However, there's good news, there are lots of photo accessories priced under $25 (US).
Here's a list containing my favorites, while they often a priced much less than $25. However I donít consider them to be "budget or cheap" articles. They are invaluable tools I would have these items n my gadget bag even if the cost wasn't an issue. The combination of low cost along with value means they also make great gifts.
1. Front Lens Caps
Nikon (or similar) Lens Caps - I really love the Canon, although they manufacture the world's worst lens caps. Nikon lens caps are much easier to use. The
pinch able areas at the sides of Nikon's caps are at twice the width of Canon's caps. Also you can pinch using the center of Nikon caps. This makes for easier removal or replacement of a cap when there's a lens hood installed. The easier a hood is to use all the more apt you'll be to use it. The more you use the lens cap, the safer your lens will be. They come in an array of sizes (be sure and get the correct size to fit for your particular lens) and they typically cost just a few dollars.
2. Spray Bottle
A great trick for shooting freshly dewed spider webs, flowers and fruit. it's not getting up at the break of dawn. Itís when you have a handy spray bottle. At first this might feel like you're "cheating" however after you look at the results you will no longer care. You canít quibble about the the price either. These misting spray bottles are available for around a dollar.
3. Lens Pen
Leave your lens fluid and wipes at home. The "pen" features a microfiber disk which includes a dry lens cleaner at one end while at the other end is a brush that retracts. using the brush for dusting removes the larger dust particles. Lightly rubbing your lens with the disk will remove fingerprints, smudges and spots. By twisting the pen half way with the cap in place cleans the disk. This thing is awesome. I acquired one for an outing to a dusty place and I extensively used it. Simple to use, and the
Lens Pen work absolutely perfectly, and somewhat inexpensive (around $10). I still can't believe I never had one before.
4. White Foam Core
Costing around $5 it's probably the most inexpensive piece of lighting gear you'll ever acquire. The white facade can be used for bouncing light into the shadows, softening up hard contrast lighting. Or, use it between the source of light and your subject for casting shadows where you desire them. It can even be placed in back of your subject used as a background free of distraction
5. Remote Shutter Release
Create photos that are tack sharp along with no fussing over self portraits for
approximately $20. A remote release allows you to take the photos without ever touching your camera. This diminishes motion blur set off by a
shaky camera. As the cord is around two feet long, it will make the acquisition of self portraits somewhat easier also. If you spend a little time browsing Amazon you can even find a
remote shutter release that's wireless which will give you even added flexibility for around the same price category. The self-timer built into the camera is a free option, however less flexible.
6. Cloth bag with beans or rice
If you have no desire to lug a tripod around, bringing a bag of beans or rice is the second best thing. Use it for propping your camera up or to rest your lens on. Keep an empty cloth bag while traveling for saving weight and space. When arrive at your destination pick up some beans or rice and fill your bag. When youíre finished, you can either eat the bans or rice, or give the contents to a needy person. You can also buy dedicated "beanbags" containing plastic pellets for the same purpose for around $8.
7. 18% Gray Card (Also called Medium Gray Card.
Make use of your post processing periods to become creative, not for repairing basic white balance and exposure issues. This medium gray card lets you make it right "in the camera" for only $10. A 18% gray card represents the typical pictorial scene by reflecting a typical volume of light (18% more or less). Cameras are engineered to reproduce typical scenes, although not every real life scene is typical. You can can deceive your camera into taking under or over exposed images of extremely bright or extremely dark scenes. Using this gray card to determine exposure will allow you to obtain much more precise results. Also, you can employ this medium gray card for determining your custom white balance in obtaining more consistent colors in your pictures.
8. LED Flash Light
Here's a device which marvels at multi tasking. You can Experiment with light painting and light drawing in the dark. And as youíre roaming around in the night, it can be used for seeing where youíre walking. Theyíre not only for night time photography though. LED lights can appear pretty near sunlight. If youíre outdoors shooting they are also a low cost substitute as being a off camera flash unit. You can buy a small size LED Maglite for about $20.
9. Filter Wrenches
If you use screw on filters, a day will come when, one will become stuck to your lens. Itís a sad although true fact of using filters Filters typically become stuck from the pressure exerted when your fingers bend the filter somewhat as you attempt to unscrew it. Gripping harder in trying to un-stick a filter that's stuck just makes matters worse.
A filter wrench will distribute the grip pressure around the whole edge, grasping the filter tight while not bending it. Obtain a filter wrench prior to needing one so youíre not tempted to coerce a stuck filter off and make it stuck permanently during the process. A set with two wrenches runs about $5.
10. A Flash Diffuser
(even Wax Paper in a pinch) - If you must use your on-camera flash unit, the least you can do soften its effects using a flash diffuser. They are available in a number of styles however all of them use some form of white translucent material for diffusing light. A way to try before spend the money is by taping a waxed paper ring all around the edges of the pop up flash unit the next time you need to use it. In principal this is exactly the same as
using a flash diffuser, without the
durability and certainly doesn't look professional . While youíre home capturing family snapshots it's probably not important if you appear professional. However here's a fair warning, it's probably not a good idea for the bride to see you while waxed paper taped to your camera while at your subsequent wedding gig.