So, you’ve spent hundreds…nay, thousands on your gear. Now what?
Do you drag your camera and your awesome glass everywhere you go, or do you stay up at night worrying about what might happen to your precious investment? Fear not, for I bring you the list of essentials that (mostly) won’t break your piggy bank.
The Lenspen is a handy two-sided gadget for cleaning your lenses. One side has a felt-like tip made of a carbon cleaning compound that that clean smudges off the glass on the go without having to use any cleaning liquid. The other side has a retractable brush. Lenspen is small (the size of a pen!) and does not scratch the optic elements. It does a great job!
2. A dust blower
There are several out there. I own a Giottos Rocket-Air Blaster. When you squeeze the air blower, you create a forceful stream of air to blow off those annoying dust particles. I use it to clean my mirror. Make sure you point your camera downward when you use it to make sure that the dust you blow off doesn’t fall back down onto the surface you are cleaning.
3. A good camera strap
Not everyone uses one, but I absolutely love mine. I have two, actually: a very comfortable neck strap and a hand strap. Both are attached to my camera at the same time, and I use both all the time. Some prefer a wrist strap.
My hand strap is a Herringbone Hand Grip Strap. I shoot a lot of macro hand-held, and I find it very helpful to provide extra support for my camera.
There is a large number of neck straps on the market. My biggest gripe with the standard manufacturer straps which are included with the camera – apart from not being particularly comfortable – is that when you wear your camera, it hangs with the lens sticking out away from your body. This will put your lens in harm’s way!
There are several alternatives to that. Be sure to read the reviews on 3rd party straps, as some are known to come undone, and have ruined many camera bodies and lenses. After much research, I’ve settled on Luma Labs Cinch Strap. It is very, very comfortable, and I wear it for hours without noticing any discomfort. This strap comes with a plate that attaches to the bottom of your camera, and you have several different options of attaching your strap to your camera. My strap is attached to the side of my camera on the left, and to the base plate on the right – when I wear my camera, it hangs lens down (rather than lens out), and has a much smaller profile. When I walk, I tighten my strap with the movement of one hand, securing the camera to my body. When I need to shoot, I loosen the strap. Bonus: the base plate is Arca-compatible, so I can mount the camera with the base plate straight onto the tripod without having to remove it.