And your ‘vital’ accessory is?

Most photographers swear by at least one VITAL accessory that they simply can’t live without. I find it interesting that the choice seems to be incredibly varied – here’s a couple of mine.

SMALLRIG Grip 4262 for the NIKON Zf

This is something unusual in that it overcomes a bad design, and makes a totally useless camera into something very good indeed.

There is no way that anyone without rubber gloves can actually HOLD the NIKON Zf without this grip (The worst thing is that NIKON made exactly the same mistake with the Zfc before it…) The camera is so slippery that it’s quite useless, despite all the technology inside. God knows what happens when you put anything longer than a 75mm lens on this camera – or perhaps NIKON bank on this as people will have to keep buying replacement camera bodies…

In addition, this grip includes the ARCA mounting (that is missing from EVERY camera made) and thus allows it to be quickly and easily stuck on a tripod, or have accessories bolted on to it. It doesn’t take a lot to make us happy….

PGYTECH CreateMate Card Storage/Reader

This is a piece of kit I’ve only recently discovered – and I think it’s pretty useful.

The really neat thing about this card storage is that it’s also a card reader – there are three versions – SD only, CFExpress A/SD and CFExpress B/SD – they hold two CFExpress cards and 2 SD in the combo versions, with slots for 4 microSD as well. This is brilliant as it saves having to carry around storage AND card readers – the storage is dust / splash proof and comes with a carabiner style clip to fix it into your bag. Not the cheapest (The CF versions are 99€, while the SD only version is 49€) but extremely useful IMHO.

ThinkTank Photo Retrospective Range

ThinkTankPhoto make camera bags – most of them look just that – like camera bags. I’m odd and look for something which doesn’t necessarily look like I’m carrying thousands of euros of camera gear – and their Retrospective range is pretty good for that.

This is a pretty good example of what they all look like – various sizes (and shapes) available.

Loads of room inside, and they are supplied with Velcro pads to create divisions etc. inside the bag – loads of pockets too, with the most recent versions even having an adjustable bottle pocket.

The shoulder strap has a shoulder pad with anti-slip strips – this sometimes manages to wear unevenly and when I got in touch with ThinkTank they sent me a replacement shoulder pad by return, and totally free.

The Retrospective Backpack is a recent addition – this has access to the camera/storage part of the bag from the strap side of the backpack – so no-one will be feeling around inside your bag while you’re on crowded transport somewhere…still loads of pockets, and a compartment large enough for a 15″ laptop. Well thought out (and made!)

Originally these packs were available in blue, green and black – the green ‘Pinestone’ seems to be all that’s available now. Worth noting, all the sacks come with a rain-cover – pain in the arse to put on, but worth the effort to protect your gear.