Dirty photography gear will stop working.
It is surprising how much dirt will get into your gear. It’s a kit killer, damaging everything. You can prevent it with care. You will save a big expense down the line too.
Dirt is preventable
There is no doubt your equipment will get dirt on it. Even simple shoots can get close to dirt. Outside it’s almost certain that dust and will get on your kit. In Summer photogs use cameras on beaches, in fields and many other dusty environments. What should you do to protect your kit?
Observation is the key. Keep an eye open for anything dusty around you. Be particular about sand and grit. If you get those in your camera you will suffer a huge clean up problem. Sand and small dirt particles will get under the focus rings on your lens, under the lens cap and possibly into your camera body. There are two key points.
First, think about your environment. Small particles hide even in very clean places. There are some particular things which you should look out for around you. This post has more details: 10 Tips for Saving Your Camera
Secondly, pay attention to your clothes and other equipment. Yes, that’s right. The biggest danger to your camera is transference. Your clothes, shoes and other equipment collect dirt particles.
Transference – The secret route for dirt
I first noticed this problem when changing a lens in the boot (trunk) of my car. I put a lens down on my coat to put on another one. As I put it down a cloud of dust puffed out from under the coat. The dust caught in the sun as it drifted out. It occurred to me that all sorts of outdoor items go in the car boot. It is a dusty place. When I swept the carpet I found all sorts of particles. These came from boots, coats, ordinary clothes and other equipment. If you have pets the problem is much worse.
Looking more closely I also discovered my tripod was a source of grit. After shooting on a beach I had just put it back in its bag. There was lots of dirt and grit in that bag. Looking more closely, sand and dirt had got into the legs of my tripod too. Where I had clamped them shut the sand had left scratches and damage on the paintwork. When I shook the tripod I could hear dirt rattling inside.
After that I looked for ways to keep the tripod feet clean. The result can be seen in the picture above. Where dirt or grit is found I use a rubber band and plastic bag on each leg. Before putting the tripod away I simply remove the bags. I dispose of them sensibly. Nothing is transferred into the camera kit.
Camera kit is delicate
Most of our equipment can be damaged by dirt. The hidden routes to getting it into our camera are all around us. Try to change lenses and store your equipment in clean and cleanable places. Try to find ways dirt can be transferred into your bags and storage places. Find simple ways to eliminate it. In the long run it is cheaper and more convenient to protect than to pay for repairs.
Dirt on your camera, or worse, on your digital sensor? You need this tool. An efficient blower, the stream of air will clear dirt and grit from damageable places. Use it to clear dirt from the camera sensor and to blow out dust . It is an indispensable tool for the keen photographer. Giottos Rocket Air Blower – Black.
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By Damon Guy :: Profile on Google+.