THEY MIGHT NOT hog the limelight in the same way as the latest camera or lens launch from a major manufacturer could, but don’t look down your nose at accessories, since these can be the mainstay of any professional’s kit bag. Think about such things as spare batteries and memory cards, high capacity storage devices to keep your files backed up in the field, tripods, shoulder rigs, bags to carry everything around in and even, these days, drones that can extend your reach and deliver an aerial perspective.
As a professional you tend to spend your working life acquiring kit and it can be an expensive business. But just as you can with cameras and lenses it’s possible to pick up accessories at bargain prices via the secondhand route and, if you work with a trusted name such as MPB, our partner for this series, then you’ll save substantially on the new price while cutting out the risk by investing in a product that’s been thoroughly checked out and comes guaranteed to work.
Better still, the whole essence of the current vogue for trading up is that the process works two ways, so if you’re finding yourself getting cluttered up with unrequired excess gear that’s in decent condition then it’s supremely easy to trade this in through MPB, who will give you a fair price and take all of the pain out of the selling process. This will also help you raise funds for the things your business truly needs, so it’s a brilliant and well proven way of taking the pressure off your cashflow while making sure that your unwanted kit goes to a good home rather than ultimately becoming yet another piece of difficult-to-dispose-of and unwanted electrical waste.
It’s very much the modern way of doing things and it can be an efficient and economical method of ensuring that you stay up to speed on the equipment front without having to worry about where the cash for essential investment will come
THIS MONTH’S TRADE UP:
Acquiring Essential Accessories
WHERE DO YOU START with accessories? As a professional there are so many that you might feel you just can’t live without, and it’s crucial of course to be prepared for any eventuality. Take steadying the camera, for example. A sturdy tripod such as the Benro TMA28A Mach 3 (MPB price £74 in excellent condition) is a must, but it doesn’t stop there of course.
Very few professionals will possess just a single tripod, since one is unlikely to offer everything you need. If you’re regularly on the move, for example, then you might be looking to acquire a bespoke travel tripod that’s small and lightweight, such as the Manfrotto Befree GT Travel Tripod and 496 Ball Head (MPB price £119 Like New). Not so good for studio work perhaps, but perfect for packing in a suitcase for night shots or time lapses.
You could even consider a monopod, such as the 3 Legged Thing Trent (MPB price £52 Like New) for times when you need a little support but want to be nimble in terms of setting up and moving around, or perhaps you’re looking to indulge in a spot of filmmaking, in which case the likes of gimbals and shoulder rigs come into the equation.
Bags and cases are another item that professionals tend to have several of and, once again, you’ll tend to have different ones for different jobs that might call for more or less in the way of kit. There’s a good selection of these on the MPB site, with prices that are way below what a case might have cost brand new, even though you might struggle to find any noticeable signs of wear. Even those that are defined as well used, such as a Peak Design Everyday Backpack 30L that’s priced at £90 instead of its brand-new price of £208, are totally usable and come with a six-month warranty.
With the current trend towards filmmaking, many photographers are looking to acquire accessories that will help them in this department, and there are a number of high-end microphones on offer at bargain prices, ranging from the classic RODE Videomic Pro+ for £184 (Like New) through to a RODELink Wireless Filmmaker Kit for £189 (Excellent).
Other accessories that no self-respecting pro would be without include memory cards, such as a SanDisk Extreme PRO CFast 2.0 256GB for £224 (Like New), a Lexar 128GB Professional 3500x CFast 2.0 for £134 (Like New) and a SanDisk Extreme 32GB 60MB/s SDHC for just £9 (Excellent). If you’re looking for back up batteries these are also available, while there’s also an excellent range of filters on the MPB website just waiting for new owners, so a trip online and a browse is highly recommended.
Away from the obvious accessories there are also specialist cameras, such as GoPro Hero Black models at £259 (Like New), while the handy little DJI Pocket 2 can be yours for just £284 (Like New). You might even want to check out MPB’s selection of drones, which include a DJI Mavic 3 Fly More Combo for £1899 (Like New), a DJI Inspire 2 (from £1179 for a well used model) and the nifty little DJI Mini 2 for £429 (like New).
For those that love their photography and are looking for a touch of inspiration you can’t go wrong, and it’s like landing up in a well-stocked store full of treats, where everything happens to be on a permenant hefty discount!
What are Accessories Perfect For?
❚ Accessories are designed to do very specific jobs, but to do them really well.
❚ Sometimes the accessories you have with you on a professional job can enable you to get a shot that wouldn’t be possible in any other way.
❚ Most accessories will be available for a reasonable price, which is even more the case if you’re buying second hand.
Disadvantages of Accessories
❚ It’s easy to get carried away, and stories are legion of professionals having a cupboard full of tripods for every conceivable occasion!
❚ If you swap your camera gear it’s quite possible that some at least of your accessories will then be out of date.
MPB Accessory Prices
❚ Manfrotto 535 Carbon Fibre Video Tripod, Good £249
❚ Lee Filters SW150 Super Stopper, Like New, £104
❚ Atomos Ninja Inferno 4K Monitor, Like New £424
❚ Canon EF 2x III Extender, Well Used, £224
❚ ThinkTank Streetwalker Pro bag, Excellent, £74
❚ GoPro Hero 5/6/7/8 Dual Battery Charger, Like New, £15
❚ Zhiyun-Tech Crane 2S Handheld Gimbal Stabiliser, Like New, £389
IT’S IMPORTANT TO have a handle on the things you actually need to be able to run your business properly, and to step back when necessary to decide on which accessories you require and which perhaps you can do without. As a professional it’s all about working efficiently and being able to save yourself precious time, and that’s exactly the job that an accessory is there to do.
Having a monitor attached to your camera, for example, can liberate you from looking through the viewfinder and allow you to share what you’re seeing with the crew or the client. Spare batteries are a no-brainer since no-one wants to get caught out mid-job, while plenty of memory cards and the means to back up files as you go along is likewise part of a sensible professional workflow. If money is tight and you’re watching the cashflow then buying second hand can be a cost-effective way to go.
You can also continually be swapping in bits and pieces to raise cash for the things you really need. The way that companies such as MPB ease the selling process should ensure there’s no excuse for not keeping a steady turn-over of gear.
(All excellent condition)
❚ Canon EOS 6D Mark II………….£650.00
❚ Fujifilm X-E4…………………………£505.00
❚ Sony Alpha A7S II………………….£780.00
❚ Nikon Z 6………………………………£785.00
❚ Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II £235.00
❚ Pentax K-1…………………………….£745.00
The MPB website is fully geared up to offering trade ins, so the ability to swap in unwanted gear can be part of the transaction and you’ll be able to see as you go along what you’re realising in terms of cash and how much more you might need to add to acquire the kit you want. You’ll receive an honest quotation and could even come away with a surplus!
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