After a Trip: Keeping it Clean

My philosophy about photo gear is simple: If you take care of it and it will take care of you. That’s why whenever I return from a trip or location shoot, I clean my equipment immediately. Why? Because that way I’ll always know that the next time I pick up my equipment —even if it’s a spur of the moment event—that it’s clean and ready to go.

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Having just returned from a three-day photo shoot where my gear was used in several outdoor locations and the wind was blowing strongly making it impossible to keep everything clean. As you know, I’m not a “my way or the highway” kind of guy so to supplement my opinions, I asked others for suggestions as well so that you’ll get the best and most balanced possible advice about caring for your cameras.

DysonThe first thing I did when returning was to take all of my gear out of their bags and back packs and vacuum the cases. It doesn’t do any good to clean your gear and put it back into a dirty case. Those who want the best should consider the handheld and powerful Dyson V6 Car and Boat, with the upside is that you can also use it to clean your car too. Right now, it costs $179.99, uses Li-Ion batteries is hygienic and quick to empty.

dust-offBefore I clean a camera body I blow it off with an environmentally friendly duster such as Falcon’s Dust-Off. This gets the loose hunks of gunk, fuzzballs, and other debris off the body. Next, I use a slightly damp, clean, and lint-free cloth to go over the metal, polycarbonate and rubber parts. Since most cameras are not weather-sealed around their buttons and controls, you should be cautious about liberal applications of any distilled water on the cloth. One camera manufacturer’s rep told me their technicians suggest exterior camera casings may be cleaned with Windex or similar mild ammonia-based cleaners.

shammyDo not to spray anything directly on the camera where moisture can penetrate seams. Instead, lightly dampen a soft cloth with Windex and gently clean the body. If you’ve seen the movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding you are already familiar with the curative powers of Windex. For gummy residue, use a soft cloth, such as Falcon’s microfiber Screen Shammy, lightly dampened with denatured alcohol.

Author: Joe Farace

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