-August.
A new iOS app called Explorest wants to help you find new locations to shoot. It's limited to Singapore for now, but the app is packed full of useful location scouting features.
Nikon's D850 development announcement is extremely light on details, so we assembled a wish list of upgrades and features we'd love to see.
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Lens manufacturer Voigtlander has introduced a 65mm F2 macro lens for Sony E-mount that it says "rates as one of the finest in the history of Voigtländer."
The UK released a preview of their upcoming drone safety regulations, and it looks like drone pilots will have to both register their device and pass safety awareness tests.
National Geographic photographer Bob Holmes talks about light, and why you need to learn how to 'see' and not just 'look' at your subject.
Photographer Alessandro Barteletti shares the story behind his National Geographic Italia cover, shot with a 10-year-old DSLR and an iPhone flashlight.
Fashion catalog photographers in China have some next-level models to work with. In this video, you see one model hitting 30 poses in 15 seconds as the photographer snaps away.