Topics not covered here: elaborate camera bags, insurance schemes, camouflage techniques when travelling, etc.
We are looking at simply how to keep your equipment from being affected by ordinary dust and grime.
The most recent online newsletter from Henrys has an article called Five Tips to Keep Your Camera Gear in Top Shape.
Briefly here are the 5 tips:
- Keep the Lens Clean
- Keep the Body Clean
- Check the state of your camera battery – perhaps replace after 3 years
- Replace old Memory Cards – perhaps after 3 years
- Clean out your Camera Bag.
Other links included here refer to detailed instructions about the 1st two items. And that is mainly what I’ll discuss here.
First the links:
I’m not going to discuss cleaning the camera sensor itself in any detail. I’ll just say that, with the lens removed, the mirror locked up, and the camera facing downward; blow air from a squeezable bulb into the camera cavity to evacuate loose dust particles from the sensor and its surroundings. For more thorough cleaning follow the videos in the link above or take the camera to a professional cleaning service (best choice).
In inclement weather protecting your gear can vary from tucking it under clothing to using rain gear fitted to it. When entering indoors from cold weather seal your camera from the warm interior air if at all possible to prevent moisture forming on the various parts of your gear. Wait until the gear has reached room temperature before removing it into the air. A large Ziploc bag would be handy in this situation if you can think in advance to have one at hand.
For dust there are several useful tools one can apply. The forced air from a squeezable bulb can quickly remove some of the larger dust particles. Brushes (paint brush, makeup brush, lens pen) are good for camera body and the exterior of larger lenses. Lint-free paper and cloths are good as well. Micro fibre cloths are popular. Keep them clean too, however.
When not in use keep lens caps on your lenses. And don’t forget to clean the lens caps when you clean your lenses. When in use the lens is better served by a lens hood than a haze filter in my opinion. If using the latter, don’t forget to clean it regularly too.
Rocket Blower or equivalent. Avoid compressed air blowers which may blow chemicals onto your glass. If you drink a lot of coffee you may be spreading acidic material onto your lenses by blowing on them by mouth.
Pre-moistened lens wipes. Liquid on your lens or camera parts is to be avoided as much as possible. If you need the extra cleaning power of liquid use these or a lightly dampened cloth. Avoid anything with harsh chemicals that might react with the coatings on your lenses.
Lens pen. For tinier, hard-to-get-at parts.
Microfiber Cleaning Cloths. Cheap at Canadian Tire, outrageously expensive at camera stores. Avoid overusing the same cloth. Use clean ones only. Washable.
Paint Brush. New. Clean.
Ziploc Bag. On a shelf or in a bag a lens is going to stay cleaner in a plastic bag.
Vacuum. Not for camera/lenses, but for carrying/storage cloth bags. Storing clean equipment in dirty containers is self-defeating.
Enjoy your gear for a long time with these tips.