Five and a Half Stocking Stuffers for a Photographer
Tis the season…to cobble together last minute gifts for people you feel obligated to give gifts to. But if you have a photographer in your life, here are some ideas to help you choose stocking stuffers – or a full blown Christmas list.
Just remember that these are suggestions. Not every photographer will want a Toy camera lens, or 3200 ISO film.
A Holga Toy Lens made to fit Canon EOS Cameras.
Numero Uno on our list, and arguably the most fun, is toy lenses. You can find theses suckers on ebay and Amazon for daaaaaaaaaamn cheap, son. They aren’t quality lenses, but at $44 and under, what’s not to love? Don’t speaker camera lingo? Here are some simple steps:
- Ask your photographer what camera they use. Example: Fuji x-e2
- Type that stuff into a search bar with the words “lomo lens” behind it
A lens cap keeper/buckle thing-a-ma-jig.
Lens Cap Keeper/Buckle
Well, this one is pretty useful. You can get them cheap at most camera stores. But the coolest looking ones (in my opinion) are on ebay. Just search for “lens cap buckle” and see what comes up.
Note: there are different size buckles for different size lens caps. Check the size (listed in mm) on the bottom of the lens cap (or caps) in question. Popular sizes include 37, 43, 49, 52, 58, 62, 67, and 77mm.
A Battery Grip designed to fit the Canon 5D Mk II.
Batteries and/or a Battery Grip
This one will work best for those photographers in your life who don’t already have tons of batteries or a battery grip. Both batteries and grips may be specific to one camera model, or multiple camera models may use the same batteries and grips. Search online or call up a camera store to find the right items.
A neoprene neck strap with buckle-style releases for easy use.
Consider these the woolen socks of Christmas morning. As good as receiving a new camera? No. Better than receiving something non-camera related? Hell yes. Go flashy for those who want to stand out from the crowd, or give an enthusiast photographer something designed more for comfort or ease of use than personal style. Thanks to a large number of newbie photographers theses days, the amount of whacky (or downright professional) straps out there has really taken off.
The ATR3350IS from Audio Technica can’t be beat.
A cheap-as-chips (but still pretty awesome) accessory for video work (or recorded notes!) this device can run as cheap as $29.99 and offer audio much improved over the camera’s built-in mics. Audio Technica’s ATR3350iS is a particularly enticing model, with a built in adapter that allows you to monitor the audio feed with a pair of headphones while recording.
A roll of Kodak 120 film (left) and a roll of Fujifilm 35mm (right).
Ah, the half-stocking stuffer because hey let’s face it, film ain’t for everyone. Hopefully it is for your photographer, though, because film is relatively inexpensive, fun, and educational. Yayyy!
So here’s a basic guide:
You want 35mm film if your photographer shoots 35mm film. Telltale signs of this film include plastic containers, and pudgy little cardboard boxes with the number “135” on it.
If your photographer shoots medium format (120 film), you should buy that. It usually has black paper on the back and gets rolled up when it’s finished. It comes out of the box in a little foil or plastic wrapping. It doesn’t come out of the camera neatly wound up in a metal canister.
Low ISO film will have a number from 12-100 on it. This stuff is smooooth. The favorite of landscape photographers and some portrait photographers who lose their marbles when every single detail isn’t right. Buy this film if your photographer likes to shoot in bright daylight, talks about sharpness a lot, or prefers large prints.
This speed of film usually ranges from 200-400 ISO. It’s great for photographers who do indoor shooting, use flashes in their photography, or take some action shots. Buy 400 ISO film if your photographer talks about “pushing” or “pulling” film.
If your photographer shoots in low light (indoors, at night) or likes to photograph lots of action with a film camera (a few sports photographers, a LOT of street photographers), look no further than this film. Look for ISO numbers between 800 and 6400. This can be tricky, though, because certain cameras can’t use film this high. Do some research online using this formula:
camera model + “asa range” (or “film speed range”)
If you can’t for the life of you figure that out, call a camera shop. A good shop will give you great service even before you step foot into the store.
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