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Celebrate Valentine’s Day This Year By Taking Care of What You Love Most: Your Kit
The big day is tomorrow. Have you got a card? Candles? Maybe some flowers? Whether you participate in the Valentine’s event or not, there’s something you care for (or should do); your camera kit.
Fail to adequately care for your kit, and it’ll let you down at the worst moment. You’ll be saying goodbye to that perfect sunset shot or candid capture before you know it. Abuse your gear enough, and it’ll break. If you’ve read enough and want to avoid that horrible scenario, let’s talk TLC; tender lens care (but not just your lenses, your camera body too!).
Use a Kit Bag or Case
Storing your gear properly is paramount. In the bottom of an airplane or jostling along on your back, your camera and lenses should be protected from bumps and bruises as you travel and move around. Invest in some proper protection; a good camera bag will take care of your day-to-day movements, while a rigid foam-filled pelican case or similar tough case or container will see your equipment through the most arduous of journeys.
Not Weather-Proof? Protect Your Kit from the Elements
If your camera or lens isn’t weather or waterproof, make sure you’re avoiding subjecting your kit to tough environments. That includes snow, rain, dusty or sandy environments. A camera or lens that’s not properly weather-sealed will end up broken or at the very least, with a disturbing amount of lint/dirt or water in it.
Cap Your Lens
This one is pure common sense. The lenses you buy should come with caps on both ends. If you’re not using your lens, make sure you stick those caps back on. That includes capping the lens that’s attached to your body currently.
No glass is absolutely scratch or dust-proof, so don’t leave it to chance; popping the cap back on ensures your lens remains at its best.
This is My Camera, There Are Many Like It…
You know those scenes in action or military movies, where the army grunt is sitting there picking apart his rifle and cleaning every component, oiling up springs and triggers? That’s sort of what you should be doing too.
Now before you go ahead and start taking your camera apart, hold on. There’s no need for a camera breakdown and clean. You can pick up a decent camera cleaning kit from anywhere you’d typically find lenses or camera bodies being sold.
These will usually include cleaning solution, a two-sided brush, cotton swabs, a special cloth, and so on. These materials are specifically designed to help you clean mirrors, lenses, and the various elements of your camera you can easily reach without taking your kit apart.
Use these, and your camera glass and components will stay clean, smudge and residue-free, and ready for whatever shots you’ll want to take.
Dust On Your Lens Or Sensor? Be Gentle with the Air
When you spot a stray bit of dust on your lens or sensor, you’ll want to grab that can of compressed air and zap the little sucker. Before you do, make sure what you’re using isn’t too strong or is even actually air to begin with. Most compressed air products can damage your camera, so I’d advise against using them.
Some compressed air products even have chemicals in them, chemicals that have a chance of damaging your lens glass or camera sensor. The best air-cleaning product to use is the air-blower that looks like a little rocket. It’s strong enough to remove debris, but weak enough you won’t have to worry about anything being damaged.
Take care of your camera kit, and it’ll take care of you; a beautiful symbiotic photography relationship. Happy Valentine’s for tomorrow!