In last week’s Part 1 article I presented my camera support and bags gear. In this final part I will present my other equipment I use with my camera.
I don’t take indoor photos, except sometimes for family get-togethers such as Chrismas. Therefore I don’t really have a need for a powerful flash. But just in case the need does arise I got myself a compact flash:
- Sony Compact External Flash HVL-F20AM
The HVL-F20AM works with compatible Sony Alpha SLR cameras. This external flash lets you shoot in low-light conditions from greater distances than your camera’s built-in flash will allow. It attaches to the camera’s accessory shoe. The ’F20AM makes it easy to get well-illuminated photos. Turn to the “indoor” setting when you want to bounce the flash off the ceiling for a softer look with fewer shadows. Use the “outdoor” setting to fire the flash forward and aim the most light possible at your subject.
I prefer using the viewfinder instead of the LCD display when taking picture. There are times when I need to get low to take a photo in which case I had no option to use the LCD. I recently came across the Sony Angle Viewer, that was on sale, that I decided to get it.
- Sony Angle Finder FDA-A1AM
Designed for use with your Sony a (alpha) DSLR-A100 camera, the FDA-A1AM angle finder allows you to capture images from difficult shooting angles. Take pictures from low angles or chest level while keeping full view of your framed image.
When I got my Minolta AF 70–210mm F/4 (Beercan), I was told that it can be used with a 2X teleconverter because of it constant F/4 aperture, turning the lens in to a 140–420mm F/8 lens. I decided to get the Kenko converter:
- Kenko Teleplus MC–7 “DG” 2x AF Teleconverter for the Maxxum & Sony Alpha Mount
KENKO AF 2X Teleplus converter MC7 gives you the “impact of powerful effect” and also your lens’s focal range will be greatly increased. KENKO AF Teleplus converter has genuine Gate Array IC. It means that not only the Teleplus’s own unique data, but the entirety of data set from the camerabody, needless to say full linkage is also provided for electronic flash photography. Full AF linkage with Teleplus is possible with camera lenses with open aperture of F4 or brighter (Manual focusing is required when using lenses with smaller open f-stop value than those given above.) DG Series New DG Series have upgraded “Gated-Array” circuitry to work better with the digital SLR’s and some of the the new digital only lenses. They still work the same with film SLR Cameras and lenses as well.
Last year I played around with some Macro Photography and found that using Extension tubes would help, I therefore decided to get a set. Since I had good a experience with the Kenko Teleconverter I went for the Kenko tubes:
- Kenko Auto Extension Tube Set DG (12, 20 & 36mm Tubes) for Maxxum & Sony Alpha Mount
The Kenko Auto Extension Tube Set DG contains three tubes of different length – 12mm, 20mm, and 36mm – which can be used individually or in any combination to obtain the desired magnification. Actual magnification effect changes with each specific lens. The extension tubes have no optics. They are mounted in between the camera body and lens to create more distance between the lens and film plane. By moving the lens father away from the film or CCD sensor in the camera, the lens is forced to focus much closer than normal. The greater the length of the extension tube, the closer the lens can focus. This DG Extension tube set has upgraded “Gate-Array IC” circuitry to work better with digital SLR’s and some of the digital SLR lenses.
Last year I came across a Kick-starter project that was about a attachment to turn my iPhone into a light meter. I was intrigued since it promised to be an alternative to the more expensive stand-alone versions. Bottom-line, it is as promised a good alternative, besides E S Devices’ own light meter app, it can also be used with other iPhone light meter apps, such as Nuwaste Studios’ Pocket Light Meter:
Luxi – Incident light meter adapter for iPhone
Luxi replaces that expensive, standalone gadget with your iPhone. It is composed of two parts: a plastic adapter that slips over your phone (there are versions for the iPhone 4/4S and the iPhone 5/5s) and a free companion app. The adapter positions a diffusion dome over the front-facing camera, making your phone look a lot like a traditional light meter. To use Luxi, start the app and hold it near your subject, so it points back in the direction that you’re planning to shoot from. Based on these conditions, Luxi then recommends an aperture, shutter speed, and ISO.
Filters and Lens Hoods
Last but not least, all of my lenses have UV filters, lens caps and hoods. They all are for protection of the front glass. Without getting into the never ending argument about the pros and cons of UV filters vs lens hoods, from personal experiences, I use both. The reason being that when the lens is stored in my bag, the hood is inverted on the lens and therefore offering no protecting it in case it falls when removed from the bag. In addition to the UV filters, I also have a set of Circular Polarizing and Neutral Density Filters for each diameter in my lens collection.