Photography Accessories I've Learned to Ditch

In my time as a photographer and tech journalist, I’ve tried out loads and loads of items. All reviews have been very fair: pointing out the good and offering recommendations on improvement rather than full out blaring criticisms. After going through my accessories recently and clearing out my photography bag to carry only what is essential, I’ve found that there are items that I really don’t use anymore. Check them out along with my explanations after the jump.

Cotton Carrier

I reviewed this and re-reviewed it for Photography Bay. I still stand by my conclusion to this day: I won’t use it. Even though I’ve become busier with weddings, events, etc. I still can’t justify having it. The reason why is because despite the fact that it is a very solid product, I personally am uncomfortable with a camera on my chest like that. I find myself crouching down often while shooting weddings and so having a camera with a giant lens on your chest can become cumbersome after a while.

To be fair as well, I don’t see myself using something like the Spider holster either. What I do see myself investing in soon though is perhaps a Black Rapid R-strap. I find that much more tailored towards my shooting style and particular needs.

Joby Gorillapod

I’ll probably get a lot of heat for saying this but I have no need for mine anymore. The reason why is because as a photojournalist and a street photographer, I was trained to shoot very mobile. Despite the lightness and toughness of the Gorillapod in addition to its versatility, I’ve never actually need myself needing to use one. Image Stabilization and Live View have really killed the need for it.

Tripods (in general)

The exception to this is if I’m shooting a video of some sort. More specifically, a large scale production.

SanDisk Extreme Pro ExpressCard Adapter

This is a bit of a weird one. This adapter is supposed to connect to an express slot in your laptop or PC. The problem is that not many of them that I know of have these connections. Hence, it’s useless to me.

However, I don’t doubt that it would be a great product to use and will ensure faster transmission of your images. What would have been better is if it had a USB or Firewire connection of some sort.

UV Filters

In perhaps my most dangerous move that some may even call stupid, I stopped using UV filters in exchange for lens hoods and lens caps. This happened when I was a celebrity photographer. My agency always told me that my images weren’t up to the quality that they wanted. Once the UV filter came off, they suddenly were. I also can’t justify spending hundreds of dollars on the more expensive ones when the lens hood and lens cap do the job just fine for protecting my lens and cutting down on excessive light.

Tripod Collars

I’ve felt that these are just excess bulk on an already heavy lens. I’m a believer in using your environment to help with stabilization. While these collars are best used with tripods or monopods, the fact that I’ve ditched tripods for the most part really means that this little piece of ring around my lens can also stay at home: taking off a very small amount of weight from my bag.

Arctic Butterfly

I reviewed this item when the blog first started up. It’s an amazing product, please do not mistake that. At least it was an amazing product. The reason why I don’t use it anymore is because I have problems with it an my Canon 5D MK II’s sensor. When I had my Olympus E-510, I was able to brush it and clean it off with ease. The Canon sensor I feel is much more delicate though. So cleaning it is something I leave to the professionals instead.

To be fair though, the E-510 has a Live MOS sensor, which is essentially a low powered CCD. CCD’s I feel are much more rugged and can take lots more punishment than CMOS sensors.