After months of debate, I picked up a new table top tripod, macro kit and remote cable release. Since I'm still new to my digital camera, I'm slowly trying things out.
Lately, I've been using has been the Canon EOS Rebel T3; which is well worth the price on Amazon, since I bought it at a big box retailer for $50 more (on sale). It's a great step up for me, considering I've been using the Canon Rebel G film camera. I've been so reluctant to "go digital", but it's getting harder and harder to find film these days, let alone places who process it. The cool (I don't know how cool, but more like interesting) thing is the fact that I can swap my 18-55mm lens from the film camera with the digital "just in case" something happened to it (ie a droppage or a spillage or an oops.. outside the warranty). With the new settings and "monkey mode" (seeing the image now and able to delete it at whim), each photo I take may not be the thrill of the "surprise vacation pictures" I took while in England, but being able to get a better sports shot of my cousin's dog running around or a quick movie of my nieces' and nephew's first steps are pretty awesome. Memorable snaps of the shutter are sooo much better and easier now. The only downside I've found thus far, has been trying to not crack the LCD screen.
Going off the original film camera, I had purchased a Kodak mid level holder. Unfortunately, all links to Amazon have less than 3 star reviews and the tripod is discontinued. I've had this tripod for almost a decade, and I think the only problem I've had, has been a screw has fallen off a piece of the plate / panhead (where the external arm can swing the camera in all direction). I still use it and like it, and it's a shame it's not being sold anymore, except in used instances.
However, the Vanguard VS-82 Table Top Digital Camera Tripod is an awesome little addition to my collection. Not only does it fold up easily, it can fit in my camera back pack with no problem. At $21.97, I think it's cheaper than the Kodak I had purchased previously. This little guy is great for my experimenting with macro shots. I've tried it on my lanai, whilst getting lightning pictures, and it works just the same as a regular height tripod. The best thing is that you don't have to worry about accidentally hitting people with it, while walking around crowded rooms. Just put it on a table, in a corner on the floor, set up shop and go wild. Definitely worth the investment, especially for the party or nature pictures.
Living in the "lightning capital of the country" (aka Florida), I've found that the Canon Remote Switch RS60 E3 works wonders with my camera, in allowing the lightning to be more crisp and clear in my shots, as there is no shake from pressing the shutter down on my camera. The release switch is pretty handy (no pun intended) because I can literally put my camera on the tripod, set it to manual, focus on a burst of light and let the remote finish. All while I've walked away for a minute. Setting it on lock mode in continuous shutter mode is nifty! Like some of the reviews around, the cable is short, but for me, it doesn't matter, as I am usually within an arm's reach of the camera anyway. Most of my uses lately have been trying out the macro and getting the nature shots, so I've not had the opportunity to test it out in a busy setting. Given the chance, I think the remote will do just fine.
- Example -
Fotodiox Canon EOS Macro Extension Tube Set - I'm told I'd be better off having found one with the electronics in it, as these are just adapters. For just learning how to use macro lenses, it suits my purpose because I was looking for something easy to try before I started on something grander. The reason for the remark about the electronics: it is because there's a low range of focus with these adapters. Electronics in the macro lens helps for when you are focusing on the subject. You can put the camera in auto mode, and not worry about anything messing up. The whole subject is in view with them, as opposed to the Fotodiox, which shallows the subject. Therefore, while you need to keep the camera setting in P mode, you get a small band of clear subject in the picture. It sounds like I'm being negative about this product but being able to play around with it, I've captured some real interesting images. Sure, the tubes aren't magazine worthy for me, but at least I'm having fun with them, and can tell people "I did that with a macro lens" when they ask me about my photo.
- Example -
Except for being currently discontinued (therefore being sold used), the Case Logic TBC-307 SLR Camera Backpack (Black) is a neat carry all. Everything fits nicely in it, including a spot on the side to be able to Velcro the Kodak tripod. Front small zipper pocket can hold all the extras - batteries, chargers, manuals. Next front zipper is the guts of the pack. The ability to hold not only one or two extra lenses on one side, but the ability to stash my table top tripod, remote, keys, macro extension tubes and a book, make this a keeper. Top zipper holes the camera itself and another lens. Score one for a back pack that isn't sold that often anymore! Surprisingly comfortable with all the "weight", I like this a heck of a lot better than the regular every day briefcase I was using prior.
- Example -
- Everything put together, sans carrying case -
All together now (further examples):
use of macro and tripods -
use of the remote and tripods (Florida lightning) -
35mm film (via Amazon)
Kodak Digital Camera Tripod
Just based off the product description, should I become more familiar with my camera and all the neat lenses, I may invest in the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM Lens for Canon SLR Cameras at some point in the near future, providing it doesn't go off the fact of the Earth before I want to buy it (aka discontinue).