Other Photo Accessories

Like any hobby, interest, or passion that involves equipment, devices, or tools, it is not uncommon to acquire a variety of that over the years. Photography is no exception and includes all the bits and pieces that it takes to make a good exposure to the hand-me-down cameras to the stuff that just showed up and we have no recollection of seeking out.

Here are some of those things I've picked up, some necessary, like a tripod, some just interesting.

Light meters really a requirement if there is not one built-in to the camera. Since my Rolliecord VB did not have a meter I bought the Gossen LunaSix 3. It's the European version of the Luna Pro. I also bought the tele attachment for it which functions almost like a spot meter. This has been a great meter however the only problem now is that the mercury battery it takes is no longer available. There is a replacement but it's like a hearing aid battery where once activated it's use it or lose it. There is a conversion gizmo that one can buy or make but I haven't done that, yet.

I was digging through some old stuff and found this Sekonic Leader Deluxe-2 Model 36 meter. I can't remember where I got it but it appears to still work. It has a selenium cell so no battery required.

Brushes for removing dust from film and lenses. The Staticmaster was a pretty big deal in its day as it said it dealt with static as well, neutralizing it with the little beads of radioactive material in the handle. It came with warning labels attesting to that. I am not sure what the half-life of those particles were but I am pretty sure that now it's just a brush. These brushes have largely been replaced by canned air. When I was working in a Photofinishing Lab back in the 1970s, we used compressed air for dust removal, delivered to each printing station through a piping system fed by a compressor located somewhere in the building.

I bought this tipod when I was in Germany. I wanted one that was lightweight, sturdy, and had a smooth head on it. I was shown a Linhof and was sold right away. It's been a good tripod for all these years.

I picked this up in Germany too. It's a Vivitar bellows system with focusing rail and slide copy attachment. For doing macro work it can't be beat and it makes slide or negative copying really easy. Instead of buying a macro lens I picked up an adapter that lets me mount either of my Schneider enlarging lenses to it. This all cost $100.35. That doesn't sound like much but, at the time, my army take-home pay was $505.00/month.

Flash units seem to multiply on their own. I had two of the smaller Vivitar flashes and then upgraded to the slightly larger Sunpak because it had a tilting head with a forward facing sensor, better for doing bounce lighting. Then after I acquired my Mamiya 645 system I thought I needed a BIG flash and bought the Sunpak "potato masher" with a rechargable battery pack to go with it. Nice but as it turned out my work didn't go in that direction.

Part of print finishing is matting and so I bought this Logan matte cutter and cutting heads, straight and bevel, at Freestyle.

This was a cast off from the Photofinishing Lab I worked in when they shut down their black and white printing operation and lots of stuff went to the dump. This device provides a different way of producing exposure test strips. You place it over the enlarging paper, give it a spin, and a 10-second exposure. It actually works quite well but I still stick to the old wedge method. It's a nice novelty.

And who doesn't have that box with all kinds of parts: cable releases, body and lens caps, filter cases, power cords, etc.

Manuals, we have to save those manuals.

Another cast off from the Photofinishing Lab I worked in. A very old Kodak scale. Digital scales have replaced these. This one is rough looking but all the parts are there.

Various sized developing drums and an agitator base, used for making color prints.

And who doesn't have boxes of expired film laying around? I can always come up with reasons why I hang on to these.

Yes, I have a microwave oven in the darkroom. It was an extra after upgrading the one in our kitchen and is handy for heating up that cup of tea. It can also be used to quick-dry test strips. Don't laugh, as I saw Ansel Adams do that in a documentary.

Click on an image to enlarge it.

Updated January 2021.