Camera Gear Bargains in 2013: Lens Caps, Remote Controls and Lens Adapters for Panasonic, Sony, Canon, Nikon, etc.
I am a photographer and videographer, always trying to get cheap bargains for my cameras. Here is a roundup of super-cheap camera equipment and items that are shipping worldwide for free. Since I am on a budget and always trying to find cheap options, I am sharing my latest findings with you. (thanks to dslr4video for most of the pointers)
I am buying lots of second-hand m42, MFT, Nikon F-Mount and Canon lenses, and most of them come without lens caps. Still Lens Caps, Body Caps, rear and front plates for your optics (also for Sony, Olympus, Panansonic, Leica, etc.) can be as low as $0.09 including shipping, if you know where to search for it: Lens Caps from Hong Kong with free worldwide shipping. If you are getting packs of 5 or 10, it's even cheaper. There are "branded" ones (Canon, Nikon, etc.) as well as generic ones. Make sure to select the proper diameter (52mm, 55mm, 62mm, 75mm, etc.)
Wireless Remote Controls for your DSLR camera can also be a bargain: the RC-6 Remote Control For Canon EOS 5DII 7D 60D 500D 550D 600D is selling for as low as $1.41 (free shipping), while the "Nikon ML-L3 (for 1 J2, 1 V2, D40, D40x, D50, D60, D70s, D80, D90, D600, D3000, D3200, D5200, F65, F75, Coolpix P7000, P7100) already sells for $1.25 (free shipping). There are wired remote controls as well (if you prefer that), which are strangely a little more expensive. Batteries are included in all of those cheap items, I used already two different branded remote controls and cannot complain.
Gorillapad Knockoffs for $2.50
I don't know if you are familiar with the Gorilla Pod - "a bendable, flexible camera tripod that lets photographers attach their digital camera to any surface. The Gorillapod can be wrapped around a railing at a theme park, twisted onto a tree branch, looped around a baby carriage, hung from a doorknob, or perched on a rock during a hike. The possibilities are endless." There are different sizes of the Gorillapod, Knockoffs are selling for as cheap as $2.50 including worldwide shipping. I already ordered 5 of them, since they are the perfect gift for amateur and hobby photographers and filmers. Recommended!
Single or Double Axis Bubble Spirit Level Gradienter on Camera Hot Shoe
This is certainly a lot of fun (and useful): I recently dropped my Hot-Shoe Cap and wanted to order a new one (which is basically like 0.10$), but then I stumbled upon those even better replacements for my original Hot-Shoe "saver": a level gradient (water bubble leveller) for any Camera that actually has a Hot-Shoe. There are single-level ones, which actually have the same size than the original plastic, and dual-axis ones, which are a bit higher. Totally recommended and dead-cheap: they are selling for around $1 including free worldwide shipping.
Lens Adapters: Canon to MFT, Nikon to Micro Four Thirds, Canon to Panasonic, etc.
Lens Adapters can be very expensive, professional ones such as the Redrock Micro M2 Cinema Lens Adapter for Nikon Lenses goes for $199, there are also very cheap ones which are selling for around $14:
* Leica R Lens to Micro 4/3 M4/3 MFT Adapter Panasonic G2 G3 G10 GF2 GF1 GH1 GH2
* M42 Lens To Micro 4/3 MFT G2 G10 GF1 E-P2 E-P1
* Micro Four Thirds 4/3 M43 lens to Sony E NEX-5 NEX-3 NEX-C3 NEX-5N VG-10 or Olympus Adapter
All these Items are with free international shipping, even when shipping to Europe or Australia. The cheapest Lens-Adapter I could find (that I needed, there might be even cheaper ones out there) is the C mount to Micro Four-Thirds Adapter - M4/3 M43 Thin! N172 that sells for around $3. I already ordered lots of those adapters and generally I am satisfied. For professional use (and if you can afford it), the Novoflex Adapters are worth checking out. While they are much more expensive (up to $200 or more), they offer easy and fast lens changing and have perfectly adjusted focus-to-infinity.
There are of course a lot more camera and video deals out there. Let us know via email (audioreservoir_gmail) if you have any recommendations for us.
With the Four Thirds Standard being around for quite a bit longer than the MFT (Micro Four Thirds) there is an actual way to use those lenses on a MFT System such as the Panasonic GH2 or any other Micro Four Thirds Cameras using the Panasonic DMW-MA1 Four Thirds to MFT Adapter. Lenses, such as the Panasonic/Leica 14-50mm f/2.8-3.5 OIS Four Thirds Lens can be used on Micro Four Thirds Cameras - but the question remains, if there is an actual way to use four thirds lenses on Canon EF Systems, since the Panasonic/Leica Lens D Vario-Elmarit 14-50mm 2.8-3.5 ASPH is a very good Lens.
Unfortunately, the optics of 4/3 and MFT (Four Thirds and Micro Four Thirds) imply, that the image size projected on the sensor is smaller than any full frame or APS-C sensor so there would be a massive vignetting (a reduction of an image's brightness or saturation at the periphery compared to the image center), producing pictures as the ballon-picture on the left. A gradual decrease in light intensity towards the image periphery happens, so it actually does not make so much sense to use MFT or 4/3 lenses on systems with a larger sensor. Still it totally makes sense, to use lenses designed for 35mm or larger than four thirds on any FT/MFT system, such as the Redrock Micro LiveLens, Active Lens Mount for Canon EF Lenses. In another post, I will write a comparison on legacy lens systems and the usage on MFT/FT and EF systems.
A great bargain for m34 (Micro Four Thirds) users (Olympus, Panasonic, etc): the Fujian 35mm F1.7 CCTV TV lens +Mount for MFT m43 (Micro Four Thirds) which sells for $48,99 including free worldwide shipping. We just ordered two of them, so expect photo and video examples soon. In the meanwhile, you might want to take a look at some youtube example footage.
This CCTV Lens is a high quality lens with alloy casing. It is ideal for use in bars, shops, parking lots, houses and warehouse, etc. It gives you the widest field of view image avaialble with a C mount lens. This CCTV Camera Lens provides ultra clear vision for your camera. Incorporates advanced optical elements to ensure all-around sharpness and efficient light conductivity. Its iris can be manually adjusted according to available light levels.
Specifications Fujian 35mm F1.7 CCTV TV lens
Mount type: C mount
Focal length : 35mm
Iris/ Focus operation: manual
Angle of view: 13.8
Object distance: 30cm -infinite
Compatible with cameras including:
Panasonic: G1, GH1, GH2 GF1, G2, G10
Olympus: E-P1, EP-2, E-PL1 fits C Mount Movie Lens
C mount M4/3 Camera lens Adapter to EP1 EP2 GF1 GF2 GH1 GH2
With a C Mount Lens to Micro 4/3 Adapter you can use C Mount lenses on your MFT system. You can use this camera adapter ring in conjunction with the camera adapters to complete the connection to a digital camera supporting a filter thread.
Redrock Micro has created a Canon EF to Micro Four Thirds lens adapter which adds the electronics required to control the aperture on the mounted EOS lenses - 9V battery and a touch-panel allows the adapter to specify the lens aperture in 1/3EV steps. The adapter (LiveLens MFT) costs $442.50 and is available directly from the manufacturer's website.
The Redrock Micro LiveLens, Active Lens Mount for Canon EF Lenses currently sells for $495 on amazon, while the manufacturer has an introductory pricing at $442.50.
Redrock Micro's LiveLens MFT provides the required power and electronics to control Canon EF lenses when attached to a micro four-thirds camera body. With the LiveLens MFT's control touchpad, the EF lens' aperture can be open and closed in increments as small as 1/3 stop. The LiveLens MFT works with virtually every EF lens available today, including variable aperture zoom lenses, prime lenses, consumer-level lenses, professional L-series lenses and most third party EF-compatible lenses. A marvel of advanced design, the LiveLens MFT is incredibly compact and weighs less than 6oz. (via dpreview)
Apple original Hardware is very pricy. There are some items which can be bought as replica and are (almost) the same as their original counterparts. But which items should be bought as rebuilt?Good idea: Replica Apple Power Adapters (for MacBook, MacBook Pro, iPhone, iPad). Bad idea: Lithium-ion polymer battery packs.
We recently had bad experiences with non-Apple battery packs, so we can definitely not recommend getting them from another vendor. Good news: if your Battery is less than 300 cycles and lower than 80% of the battery health, they will replace it for you (if you have Apple Care or are within your 1 Year warranty). If not, stay tuned, we will post a guide on this very soon.
Apple replica/ rebuilt Hardware that actually makes sense to buy
1. Apple Magsafe Power Adapters (and G4/G3 Adapters as well)
The cheapest versions are EUR 27,98 for a AC Power Adapter für Apple MacBook Pro MagSafe 85W( even cheaper in the USA: $25.56!) and EUR 21,99 for a 60W Power adapter for Apple MacBook ( only $19.27 in the US!)
2. Apple USB Power Adapters for iPhone and iPod
The Apple original USB Adapter sells for $29 on the Apple Store, while a Multicharger Set (Car, Wall and USB) sells for €4.50 in Europe and $5.47 in the USA. Be careful! I selected items that we already ordered and tested before, there are "bad" replicas as well out there (see this example and read the comments on Amazon).
I will post my experiences with Apple replicas here if I have any news. Currenty, we can NOT recommend the following list of items as replicas:
- Apple Replica Batteries. They mostly died on us too fast. (we will post a specific Apple Batteries Guide in some days)
- Apple Replica Keyboard (not tested) - is this really available somewhere? WTF is this windows key? Although the Macally USB Slim Keyboard - ICEKEY has some good reviews, i like my keyboard to be an original. [UPDATE] the Macally Keyboard has severe driver issues. Not Recommended!
- Apple Mouse Replicas: we ended up going hi-tech with the Apple Magic Mouse which is $67.99 - or just using the Logitech Value Optical Mouse which is $4.99, but can not be really considered a "replica", since the Apple Magic Mouse has soo much more features (wireless, swipe, better optical resolution).