Cleaning Camera Accessories

I had written a small articles about cleaning camera and lens – Cleaning Camera and Lens  Due to requests from some of my readers, I am also writing about cleaning accessories. Cameras accessories are also meant to be used and so some signs of use are expected. I ignore them. I am actually scared of new accessories. Old ones have become my friends and they keep helping me out. Measure I take to ensure that these friends of mine stay fit :

Filters

Use a blower bulb to blow off any dust. Next use a micro-fiber cloth to gently wipe of any stains or fingerprints. Another advantage with filters is that they can also be washed if required. I have sometimes washed old filters using mild soap and water. Filters which are frequently used, get scratched. They are not recessed inside as some of the front elements of lenses. Some of them do not accept hoods or work well with hoods. I find Lenspen very useful for hiding small scratches. They supposedly leave behind fine carbon residue which covers up these scratches. (Do not worry excessively about scratches on filters, they seldom affect the images)

Lenspen

(Various Lenspen models available in the market)

Camera Strap

Wash them if you use cloth straps like I do. Read about them here- Camera Straps

Leather straps can be cleaned with a moist cloth and then polished using cold-creams meant for skin use.

Monopods and Tripods

Wipe the dust from their feet after every use. Use a cloth to clean their legs before folding them in. It is better to prevent dirt from getting into the insides of tubes than trying to clean it afterwards. They can also be cleaned with a damp cloth but if it is used, the legs should be given ample time to dry off before folding them in.

One of my friends, who does quite a lot of photography on beaches, uses plastic bags as ‘socks’ for the legs and holds them these bags in place by using rubber bands. Quite an innovative thing to do. He can even press on the tripod and sink it into the sand a little without any worries.

Camera Bags

Vacuum them every once in a while. They protect all the photography equipment while on road and they take a lot of beating.

Find out about the foam and material used in making the bag. If they can be washed, then do so when they get dirty. Canvas bags sometimes loose their water-proofing after wash. They can be waxed to regain this but I prefer not to do it for camera bags.

Batteries

Gone are the days of cameras with mechanical shutters. Every camera now works on batteries. They are everywhere. Common sense and instructions provided with batteries are all that are required to be followed. Clean them with mildly moist cloth if required and let them dry completely before using. The only confusion that is there everywhere relates to their charging. I have read and tried various methods for charging batteries and these are some rules that I follow –

  1. I do not wait for the batteries to completely discharge before charging. Once in a while, I do drain them completely and then charge. Every time I charge the batteries, I let them top up to their full charge but I also ensure that they do not remain plugged in into the charger for long duration after getting completely charged.
  2. I do not use any ultra fast chargers.
  3. I do not charge my batteries while they are exposed to sun.
  4. Some equipment can be used even as the battery charges. I avoid this. I let them charge completely and use them after unplugging from charging.
  5. When storing batteries for long, I store them at a charge level slightly less than full. Never do I store them completely discharged.
  6. Visit this link for in depth guidelines on caring for batteries – Batteries

 

Umbrellas, Backdrops, Softboxes

Are you kidding me? Just get new ones when they are no good.

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