By : Nikon School Blog | 20 Sep, 2014 |
That wonderful device which can give you so many cherished memories, maybe even awards and accolades, needs your care as much as you need it to perform. Your camera is a machine, and with every machine, maintenance and caring is essential for constant performance.
Let’s start at the basics. Get into the habit of hanging your camera by the neck-strap right from the beginning. This can save your camera from falls and bumps that can cause minor to catastrophic damages. Hand-straps do the job too, but I won’t recommend them to beginners.
The memory card and batteries should not be put in or out while the camera is switched on. If you’ve done this and nothing bad happened, you got lucky, so watch out next time. Remove the batteries before storing the camera for long durations.
The lens often takes the brunt of pushes and shoves or the impact of a bump. A lens cap can effectively protect the glass. Always use it between shots to safeguard the lens. During shots, a hood and a U.V. filter also do the same job.
Mounting the lens seems simple, but sometimes contacts get damaged due to improper mounting, or worse, the lens can fall if not safely locked into the body mount. Spend good time practicing this simple, yet vital procedure. The camera has to be switched off while you do this.
The manual says not to leave your gear in hot or moist conditions, like in a car parked under mid-day sun. I think most people are sensible enough not to do that.
Moving on from the basics, dust and moisture are the worst enemies of your gear. While you can brush the loose dust off the body and lens with a simple blower brush, anything stiffer and you may need you rub it off. Caution - shirt corners or handkerchiefs can harm the lens elements. Use dedicated cleaning cloths or lens cleaners (e.g. a lens pen) to ensure the lens is cleaned without damaging the glass. A UV filter can protect the lens at all times, so buy one for every lens you’ve got or will get in future.
What about moisture? Well, avoid it if you can but if you’re the rainy weather or beach photographer, you’ve got to protect your gear from the tiny sprays. Simplest yet effective, is a plastic bag wrapped around the body and lens, with rubber bands to keep them on. Of course you have to cut out at the right places. Sounds unreliable? Custom made rain guards are available at the market for you to choose.
Bags are the most obvious part of camera care, but this article isn’t about which bag is the best. Just ensure it is a camera bag, and provides enough cushioning for the body and your lenses. And yes, I would always go for a bag with a waterproof cover.
If you are in a moisture prone zone, don’t trust your gear to the bag in case you are planning not to shoot for a while. Fungus can form pretty rapidly over the glass elements inside the lenses. That’s bad, but it’s much worse if the invaders get to the sensor. If tiny crack-lines appear in your images, its fungus and time to RUSH to the service centre.
How to prevent this menace? Silica gels do the job well, and storing your gear in air-tight containers with these is a good idea.
Many people fret over camera care as soon as they’ve got one. However, the best care you can give your camera throughout its life is to keep it in action. Take your gear for inspection at the service centre at least once every four months. Your gear and you will feel happy-happy and surely that will reflect in your images.