Get better gear, for less
Oben BA-2 ballhead
This beautifully made aluminum BA-2 from the B&H photo store is rated for up to 26.4 pounds, sports four bubble levels, and rotates 360 degrees with index marks. The locking quick-release plate has a rubberized surface, and a slot allows vertical camera placement. Purists might sniff that the head should have a second knob for tension control, but a single knob makes for simplicity in field or studio. Besides, given its pricetag of $90, we will keep quibbles to a minimum.
PocketWizard Plus X Transceiver
This $99 ticket to enter the PocketWizard radio-wireless system can trigger flashes or cameras, works with all PW units.
Fotodiox Pro LED100WA
It looks like a strobe, but the $325 Pro LED100WA is a cool-operating LED light whose Bowens S-type bayonet mount accepts strobe snoots, barn doors, softboxes, and grids. Available in daylight- and tungsten-balanced versions, it’s equally suited to still or video applications, and its brightest power setting is equivalent to a 600-watt incandescent bulb.
Zeikos Extension Tubes
Okay, you give up autofocus and autoexposure, but at $24.80 (Nikon) or $13.40 (Canon), these manual extension tubes give you bargain entrée into the macro world. Use them with a normal lens or short tele.