The holidays are over, you’ve spent all your money. How can you save money on a birthday or Valentine’s gift?
This is a small list of items I had jotted down for a holiday gift guide, however we already had some great suggestions. Also, I find that photography related Christmas presents tend to revolve around Black Friday deals. Maybe you’ve got a birthday coming up, are avoiding flowers and chocolates this February, or just want to have something in the bag. Hell, perhaps you need a post-holiday gift to yourself.
Often forgotten, always appreciated. Most of these can be bought for around $10. It’s what a photographer presses their eye against when they look through the viewfinder. Let’s talk about three varieties: the regular kind that comes with your camera; a larger and deeper cup that blocks outside light; a soft cushion.
In the above image, you’ll see the eyecup on the left is thin and small. It’s a replacement for what already comes standard. I wouldn’t necessarily buy this as a gift, and you’ll also need to know the exact model of their camera.
The middle version is made of a soft rubber, and blocks out light. It’s a small luxury, and durable. Sometimes you can find models made for eyeglass wearers too. The only caveat is that you might need to know the camera model too.
If you’re not sure what camera they have, there’s a third option. In my opinion this is the most luxurious of the three. It’s the eye-cushion. They’re usually made with suede, soft leathers, or felt. These are used on larger cinema cameras by DPs, but they also make smaller ones for regular sized photography cameras. Here’s an oval one that will fit a mirrorless camera, and here’s a round one.
I’ll point out that the first two are easily washed, but eye-cushions are difficult to keep clean over time. On a large film production, they’re considered expendable and will be replaced daily. However, I feel that it’s still a good gift. I can get a few weeks out of mine, because the camera it’s attached to doesn’t get regular use.
Getting a new bag can be expensive. Pouches are much cheaper, and there’ll always be a need for them. They’re what you put into your gear bag.
There are regular pouches, organized pouches, lens pouches, and even bundles of pouches if you want to splash out. You can also find items closer to organizers. They’re very handy to have, and could always be an addition to another gift (like an eyecup).
Luxi Light Meter
If you’re out of the loop, a light meter measures the light hitting your subject and tells you the exposure settings to dial into the camera. There are high end models that cost thousands, and low end ones that cost hundreds. The Luxi Light Meter turns your smartphone into a light meter, and only costs $25. The profit they generate goes to charity too.
From what I’ve read, it's good enough. For the photographer who doesn’t yet have a light meter, or needs a more portable option, this could be a wonderful gift. It will work with iPhones and Androids alike. The “Luxi For All” version works on Android phones, while you can also find a version specifically for newer iPhones.
If you’ve spotted some good deals, or want to give a shout out to other cheap gizmos, then feel free to comment below.