View Full Version : Least expensive accessory that made a difference

14-Sep-2017, 14:12
Just curious:
The least expensive accessory for LF that made a difference in your practice.

14-Sep-2017, 14:56
Lens shade(s).

Richard Wasserman
14-Sep-2017, 14:56
A piece of string. I use it to tie back wayward branches that want to be in my photos, but haven't been invited.

14-Sep-2017, 15:20
Very good quality Cable Release. The cheap models never quite worked right for long. The really good releases are still going strong years later.

14-Sep-2017, 15:36
A home made viewing frame for different film format and lens focal lengths. Knowing exactly with what camera and lens I can come back for wanted pictures at least quadrupled my photographic output in no time. No guessing, just knowing ahead. It fits my shirt pocket and weighs and costs nothing. It goes with me everywhere where I feel photo opportunities.

Mark Sawyer
14-Sep-2017, 16:43
Membership fees for this forum. :)

David Williams
14-Sep-2017, 18:33
Bug spray. For shooting night shots of the city from the river.

Pere Casals
14-Sep-2017, 19:01
A toy laser pointer, attached to the front standard and pointing some 10m (or 30m) far to know when camera vibrates because wind, and to learn how much time it takes (with a particular tripod) to get steady after inserting the film holder.

DG 3313
14-Sep-2017, 19:44
Hardwood clothes pins for the dark cloth.

15-Sep-2017, 00:18
A toy laser pointer, attached to the front standard and pointing some 10m (or 30m) far to know when camera vibrates because wind, and to learn how much time it takes (with a particular tripod) to get steady after inserting the film holder.

That's brilliant :)

15-Sep-2017, 06:34
Membership fees for this forum. :)

[slow clap] :)

Pere Casals
15-Sep-2017, 09:24
That's brilliant :)

Thanks! IMHO it is not necessary to use it a lot, but I found it really useful to get a solid criterion about camera steadiness under different field situations, the other way to learn it is to ruin sheets, a painful way :)

15-Sep-2017, 10:48
That really is a great idea.

Bruce Barlow
15-Sep-2017, 11:41
$3 black Wally World T-shirt that I use as a dark cloth. The neck fits around the back of a 4x5, or reversed, works with a 5x7 or 8x10 with my face in the neck.
$1 carpenter's apron from Home Depot that carries film holders - spotmeter case tied to waist tie string.
Post-Its, for labeling film holders.
Glasses strap, so I can just take them off and dangle them for close composing and focusing.
Spotmeter lanyard, tied to the case and just long enough so when I clumsily drop the meter it dangles rather than crashing on the rock.
Viewing filter for finding framings before lugging camera.
$8 Wally World cooler bags that carry film holders, or lenses in their similarly inexpensive Tupperware containers.

15-Sep-2017, 12:28

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Bob Salomon
15-Sep-2017, 12:47

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For less then a good cable release?

15-Sep-2017, 12:52
For less then a good cable release?

I'm in California [emoji57]

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Mark Sampson
15-Sep-2017, 13:07
I have two.
1) a 3" gel holder with a home-made 67mm filter ring glued on. Bought for maybe $10 used in 1985 or so.
2) an EdnaLite groundglass focusing loupe, 'liberated' from my portrait studio job c.1981.
Still use them both every time I make pictures.

David Lobato
15-Sep-2017, 13:14
Alarm Clock - to wake me up early and get out when the light is best.

15-Sep-2017, 13:52
its hard to pick
fabric shop felt ( 3'x2' ) cost almost nothing
have used it as a dark cloth for 29 years ..
sheet of 11x14 waxed paper and a rectangle of foam core
used as ground glass and a camera back for a century 10A ( used for around 9 years )
and a sheet of ohp film from the copy shop i purchased for
15 with a grid copied on it purchased in 1989 ( cheaper than pencil lead, or etched glass )

15-Sep-2017, 14:10
Alarm Clock - to wake me up early and get out when the light is best.

Clock. Clock. I seem to remember that word from before I retired. :)

Ron McElroy
16-Sep-2017, 21:12
Film. Hands down this is the least expensive aspect of LF work. This is true even in today's higher prices.

17-Sep-2017, 01:12
A pencil for writing down my metering/exposures info so that I can repeat the successes.

17-Sep-2017, 02:02
A hex key I found on the street. I have a Packard shutter fitted inside an 8x10 2D, the short end of the hex key works in place of the instant pin that would normally be fitted on a lens board. Removed for time exposures. With a board in place it can't drop out in use.


Keith Pitman
17-Sep-2017, 03:32
Rubber band and small binder clip to pull bellows out of the way when it droops into image area.

Peter Collins
17-Sep-2017, 05:17
Well, there are several, but the latest acquisition--free--comes to mind: Shutter - Tester v4 by Lukas Fritz. Available for use on Androids and iPhones. Works well in auditory mode from 1s to 1/125s. (I didn't buy the Photo-Plug, necessary for the higher speeds, because I don't use them. Or hardly ever.) Tested all my lenses and thereby removed one more potential unknown in the determination of exposure.

Tim Meisburger
17-Sep-2017, 18:05
I usually have a small piece of foam core in my bag, 2" x 4" that I can press fit inside my camera back. With it, I can shoot two images in one sheet. This has come in handy when I wanted to shoot a lot of portraits of relatives, and on the rare occasion I am out on a trip shooting and start running out of film. I guess I use it every year or two.

18-Sep-2017, 17:55
The comment about the allen wrench (hex key). I carry one with my Gowland PocketView 4x5 -- it is used to loosen and tighten movements, etc.

I was backpacking in the redwoods with the 4x5 and the suspension on my pack came loose and fell apart. The screw that came loose just happened to be the same size hex key -- saved my butt!