Gift Ideas for the Photographer on your List

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My wife asked me the other day what I want for Christmas this year.  Wow!  Christmas!  It’s closer than we think.

We’re coming up to that time of year again when we start thinking about and celebrating the birth of our Lord.  It’s a magical and happy time with the air getting colder, music abound and kids anticipating snow and hot chocolate. It’s also a time to start planning what gifts to present to our loved ones.  For the past 8 or 9 years, I have been very easy to shop for: just get me a gift card for Henry’s and I’ll be very happy.

My better half has different ideas this year.  She told me, in no uncertain terms, that she doesn’t want to get me a gift card again this year.

So, I figured I would present her(and the rest of the family) with a list of ideas via this post.  Now, we aren’t looking for super expensive gifts. We want this to manageable for even a modest budget.

 

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Lenspen Cleaning Kit

lenspenkit

Many photographers who own a DSLR often overlook the need for cleaning their equipment until their images are affected.  This was my case:  I found a couple of spots on my images and luckily was able to get rid of them simply by using the sensor cleaning utility built into the camera to shake the dust off.  However, this kind of kit could help me clean my lenses and blow the dust off my sensor when needed.  This is especially true for the inevitable instance when the ‘shake’ just won’t remove the dust of the sensor. Note: Never touch anything to the camera’s sensor.

You can find this Lenspen Cleaning Kit at Henry’s for $29.99 CAD

 

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Lens Filters

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All photographers need lens filters.  These babies screw onto the front threads of your lens.   From the basic UV filters to Circular Polarizing (CPL) filters, there are many choices and the prices vary broadly, often according to quality and . The size of the filter can also affect the price.  Before getting a filter for the photographer on your list, find out the size of the thread on his lens(es).

If for nothing other than protecting your expensive lens, it is essential.  My opinion is that even a cheap filter is better than none for protecting your lens.

Since I just recently acquired my wide angle lens, I have been looking at the 82mm Tiffen UV Haze 1 at Henry’s on sale for $39.50 CAD

There is also a huge selection of 82mm filters on Amazon.ca

 

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Memory Cards

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One thing that is always appreciated is a memory card for the camera.  I have a good number of these and love getting more.  Personally, I prefer a smaller capacity card (2GB or 4GB) so that I can more easily manage what is on the card.  This is a personal preference and I also have up to 16GB cards that I have received as gifts and use them often.  I also don’t take many videos.   A larger card (32GB +) would be suitable for those taking a lot of videos with their camera.  I’m thinking that most cameras today use SD cards (often labeled as either SD, SDHC, SDXC) and they are sold everywhere.

You can find these Memory Cards at Henry’s starting at under $10.00 CAD

 

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 Memory Card Wallet

memorycardwallet

Of course, now that we have all these memory cards, we need to keep them safe and in one place.  There are a lot of choices out there and I think that these little cases are a great idea. I often find myself looking through the packets of my camera bags and on my desk for the little suckers.

Here are quick examples of :

Memory Card Wallet on Amazon

Memory Card Wallet at Henry’s

 

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 Joby Sling Strap and Utlraplate

jobysling

Let’s face it.  The neck strap that comes with the camera isn’t the greatest.  Not that it’s terrible, it’s just that sometimes the camera gets in the way.  And because it’s not very long, you can’t really sling over your shoulder either so you are trapped with the darn thing hanging off your neck.

I’ve read some great reviews about the Joby Sling Strap for Men.  Only thing is that the strap attaches via the tripod plate mount on the bottom.  The Joby Ultraplate would be required so that I could mount the camera on a tripod without removing the strap.

Joby Sling Strap for Men available at Henry’s for $54.99

Joby Hand Strap with Ultraplate at Henry’s for $54.99

 

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Rain Sleeves

rainsleeve

There have been times when I am wanting to head outdoors or already there and it’s raining.  Even a drizzle is enough to make me worry about getting my gear wet.  Quite often, I just keep my gear in the bag and forgo taking any shots.

I think that having some kind of rain gear would enable me to take some fantastic shots by protecting the camera and lens that I have worked so hard to earn the funds to buy.  I understand that these are must-have accessories for those who love taking outdoor shots.  And I DO love taking outdoor shots!

The Optech Rainsleeve (pack of 2) is available at Henry’s for $9.99 CAD

 

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Magazine Subscription or Single Issue

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I love photography magazines.  Especially those that have great content with contributions from readers. (Maybe one day I will have something good enough to contribute)

Just about any photo magazine would be welcome under the tree this year.  If a single issue is your preference, go for it!  A single issue is great as a preview and I know that some subscriptions can be costly.

I already have a Photo News subscription and look forward to it arriving in the mail each quarter.  All others are open and if planning on getting a specific magazine, it may be an idea to check if others haven’t yet chosen it.  🙂

Some examples of magazines that I would like to receive in the mail:

Photo Life (6 issues per year)

Outdoor Photography Canada (4 issues per year)

Shutterbug (12 issues per year)

 

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Used Lenses and Accessories

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I have found some great used lenses and other goodies via Kijiji here in my area.  These are often older items that the owner has decided to part with.  There can be various reasons:  They have two or more of the same item; They have outgrown this particular item; They switched to another brand; They went from APS-C to Full-Frame.  Whatever the reason, Kijiji is a great place to get a fantastic deal.

Keep in mind that not all lenses fit all cameras.  In my case, I’m fortunate in that just about any Nikon AF mount lens will work.  I don’t even need an auto-focus motor in the lens since my camera body (D90) has one built in.  More often than not, the seller will know what type of lens/fitting he has.

A god rule to go by is never pay what they are asking.  The prices here are always negotiable.  Also set a limit on what you are willing to pay.  I normally take a look at the posting and determine if it’s worth it to me, given the inherent risk of getting soemthing used.  More often than not, I look at about $60 or less.  If I find a good lens for less than $50 I’m happy.  Less than $40, I’m very happy.  Less than $30, I am ecstatic!

There also a lot of other goodies on Kijiji.  Sometimes, they are good deals but it pays to do a google search on the item to see if the price is good enough.   I will never pay more than 1/2 retail for even a ‘new’ item listed as ‘perfect’ or ‘pristine’ or ‘brand new in box’.  It’s used.  There is no warranty.

A couple of example searches that I use:

Nikon lens on Kijiji

Assorted camera goodies on Kijiji . This one is good for all kinds of impulse type cheap stuff.

 

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Novelty T-Shirts

A good sense of humour is required when photographing.  Get your photographer one that brings up a smile or a chuckle with a photography related statement.

 

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Other Items

Those of us who are hobbyists photographers (we don’t make our living from it) are usually grateful for whatever we receive.  It could be frames, novelty goods, lens-shaped coffee mugs, thumbdrives, or whatever you think can think of.

Surprise us and we will love you for it.

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