The 50 best photography and camera accessories in 2018

null

It’s usually the camera that gets the credit for taking pictures, but actually it’s just the start. You also need storage for all these digital images, lighting, a tripod or some kind of camera support... there's a whole world of stuff out there to take your photography to the next level.

For a start, new cameras usually come with some kind of ‘kit’ lens for everyday photography, but if you want to experiment more with sports, portraiture, landscapes or close-ups, you’ll need to start collecting different kinds of lenses – that’s the beauty of interchangeable lens DSLRs and mirrorless cameras.

It’s not all about lenses, either, though. You’ll also need ways to store your photos, perhaps some lighting accessories, a tripod or some other camera support to keep your camera steady, straps or clips for carrying it around or camera bags for larger amounts of kit. 

Our multi-page camera accessories guide covers all these essentials and more, including a whole bunch of smaller items that won’t cost the earth but could prove some of the most useful kit bag items for any photographer.

So we’ve enlisted the help of our friends on Digital Camera, N-Photo, PhotoPlus and Digital Photographer magazines to find the gear that’s impressed us them and us the most. Whatever your needs, or budget, we might just have the very thing you need right here…!

Here's a full list of contents for our accessories guide:

Page 1: Essential lenses for DSLR and mirrorless cameras

Page 2: Memory cards and storage

Page 3: Lighting and video camera accessories

Page 4: Tripods, monopods and other supports

Page 5: Straps and clips

Page 6: Camera bags

Page 7: Cleaning and charging

Page 8: Miscellaneous marvels

Essential lenses for your DSLR or mirrorless camera

1. Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM | S

This super-telephoto lens comes in both Canon and Nikon versions

Mount: Canon EF, Nikon FX, Sigma | Elements/groups: 24/16 | Diaphragm blades: 9 | Autofocus: Ultrasonic (ring-type) | Stabiliser: 4-stops | Minimum focus distance: 2.6m | Maximum magnification: 0.2x | Filter thread: 105mm | Dimensions: 121x290mm | Weight: 2,860g

Great image quality
Solid build with advanced features
Comparatively big and heavy

Sooner or later we all want to try our hand at long-range sports or wildlife photography and this is the perfect lens to do it. It’s not small, nor particularly cheap (super-telephotos never are) but we reckon this easily gives you the best combination of reach and image quality for the money. It comes in both Canon and Nikon DSLR versions and will work with both full frame and APS-C models.

2. Tamron SP 90mm f/2.8 Di VC USD Macro

Get the ultimate close-ups with this superb Tamron lens

Mount: Canon EF, Nikon FX | Elements/groups: 14/11 | Diaphragm blades: 9 | Autofocus: Ultrasonic (ring-type) | Stabiliser: 4 stops | Minimum focus distance: 0.3m | Maximum magnification: 1.0x | Filter thread: 62mm | Dimensions (WxL): 79x117mm | Weight: 610g

Hybrid VC system
Full 1.0x magnification
Lacks ‘G2’ badge of newer Tamrons

At the other end of the scale to super-telephoto shooting you’ve got the world of close-ups. Regular lenses don’t focus close enough for blowing up tiny objects, but this Tamron is a true ‘macro’ lens with 1:1 magnification. There are plenty of rivals, but this one gets our vote for its excellent optical quality and built-in image stabilisation.

3. Sigma 14-24mm f/2.8 DG HSM | A

Sometimes you need a much wider angle of view…

Mount: Canon EF, Nikon FX, Sigma | Elements/groups: 17/11 / | Diaphragm blades: 9 | Autofocus: Ultrasonic (ring-type) | Stabiliser: None | Minimum focus distance: 0.26m | Maximum magnification: 0.19x | Filter thread: None | Dimensions (WxL): 96x135mm | Weight: 1,150g

Epic image quality
Superb build and handling
No filter thread

Regular standard zooms or kit lenses offer a wide-angle setting, but often it’s not enough, especially for sweeping landscapes, narrow city streets or spectacular interiors. That’s where you need an ultra-wideangle lens like the superb Sigma 14-24mm f/2.8 for full-frame Nikon or Canon DSLRs. If you have a smaller format APS-C camera, then take a look at the Tamron 10-24mm lens below…

4. Tamron 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 Di II VC HLD

The perfect ultra-wide lens for APS-C DSLRs

Mount: Canon EF-S, Nikon DX, Sigma | Elements/groups: 15/12 | Diaphragm blades: 7 | Autofocus: HLD (High/Low toque-modulated Drive) | Stabiliser: 4 stops | Minimum focus distance: 0.24m | Maximum magnification: 0.19x | Filter thread: 77mm | Dimensions (WxL): 84x85mm | Weight: 440g

Impressive performance
4-stop Image Stabilizer
Weather-seals and fluorine coating
Not the cheapest

If you shoot with an APS-C format Canon or Nikon DSLR, you need ultra-wide lenses designed specifically for APS-C sensor, and the Tamron 10-24mm is just about the pick of the bunch right now. The optical quality is great, but best of all it has an in-built image stabiliser.

5. Sony FE 12-24mm f/4 G

If you have a full-frame Sony A-series camera, take a look at this

Mount: Sony FE | Elements/groups: 17/13 | Diaphragm blades: 7 | Autofocus: Direct Drive SSM | Stabiliser: No | Minimum focus distance: 0.28m | Maximum magnification: 0.14x | Filter thread: No | Dimensions (WxL): 87x117.4mm | Weight: 565g

Ultra-wide angle of view
Constant f/4 aperture
Great handling
Too big for front filters

This isn’t one of Sony’s premium G Master lenses, but the 12-24mm makes up for it by being Sony’s widest ever zoom lens. The optical quality is very good, it’s a really nice lens to use and it’s about the same price a Sony’s fancy 16-35mm f/2.8 G Master, but goes a lot wider.

6. Sony FE 85mm f/1.4 GM

This Sony portrait lens is not cheap but it is spectacular

Mount: Sony FE | Elements/groups: 11/8 | Diaphragm blades: 11 | Autofocus: Ring Drive Super Sonic Wave motor | Stabiliser: No | Minimum focus distance: 0.8m | Maximum magnification: 0.12x | Filter thread: 77mm | Dimensions (WxL): 89.5x107.5mm | Weight: 820g

Spectacular image quality
F/1.4 maximum aperture
Cost and weight

So there’s good news and bad news with Sony’s G Master lenses. The good news is that they are optically superb and right at the very forefront of optical quality right now. The bad news is that they are both big and expensive – including the 85mm f/1.4. But for portrait photographers who want the best for their Sony A7-series or A9 camera then, well, this is it.

7. Fujifilm XF50-140mm f/2.8 R LM OIS WR

The perfect premium telephoto for your X-mount camera

Mount: Fujifilm X | Elements/groups: 23/16 | Diaphragm blades: 7 | Autofocus: Triple linear motor | Stabiliser: 5 stops | Minimum focus distance: 1m | Maximum magnification: 0.12x | Filter thread: 72mm | Dimensions (WxL): 82.9x175.9mm | Weight: 995g

Constant f/2.8 70-200mm equivalent
5-stop image stabiliser
Optional matched 1.4x converter
Neither cheap nor small

If you want a top-quality constant-aperture telephoto to go with your Fujifilm X-mount camera, this is it. These cameras have APS-C sensors, so this is equivalent to a 75-210mm f/2.8 on a full frame camera – on of the three key ‘pro’ lenses and professional photographer keeps in their bag. Better still, there’s an optional matched 1.4x converter that takes this lens up to a 70-196mm f/4 (equivalent to 107mm-299mm in full frame terms).

8. Fujifilm XF10-24mm f/4 R OIS

Super-wideangle photography for your Fujifilm

Mount: Fujifilm X | Elements/groups: 14/10 | Diaphragm blades: 7 | Autofocus: Stepping motor | Stabiliser: 3 stops | Minimum focus distance: 0.24m | Maximum magnification: 0.16x | Filter thread: 72mm | Dimensions (WxL): 78x87mm | Weight: 410g

14-36mm equivalent focal range
Constant f/4 maximum aperture
Built in image stabiliser
Expensive, but good

Fujifilm has announced an even more tantalising 8-16mm f/2.8 ultra-wideangle zoom but this is not yet available and will cost twice as much as this one when it does arrive. For now, this is our favourite choice for Fujifilm X-mount ultra-wide lenses, combining great optical quality with smooth operation and in-built stabilisation.