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Author Topic: Third Party Accessories - What to Buy, What to Avoid  (Read 7779 times)

Richard8971

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Re: Third Party Accessories - What to Buy, What to Avoid
« Reply #15 on: January 21, 2013, 08:27:06 PM »
As far as equipment goes, flashes (with a few exceptions) and lenses I always buy Canon brand.

Battery grips, batteries, extension tubes, remote shutter switches, tripod mounts, hoods and diffusers I buy aftermarket. If you buy them from a well known dealer (like Adorama.com, Accstation or Heavystar on eBay), I have yet to have a problem with fit and performance with any of these products and 99% of the time, no one will know if they are the Canon brand or not.

Buy top end equipment and save yourself some $$$ with the accessories. Sometimes it seems really stupid how much Canon wants for some of the stuff. Why buy a $40 dollar hood when I can get one from eBay for $6?

A friend of mine showed me his new Canon brand remote shutter switch that he had just bought. I asked how much and he said $80.00. I choked and showed him my eBay one (that looked and performed identical) that I bought for 5 bucks shipped. Ouch!

The Wasabi Power batteries (LP-E6) from Amazon are amazing. $30.00 + shipping gets you 2 batteries plus an A/C and D/C charger!

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« Last Edit: January 21, 2013, 08:41:58 PM by Richard8971 »
Canon 5D2, 7Dv2.03, 50D, 40D, T1i, XTi...XT (& lenses, flahses), various powershots... You get the idea... I have a problem. :)

Wife shoots Nikon, D7000, D7100, (lenses and flashes)... we constantly tease each other that our cameras are better than each others!

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Re: Third Party Accessories - What to Buy, What to Avoid
« Reply #15 on: January 21, 2013, 08:27:06 PM »

Andy_Hodapp

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Re: Third Party Accessories - What to Buy, What to Avoid
« Reply #16 on: January 21, 2013, 09:58:25 PM »
Sigma 105mm EX DG Macro F/2.8 was a great lens on my Canon T1i, though I upgraded to a Canon 5D Mk II and it has been missing focus, I need to adjust the micro adjustments for it.  I also got a Yongnuo YN-560 II and just this week, about 90 days after I bought it, the flash went out, the flash made a loud pop sound and it started to smell really badly, so I guess the bulb broke or something.  The flash was amazing up till that moment but I was in the middle of a payed photo shoot and I was not able to get my best results because of this.  I use my flash with the Cowboy Studios FM radio trigger things and they work great, I don't need a system with ETTL because I shoot with a manual flash so they are great and really cheap.  I also got some Wasabi batteries for my new 5D MKII and while I have not had them for to long, I love them, very cheap and very good. 

         I do have a question for all of you on here, what is the best third party grip for the 5D MKII?  A lot of them seem not to have the rubber on the back which seems like something that would be a little annoying.  I've also read the you have to remove the grip when you put batteries in it and that the grips can easily get stuck to the camera.  I've also heard that the battery grips can suck a lot of energy from the batteries so if you leave the batteries in the camera, it will be out of charge in less then a week.  I've been thinking about getting the Pixel battery grip but I haven't heard much about it.
Canon 5D MKII, Canon 17-40mm F/4L, Canon 50mm 1.8 II, Helios 44M-4 58mm F/2, Sigma 105mm EX DG Macro F/2.8, Tamron SP 150-600mm F/5-6.3 Di VC USD, Canon 200mm F/2.8L, Yongnuo YN-560 II, S100 with underwater housing

Mt Spokane Photography

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Re: Third Party Accessories - What to Buy, What to Avoid
« Reply #17 on: January 22, 2013, 09:44:10 PM »
Third party equipment is usually less reliable, and often is incompatible with new camera models.  If you are making money on your photography, or need reliability, be careful.
Flashes tend to be the most problematic, and many, if not most failed to work with the 5D MK III.  Current models are usually updated, but if you have a out of production flash, a upgrade may never happen.  Lots of people get bit on this one.
As long as you wait 6 months after a new camera commes out, you will be able to find out what equipment works, and what will never work.

crasher8

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Re: Third Party Accessories - What to Buy, What to Avoid
« Reply #18 on: January 22, 2013, 11:41:10 PM »
Wasabi batteries are the only 3rd party that has worked well for me, charged to capacity in a Canon charger and has longevity.

FatDaddyJones

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Re: Third Party Accessories - What to Buy, What to Avoid
« Reply #19 on: February 03, 2013, 10:56:11 AM »
Last week I received a battery grip for my 5D Mark III from eBay, along with two batteries, all made by DSTE from China. The battery grip feels very solid and is identical in style and function to the Canon BG-E11, having the same buttons and side loading battery tray. It also comes with the AA battery tray. Communication with the camera worked flawlessly, and it reported that a BG-E11 was connected. The camera also reported individual battery information with the grip attached.

The DSTE batteries are 2600mAh and fully decoded. You can charge them in the original Canon charger, and they show battery information in the camera.

For $72 and free shipping, I would highly recommend this grip and also the DSTE batteries for those price conscious photographers who aren't afraid to use third party accessories.
5D Mark III, 7D, EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM, EF 50mm f/1.4, EF 70-300mm IS USM, EF-S 17-55mm IS USM, Redrock shoulder rig, matte box & follow focus, Rode Videomic, Zoom R16, Sure PG42, DSTE Pro BG-E11, Excella Neo D400 Studio Strobes, Excella Stardust 50, 580 EX II, lots of other fun stu

wsmith96

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Re: Third Party Accessories - What to Buy, What to Avoid
« Reply #20 on: February 09, 2013, 08:36:43 AM »
Vello battery grips and lens hoods work fine for me.  I stick with canon flashes and so far lenses though others speak highly of sigma and tokina.  Good to know about the wasabi batteries.  Have also heard that eneloop batteries are good for speed lites.
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sama

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Re: Third Party Accessories - What to Buy, What to Avoid
« Reply #21 on: February 09, 2013, 09:56:39 AM »
Last week I received a battery grip for my 5D Mark III from eBay, along with two batteries, all made by DSTE from China. The battery grip feels very solid and is identical in style and function to the Canon BG-E11, having the same buttons and side loading battery tray. It also comes with the AA battery tray. Communication with the camera worked flawlessly, and it reported that a BG-E11 was connected. The camera also reported individual battery information with the grip attached.

The DSTE batteries are 2600mAh and fully decoded. You can charge them in the original Canon charger, and they show battery information in the camera.

For $72 and free shipping, I would highly recommend this grip and also the DSTE batteries for those price conscious photographers who aren't afraid to use third party accessories.

DSTE batteries are pretty good in quality. In the past 3 years, I ordered over 20 pcs of them for my different dslrs and p&s.  One of them for my Canon SX40HS was dead after almost a year's normal use. I emailed them and they sent me 2 pcs replacement without questioning anything. Not all Ebay items are "bad".

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Re: Third Party Accessories - What to Buy, What to Avoid
« Reply #21 on: February 09, 2013, 09:56:39 AM »

meli

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Re: Third Party Accessories - What to Buy, What to Avoid
« Reply #22 on: February 09, 2013, 10:43:08 AM »

DSTE batteries are pretty good in quality. In the past 3 years, I ordered over 20 pcs of them for my different dslrs and p&s.  One of them for my Canon SX40HS was dead after almost a year's normal use. I emailed them and they sent me 2 pcs replacement without questioning anything. Not all Ebay items are "bad".

+1 for DSTE. Working for me for both platforms actually and as noted their service is fair.

Schruminator

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Re: Third Party Accessories - What to Buy, What to Avoid
« Reply #23 on: February 09, 2013, 10:58:37 AM »
I picked up a Meike 951 speedlite. It has TTL, it'll strobe and it'll adjust the flash based on your current focal length (24 to 105mm) amongst other bells and whistles (like a laser grid AF assist beam).

Yeah, it eats batteries and it's not the same build quality of Canon's-- but so far it's been reliable and functioned as advertised. Not bad for $90 if you're not a pro and looking to save a bit of money.
5D III | 14 2.8 L | 24 1.4 II L | 35 1.4 L | 50 1.2 L | 85 1.2 II L | 24-70 2.8 II L | 70-200 2.8 IS II L | 40 2.8 | 1.4x Mk. II T.C. | M Schrum Photography

Marsu42

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Re: Third Party Accessories - What to Buy, What to Avoid
« Reply #24 on: February 09, 2013, 11:17:42 AM »
I'd also stay away from 3rd party lens hoods - not so much for the chance of a worse fit (Canon hoods are hit and miss depending on the lens) but because the Canon hoods have flocking on the inside, whereas the smooth, reflective inner surface of a 3rd party hood can actually add flare instead of reducing it.

Not true - I recently bought a EW-83J clone for my 17-40L and it has the same flocking as the original lens hoods from Canon for my 100L and 70-300L - but the Walimex still costs half the price of the Canon original and fits perfectly. Just don't get the absolutely cheapest, shiny 3rd party hoods but for example Walimex: http://www.walimex.com/nc/en/foto/produkt/402000

PS: I knew something Dr. Neuro didn't, I'll mark the day in the calendar and celebrate it annually :->

infared

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Re: Third Party Accessories - What to Buy, What to Avoid
« Reply #25 on: February 09, 2013, 12:07:00 PM »
My experience:
Kenko Extension Tubes...in using the 12mm tube to get closer ith my 85L  (the close-focusing distance for this lens is not close), I found that my AF was way off...and if I changed the microAFadjustment it changed it for the lens alone as well as my 5D III does not recognize an extension tube (Canon or other brand) and lens as a separate entity.
I bought the Canon 12mm...no focus shift. Problem solved...wallet in pain.

I found that no-name cable releases break easily although they "look" the same as the Canon.

My Wasabi batteries and charger (includes car charger) are great! You just don't get any battery indication in the finder, if you can live with that. Savings are significant if you buy the two-battery-plus-charge set when compared to the Canon batteries, spare charger and car adapter.
5D Mark III, Canon 15mm f/2.8 Fisheye, Canon 17mm f/4L TS-E, Canon 16-35mm f/4L IS, 21mm f/2.8 Zeiss, Sigma 35mm f/1.4, 24-70mm f/2.8 II, 50mm f/1.4 Sigma Art, 85mm f/1.2L, 100mm f/2.8L Macro,70-200mm f/2.8L IS II...1.4x converter III, and some other stuff.....

TonyMM

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Re: Third Party Accessories - What to Buy, What to Avoid
« Reply #26 on: February 09, 2013, 12:33:06 PM »
I have had good luck with Fotodiox lens hoods for about $5.95 each - have bought 3 of them from Amazon.  They fit perfectly and can be mounted backwards.  They are black on the inside and I have had no problems with flare.

I have had bad luck with a 3rd party battery (can't remember name) - the supplied charger worked fine with Canon batteries (which is why I ordered - needed the replacement charger and the battery came along with it).  The battery would not insert all the way into the camera - and certainly wasn't going to force it in, so put it in recycle.

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Stig

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Re: Third Party Accessories - What to Buy, What to Avoid
« Reply #27 on: February 09, 2013, 01:13:05 PM »
I got in on trying ebay stuff as well. From the top of my head, the most pleasant price/performance I got were:

1, remote flash triggers (MK-RC7 i think), cost something like 15euro, work great as flash radio triggers, but also work as wireless shutter release : ) and then

2, a flash branded Godox TT520 for something like 26euros that I sometimes prefer to my (almost 10times as expensive) canon 430exii... it doesn't have some functions, but it can work as optical slave, it can be set as front and rear curtain, but mostly, in manual its so much quicker to change the power level... on a 430exii you need to hold the middle button for a moment, then go +/-, then push the middle one again, on the Godox, you just press + or - and you are done, so when I'm playing with some off camera setup, I find it more convenient. Oh and as a detail, the cheap one has a white reflection card, while the canon doesn't. And, I actually bought that from linkdelight.com, but they sell on ebay as well.

some other stuff that works great: quick draw shoulder strap with soft foam-ish shoulder padding, foldable 5in1 110cm reflector and stofen diffuser, simple extension tubes (intro into macro for a few bucks), some cleaning stuff
mixed feelings: gorillapod tripod (works great, but the screw rotates and can not be held easily from bottom, so I need to use a coin or something), battery grip (again, works great, fits well, but smelled badly when it came and it still does a bit some two weeks later), I also bought a ND8 filter that I wasn't expecting to be top quality, but I wanted to try it, get some experience and see if I have a use for it (or a different density) before I invest in an expensive one and it served like that (but has a strong red-ish color cast)

... but all for a fraction of the price of locally offered alternatives
« Last Edit: February 09, 2013, 01:21:25 PM by Stig »
6D,   350D,  24-105 f4,   50 f1.8, 135mm f2, 14mm f2.8, Sigma 70-300 f4-5.6,   430EX II,   Godox TT520,   etc...

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Re: Third Party Accessories - What to Buy, What to Avoid
« Reply #27 on: February 09, 2013, 01:13:05 PM »

RMC33

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Re: Third Party Accessories - What to Buy, What to Avoid
« Reply #28 on: February 09, 2013, 01:58:50 PM »
I can't speak enough praise for Manfrotto light stands. I had a bunch of cheap $15-20 stands that I would replace once per month. Had the same Manfrotto stands for almost a year now and they are still tough as nails.

Think Tank bags and belts/harnesses are top notch. Would be lugging a backpack still without them and missing a lot of shots.

RRS anything. No regrets on any of my RSS items other then a few body plates I don't use anymore. Buy an L-plate first and save the cost of not having it when you need it. Wish I would have done that for all my bodies.

Colorspace UDMA 2 http://www.hypershop.com/HyperDrive-COLORSPACE-UDMA2-p/hdu2-000.htm. Fill a card.. dump to this. No lost photos. I bought the bare device and a 1tb 7200 RPM drive and saved a few bucks. Super durable and goes almost everywhere with me.

For flashes, Sto-Fen diffuser domes. Easy to use, produce wonderful light and one of my favorite light modifiers by far (other then my Lastolite box!). Can use with Gels and all sorts of modifiers.

Avoid large CF cards. When they go bad it can be catastrophic and you can loose a whole day + of shooting. I use SanDisk and Transcend cards and have only lost one in 10 years of shooting. I stick to 8-16GB max and 600X+. The QC seems better in that range.

Stay away from 3rd party grips in all honesty. I had one on my 30D and it caused untold problems. Some people swear by them but I feel they are cheap. I don't mind the premium knowing the Canon brand ones are to their spec's and have yet to have one fail on me in 4 cameras.

I would avoid amazon lens pens at all costs. Be wary of used flash units unless you have a good relation with the person or the price is so cheap it does not matter.



Not really accessories but books are huge. I always have one book or another about photography I am reading. ATM reading about and learning bird species in my area since I want to try my hand at birding. I just finished re-reading Syl Arena's Speedliter's Handbook to brush up on my flash work. These are by far the best assets I own as they grow my personal ability. I honestly have not read a bad photography book yet, but It will happen (by bad I mean a book that did not teach me something or give me an alternative insight).

I use all of these things (or have) on a daily basis.

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Re: Third Party Accessories - What to Buy, What to Avoid
« Reply #29 on: February 09, 2013, 02:05:39 PM »
Over they years I've used countless third party accessories such as Speedlites (from Metz, Sigma, Yongnuo), few Radio Triggers (from Yongnuo), Battery Grips (for 7D & 450D), Batteries (from Pearstone and 1 more company I forgot the name), lens hoods, Vello Tripod Collar (for Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 L IS) etc. Every single one of them (with the exception of Vello Tripod Collar) failed me during a photo shoot ... the Metz plastic shoe broke with a simple 1 foot drop, Sigmas just gave up the ghost one day, Yongunos did not fire wireless during a very critical photo shoot of some VIP's, both Battery grips failed after 1 year, batteries had very poor life span, lens hoods split ... but the Vello Tripod Collar is going great guns. I now try to stick to only Canon products as I've come to trust their finish and the R&D that goes into some very minor details that make a difference to the end result.
Canon 5DMK3 70D | Nikon D610 | Sony a7 a6000 | RX100M3 | 16-35/2.8LII | 70-200/2.8LISII | 100/2.8LIS | 100-400LIS | 40/2.8 | 50/1.4 | 85/1.8 | 600EX-RTx2 | ST-E3-RT | 24/3.5 T-S | 10-18/4 OSS 16-50 | 24-70/4OSS | 55/1.8 | 55-210 OSS | 70-200/4 OSS | 28-300VR | HVL-F43M | GoPro Black 3+ & DJI Phantom

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Re: Third Party Accessories - What to Buy, What to Avoid
« Reply #29 on: February 09, 2013, 02:05:39 PM »