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Thread: Best Accessories

  1. #1

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    Best Accessories

    I have an Olympus E-500 with (a 14-45mm and a 40-150mm) kit lenses. I recently just got introduced into filters more specifically UV filters as a bit of extra insurance for the lens. I was chatting with a pro photographer at a local off road triathlon we were both shooting. Needless to say he started to lecture me about respecting the lens in a dusty environment; he suggested using a UV filter. This got me thinking about needed accessories for the camera. I like to shoot triathlon (both on and off road), mountain biking, road biking, nature (landscapes and wildlife). What would be the best items to complement this type of photography? I am currently looking into tripods, maybe a monopod.

    My “smaller” lens backs out to 14mm would getting a wide angle type lens offer any advantages?

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    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Best Accessories

    Daniel

    I'm no expert on shooting sports action, but I would have thought that you 14-45 was going to let you get wide enough for almost everything you'd want.

    For sports action, I would have thought that, if you need the support, a monopod would be a better option that a tripod. But, it doesn't look too large a lens for handholding and given you'll, I presume, be shooting at high shutter speeds, then do you need to monopod? If you are shooting all day, then it may well be a worthwhile investment.

  3. #3

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    Re: Best Accessories

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald View Post
    Daniel
    For sports action, I would have thought that, if you need the support, a monopod would be a better option that a tripod. But, it doesn't look too large a lens for handholding and given you'll, I presume, be shooting at high shutter speeds, then do you need to monopod? If you are shooting all day, then it may well be a worthwhile investment.
    I would be going with the monopod for portability, mostly intracking of the athlete, and ergonomic issues of of being at the races all day. As of now I am shooting in the sports pre-set mode, I am going to be trying to figure out how to get the blurred background effect, I have read through the tutorial on the site but not tried to actually use the knowladge yet.

    The tripod would be used for the nature sessions.

  4. #4
    The Blue Boy's Avatar
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    Re: Best Accessories

    Hi Daniel'

    Welcome to the site.

    I like to shoot triathlon (both on and off road), mountain biking, road biking, nature (landscapes and wildlife). What would be the best items to complement this type of photography? I am currently looking into tripods, maybe a monopod.
    You cover quite a large range there mate. All sorts of equipment could be suggested for sports and wildlife, and none of it cheap. Fast lenses come first to mind. Just have a quick look at any of the current Olympic coverage and look at what the sports photographers are using. You'll get a bit of a shock if you google the price of any lens.

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    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
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    Re: Best Accessories

    The one accessory I use pretty well all the time is a polarizing filter. The pro you were talking to recommended a clear or UV filter; I use polarizers the same way whenever I shoot outdoors to control reflection and glare.

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    Re: Best Accessories

    Daniel: I got a good quality elements bag to protect the camera and lens for wet weather and dust, it was also slightly padded to help reduce camera noise if used where you need to be quite. I believe it was by Kata Bags, has a zipper at bottom so you can use it on a tri or mono pod and a sleeve to insert you hand in to operate the camera. Never used one before this year when I went to Iceland and we had wet weather and strong winds blowing sea spray, sand and dust. I know that it never rains in California, but it maybe something to look into if shooting in bad weather after the monopod which I agree as the others have stated.

    Cheers:

    Allan

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    Re: Best Accessories

    Best Accessories...

    1. Lens hood... Use it for all shooting. It is sometimes a bit hard to rotate a CPL filter when wearing a lens hood but the protection from flare and physical damage that the hood provides makes any inconvenience worthwhile...

    2. Hotshoe flash unit... Both for bounce work indoors and for fill flash outdoors. I also use a Joe Demb Flash Diffuser Pro to modify the light from my hotshoe flashes.

    3. CPL filter... For many outdoor shots. Reduces reflections and enhances colors.

    4. Aftermarket strap... makes it more convenient to carry any camera/lens.

    5. Extra battery or two...

    6. Extra memory cards...

    7. Protective cover... Such as an Optech Rainsleeve or a Kata Raincover...

    8. UV or protective filter

    9. The owners manual and perhaps an auxillary instruction book for your camera.

  8. #8

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    Re: Best Accessories

    Quote Originally Posted by The Blue Boy View Post
    Hi Daniel'

    Welcome to the site.

    You cover quite a large range there mate. All sorts of equipment could be suggested for sports and wildlife, and none of it cheap. Fast lenses come first to mind. Just have a quick look at any of the current Olympic coverage and look at what the sports photographers are using. You'll get a bit of a shock if you google the price of any lens.
    I have looked at them and my jaw hit the floor but I am not surprised the least bit. I have a bicycle worth over $5000 and it is a rather low end bike. I know specialty stuff is expensive but I also take joy in being out at the events and nature so to me it is rational to get them, over the course of time.

    Quote Originally Posted by GrumpyDiver View Post
    The one accessory I use pretty well all the time is a polarizing filter. The pro you were talking to recommended a clear or UV filter; I use polarizers the same way whenever I shoot outdoors to control reflection and glare.
    The guy said to get a UV filter because it is a cheaper filter and it will protect the internal sensors. I think he was trying to say it’s cheaper to replace a UV filter if it gets scratched then it is to replace a lens.

    Quote Originally Posted by Polar01 View Post
    Daniel: I got a good quality elements bag to protect the camera and lens for wet weather and dust, it was also slightly padded to help reduce camera noise if used where you need to be quite. I believe it was by Kata Bags, has a zipper at bottom so you can use it on a tri or mono pod and a sleeve to insert you hand in to operate the camera. Never used one before this year when I went to Iceland and we had wet weather and strong winds blowing sea spray, sand and dust. I know that it never rains in California, but it maybe something to look into if shooting in bad weather after the monopod which I agree as the others have stated.

    Cheers:

    Allan
    Other than Kata Bags do you have any other backpack suggestions? I have seen some sleeve type systems where you can place the body, 3 lenses, flash, and cables in the sleeve and put it in any pack you want. What do you think about that kind of set up?

    Quote Originally Posted by rpcrowe View Post
    Best Accessories...

    1. Lens hood... Use it for all shooting. It is sometimes a bit hard to rotate a CPL filter when wearing a lens hood but the protection from flare and physical damage that the hood provides makes any inconvenience worthwhile...

    2. Hotshoe flash unit... Both for bounce work indoors and for fill flash outdoors. I also use a Joe Demb Flash Diffuser Pro to modify the light from my hotshoe flashes.

    3. CPL filter... For many outdoor shots. Reduces reflections and enhances colors.

    4. Aftermarket strap... makes it more convenient to carry any camera/lens.

    5. Extra battery or two...

    6. Extra memory cards...

    7. Protective cover... Such as an Optech Rainsleeve or a Kata Raincover...

    8. UV or protective filter

    9. The owner’s manual and perhaps an auxiliary instruction book for your camera.
    1. Is the lens hood that came with the camera good enough or is there a reason to upgrade to a specific hood? I have a solid hood and I have seen some people with what I call 3 or 4 “petals” hoods.

    2. I will have to look into the Hotshoe flash unit is it a type of flash or a brand?

    3. I will take a look into a CPL filter, not too sure what it is. Noobie remember ;-)

    4. I have

    5. I have

    6. I have

    7. I will look into a protective cover.

    8. I just got a UV Filter, I have not used it yet.

    9. Could you give an example of auxiliary instruction book? I have the owner’s manual that came with the camera.

  9. #9
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Best Accessories

    Quote Originally Posted by Tri Danimal View Post
    The guy said to get a UV filter because it is a cheaper filter and it will protect the internal sensors. I think he was trying to say its cheaper to replace a UV filter if it gets scratched then it is to replace a lens.
    That is certainly a view a lot of us take, although some do disagree and feel that a UV is not necessary.

    Every now and again the debate resurfaces here on CiC and there are strongly held views on both sides of the argument.

  10. #10
    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
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    Re: Best Accessories

    The guy said to get a UV filter because it is a cheaper filter and it will protect the internal sensors. I think he was trying to say it’s cheaper to replace a UV filter if it gets scratched then it is to replace a lens.
    First of all a UV filter will not do anything to protect the sensor, one uses it to protect the front lens element. And yes, a UV is a relatively low cost solution. The AA filter has UV and IR filtration built in and the UV does not provide the same level of benefit as it did in the film days.

    The reason I use a polarizer instead is that I shoot with two or three different lenses when I do outdoor work and I don't want to waste time switching filters, because that would slow me down. Instead leaving them in place speeds up the shooting and as I pretty well always use one, having multiple ones and leaving them in place is a good, but somewhat more costly solution. The only lenses I don't use a polarizer on is a wide angle lens; banding issues in sky shots din't add to the image.

  11. #11
    William W's Avatar
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    Re: Best Accessories

    Regarding Sports Shooting - Just picking up on a few other points you mentioned:

    I suggest you get out of using the ‘Sports Mode’ – it is probably limiting your access to ISO expansion or at the least controlling the ISO automatically and thus limiting your control over the Shutter Speed – which is usually THE primary exposure criterion in Sports Photography: especially considering that the Kit Lenses you are using are not that ‘fast’ (‘fast’ means has a large maximum aperture).

    Manual and Aperture Priority Mode - you should investigate and learn both.

    Two tips for you when using Aperture Priority Mode:
    – your two lenses are VARYING MAXIMUM APERTURE - so NEVER set the aperture larger than the SMALLEST Maximum aperture which is available on the lens - (that is: for BOTH your lenses never choose an aperture larger than F/5.6.)

    – ALWAYS watch the Shutter Speed.


    I would not be getting a monopod for that rig - (not even for the ergonomic reasons of shooting all day): it is only about 750gms and quite short – even at 150mm – but that is not a criticism of anyone else’s need to use a monopod – but rather a comment that for such a light weight rig a monopod will just get the way and hinder fast follow movement of Sports Action.

    WW
    Last edited by William W; 9th August 2012 at 08:59 AM.

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    Re: Best Accessories

    Quote Originally Posted by Tri Danimal View Post
    Other than Kata Bags do you have any other backpack suggestions? I suggest that a backpack is a great way for transporting your gear when traveling but, not great for shooting.

    1. Is the lens hood that came with the camera good enough or is there a reason to upgrade to a specific hood? I have a solid hood and I have seen some people with what I call 3 or 4 “petals” hoods. A lens hood which came with the lens is just fine. You don't need a petal hood.

    2. A hotshoe flash is a accessory flash unit than can fit on and be fired from the hotshoe on top of your camera. Olympus provides hotshoe flashes but, I woul seriously consider this one from Metz...
    http://www.amazon.com/Metz-MZ-50312O.../ref=pd_cp_p_1

    3. I will take a look into a CPL filter, not too sure what it is. Noobie remember ;-)
    Circular polarizing filter. Darkens the sky, accentuates clouds and reduces/removes reflections. Get the best one you can afford or do without one rether than buying a cheap model...
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polariz..._(photography)

    4. I have

    5. I have

    6. I have

    7. I will look into a protective cover. The OPTECH Rainsleeve is dirt cheap and is very light weight and easy to transport. I always carry one to ward off rain, salt spray and blowing dust or sand..
    http://www.amazon.com/Rainsleeve-Dig...ech+rainsleeve

    8. I just got a UV Filter, I have not used it yet.

    9. Could you give an example of auxiliary instruction book? I have the owner’s manual that came with the camera.
    I couldn't find one for the Olympus E500 but, this might be an interesting read...
    http://www.flickr.com/groups/olympus...ginners_guide/

    Good luck and be sure to post...

  13. #13
    William W's Avatar
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    Re: Best Accessories

    Quote Originally Posted by Tri Danimal View Post
    Other than Kata Bags do you have any other backpack suggestions? I have seen some sleeve type systems where you can place the body, 3 lenses, flash, and cables in the sleeve and put it in any pack you want. What do you think about that kind of set up?
    All my soft bags are Lowepro.

    I find BACKPACKS suitable for situations where I can sit the backpack down and set up, but backpacks are not suitable not for carrying, moving and shooting at the same time. So, for an 'event' I might carry my gear in a backpack and remove what I require and stow the remainder.

    BUT for shooting on the hop and when I need to carry ALL the gear with me all the time (such as hiking), I will select the gear I need and be MINIMALIST in that selection and I use a Lowepro Slingshot:
    Best Accessories
    If you do walking, hiking or just want to carry your gear around all the time for security, yet still have easy access to a camera without dumping the bag: you should look at how efficient a Lowepro Slingshot could be for you.

    I am not fond of wearing with waist bags or lens belts on me whilst working: mainly because of the weight distribution and how easily they can make one, off balance.

    But, I worked for a long time with a bloke who loved his belts and as well as two lens holders he slung his 70-200/2.8 rig from his belt when he was using the Monopod with his 400 on it – it just depends on what suits you.

    I suggest you try out all these options and feel what you like and what is most comfortable on your person – (that’s yet another reason why we need camera shops) – and maybe even buy it from the Camera Shop who provides you with that service.


    WW

  14. #14
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    Re: Best Accessories

    I like using a belt and pouch system. The two that come to mind are the Lowe Pro and ThinkTank systems. I use the ThinkTank,http://www.thinktankphoto.com/catego...nent-sets.aspx, so it is the one I know. I use the harness and a Prospeed belt. The big advantage is that I never have to put anything on the ground when changing lenses, filters, attaching/removing the flash or cable release. I do a lot of work in very grassy, brushy environments in spring,summer and fall or deep snow in winter,and, take my word for it, it is simply amazing how fast mother nature wants to reclaim any camera equipment left lying on the ground. That plus having my bag fill with dirt,leaves, twigs and snow when I put them on the ground, a problem the belt systems never have.

    I also find the weight is better carried on my hips and my shoulders, I carry a Nikon D700, 18-35 zoom,50mm,105mm macro,200mm macro,75-300 zoom,a flash,polarizing filters for all the lenses,UV filters for all the lenses (just to keep the front element of the lens clean, I actually remove the UV filters to shoot), remote cable release, extra camera battery, extra memory card,lens cleaning cloth, cable for off camera flash and extra flash batteries. (not everyone is as stupid as me when it comes to carrying gear; it's just that if I have walked 3 km (2 miles) or more through the bush to get someplace I want all my photographic options open). The entire rig weighs in the neighbourhood of 5 kilograms (ten pounds): with the weight distributed low I barely feel it. The tripod is more of a problem, but then I am used to hunting, which I have since given up as I prefer to shoot with a camera, so a tripod is a mere pittance compared to carrying a rifle.

    Bill gave good advice, try out the options and see what suits you best.

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