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Photography Question 
Michele Wassell

Suggestions, Please ... Christmas Gift

Hi Everyone,
I have a friend going to India for two weeks (sightseeing) in February, and I know he only has a camera body and two lenses and polarizers. I am trying to figure out what things I could get him for his Christmas gift this year that he could use on his trip. Now nothing that is outrageous, but within reason. Any suggestions? One item I was thinking is a grad neutral-density filter, but never using one, I don't have a clue on what kind, etc., to get. And is there a good book on photographing India out there?
Thank you all!!

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12/7/2005 7:41:49 PM

Jennifer W
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/26/2005
  How serious is he about photography? If he's like me and not super-serious/advanced, and he really only has the body, lenses, and polarizers, here's what I'd want in his place. Maybe it can give you some ideas:

extra battery/ies
extra memory card/film
remote trigger
lens cleaning kit
camera bag or lens bags
tripod and/or table-top tripod
lens hood

I'm jealous!!

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12/7/2005 7:52:28 PM

Michele Wassell   Thank you, Jennifer. I am trying to find out what little things he has and all. Some really good suggestions. He isn't very serious or advanced, but he takes pretty good photos. He uses the Canon 10D.

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12/7/2005 7:59:45 PM

BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/6/2004
  Consider a monopod. That's on my Christmas wish list. Some of them have little levers that fold down so the photographer can step on them and keep the monopod a little more stable. A monopod is smaller and lighter than a bulky tripod. Easier to travel with.

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12/7/2005 10:43:14 PM

Will Turner   "A monopod is smaller and lighter than a bulky tripod. Easier to travel with."
I think it depends on the tripod. A shorter tripod can weigh very little and compact down to 15", tabletop or c-clamp models even more so. Monopods can be useful in museums, zoos, or sports activities where tripods are banned, but they definitely are limiting compared to tripods for longer exposures, macro shots, night photography, timer shots with yourself in the photo, etc.
There are monopods that convert to tripods with attachable integral legs, but you really gain little over a tabletop because fully extending the 'pod with the slightest amount of wind will whip them around like a leaf.

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12/8/2005 10:16:17 AM

eric brown   How about a power converter so he can recharge all of his goodies? Other countries use different power and voltages.

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12/13/2005 10:49:12 AM

James Osborne   I second the suggestions of: extra battery/ies, and extra memory card/film. You can never have enough, and they will always fail/fill up at the most awkward moment!

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12/14/2005 7:11:14 AM

Kitty  Cross   Michele,
I'm a traveler and have spent time in India on more than one occasion. It's a treat for a photographer, and if someone had wanted to buy ME a present, I would have been delighted if someone had taken care of the processing on my return.
I shoot film and recall looking forlornly at 30 rolls of film sitting in my fridge for a couple of years waiting til I could afford the processing. I now buy processing included film (transparency and print) to solve that problem. There's always money at the beginning of a trip and never any at the end.
Even if your friend is shooting digital, you could do an IOU for the printing and mounting of his 5 favorite shots, for example.
I like the idea of a grad ND filter (because I like them!) also, but if he's not using one now, odds are he won't have time to get used to it on a two-week run. I use the Cokin system - but it's rather involved.

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12/14/2005 10:42:37 AM

Michele Wassell   I love that idea Kit ... never thought of that. Thank you everyone else for the great ideas.

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12/14/2005 10:49:10 AM

Mitch Spence
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/16/2004
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Here's another thought. I have a gizmo from Kirk Enterprises called a "strap pod." It is a strap that attaches to the camera that you step on to create tension so as to allow hand holding a camera at somewhat slower shutter speeds. It comes with either a simple screw for the tripod socket or a quick release clamp (which I have), which can fasten to a universal sort of clamp on the camera (which they also have). I really like it.

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12/20/2005 10:21:41 AM

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