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Gear Talk => Software & Accessories => Topic started by: paul13walnut5 on January 03, 2013, 08:51:45 PM

Title: Oddest kit purchase?
Post by: paul13walnut5 on January 03, 2013, 08:51:45 PM
What object have you bought / used for your photography that specifically has a non-photography purpose?

From my own kit (mainly video biased):

In the first dv days (vx1000a) I used to have a nylon stocking stretched over a filter to combat 'jaggies'

Currently I use corn plasters to conceal the heads of wireless radio mics under clothing

Clothes pegs to fix mic cables

And I use an elastic jar opener as a focus puller

What ingenuous use have you found for non-photo items?

Title: Re: Oddest kit purchase?
Post by: BrandonKing96 on January 03, 2013, 09:03:42 PM
Smart!  I attempted to use sunglasses as an ND filter.  Worked, but couldn't get the result I wanted (considering I was using it handheld as I didn't bring a tripod and I couldn't support the weight of the 24-70 II as well as usual).
(http://s14.postimage.org/69z1lah29/IMG_0275.jpg)
Also this is pretty much the best result I got, but the others were more zoomed in and didn't have the sunglasses' frame in it.  Pretty interesting what people improvise with!
Title: Re: Oddest kit purchase?
Post by: unfocused on January 03, 2013, 09:16:54 PM
This could become a great "tips" thread.

I've bought plastic clamps from Lowes for hanging backdrops, etc. Cost a fraction of those sold in photo stores.

I carry a lint roller in my lighting bag to get cat fur, etc., off black backdrops.

Bought a cheap rolling suitcase from Wal-Mart to keep strobes in (yes, I have a problem)

In the old days I used electrical tape to tape two rear lens caps together back to back (very handy for keeping two small primes in the same slot in the camera bag and you never lose the caps, because they are always attached to at least one lens.)

In the category of "you know you've really lost it" – I asked my daughters to buy me a small pop-up deer blind that I put in the backyard next to the bird feeder so I can get closer to the birds.
Title: Re: Oddest kit purchase?
Post by: paul13walnut5 on January 03, 2013, 09:21:02 PM
Hahaha!  @unfocused My softbox kit lives in £12 tesco rolling suitcase!
Title: Re: Oddest kit purchase?
Post by: Mt Spokane Photography on January 03, 2013, 09:35:00 PM
I bought a bolt of bright white drapery lining (translucent) that I drape over my fluorescent tube fixtures to diffuse the light.  Works great, few or no reflections from shiny objects. I use electronic ballasts and 98 CRI  4 ft tubes and get fantastic color.
 
 
Title: Re: Oddest kit purchase?
Post by: crasher8 on January 03, 2013, 09:35:13 PM
When it comes to darkroom gear people fashion the strangest things into burn and dodge tools. I use a toy dolls arm with stubby fingers and a thumb while holding onto the forearm, works great.

As for digital hmmmm, well I did make a bean bag for macro with a nylon and rice then covered it with a thin sock, tied a tight knot and scissored off the end.

Title: Re: Oddest kit purchase?
Post by: RC on January 03, 2013, 09:54:36 PM
I made a tri-pod collar for my Zuiko 100-200 f/5 plus 2x teleconverter combo from an exhaust hanger, 2 wing nuts, and electrical tape.  It worked very well.  I used it up until the time I sold my film gear.
Title: Re: Oddest kit purchase?
Post by: paul13walnut5 on January 03, 2013, 10:02:11 PM
love that shot @BrandonKing96

All top tips, keep 'em coming!
Title: Re: Oddest kit purchase?
Post by: neuroanatomist on January 03, 2013, 10:02:58 PM
Nothing to fancy.  I use a $2 plastic gold-colored charger (the kind that goes under a dinner plate) as a reflector for macro shooting

On the flip side, I use a Lowepro belt with Sliplock water bottle holders and pouches on outings with the kids, even without camera gear along, and my Christmas tree wouldn't be completely decorated without the SpyderCube that I hang on it an an ornament.  ;)
Title: Re: Oddest kit purchase?
Post by: distant.star on January 03, 2013, 10:07:43 PM

.
Great thread!

I don't have anything very strange, but...

I always have a couple of LED flashlights in my bag. Since I almost never use flash, a good flashlight can sometimes put a spot of light where it will do some good.

The other thing is a water spray bottle. Shoot flowers with a mist of water -- it can add a sheen or a dewy look to the petals. It usually also discourages pesky insects.

Thanks for asking.
Title: Re: Oddest kit purchase?
Post by: JPAZ on January 04, 2013, 12:15:51 AM
How about Beer Koozie's?  You know, the foam things that one puts a can in to keep it cool?  I use them to add a layer of protection to my lenses in my bag.  Very convenient and they fold up to almost nothing and can be stuffed into your pocket or a space in the bag when the lens is out..
Title: Re: Oddest kit purchase?
Post by: bycostello on January 04, 2013, 01:40:16 AM
love that shot @BrandonKing96

All top tips, keep 'em coming!

+1
Title: Re: Oddest kit purchase?
Post by: Dark Reality on January 04, 2013, 02:04:25 AM
welding glass as a 13 stop nd filter.   
Title: Re: Oddest kit purchase?
Post by: AudioGlenn on January 04, 2013, 03:21:13 AM
black shower curtains for a cheap backdrop

I too have used the jar opener for a cheap follow focus

I use these little silicon bracelets that bands/musicians give out for free at shows to protect my focus rings when I put a follow focus ring around my lenses.  I have the kind with screws

one thing I use a lot... the neighbors white garage door as a really big reflector.  the sun hits it just right through most of the morning and afternoon and I never have to pull out a reflector

I like the idea of using the beer bottle/water bottle holders to protect my lenses.
Title: Re: Oddest kit purchase?
Post by: Rams_eos on January 04, 2013, 04:55:14 AM
Some years ago I was visiting Florida and the Everglades.

I did a bike tour in the middle of Alligators, snakes and other funny animals.

All I had was a Canon G9 which was a bit limited to shot the big ones in the pond below.
I was not brave enough to come closer :-\

So I used binoculars that I placed in front of the lens. It is a bit tricky to setup but I got some “decent” picture :D

For a European, it a bit surprising that you are warned that coffee is hot at McDona.. but they let you ride a bike in the middle of alligators and snakes without a word about danger ???
Title: Re: Oddest kit purchase?
Post by: paul13walnut5 on January 04, 2013, 05:02:09 AM
I think it's just the snakes you have to watch now, as they've eaten everything else.
Title: Re: Oddest kit purchase?
Post by: tolusina on January 04, 2013, 05:10:44 AM
welding glass as a 13 stop nd filter.
What 'shade'? As in what shade to ask for at a welding supply shop, those guys don't speak in stops. Arc welding glass is available in a range from 6 through 13 (maybe more), the 'shade' is selected according to the amperage used while welding.
Oxy/acetylene glass is typically shade 3 or 5, 3 being similar to sunglasses, 5 similar to pretty dark sunglasses.
 
Title: Re: Oddest kit purchase?
Post by: Rienzphotoz on January 04, 2013, 06:59:03 AM
I keep 4 sun shades (five different colors) in my car all the time ... these are used both to protect my car interior from the desert heat (131 Farenheit / 55 Celsius) as well as bounce the sun light and/or speedlites to achieve the desired color balance to the photos ... total cost less than $7.
When they are used as reflectors, one end is tied to the car and the other end is tied to my tripod or mono pod or sometimes to a tree, wall or another vehicle ... pretty much anything that is available/convenient.
Title: Re: Oddest kit purchase?
Post by: jsexton on January 04, 2013, 08:34:48 AM
I used a black beer coozie, black straws and thin cardboard to make a grid for my flash.  Crunches down pretty well in my camera bag and it was basically free.
Title: Re: Oddest kit purchase?
Post by: RLPhoto on January 04, 2013, 08:48:53 AM
In a jewelry shoot, I used my white T shirt as a bounce card.  :P
Title: Re: Oddest kit purchase?
Post by: SteveCSmith on January 04, 2013, 09:58:18 AM
welding glass as a 13 stop nd filter.

LOL - I wonder if the flash would trigger my auto-darkening helmet?
Title: Re: Oddest kit purchase?
Post by: RustyTheGeek on January 04, 2013, 10:06:40 AM
Great Minds Think Alike!

I have also done the following (like many of you)...

-  Can Coozy Neoprene Lens Cover (esp for my 15mm FishEye, then I finally got a Op/Tech version)
-  SunShade Reflectors (I use the collapsible circular ones but I'll look for those colored ones)
-  Semi-Transparent diffused plastic shower curtain to use in front of harsh window light, etc for portraits
-  Multiple things for flash reflectors/diffusers like cards, toilet paper, napkins, cloth, foil, etc.
-  I keep a large rubber band with my B+W Polarizer because it will always "lock" on a lens.

There's gotta be more I've done that's similar but it's still early and I'm only on coffee cup #1...   ;)
Title: Re: Oddest kit purchase?
Post by: yogi on January 04, 2013, 10:16:47 AM
Some years ago I was visiting Florida and the Everglades.

I did a bike tour in the middle of Alligators, snakes and other funny animals.

All I had was a Canon G9 which was a bit limited to shot the big ones in the pond below.
I was not brave enough to come closer :-\

So I used binoculars that I placed in front of the lens. It is a bit tricky to setup but I got some “decent” picture :D

For a European, it a bit surprising that you are warned that coffee is hot at McDona.. but they let you ride a bike in the middle of alligators and snakes without a word about danger ???
Title: Re: Oddest kit purchase?
Post by: yogi on January 04, 2013, 10:18:55 AM
The Mcdonalds warning is a result of a customer spilling hot coffee on their lap and winning bunches of money from a lawsuit.
Title: Re: Oddest kit purchase?
Post by: RustyTheGeek on January 04, 2013, 10:42:16 AM
My Camera Holder Techniques...

I haven't used a neck strap for carrying a camera in over 5 years.  (More than that really.)  I never liked neck straps and I love the diagonal strap method (Black Rapid, et al.) where the camera hangs at your hip.  However, sometimes having a strap at all is too much.  Carrying a DSLR pretty much brands you as a Geek no matter what but I still try to minimize it when possible.  So I came up with a way to have the camera at my hip without a strap at all.  It's hard to eat and drink when you can't put down your camera.  I use a true climbing carabiner on my belt.  It's large, precise and sticks out just enough.  I tried this with the cheap smaller carabiners (which I use for a million other things) but they aren't big enough to manipulate on my belt.  This is exactly what I purchased so I would have two and the bent style works best...
http://www.rei.com/product/809731/black-diamond-positron-quickdraw-set (http://www.rei.com/product/809731/black-diamond-positron-quickdraw-set)

This evolved from what I do when on campouts.  I have a simple rule when in dirty environments or where lots of kids are running around knocking things off tables, spilling things, etc.  I never set my camera down on anything.  It's either hanging off me somehow, or it's hanging off something else (preferably at eye level or above) like a tree, a tall branch or a structure beam.  To do this I simply use bungee cords or whatever to allow the use of a carabiner to connect the loop that is screwed into the 1/4-20 socket on the bottom of the camera.  I also will hang a camera(s) from a secure carabiner attached to the head rest in the car because I know the camera will not fall, fly or otherwise be damaged while driving.  This is faster than stowing it in a case, esp if I want to leave a flash, etc on it.  I also hang a camera(s) from baker's rack shelving in my office sometimes to get them out of the way.

Bonus...
I also use a Nikon AH-4 Leather Hand Grip on all my cameras.  As a result, the plate on the bottom gives me another place to attach a standard 1" steel keyring which hangs over the bottom corner a bit because I reverse the plate when I install the grip on the camera.  My strapless carabiner on belt carry method can be used with or without the AH-4 but it's easier with the AH-4 + keyring and I think it hangs better as well.
http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/Nikon-AH-4-Leather-Hand-Grip-Review.aspx (http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/Nikon-AH-4-Leather-Hand-Grip-Review.aspx)

So to summarize - bungee straps, belts, carabiners of all kinds and 1/4-20 screw in loop devices to hang from are all very handy to secure the camera in many different situations...


Title: Re: Oddest kit purchase?
Post by: Dark Reality on January 04, 2013, 11:32:02 AM
welding glass as a 13 stop nd filter.
What 'shade'? As in what shade to ask for at a welding supply shop, those guys don't speak in stops. Arc welding glass is available in a range from 6 through 13 (maybe more), the 'shade' is selected according to the amperage used while welding.
Oxy/acetylene glass is typically shade 3 or 5, 3 being similar to sunglasses, 5 similar to pretty dark sunglasses.

The one i use is shade 10. Picked it up from home depot.  I attached it to a broken filter to use on my lens. Its mostly only good for black and white images because of the extreme green tint it gives everything, but ive heard of people being able to color correct for it.
Title: Re: Oddest kit purchase?
Post by: AdamJ on January 04, 2013, 01:45:00 PM
I carry my lighting stands, etc. in a field hockey stick bag, bought new for £5 on Ebay.

Within my tripod bag, the optional short centre column is stored in a cyclist's 700ml plastic tool bottle (£3).

My filters are stored in an Otterbox 3500 - like a miniature Peli case, complete with pluck foam. On the whole, I seem to have an unusually strong liking for storage solutions!

I previously used cut-down Pringles tubes as snoots on my flashes but now I have one of these which I can recommend:

http://www.amazon.com/CowboyStudio-Stacking-Modifier-System-Speedlite/dp/B008OILV3A (http://www.amazon.com/CowboyStudio-Stacking-Modifier-System-Speedlite/dp/B008OILV3A)

Finally, I use clear plastic name badge holders as gel flash filter holders.
Title: Re: Oddest kit purchase?
Post by: RustyTheGeek on January 04, 2013, 03:12:37 PM
I find it amazing how consistently the light doesn't seem to know how much you paid for the modifier in question!  Good 'ole Cowboy Ingenuity (or Cowboy Studio, or Chinese Imports) strikes again!!   ;D
Title: Re: Oddest kit purchase?
Post by: EOBeav on January 04, 2013, 03:37:12 PM
This is what a dollar's worth of posterboard can do as a reflector:

(http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8456/7997888084_3bc0490dbe_n.jpg) (http://www.flickr.com/photos/61340008@N02/7997888084/)
Heidy (http://www.flickr.com/photos/61340008@N02/7997888084/#) by Rick.Scheibner (http://www.flickr.com/people/61340008@N02/), on Flickr
Title: Re: Oddest kit purchase?
Post by: crasher8 on January 04, 2013, 04:31:44 PM
I can't stop thinking about the two rear lens caps glued together trick….I'm thinking 50 1.4-40 2.8
Title: Re: Oddest kit purchase?
Post by: Atonegro on January 04, 2013, 04:53:55 PM
I use wobbled glass in front of my flash to create a nice underwatereffect.
Not sure it's a purchase...I found it on a garbageheap and took it home....

Some glass building-blocks from the same heap are great in front of flashlights too.
Title: Re: Oddest kit purchase?
Post by: RMC33 on January 04, 2013, 05:11:12 PM
I can't stop thinking about the two rear lens caps glued together trick….I'm thinking 50 1.4-40 2.8

That is a KILLER idea. I always have one of those lenses on a camera. Lucked out and got the 40STM for $135 over the holidays!
Title: Re: Oddest kit purchase?
Post by: paul13walnut5 on January 04, 2013, 05:24:21 PM
I use wobbled glass in front of my flash to create a nice underwatereffect.
Not sure it's a purchase...I found it on a garbageheap and took it home....

Some glass building-blocks from the same heap are great in front of flashlights too.

Wouldn't mind seeing some results!
Title: Re: Oddest kit purchase?
Post by: crasher8 on January 04, 2013, 05:56:30 PM
I've shot through a lens of 3D glasses at an imax, just ok
Title: Re: Oddest kit purchase?
Post by: Rat on January 04, 2013, 06:06:11 PM
I've shot through a lens of 3D glasses at an imax, just ok
You know that those are polarizer filters and that you should be able to get better results with a regular pola?
Title: Re: Oddest kit purchase?
Post by: RustyTheGeek on January 04, 2013, 06:30:19 PM
This is what a dollar's worth of posterboard can do as a reflector:

(http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8456/7997888084_3bc0490dbe_n.jpg) (http://www.flickr.com/photos/61340008@N02/7997888084/)
Heidy (http://www.flickr.com/photos/61340008@N02/7997888084/#) by Rick.Scheibner (http://www.flickr.com/people/61340008@N02/), on Flickr

Love it.  Beautiful semi-soft image of a beautiful lady.  I assume this was natural sunlight bouncing from behind her off the posterboard?  Great job!  I really like the comfortable and subtle smile looking slightly to the side.  It's not a 'run of the mill' shot and it's not too edgy either.  You could (and probably did) do a lot with various crops of that for a great head shot, etc.  It also really helps when she is wearing good colors and looks sharp.  Nice.
Title: Re: Oddest kit purchase?
Post by: AdamJ on January 04, 2013, 08:27:43 PM
I find it amazing how consistently the light doesn't seem to know how much you paid for the modifier in question!  Good 'ole Cowboy Ingenuity (or Cowboy Studio, or Chinese Imports) strikes again!!   ;D

Half the price of the Rogue equivalent, no need for a "speed" (lol) strap. I know a bargain when I see one.  ;)
Title: Re: Oddest kit purchase?
Post by: Lawliet on January 04, 2013, 08:32:29 PM
The oddest? Good question, after a while nothing seems odd...
(Extendable)Broomhandles combined with either white shower curtain to make a butterfly,they hold all kinds of fabric as backdrops, with  those mylar blankets one gets silver and gold reflectors - about as flexible as those 5-1 reflectors, but much larger.
Eventually one should go through all kinds of hardware/home decoration/art/thrift stores and get some unexpected ideas once in a while! :)
Title: Re: Oddest kit purchase?
Post by: crasher8 on January 04, 2013, 09:12:10 PM
The Mcdonalds warning is a result of a customer spilling hot coffee on their lap and winning bunches of money from a lawsuit.

Oh that's just from Seinfeld
Title: Re: Oddest kit purchase?
Post by: sagittariansrock on January 05, 2013, 02:27:04 AM
I modified an Optech strap to work with an aftermarket wrist strap and still hang BlackRapids style and also hold a BR loop for attaching my 70-200 when needed. Pretty happy with that :)
Title: Re: Oddest kit purchase?
Post by: boateggs on January 05, 2013, 05:31:20 AM
going to hell for this but a page out of the bible as an on camera flash modifier.  it started when I was at a friends house and he was hollowing out a bible for a flask and the flash (before I had a real flash) was just too harsh.  the extremely thin page was just what was needed
Title: Re: Oddest kit purchase?
Post by: Rat on January 05, 2013, 05:54:18 AM
going to hell for this
For spreading the Word? I doubt it. Doesn't the gospel of John tells us the Word became flash?
Title: Re: Oddest kit purchase?
Post by: paul13walnut5 on January 05, 2013, 06:57:52 AM
 Genesis 1:3
Title: Re: Oddest kit purchase?
Post by: crasher8 on January 05, 2013, 08:03:37 AM
Oh you only go to hELL for using a nIKON. Silly myth beLIEvers
Title: Re: Oddest kit purchase?
Post by: yogi on January 07, 2013, 07:58:19 PM
The Mcdonalds warning is a result of a customer spilling hot coffee on their lap and winning bunches of money from a lawsuit.

Oh that's just from Seinfeld


  Seinfeld has always been one of my favorite sitcoms, but just google mcdonalds coffee lawsuit or just go here. I remember it because it struck me as being completely ridiculous.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liebeck_v._McDonald%27s_Restaurants (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liebeck_v._McDonald%27s_Restaurants)