I’ve come across some useful things in the time since I started this site, and it seems rather silly to give them their own reviews, because sometimes something either does what it’s supposed to or doesn’t, and there’s not a heck of a lot more you can say about it after that. So I thought I’d do a roundup of small items that can be useful to have in your kit.
We’ll start with the FishBomb Lens Filter and Accessory Case. It’s as ingenious as it is simple. It’s a smallish neoprene pouch with pockets on either side that close with velcro closures. There’s a loop at the top, so you can slip the bottom part of the case through the loop in order to secure it to a belt, camera strap, or camera bag (if your bag has attachment points for lens holsters and other doodads). It’s not extremely high-capacity, but it fits two 67mm filters comfortably. I could probably fit a second filter on the side that has my IR filter on it, but fitting another filter alongside my polarizer would be a bit more snug than I’d like. It’s inexpensive, and takes up a lot less room in my camera bag than all those plastic cases the filters originally came in.* I chose it over other filter wallets that I saw from Tiffen, Opteka, et. al., because I wasn’t impressed with the construction, nor was I happy with the space they took up. As it turned out, I was happy with my choice.
Next up is the Tamrac S.A.S. MXS536801 Memory and Battery Management Wallet. As with most things Tamrac (I also own one of their monopods), the materials and design are competent, but no-frills (and the price generally reflects that). This can hold AA or AAA batteries, memory cards, a spare SLR battery, CF cards, or some combination of the above. I’d originally picked it up to hold memory cards, and then ended up with a camera bag that had memory card storage built (or, more accurately, sewn) in; however, I’ve hung on to it up ’til now because at times I want to travel ultra-light, it’s handy for my backup battery and cards, and I can see where it’d also come in handy if you’re using a speedlight. As an added bonus, there are small fabric tabs that fold out over each of the four internal pockets. This doesn’t seem like much of a big deal ’til you’re carrying multiples of something and want to figure out which of those somethings you’ve used/filled and which still have a charge, or space on them.
Finally, we come to the Promaster Xtrapower Traveler. Here’s the thing with buying used equipment: if you buy a used piece (like my wife did with her SLR), sometimes you get lucky and the person who sold it back to the camera shop also thought to bring back all the little bits and pieces that came boxed with the camera. Sometimes not; the charger for my wife’s battery wasn’t in there. The shop was kind enough to throw this in (have I mentioned lately? Buy local!), and it turned out to be a lot better than I expected; not only does it handle the EN-EL3 from the D60, it also handles the EN-EL15 from the D7000. Better still? There’s a USB power “out” jack, so if your cell phone, MP3 player, e-reader or other gadgets can charge through USB, you can bring one charger (with the appropriate cords, of course) rather than a pile of chargers. It’s a minor thing, but when space is at a premium, it’s a bigger help than it seems on paper.
*With that said, before you throw out the plastic cases, make sure you scavenge the little foam discs that often come in them to protect the filters; they come in handy if you want to double up filters in a Fishbomb or any other filter wallet.
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