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Thread: Gear that comes from non-photography sources

  1. #1

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    Gear that comes from non-photography sources

    We haven't had a thread like this in awhile.
    What kinds of stuff have you found worthwhile additions to your camera kit or dark room that came from places like the grocery, drug store, dollar store, hardware, surplus store etc...?

    From the local ACE hardware I just added a cheap little adjustable beam led flashlight (Atomic Beam) that is extraordinarily bright considering that it's a fraction of what something like a Streamlight would cost. This will be used for "painting with light" during timed night exposures.

    Every year I go through a package of Gerber birdseye cloth diapers. After being laundered they don't leave any lint behind, which makes them suitable for cleaning lenses and other photo gear (plus a myriad of other cleaning chores, including polishing the saxophone) I got my last package at Target.

    To keep the legs of one of my tripods together, I acquired a small nylon web dog collar from a Dollar Store for (of course) a buck. It's electric blue so I'll have a hard time losing it in the field (not so with sisal!)

    For quite awhile now, my darkroom safe light has consisted of a short string of red led Christmas lights, purchased on clearance. These are much brighter than the no longer sold GE Guide Lamps(nightlights) they replaced.

    So what have found worthy to include in your camera kit?
    I steal time at 1/125th of a second, so I don't consider my photography to be Fine Art as much as it is petty larceny.
    I'm not OCD. I'm CDO which is alphabetically correct.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Mar 2004
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    San Francisco Bay Area
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    357

    Re: Gear that comes from non-photography sources

    Shock cord. Mostly for fastening down luggage - my tripod is held on my bag using shock cord and cord grips (loop on one end, slide on cord grip, put a not on the other end, put the cord grip through the loop and tighten up).

    Wooden clothes pegs (metal spring type) reversed in the spring gives small gripping points. Useful to weighting the end of roll film while drying.

    Clip-on flip up magnifying lenses for my glasses.

  3. #3

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    Re: Gear that comes from non-photography sources

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kasaian View Post
    We haven't had a thread like this in awhile.
    What kinds of stuff have you found worthwhile additions to your camera kit or dark room that came from places like the grocery, drug store, dollar store, hardware, surplus store etc...?

    From the local ACE hardware I just added a cheap little adjustable beam led flashlight (Atomic Beam) that is extraordinarily bright considering that it's a fraction of what something like a Streamlight would cost. This will be used for "painting with light" during timed night exposures.

    Every year I go through a package of Gerber birdseye cloth diapers. After being laundered they don't leave any lint behind, which makes them suitable for cleaning lenses and other photo gear (plus a myriad of other cleaning chores, including polishing the saxophone) I got my last package at Target.

    To keep the legs of one of my tripods together, I acquired a small nylon web dog collar from a Dollar Store for (of course) a buck. It's electric blue so I'll have a hard time losing it in the field (not so with sisal!)

    For quite awhile now, my darkroom safe light has consisted of a short string of red led Christmas lights, purchased on clearance. These are much brighter than the no longer sold GE Guide Lamps(nightlights) they replaced.

    So what have found worthy to include in your camera kit?
    A quality photographic micro fiber lens cloth will be much better then diapers for cleaning lenses, are washable and are lint free.

  4. #4
    Pastafarian supremo Rick A's Avatar
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    Re: Gear that comes from non-photography sources

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Salomon View Post
    A quality photographic micro fiber lens cloth will be much better then diapers for cleaning lenses, are washable and are lint free.
    Diapers are more versatile and absorbent, I keep a stack in my darkroom instead of towels. They are large enough to wrap lenses and other gear. I never keep paper towels in my DR diapers are prefered.
    Rick Allen

    Argentum Aevum

    practicing Pastafarian

  5. #5

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    Re: Gear that comes from non-photography sources

    Let's see...

    I use 4x flip-up magnifiers from Cabela's for rough focusing.

    I rarely use a regular skirted loupe for fine focusing anymore; they don't work well in the corners. Instead I have 5x or 6x slide-out magnifiers. My last ones were bought at a numismatic shop.

    My metal tripod legs are covered in foam pipe wrap insulation from the hardware store.

    I carry a selection of eye bolts with threads the same size as my tripod knobs and the knobs on my tripod head (3025 Manfrotto head). These are emergency replacements if I ever lose a knob (it's happened a few times packing on the trail, etc.).

    I wear a short fly-fisherman's vest when in the field. It holds my meter, magnifiers, extra glasses, filter holder, lipstick brush and cleaning cloths, viewing filter, thin gloves for focusing in cold weather, tape measure (for bellows extension), etc., etc.

    Best,

    Doremus

  6. #6

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    Mar 2017
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    Re: Gear that comes from non-photography sources

    I use a thread counter as a loupe. I use a laser gun sight in part of my homemade enlarger alignment tool. I use cleaning vinegar as a stop bath. I use washing soda, TPX, and Borax to bleach cyanotypes and teas, coffee, and a host of other stuff to tone them. I use kitchen timers, thermometers, scales, measuring spoons and cups, and tongs purchased from Wal Mart in my darkroom. I keep it dark with a blackout curtain hung over the door, suspended by a shower curtain rod, both purchased at a hardware store. I also use a silicone squeegee from an auto parts store as well, mainly for drying prints. My print washer is a bunch of sheets of acrylic, rubber hoses with holes in them, adapters, and a plastic bin. My storage bottles form most of my chemicals are old soda bottles. The case for my Sinar F1 is a hard shelled roller suitcase, lined with a camping foam mattress cut to size, and covered in material cut from in a fake suede blanket. I use a camper's backpacking frame from to carry that suitcase places that I can't roll it. One of my lens carry bags was made for fly fishing. I have several lenses made out of PVC pipes and lenses taken from telescopes and such. I made a shutter speed tester and optical flash slave trigger out of leftover parts from previous electronics projects.

    The list just goes on and on. Sometimes I think I like making things for photography better than actually making photographs.

  7. #7

    Re: Gear that comes from non-photography sources

    Quote Originally Posted by Doremus Scudder View Post
    ...I use 4x flip-up magnifiers from Cabela's for rough focusing...
    I have a dedicated pair of glasses that focus at 6”.
    --- Steve from Missouri ---

  8. #8

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    Re: Gear that comes from non-photography sources

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick A View Post
    Diapers are more versatile and absorbent, I keep a stack in my darkroom instead of towels. They are large enough to wrap lenses and other gear. I never keep paper towels in my DR diapers are prefered.
    And a quality micro fiber is far better!

  9. #9
    Jac@stafford.net's Avatar
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    Re: Gear that comes from non-photography sources

    Quote Originally Posted by jim10219 View Post
    My print washer is a bunch of sheets of acrylic, rubber hoses with holes in them, adapters, and a plastic bin.
    A possible tip from the appliance stores - google hot water tank tray.

  10. #10

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    Oso,Washington
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    Re: Gear that comes from non-photography sources

    Quote Originally Posted by scheinfluger_77 View Post
    I have a dedicated pair of glasses that focus at 6.
    prescription glasses are they?? or store brought magnifiers.

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