- B+W 77mm Kaesemann Circular Polarizer with Multi-Resistant Coating
- B+W 77mm ND 3.0-1,000X with Single Coating
- Graduated Neutral Density 0.9 Soft Resin Filter
As much as everyone likes to advocate that it's not the gear that takes the photos, it would be naive to assume it doesn't play a huge part in the creative process of any successful photographer. Good gear is always going to make your life easier. That's not to say it will ever replace talent, skill and experience. It won't. So study and shoot a lot before you take your credit card for a wild ride in the local camera store.
With that said, it's always good to know what gear to save up for and what's worth investing in. Here are five of the most important items to rely on as a serious amateur or pro photographer.
By far not the most comfortable item to carry, nor the classiest, the tripod is one of the most important items in any self respecting photographer's kit. Some people mistake it as strictly a landscape photographer's tool, but it's really a lot more than that. A tripod will help you remove any kind of motion blur from the shot, it will improve your framing and it will allow you to capture beautiful long exposure photos.
There are a lot of options when it comes to buying a tripod, from the inexpensive and less dependable models, to outrageously priced ones that hardly deserve the price tag. We are going to recommend one of the best options currently available on the market, a very popular choice among photographers. The Vanguard VEO 265 CB is hands down one of the best tripods we've ever tested. The carbon fiber it's made from takes light weight and portability to a whole new level. At just 3.3lbs it is light enough to carry and use by anyone. Stability is ensured by the 26mm legs and a new leg lock design that lets the tripod support heavy pro DSLRs with long lenses, but it's also a great easy to use model for mirrorless camera owners. The included ball head is smooth and easy to operate and the legs have three different angle positions. If you're looking to get a lot of tripod for reasonable money, look no further.
Professionals know how much the right filter can help their work. While some filters can be replaced with the right post processing, mainly color filters, others cannot. We think every photographer should have a kit of three filters: a polarizer, a straight ND and a graduated ND.
The polarizer is by far the most popular optical filter. It is the only one the effect of which cannot be replicated with any app. It adds contrast and color to landscapes, but more importantly it reduces reflections to a minimum.
The straight neutral density filter acts pretty much like your sunglasses. It's a dark piece of glass that helps tone down exposure, allowing you to shoot at wide apertures during the day. It's a must-have for video shooters.
The graduated neutral density filter is a half clear-half dark piece of glass or plastic that serves the purpose of evening the exposure between sky and land. It helps preserve details in highlights and shadows. It's a particularly important filter if you photograph landscapes.
Check out our recommended filters:
No matter where you use your camera, it's going to get dirty. Even if you operate it in the studio, it's still going to get a few finger prints on the lens and dust on the sensor. A cleaning kit is a common sense investment, especially if you consider the value of your equipment.
Our recommended cleaning kit is the Altura Professional Cleaning Kit.
As long as your work takes you outdoors, you should have one of these in the bag. It's one of those things that cost very little but can save you a great deal. After all, you wouldn't want to miss that killer shot because of a little rain, would you?
Spider Holster Pro
The Spider Pro is one of those things that should have been invented fifty years ago. It's never too late though and we're happy to be enjoying it now. Simply put, it's the most comfortable and ergonomic way to carry a pro camera body. If you've ever had to work an entire day with one or two large DSLRs, you know how your back, your shoulders and your neck feel. The Spider Pro makes use of one the strongest parts of your body, your hips, where it evenly distributes the weight. The access is fast and easy and the patented ball-joint system gives the camera enough freedom of movement so it won't be rigidly stuck to your body.