Field Accessories For Digital SLRs; While Perhaps Not Top Priority, These Items Can Really Come In Handy Page 2

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Block The Breeze
Top on the list of items to steady up your subject is the "Plamp," made by Wimberley. With a list price of $36.95, this is one of the most versatile accessories to have, particularly for those wishing to photograph wildflowers in all weather conditions. Simple in design, it attaches to your tripod with a hefty, all-plastic clamp. From there, the flexible arm extends out to a smaller lightweight clamp, which allows you to mount a wind blocker, or even a shadow maker, to make great close-ups when there's a light breeze or harsh lighting conditions.

Wimberley's Plamp is just the thing outside when the wind is blowing and the wildflowers are moving. With a gentle clamp on one end for the flower (white) and a heavy-duty clamp on the other, you are assured of good results.


I photographed this group of flowers with the Plamp holding the stem just to the right and below of the camera angle.

Close-Up Lens Gear
Canon offers a close-up lens that mounts on the front of your longer lenses. It allows you to use, for example, your 70-200mm lens with the larger 77mm filter ring with a close focusing distance of around 20". This sure helps lighten your trekking load by eliminating the need for a separate macro lens. The model number is 500D and the current street price is around $140.

Using the Canon 500D close-up lens turns your 70-200mm lens into a macro lens that will focus as close as 20" and all without any loss of light. (Far right): Out in the West, I photographed this desert cactus flower with the Canon 500D lens on my Nikon 70-200mm zoom. Notice the sharpness around all parts of the flower.

Out in the West, I photographed this desert cactus flower with the Canon 500D lens on my Nikon 70-200mm zoom. Notice the sharpness around all parts of the flower.

Instant Overcast
You might want to consider the Cloud Dome for the diffusion of small objects in sunny or otherwise harsh lighting conditions. It's easy to set up and carry. I use it for both product and nature photography and don't even have to worry about the white balance. That's easy--cloudy of course! Retail price is quoted at $179.95 with a universal bracket.

The Cloud Dome is a portable accessory that can be brought outside for diffused lighting on plants or products.

I use the dome for my commercial work for an almost instant setup regardless of the location. Notice the sharpness in the pocket watch and the lack of strong highlights on the dial.

Filter Factors
Filters are an important part of any foray, and when I want to reduce the brightness of ambient light for special effects I reach for my Singh-Ray Vari-ND filter. This filter can effectively control density up to 10 full exposure stops without any change in color density or sharpness. It also can be used to position your flash units closer for macro photographs without the fear of overexposure, be employed for selective focus in bright light, or to enhance the motion of fast-moving subjects, like a stream in the woods. Sure, it's expensive at $340, but I never leave home without it.

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