How to Clean Your Camera #85

Photo Tips Podcast: How to Clean Your Camera #85

Photo Tips Podcast: How to Clean Your Camera #85



How to Clean Your Camera #85
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Transcript
How to Clean Your Camera #85

A couple of months ago, on my way to Mexico on a photo tour, someone asked me how I prepare my equipment prior to a big trip. My answer is I clean everything including the bag. I take everything out of my bag, unzip all the compartments take it outside, turn it upside down and shake it hard. And then I make sure that everything I put back in is absolutely necessary. For instance just one pen instead of two, 2 business cards instead of a handful, and so on. I use my bag almost daily and after a while unintended items like a gum wrappers? They end up accumulating at the bottom of my bag. And since I will be on my feet for long days when I’m traveling, I want to make sure that I don’t have even an extra gram of unnecessary weight.

As for cleaning the actual photography equipment? Let’s start with the lenses. I’ll take the filters off my lenses and make sure that both the front and back of the filter is clean. And also the front element and rear element of the lens are clean. Even if you never remove your filter from your lens, it can actually get a slight film on the inside. And I know this because I’ve seen it. While the filter is off, I also clean the thread on the lens and the filter. The back element of my lens often needs a quick dust off. And I’ll use an air blower for that. Then I’ll put some Windex or water and vinegar on a micro fiber cloth and I’ll wipe down the barrel of the lens. If it’s pretty dirty then I’ll take a Q-tip and dip it in some Windex to go through the little ridges on the rubber parts of the barrel. Do note that I did not say that I am going to spray the lens. I don’t want that liquid going anywhere I didn’t it to go. But rather I dip my cloth or my Q-tip into the solution. I’ll also use a fresh dry micro fiber cloth to wipe down the lens mount on the back side of the lens and a dry Q-tip to get in the ridges of the mount.

Once I’m done with that I turn my attention to my camera body. Again I’ll use a Q-tip to clean the metal lens mount. And I’ll use the cloth with Windex to clean the rest of the body and again making sure that I don’t spray the body itself. I’ll use a Q-tip that I dipped into Windex to clean my viewfinder. As for the inside of the camera. I now clean my own sensor. Previously I always advised that people send their camera back to the manufacturer for cleaning but due to the pandemic I was no longer able to walk my camera into Canon for a quick sensor cleaning, since then I’ve had to resort to doing it myself. Although this takes a little practice I no longer think it’s an unreasonable thing to do. So how often do I clean my sensor? Pretty much once I start seeing black dots on my images it’s time to clean my sensor. Before I clean my sensor I’ll also turn the camera upside down and blow it with a lot of air. I have a Giottos air blaster that I’ve been really happy with. I don’t use canned or compressed air because canned air usually has a propellant that may stick to my sensor. And compressed air may or may not be clean, and since you are blowing that air at such a high velocity, you might damage something in your camera like your sensor. So just use a hand air blower.

I also occasionally send my equipment back to Canon for a check-up. They make sure that my lenses are all tightened up and that everything is in order. I must say that when I used to shoot Nikon, the Nikon service was much much better than the Canon service as the camera always came back looking like new. I generally recommend that people sent their camera back to the manufacturer because they’ll bring it back to the manufacturer’s specifications.

One last thing. I also make sure I clean my lens caps inside and out and I clean my battery contacts as well. And that’s it. I’m ready to go.

 

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