There is so much neat camera gear! While it is true that I do own more camera gear than I like to carry with me, (or could even physically carry with me) at any one time, I don’t think I will ever get tired of looking at photography items to make my life easier. I have filters to adjust color, polarizing filters, and neutral density filters. I have specialty lenses to capture macro shots, fisheye shots, and a zoom lens to bring ‘dot animals’ into range for identification. I have camera bags and backpacks to shlep it all out to the field and back. I have lens cloths, and a mini survival pack in my camera bag too, with a small first aid kit. I have tripods, a monopod, bean bags to support the camera…. Well, you get the picture, AND my collection of equipment is very modest compared to most photographers.
My latest discovery is a spirit level that fits into the hot shoe atop of my camera. I was on a photography forum lately, and someone referred to a level on their camera, not one on a tripod. Now I realize that this is not a new idea, in fact, I have a small bubble level mounted on my tripod. I don’t always shoot from a tripod; especially when I turn the camera on its side, I tend to take fast, slightly crooked pictures. With this little device, I am more likely to shoot straight.
So I went to that site’s online store, where levels that slipped into a hot shoe mount were listed for $35USD. I was astounded. I didn’t even check on shipping because that seemed so outrageous a price. I looked it up on Amazon and found it there for $3.95, plus $3.11 shipping. For 20% of the price, I had it in my hand in three days. The company on Amazon was fotodiox. I have never bought from them before, but I am pleased and I will look in their online shop first when I want something photography related again.
The level slides securely into the mount, and while it can be removed easily, I have no fear that it will fall off as I use my camera. If I am photographing wildlife I might not take the time to check the level carefully, but having it will make me more mindful of keeping my camera level. And if I am shooting landscapes, I will be certain the camera is level even if the ground is not. While many things can be fixed in post processing, it is far simpler to avoid the problem in the first place.
Now, you will have to excuse me. I have to go and check my new level playing field.