Christmas toys for photographers

It’s that time of the year and if you have a photographer in your life, I have some suggestions for you.

If your photographer mostly shoots landscapes, a tripod and a set of graduated filters are no-brainers.

The trouble with my suggestion of a tripod is this. They can be expensive.

You should only be buying a tripod once hopefully it’s just like marriage.

But just like in real life,  we sometimes have more than 1 spouse  and we often misplace our photo toys.  My feeling is that it’s best to buy the best tripod you can afford because they really don’t break.

You’ll likely lose them before they break. I have a Manfrotto tripod which I’ve owned for over 25 years. It’s not as expensive as a Gitzo but it’s better than the other cheaper brands.  If you’re looking for high end, then Gitzo is the one for you.

Stocking Stuffers

  1. Memory cards are always a good choice. As more and more cameras are using the smaller Secure Digital or SD cards, these are a good choice since there’s one for every budget.
  2. Compact Flash cards or CF cards are still popular but these usually require some sort of external card reader so if you buy CF cards, you might want to consider getting a quick USB 3.0 or thunderbolt connector (for Mac users)
  3. Memory card wallets will be an excellent choice as well.
  4. Memory card readers with USB 3.0 or Thunderbolt 3 (for users with newer compatible Macs)
  5. Lens cleaning supplies will always be appreciated. So will rechargeable AA batteries with those plastic holders that store 4 or more AA batteries.

Off-Camera Speedlight Kits

These next kits make the assumption that your photographer already has a DSLR camera with bundled kit lens, the 18-55mm or longer lenses.

1 Light stand $75 for mounting your Speedlight off-camera. You may need a swivel or a special mount. I favor the Godox or Neewer flash mount because its design takes the stress off the speed light’s head.

Speedlight with off-camera trigger (radio) and compatible with Canon’s newest Speedlite 600EX-RT and its transmitter ST-E3-RT.


1 Yongnuo radio transmitter

1 compatible Yongnuo Speedlite

Optional items:

  • a 2nd light stand and 1 reflector.
  • shoot through umbrella with black removable backing
  • softbox

Buy  2 Clamps from your neighborhood hardware store for $1 each instead of buying that from a camera store.

This combo of Yongnuo 600EX-RT and YN-E4-RT transmitter is about $200 which is significantly less than Canon’s OEM combo.

If you have any questions about other gear, ask them under comments below.  I love helping others spend their hard earned cash on photo toys.
Peter Phun Photography

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