Greene County Camera Club

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Care and Feeding of your Photography Gear

Storage Conditions


Avoid damp conditions, damp or high humidity conditions can result with fungus in lens elements. Dampness can lead to wetness and we all know water and electronics don't mix, your digital camera is an electronic imaging system and many film cameras today are electrically controlled. There are times that we will want to shoot in rainy conditions (not hurricane downpours); this can be done quite safely with the use of an umbrella and care.

Avoid high temperature conditions, do not leave you camera gear inside your car, sunlight will turn your car into a green house and the high temperatures can damage your gear along with film. Heat will start to break down film and this is the reason we typically store film in the refrigerator or freezer.

Cold conditions with shorten the shooting time of your batteries even though fully charged or new. When shooting in cold conditions it is good to have spare batteries, one set in your pocket to keep warm switching sets out when batteries get low in camera. Beware that when you have had your gear out in cold conditions condensation can form when you bring into a warm environment. When coming in from the cold let gear warm up to room temperature prior to using or powering up.

Protective Storage

Lens Care, all your images pass through therefore take care of it

Lens cap use it, if it wasn't important the camera would not have come with one.

Protective filters (skylight or UV filters) are clear filters that protect the front element while shooting. (Note: cheap filters may effect picture quality, it pays to invest in good filters)

Dust removal on lens front and rear lens elements

Blowing dust off, don't use your mouth, use small bulb hand blower. Beware of canned air; it contains propellants that can leave marks or spots on glass. If using canned air use short blasts of air with out moving the air can.

Lens pen or brush, great for brushing away dust particles. Keep brush clean by using hand bulb blower to blow through the brush. These are cheap enough that you might want to get in habit of replacing with new brush every year or so.

Spec grabber, great for grabbing that one spot of dust, make sure it is clean before using or it will leave a mark on element. Grabber is cleaned with mild soap and water.

Mark removal from lens elements

Micro fiber cloth is great for wiping away tougher marks. Keep cloth clean and only use on the lens elements and can be machine washed from time to time. This cloth should be stored in a clean spot of the camera bag (clean baggy or dedicated area of bag) to prevent clothe from picking up dirt and dust while be stored. Again this is an item you should get in habit of replacing periodically.

Eclipse Fluid and Pec Pads, place 2 - 3 drops of eclipse fluid on a single folded pec pad and wipe lens element. Only use pad to do one or two wipes then get new pad. It is not the pad that will scratch the element; it is the dust that is picked up in the pad that will scratch the lens.

Remember that the easiest way to keep lens clean is not let it get dirty, don't let dust build up use the blower and brush early and often.

Cleaning lens exterior and camera exterior

Use clean cloth (old micro fiber that I no longer use for lens cleaning) to wipe away dirt marks, dampen (not wet) cloth for tough spots.

Purchase a camel hair (1" to 1") brush to brush away dust from body; do not use this on lens elements as it can contain chemicals from manufacturing which will leave marks on glass.

Film Care

When not using, store film in refrigerator or freezer to extend the life of film. Film should be removed from cold 24 hours prior to using.

Don't leave exposed film on dash of car or in high temperature areas.

Keep unexposed and exposed film out of direct sunlight.

Digital (memory cards) film care

These are electronic chips which can be damaged from static electricity, handle with care and avoid handling in conditions of high static electric conditions.

Store cards in a case or holders when not in camera don't just throw them in your pockets of at the bottom of bag.

Microdrive compact flash cards are small hard drives that can be damaged when dropped.

Negative care

Keep negatives in sleeves and store in cool dry area.

When handling negative only hold along edges, do not touch the actual image frame area.

The digital negative is the electronic file, typically a TIFF or JPEG file.

Before making changes to original file make a copy of it.

Backup, Backup, Backup If all your files are only on your computers hard rive and you loss the drive all your images are gone forever. Remember there are no negatives to rescan with digital cameras, backup those files. Get a habit of backing up to second hard drive and or CDROMs..

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website page last modified on October 12, 2009 by Donn