Accessories

A great range of accessories is available for cameras

- although almost all are designed for SLR types. Figure

8.26 shows the most useful items.

• Extra lenses. Provided your camera body accepts interchangeable or supplementary lenses, you can fit a wide angle or telephoto type in place of its standard focal length or zoom lens (the advantages of doing this are explained on page 84).

• Extension tubes. Fitted between the lens and body, these allow you to work very close up to your subject (see page 131). Digital cameras often contain a specialist macro shooting mode that changes the way that the camera lens works, so that you can get in closer to your subject. Some models can focus down to 1 cm (0.4 in).

• Tripod with tilting top. A firm support when you want to use exposure times that don't allow the camera to be steadily held by hand (longer than 1/60 second, for instance). Most compact cameras as well as SLRs have a threaded baseplate to accept a tripod.

• Shutter release extension. As long as your camera's shutter button is either threaded for a cable release or has connections for a cable switch, this accessory minimizes risk of camera shake when you give a long exposure. For some cameras not accepting either form of release it may be possible to fit an adapter or you can use the self-timer option to allow the camera to settle before the shutter is released.

• Flashgun. Even if your camera has a built-in flash, a separate, more powerful, unit that can be attached and used instead will allow far more interesting lighting opportunities (see page 156).

• Lens hood. A much underrated accessory, the lens hood not only shades the lens from flare created by strong back or side light on your subject, but it also helps protect it from knocks. For sharp, well-saturated pictures, always use a lens hood wherever possible.

• Filters. Push-on or screw-on color filters can be helpful in black and white photography (see page 240), and color correcting filters help neutralize color photographs taken under unusual lighting. There is also a whole range of filters designed for creating special effects.

Figure 8.26 Useful camera accessories. (1) Extra lenses. (2) SLR eyepiece corrector. (3) Extension tube (close-up ring) between SLR body and lens. (4) Tripod and camera clamp. (5) Cable release or remote release. (6) Flashgun, fits on the hot shoe connector. (7) Lens hood. (8) Lens filters.

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