by Alex W.
If you're reading this article you've probably already realised that photography isn't a cheap hobby. However, not every purchase has to break the bank. There are tons of budget friendly photography accessories out there just waiting to be discovered.
Sometimes the substantial cost of a piece of kit is justified and unavoidable, such as when buying a specialist lens or a new camera. But shelling out hundreds for every little thing isn't necessary, and we're here to show you how!
This list features our 11 favourite photography accessories that don't make your bank account weep, and some can provide a gateway into a whole new genre of photography that you hadn't even considered!
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Lighting setups for portrait and studio photographers can often run into the thousands, but unless you're a professional this humble accessory will probably be enough for you. Neewer are a well known brand for producing affordable photography accessories, and they've continued the trend with this incredibly useful piece of kit.
The 5-in-1 reflector is used to redirect, or 'bounce' light into specific areas within your frame. It can be used to fill in deep shadow areas in a portrait or macro shot, for example. I have found plenty of other uses for it though, including as a backdrop for macro photography and as a great light diffuser on sunny days.
This particular one comes with five different surfaces which can be changed to alter the warmth and strength of the reflected light. It also folds down to 49cm x 49cm and is light enough to take on any expedition!
You know I mentioned that some of these photography accessories can be complete game changers? Well this is one of them!
Macro photography is notoriously expensive to get in to due to the specialist lenses required, and spending hundreds on a lens when you're not sure if you'll even enjoy it definitely puts a lot of people off. That's where these come in.
Macro extension tubes fit between any of your current lenses and the camera body, increasing the distance between the rear lens element and the camera sensor to effectively give your lens macro capabilities. The different lengths of tube provide different levels of magnification, and these particular ones have electrical contacts to preserve all the autofocus and metering capabilities.
Unlike a macro lens, you will be limited to only macro photography when these are attached - The maximum focusing distance will be reduced substantially.
They do, however, offer a cheap gateway into the often unseen world of macro photography, and at around 10% of the cost of a dedicated macro lens you have to expect some trade-offs! If it turns out you enjoy using them you can go on to buy a dedicated macro lens, but don't throw the extension tubes away yet. They can be used on macro lenses to give an even greater level of magnification.
Shooting in bad weather often yields excellent images rife with drama, atmosphere and originality. But your gear can take a battering in these extreme conditions.
Some professional level DSLRs and Mirrorless cameras are completely weather sealed, but even then you still have the problem of keeping the rain off your lens. For those without weather sealed camera bodies and lenses, protection for your gear is an absolute must in these situations.
Fortunately, our good friends Neewer have provided us with another budget friendly solution. Some people opt for an even cheaper version, this is still ludicrously affordable and the added convenience of the arm holes and transparent backing make this well worth the tiny bit extra. Considering the Canon version of this costs over £100, this is an absolute steal, and you'll be thanking your lucky stars that you bought it the next time you're capturing a dramatic storm scene without destroying all your expensive gear.
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This is a really fun little accessory that can provide you with hours of entertainment, not to mention it can actually be used in a professional photography sense too!
In essence, this light tent and softbox is an open sided cube of translucent plastic with an LED light strip attached. It can be used for all sorts of photography when you're stuck in the house, as you'll find out soon. It comes with a reversible backdrop so you can have either a white or black background, and you simply place your subject inside and get shooting!
Many photographers use this sort of accessory for product photography, where you need a clean and defined background, and it's perfect for those of you who photograph small products and have no need for a large studio setup.
Personally, I use it for indoor macro photography, with the clean, blank backgrounds and even lighting allowing me to completely separate my subject from any distractions and attract all attention to it.
Do you know one of the main mistakes that beginners make in landscape and nature photography? Crooked horizons.
Nothing ruins a photograph quite like an unintentionally uneven horizon. It's one of those things that you can't unsee after you've noticed it. Of course, it's very easy to correct this in post processing, but in doing so you are forced to crop parts of your image out. It's preferable to just get it right in camera. Prevention is always better than a cure.
Some camera models do come with an in built spirit level that you can bring up on your LCD screen, but I've found that even then it's more intuitive to just use one of these dirt cheap accessories. This is simply a tiny spirit bubble that slots into the flash hotshoe of your camera, allowing you to ensure the camera is completely level before you press the shutter. There really is no excuse not to get one or two of these.
If you've never considered changing from the manufacturer supplied and branded strap that was shipped with your camera you probably don't realise just how inconvenient and uncomfortable they are.
I know I didn't. The only reason I bought this strap was because my Nikon branded one suddenly snapped and almost demolished my camera on the beach. Fortunately the camera survived, and it turned out to be a blessing in disguise.
I opted for this OP/TECH over the shoulder sling strap, and I have to say that I would never go back to using the default straps.
The advantages are numerous - It's more comfortable for a start, and the over the shoulder design means the camera rests on your hip rather than bouncing off your chest. It also has a handy quick release, which is great when you're using a tripod and don't want the strap flapping about in the wind. Honestly, I'm struggling to think of a single disadvantage compared to the standard manufacturer straps, and considering it's likely to last you years and years it's well worth spending the money for the added convenience and comfort.
If you're still not happy with using a camera strap then this could be just the handy photography accessory you've been looking for.
The Spider Black Widow Camera Holster attaches to either your own belt or their special Black Widow belt and provides you with a strapless solution to all your camera carrying needs. You simply clip your camera body into the Black Widow and continue about your day.
This is for all those photographers who are sick and tired of knocking their expensive kit when bending down or reaching up. It leaves your entire upper body free to move about, without the worry of swinging your camera into a rock face.
Admittedly it can take a little bit of time and a lot of trust to simply forget about your camera, but the equipment from Spider is top notch and has never failed on me. After a few outings you'll fully trust it to keep your gear safe, and that's when the convenience of it really comes to the fore.
Lens filters have been around in the photography world for decades, and there's a reason they persist to this day despite all the post processing techniques available to us. They can completely transform an image, and some of the effects aren't easily replicated in the digital darkroom.
The polarising filter is perhaps the most transformative and most difficult to replicate in post processing. It's one filter that I never leave the house without. As the name suggests, it drastically reduces the amount of polarised light hitting your lens, and that results in deeper blues in the sky, reduced glare on water and metal, and decreased atmospheric haze. You can see it's effects in our Ultimate Guide to Landscape Photography.
I've used dozens of polarising filters over the years, ranging from bargain basement to almost offensively expensive. This is my favourite by far, and that's without cost taken into effect. The Hoya PRO1 Digital CPL is, in my opinion, better than any of the polarisers shipped with the professional filter kits, and to make matters even better it's a lot cheaper too.
This was actually the first polariser I ever bought back when I was using a kit lens, and I still have it today. Not only that, but I also have it in two different sizes to fit my other lenses as well! You won't regret making this purchase.
Even if you take all the precautions possible with your kit, the chances are at some point it's going to need a good clean. After all, if you're not pushing the limits of your equipment you're missing out on some great opportunities in my opinion.
But with all that precisely manufactured glass and metal it can be daunting to even think about touching it. Get yourself a lens cleaning kit, follow these instructions, and you really don't have to worry at all!
This comes with an air blower, a fine lens brush, a lens pen, cleaning fluid, and microfibre cloths. They are best used in that order. The blower is used to remove any big particles without having to apply pressure and risk scratching the glass. The brush can then get into the edges and remove any dirt there, before the lens pen is applied to loosen any smears and general dirt. You then finish off with a microfibre cloth lightly dampened with lens cleaning solution, and you're good to go!
This is another one of those photography accessories that can be a complete game changer. If you've ever considered taking a tripod out on a shootwith you but opted out due to the weight, size and inconvenience then this is for you!
The Joby Gorillapod is a tiny, lightweight tripod that can be easily carried in a normal bag. That in itself is enough of a sell for most, but the real beauty in the Gorillapod is the ball-jointed legs.
These bendy legs allow you to basically attach is to anything. You can wrap it around railings or tree branches to get that unique viewpoint or perspective, or you can simply use it as a mini tripod. It's fantastic for city shoots, where many of the popular tourist attractions don't allow tripods but don't bat an eyelid at this diminutive little accessory. It's also great for vloggers and videographers filming B-roll footage or timelapses.
Camera stability is absolutely crucial in certain situations, such as long exposure photography or timelapse photography. Even just pressing the shutter release by hand can be enough to ruin an image with camera shake, so the best solution by far is to get yourself a remote shutter release.
This particular version, from our friends Neewer obviously, simply plugs into your camera and allows you to release the shutter using the remote. In addition, it also offers intervalometer functions, which means you can actually programme timelapse sequences with this budget friendly device!
Do you know how much Nikon's version of this costs? Over $100. Does it offer better build quality? Yes. Is it worth spending over 5 times more on? No.
Once you decide to start a photography business, the first thing you need is your camera. But there are other accessories that can help minimize the amount of time spent looking for missing items and equipment. These include:
This will save you time by allowing you to download your photos directly from your camera's memory card to your computer.
Always have a backup battery on hand in case your primary battery dies during a shoot.
A tripod will keep your camera steady for those long exposures and group shots.
This attachment will help to soften the light from your flash for more natural looking photographs.
Dust and fingerprints can quickly ruin a photo, so it's important to keep your lenses clean. This kit should include lens cloths, special brushes, and cleaning solutions.
There are many other useful accessories that you can add to your photography kit as your business grows. The key is to start small and work your way up, so you don't get overwhelmed with gear in the beginning.
One of the best things about being a photographer is that there are so many different photography accessories that you can use to take your pictures to the next level. These accessories can give you more creative control over your images, and help you enhance them in many different ways. Here are just a few examples of some great photography accessories:
These are just a few examples of great photography accessories that can help you take better pictures. So don't be afraid to experiment and try out new things - it's all part of the fun!
There are many different types of photography accessories that you can use to improve your photos. Some of the most important accessories include lens filters, camera bags, and external flashes. Let's take a closer look at each of these accessories:
Lens filters are used to control the effects of light on your photos. They range from simple UV protective filters to more advanced neutral density filters that allow you to achieve certain effects in your photos.
Camera bags come in many different sizes and shapes, allowing you to easily carry around all the equipment necessary for taking good photographs. These bags also provide protection against harsh weather conditions or accidental impacts during travel or outdoor photo shoots.
External flashes are useful for improving lighting conditions when shooting outdoors in low light. They can also be used to create unique lighting effects in your photos.
These are just a few of the many different types of photography accessories that you can use to improve your photos. With the right accessories, you can take your photography to the next level and capture amazing images that will impress your friends and family.
If you're a passionate photographer, you likely have a sizable investment in your photography accessories. Whether it's high-end camera equipment or more modest tools and props, keeping your things in good condition is important to maintaining both their usefulness and their value. Here are some expert tips to help you keep your photography accessories in top condition.
By following these helpful tips, you can help ensure your photography equipment remains in good condition for years to come.
Manfrotto MT190XPRO4 Aluminum 4-Section Tripod,Black - Walmart, Etsy, Ebay
Peak Design Travel Tripod (5 Section Aluminum Camera Tripod) - Walmart, Etsy, eBay
Manfrotto XPRO Ball Head with Top Lock Quick Release Plate, High Precision, Fluid - Walmart, Etsy, eBay
Vanguard Alta PH-32 3-Way Pan Head - Anthracite - Walmart, Etsy, eBay
Manfrotto MTPIXIEVO-BK, PIXI EVO 2-Section Mini Tripod for Mirrorless Cameras, Compact - Walmart, Etsy, eBay
Manfrotto MP3-BK Large Pocket Support, Black & MTPIXIEVO-BK, PIXI EVO 2-Section Mini - Walmart, Etsy, eBay
Benro Adventure 3 Series Carbon Fiber Monopod (MAD38C) - Walmart, Etsy, Ebay
DJI Osmo Mobile 3 - 3-Axis Smartphone Gimbal Handheld Stabilizer Vlog Youtuber Live Video - Walmart, Etsy, Ebay
Adonit Photogrip (Black) Shutter Remote Bluetooth Selfies Included Tripod, Travel Case, - Walmart, Etsy, Ebay
Peak Design Everyday Messenger V2 13L Black, Travel or Photo Carry with Laptop Sleeve - Walmart, Etsy, Ebay
Peak Design Everyday Messenger Bag 13" (Charcoal) - Walmart, Etsy, eBay
Lowepro ProTactic 350 AW II Modular Backpack with All Weather Cover for Laptop Up to 13 - Walmart, Etsy, Ebay
Think Tank Photo Digital Holster 10 V2.0 Camera Bag (Black) - Walmart, Etsy, Ebay
Peak Design Slide Summit Edition Lassen Padded Camera Strap, Red - Walmart, Etsy, Ebay
Hahnel Modus 600 RT mkII for MCRO 4/3 Olympus/PANASONIC - Walmart, Etsy, eBay
Modus 600 RT mkII for Canon - Walmart, Etsy, eBay
Viper Wireless Group Flash Trigger/Receiver for Nikon - Walmart, Etsy, eBay
Rotolight – HSS (High Speed Sync) Wireless Transmitter & Controller for NEO 2, AEOS & - Walmart, Etsy, eBay
Rotolight NEO 2 LED Camera Light, Continuous Adjustable Color with Built in High-Speed - Walmart, Etsy, eBay
There you have it: Our favourite photography accessories for those of you who don't want to hurt your bank account's feelings.
You could buy all 11 of these for significantly less than the cost of a medium-range lens, and all of them can help your photography in one way or another.
It just goes to show, with a little research and ingenuity your favourite hobby doesn't have to empty your wallet!
About Alex W.
Alex is the owner and lead writer for Click and Learn Photography. An avid landscape, equine, and pet photographer living and working in the beautiful Lake District, UK, Alex has had his work featured in a number of high profile publications, including the Take a View Landscape Photographer of the Year, Outdoor Photographer of the Year, and Amateur Photographer Magazine.