Photo gear I shouldn’t have bought Part 2

For many of us without self-control access to a credit card and an internet connection can be similar to being an unsupervised kid inside a candy store.

I was reminded of this very recently when I started noticing my online searches for a particular piece of photo gear.

That piece of gear started following me around in the form of an ad.

When I jumped between Facebook, Amazon and Ebay, I was being stalked.

However, I embraced it because the constant reminder actually helps when I need to compile a list of items I find useful in my photography, ones I would want to recommend to students.

The last time I wrote about photo gear, I got so many comments, I was floored.

And since our photography related purchases are on-going, it’s time to see which photo toys I shouldn’t have bought once again.

Please note some of these products are not necessarily defective. or inferior.

They mean well like the “pavement on the road to hell” but sometimes these products just don’t work for my particular needs or they simply don’t fit in my small camera bag, plain and simple.

1.Mag Mod–flash modifier system

Mag Mod Kit--3 sets of Grids and Gel Holders with 3 Mag Grips which house the strong magnets that are housed inside very tough elastic holders.
Mag Mod Kit–3 sets of Grids and Gel Holders with 3 Mag Grips which house the strong magnets that are housed inside very tough elastic holders.

Let me first say,  the system I had for attaching color-correcting and color-modifying gels work well.

I use the Honl’s speedstrap
and the velcro attached gels.

I also have a LumiQuest UltraStrap LQ-126.

Both these glamorized approximate 8″ velcro strips cost a whopping $10.

So the Mag Mod system is actually pricey even though I got it at a bargain price of $140 for 3 Mag Mod kits for 3 Speedlites  during its kickstart campaign.

Since it isn’t practical to remove the magnets after each use, keeping the magnets in place takes up a lot of room.

Then there is is very practical matter of “opposite poles of a magnet repelling.”

When stowing away my Speedlites, I have to make sure the opposite poles are not facing one other.

If I’m in a hurry and force the issue, I imagine the magnets will lose their power slowly.

I’m back to using the Honl’s speedstrap and velcro gels, if anyone is interested in buying these Mag Mods, let me know.

2.Impact Strobros Globe Diffuser

If you look at the accessory above, you will see it’s like carrying a small football in your camera bag.

Not collapsible, totally rigid and a general pain to transport.

Even though it’s plastic it would surely crack if I dropped it.

More than likely I have to pack this globe separately.

Riverside City College students from fall 2013
Riverside City College students from fall 2013

In the photographers world, there’s a saying which I’m making up here, “The more separate pieces or trips I have to make from my vehicle to the shoot location, the more likely I will leave something behind.”

So what does it do?

In case you’re wondering how the group photo above was made, the globe diffuser was placed in the middle of the group, hidden behind Asia (tall pretty black girl in the center foreground) 1 other Speedlite placed on the left, lit Asia and the other young lady on the left) Camera on tripod for 2 sec @ f16 35mm lens ISO 400.

It softens the light from my flash, so does a piece of tissue over my flash.

Costing around $22 shipped, I think I could have found a DIY solution.

If you haven’t already, mouse over the picture above to see the results of the globe diffuser I used to photograph Melinda White Crow.

Entrepreneur/photographer Gary Fong has a similar product but it cost twice as much.

His Lightsphere is soft and collapsible

3.Jianisi radio slaves

Cheap radio slaves but there’s no warranty at all. Just buy another make. I paid maybe $20. Should have bought something in the region of $30 perhaps.

It’s tempting to spring for the absolute cheapest but if an item only works for a couple months,  what would be the point?

At the community college  where I teach part time, I needed something on the cheap to loan to my students.

This particular make didn’t even last the semester and I wasn’t surprised at all.

Now it’s your turn.

Did you buy something your regretted?

Please comment and if you can, add a picture as well.