Photogear I shouldn’t have bought
Every so often when I clean out my closet, I’ll come across an item which is still in pristine condition just the way it was after I broke the clear shrink-wrap.
It starts me wondering, “What the heck was I thinking?”
You are bound to disagree with me, but before you post your comments, which I encourage you to, remember this:
400mm telephoto f4.5
When I was in college in Ohio, I owned a 400 mm f4.5 telephoto lens. MInd you, this was in the old days of film and manual focus. In the Midwest where I went to school, that lens was only used in the best of lighting conditions. The aperture of f4.5 was way too slow for anything but outdoor sports which happen in good light. Those of you reading this have to realize even in today’s high ISO capability DSLRs, trying to get a shutter speed of 1/1000 sec is asking a lot.
Over the years I’ve bought some doozies. I once bought a diffuser which you inflate by blowing up like a beach ball.
I even had one that was a miniature umbrella that attached to the flash.
Diffusers for flash units or Speedlights/Speedlites are often not the problem. It’s the placement of the flash, being on camera.
Now I’m wondering as I write this if I’ll ever be seen with Gary Fong’s Lightsphere.
I saw a friend of mine use it at an event. I’m sure the results are excellent. The only problem I have with that is this:
Everyone who saw him with that contraption on his hotshoe mounted flash did a double-take as if asking “What is that blender doing on top of your camera?”
I like to blend in when I work, dress like I belong and draw as little attention to myself at an event.
Okay, this one I didn’t buy. I was issued one when I worked at the newspaper. I used it once, no more than twice.
While the vest was helpful in distributing the weight of my gear in its many pockets, it made me stand out.
Over the years I found that “blending in” was important. If I stuck out in a crowd, I would be ineffective, so I ditched the vest.
Super wide angle 14mm fisheye lens
Keep in mind with a DSLR, what is a wide angle depends on whether you have a full frame sensor.
My point is, I had this fisheye lens for a film camera a while back. It cost a lot. I can count the number of times I used it– maybe once a year.
The one time I used it was when I was in a gondola of a hot air balloon or when I was in confined space like a cockpit of a plane. In that particular instance it would have been more prudent to rent that item.
These days you don’t even have to leave your house to rent equipment. Borrow lenses of which I’m an affiliate will ship the item to you. (See their banner ad on the top right column of this page)
28-200mm f3.5-f5.6. As soon as I realized I could get the view I need simply by walking closer or stepping back, this lens was history. Ever wonder why manufacturers bundle this lens with camera bodies?
These variable aperture lenses are cheap, very slow and poorly constructed. They give you the focal length range which may beginners mistakenly think is the most important feature of a lens.
Their variable aperture results in very little control over depth-of-field and their very small apertures make them all but worthless in low light situations.
Holster style camera bags
When it comes to camera bags, this is really very personal. If everything you shoot is available light and with the same long lens, then a holster style camera bag like the one in the picture is perfect.
But it isn’t for most people who have a flash, some spare batteries, memory card wallet, filters and other accessories. Photography is especially dangerous for women who love accessories that have to match by the way.
And no guys aren’t an exception because manufacturers make camouflage coverings for lenses for those who like to photograph wildlife.
Come on, I live in Southern California not the Pacific Northwest. I had one of these too, I’m afraid to admit. Luckily I didn’t buy it.
You can just use a clear trash bag. A clear transparent plastic bag works because you can see what you’re doing underneath it. Also a good idea for people to see that it’s a camera you’re toting instead of a weapon if your camera is attached to a long lens.
Filters that go over your lenses are important. Some are more useful than others.
WIth Photoshop’s extensive filters and third party plug-ins, there is less and less need but at one time I had Sepia, Tobacco, Soft focus.
I’ve also grouped in the Expo Disc and the Color right filters in this category since they go over the front of the lens.
The Expo Disc and Color right filter helps you get better white balance for a whopping $100 or more. You can just shoot a sheet of white paper and do a custom white balance and send me a check for a $100 because I was an idiot and bought one.
I’m sure you have some winners in your closets. So go ahead and share them under comments. And if you’re Gary Fong and you take offense over my reference of the Lightsphere resembling a blender, I apologize. It was said in jest.