How To Protect Your Camera and Lenses
Cameras are expensive. They are one of the most valuable pieces of tech that you can get your hands on as well. So it can be quite heart-breaking when they get damaged in any way. The problem is, they are quite fragile too. A little bit of dust can get inside your camera lens and ruin it. One clumsy drop can damage the camera ‘s body.
So, how do you deal with it? We have done the research and discovered how professional photographers look after their cameras. Their camera is their life to them so you can bet they take extra care to make sure it’s safe. Here are our tips to guard your camera and lenses against harm.
Carry Your Camera
The first tip is fairly simple. You should have your camera held like a newborn infant. No, we ‘re not saying you can support his head and keep it wrapped in a blanket. Just take extra care every time you move it around. Most camera damage is caused when people move their cameras around, and complacency is easy to get. It’s easy to forget after you’ve paid for your camera, how much it costs and how valuable it is for you. But we will want you to keep that at the forefront of your mind forever.
Keep it Attached to Your Body at all Times
You may say this piece of advice is in contradiction with the first. However, we disagree. You can still carry your camera, even if it is strapped to your body, like a piece of precious cargo. Nearly every camera comes with a strap that goes around your neck. This is a very useful kit that prevents the camera from falling and keeps it relatively secure. We would recommend that you change the neck strap to something a little better, though. The main issue with a neck strap is that your camera is still relatively loose, and if you are not careful it can easily knock into other objects. Plus, with your camera around your neck, you’ll look like a tourist and that makes you a prime target for robbers.
There are a couple of alternatives you can choose from. The wrist strap is the first, and best option. This is a thick piece of material that keeps the camera strapped around your wrist, giving it less freedom to move around and get bumped at something. The other benefit of wrist straps is that moving your camera away from your body is much easier and you get the perfect shot. The only downside is that both are on and off. You can’t really leave it hanging on your wrist, but it’s safer anyway if that means you put it back in your bag. You can also pick up finger straps that are a bit less secure.
A full-blown camera harness is the other principal option. They are much safer and keep your camera close to your chest, so they don’t swing around. The downside is that they are much more expensive and less flexible, so you can’t just pick them off your back. If, though, you really care about the safety of your camera, that’s the way to go. For professional standard cameras, you can only buy real camera harnesses. You ‘re not going to find one that fits your iPhone, so you might need to stick with a selfie stick.
Don’t Leave Your Camera Anywhere Vulnerable
Much damage to the camera happens when photographers leave their cameras in vulnerable locations. It’s done with ease. You might put it on a coffee table, and someone spills a beverage all over. You could put it at a countertop ‘s bottom, and it gets knocked off. You could even have a moment’s rest on the floor and somebody could kick it. The bottom line is, your camera should never be left vulnerable anywhere. This kind of ties in with the first tip on this list-treat your camera like it’s a precious cargo item. Keep it tightly fastened to your body in some way while using it, then place it back in your camera pocket.
Buy a Camera Bag that Fits Your Camera
Following on from the last piece of advice, you really have to invest in a camera bag of high quality. If your camera came with a pocket, you would make sure that it’s fit for purpose before conferring your camera to it. Firstly, how well does the bag get padded? To protect the camera a high-quality camera bag will have a thick layer of padding. This is to avoid harm if the bag gets dropped or bumped at something. Some camera bags even possess multiple protective layers. This is particularly important for expensive cameras and travel cameras which may get knocked out.
Second, how many parts do you have in your bag? Most camera bags have Velcro inserts to create more compartments and if you don’t have enough these can often be purchased separately. All these sections need to be padded and provide the item with a snug fit. If not, inside they could get knocked around.
Keep Your Lenses Separate in Your Bag
Now you have a camera bag for the various parts of your camera with different pieces, so you need to use it correctly. Too many photographers make the mistake of putting in one section all of their lenses. While they should be covered with caps and other protective devices, they could still get knocked around and potentially damage the outside of the lens case. If there are not enough compartments for each separate lens in your camera bag, we would definitely recommend buying a separate bag to carry your lenses around in.
Put Your Lens in Your Bag
If your camera and lenses in your camera bag are tucked away they are protected. You have left the lenses exposed unless that is. Your camera bag inside is made of soft materials which are great to keep your kit safe. The problem is, tiny particles of dust and dirt can be drawn too. If they find their way onto your unprotected lens, these small particles may cause serious harm. When you take your camera off the lens, you need to put both a front and a rear cap on before placing it in your pocket.
Keep Your Lenses in Plastic Bags
This may sound a little bit like overkill, but many professional photographers keep their lenses in plastic bags, even when they are inside the camera bag. For that, there are a few different explanations. First, it applies another protective layer to the lens case against tiny particles of dust, dirt, lint, and sand. If it gets into the small area between the rings of zoom and focus and the main lens, then you might have to replace the whole thing. The second explanation is moisture-protection. Waterproof camera bags are expensive to keep your kit dry, so a plastic bag is a great budget alternative. This is not, of course, as much of a problem if you are using an underwater camera or a waterproof camera for diving.
Keep Some Hand Wash in Your Camera Bag
If you’re the type of photographer who doesn’t worry about getting their hands dirty, you definitely should carry some hand wash. Often you need to go where other people wouldn’t get the perfect image as a photographer. And sometimes that means covering your hands with mud, sand, dust, and other things that might get into your lenses. We would recommend that you bring some hand wash in your camera bag ‘s exterior compartment and wash your hands before you open it.
It’s pretty safe when your lens is on the camera. When you try to change your lens the problem comes up. This is when it’s vulnerable at its most. You can drop the lens easily, or get some dust into it. One of the principal precautions you can take is not to change the lens too far from the surface. If you change it over a tabletop, you minimize the distance that it might fall. If you have no tabletop, crouch, and use the ground. Naturally, the best choice is not to lower it at all.
Keep a Filter On Your Lens
You can also do something else to cover your lens by inserting a filter. This is a tiny piece of glass or resin that lies above your lens. Getting dust in your lens is one thing but hitting a solid object is something entirely different. If you hit the lens while the filter is on, then the filter will take the damage brunt. The filter can of course prevent all colors and forms of light from reaching the lens. But you can get some really high-quality filters which will improve your shots.
Cover Your Lens with a Hood
The hood of the lens isn’t really built to shield your camera. It is actually there to block out any light the lens shouldn’t receive. It effectively blocks all light but that is right in front of you. They do have a secondary benefit, however. Since it’s protruding from your frame, the hood will absorb much of the damage if you drop it onto the lens. They ‘re usually made from plastic, but stronger metal ones can be found. They are much cheaper to replace, anyway, than the lens or camera itself. Only DSLR and mirrorless cameras, that’s really possible.
Keep Your Lens Cap On
Every photographer has tried to take a photo with the lens cap on, at some point in their life. It is just one of those things which are expected to happen. And it could make you think life without the lens cap would be easier, but you would be wrong. Your camera’s lens is one of the most fragile components and must be covered. If you get used to just taking off your lens cap to take a photo, then immediately replace it, you’ll save yourself a lot of headaches.
Buy an Air Blaster To Clean Your Camera
Air blasters are the best way to clean your camera, easily. They blow a fresh blast on clean air moving any dirt particles, without scratching anything. The last thing you should do is blow your own breath at the camera. That’s because your breath does have acidic elements that can harm the lens. It might sound like doing the right thing but it’s a major no-no.
Clean Your Camera
Definitely, the air blower is the easiest way to clean your camera but you can also use a soft-bristled brush to finish the job. You should look for a product made from the hair of goats, or something that is equally soft. This is because these extremely fine hairs will not scratch the lens any further. You can find these for very cheap and it is always worth having a few in your camera bag.
If your camera has some gunk really stuck on the lens, consider using professional liquid for cleaning. Those items are designed to extract gunk from the lens without in any way harming it. It will work for DSLR and mirrorless cameras, and can even be used for alternatives GoPros and GoPro.
If you’re coming in from a shoot and your camera is damp, you shouldn’t try drying it with a hairdryer or cloth. Instead, leave it in a warm, dry room on a towel, and let the water evaporate. Even cheaper cameras are designed to withstand a small amount of water to prevent you from panicking. This applies to all camera types-it could cause irreversible damage to try to dry them too quickly.
However, the most important thing to note is that the camera equipment is intended for use. Professionals with their equipment are by far the most cavalier; they ‘re amateurs who prefer to bubble-wrap everything. Go out, and take some great pictures. I broke every suggestion in this article at some point and my gear is still working perfectly while it’s scuffed a bit.