Gear maintenance -- Len, Body, etc.

Golf007sdGolf007sd Posts: 2,840Moderator
edited August 2014 in General Discussions
I though it would good for us to have a conversation about: how we go about keeping our gear in the best possible condition, to insure longevity and optimal operation in the field.

Here are some of gear I highly recommend every photographer should have as their "gear cleaning tools."

1) Koh Hepa Jet Air II plus Sensor Gel Stick
2) Leica Lens Cleaning Cloth
3) Sensor Loupe
4) Eclipse Cleaning System Solution plus DX sensor swabs (type 2) or FF Sensor swabs (type 3)
5) Nikon Fog Eliminator Wipes for Lenses
6) Zeiss Pre-Moistened Lens Cloths Wipes
7) Nikon Lens Pen
8) 3M Cloth Gaffers Tape
9) Microfiber Cleaning Cloths
10) Super Lube Synthetic Grease -- for carbon fiber twist locks

I'm not going to go threw how to use these items, but wanted to put out a list of things I have...well at least what has come to mind at the moment. Will most likely add to it as times goes by.

The pro's and con's feedback is always welcome as well. By all means, please make your contribution of what you think is also important to own as well.
Post edited by Golf007sd on
D4 & D7000 | Nikon Holy Trinity Set + 105 2.8 Mico + 200 F2 VR II | 300 2.8G VR II, 10.5 Fish-eye, 24 & 50 1.4G, 35 & 85 1.8G, 18-200 3.5-5.6 VR I SB-400 & 700 | TC 1.4E III, 1.7 & 2.0E III, 1.7 | Sigma 35 & 50 1.4 DG HSM | RRS Ballhead & Tripods Gear | Gitzo Monopod | Lowepro Gear | HDR via Promote Control System |
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Comments

  • Parke1953Parke1953 Posts: 455Member
    edited August 2014
    I'm looking for a sensor loupe. What do you have. There are so many.
    Post edited by Parke1953 on
  • IronheartIronheart Posts: 3,017Moderator
    All of Golf007sd's list items are links to the actual product. I've been checking them out...
  • Parke1953Parke1953 Posts: 455Member
    @IronheartThanks.
    @Golf007sd What do you like about this loupe for $84.
  • scoobysmakscoobysmak Posts: 214Member
    edited August 2014
    I should be fired, off that list I only have items 7 and 9. I am pretty careful how, when, and where I change lenses though.

    To change lenses I first take the battery out, take the lens I want to use out of my bag and place it filter down and then twist the rear lens cap so I can just lift it up but don't remove it yet. I also place the "white dot" so I when I pick up the lens I am not fiddling trying to find the grove to mount it. I point my camera at around a 10-20 degree angle down and remove the current lens and place it directly next to the lens I am going to use. I lift the rear cap off the lens I am going to use and place it over the lens I just removed. Then I take the lens I want to use and put it on the camera at about the same angle I took the other lens off. I then place the battery back in the camera. I also twist the rear cap and lock it on to the lens I just removed and place it in the bag. I try to locate areas that are not directly in the wind and dust free to swap lenses but in some cases that just won't happen.

    I am sure even doing this dust has found my sensor but hopefully at a much slower rate. I should really start looking at other cleaning products, thanks for posting.
    Post edited by scoobysmak on
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,085Moderator
    Yikes! you take more maintenance kit than I have gear! LOL!
    Always learning.
  • Golf007sdGolf007sd Posts: 2,840Moderator
    edited August 2014
    @spraynpray: LoL buddy. I do my "due diligence" to insure that my gear is kept in a manner that will last as long as it can. I treat all my "toys" with care.

    Many of these items are used as needed. After a full day activity, the body always gets some love and all the lenses used. The sensor is checked after every shoot, to insure no dust or unwanted objects are on it. Specially if there was a lot of lenses changes. I enjoy shooting at all apertures so keeping the sensor clean for those long expose is an important factor to me.

    @Parke1953: I have found the Visible 7X to have perfect magnification and light hitting the sensor in order to see the sensor completely. I bought it back on August 2013 and it still has the original battery in it. When I travel it always comes with me.

    @scoobysmak: Nice habit in changing your lenses out. However, my intention on this topic is: what to own or consider having, after you have finished your day of shooting in order to have the gear in the best possible condition for the nest round of one's activity.

    Now, there will be times that the conditions are so bad, such as shooting in a desert, rain, snow or other flying substance (i.e. pollen season), that your method will not work optimally. For me, I purchased this item to address such unfavorable venues: Koh Advanced Dustless Bag System with HEPA Air Filtering. Here is a video for your viewing pleasure.
    Post edited by Golf007sd on
    D4 & D7000 | Nikon Holy Trinity Set + 105 2.8 Mico + 200 F2 VR II | 300 2.8G VR II, 10.5 Fish-eye, 24 & 50 1.4G, 35 & 85 1.8G, 18-200 3.5-5.6 VR I SB-400 & 700 | TC 1.4E III, 1.7 & 2.0E III, 1.7 | Sigma 35 & 50 1.4 DG HSM | RRS Ballhead & Tripods Gear | Gitzo Monopod | Lowepro Gear | HDR via Promote Control System |
  • PB_PMPB_PM Posts: 4,006Member

    To change lenses I first take the battery out...
    Why would you take the battery out to change lenses? I don't get it.

    As for my own cleaning methods. I use the previously mentioned sensor gel stick to clean the sensor, have yet to find a need for anything else. You do need to be careful to clean the entire surface, but it works with no mess or residue.

    On a semi-regular basis I clean the outer rubber grip of my camera bodies with a normal cloth, lightly dampened, which keeps the rubber soft, and clean. I also use a similar method to clean the legs of my tripod, to keep the legs moving smoothly. I use the grease Gitzo provided with my tripod for any lubrication needs.

    A blower and a microfiber cloth to clean lenses and the viewfinder eyepiece. I use genaric lens cleaning solution from the local camera shop if there are any smudges on the front element, but only after removing dust with a blower.
    If I take a good photo it's not my camera's fault.
  • Bokeh_HunterBokeh_Hunter Posts: 234Member
    I though it would good for us to have a conversation about: how we go about keeping our gear in the best possible condition, to insure longevity and optimal operation in the field.

    Here are some of gear I highly recommend every photographer should have as their "gear cleaning tools."

    1) Koh Hepa Jet Air II plus Sensor Gel Stick.....
    Put on the breaks!!!! A Hepa filtered air blaster? $25 bucks just went to Adorama. Nice find!

    I basically use the same stuff as Golf00sd - a few different brands, but all are at that higher quality level.
    •Formerly TTJ•
  • scoobysmakscoobysmak Posts: 214Member
    edited August 2014

    To change lenses I first take the battery out...
    Why would you take the battery out to change lenses? I don't get it. .

    Maybe its overkill but until you pull the battery out, the mirror could have power (probably not but its just in case). If the mirror has power it can attract unwanted dust particles while your changing lenses. The on/off switch should take care of that but taking the battery out is a guarantee that it doesn't have power.
    Post edited by scoobysmak on
  • PhotobugPhotobug Posts: 4,603Member
    edited August 2014
    Excellent topic Golf. I have got to dig deeper into several of your items.

    Over the years these two items that are always in my bag and travel with me on every trip.

    PEC-PAD
    Non abrasive wipes, lint free & ultra soft. These 4x4" (10x10cm) are just the right size for cleaning filters and LCD panels and view finders. They are 99.999% free of contaminants and much better than the old Kodak lens tissue I used for over 25 years. I paid $7.97 for the last package and see they now sell for $7.95 for 1 package of 100 sheets. Have also used them to clean smudges off of the chrome on bodies.
    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/71154-REG/Photographic_Solutions_PAD44_Pec_Pad_Photo_Wipes.html

    About 8 years ago I ran out of lens cleaner and bought a bottle of ROR, residual oil remover. I was sold the first time I used it. Removes oil better than any lens cleaner I ever used. This 1 ounce bottle is made by V-Vax Products and I buy mine here:
    http://www.photocheatsheets.com/AccessoryItem.aspx?pr=601
    or
    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/439303-REG/ROR_VV_ROR1_Residual_Oil_Remover.html

    Price is $4.50 for a 1 ounce bottle. Be careful, a little drop goes a long way. I normally use a Rocket blower to remove dust and a microfiber to remove any stubborn dirt. If I got sloppy and a finger slipped onto the filter element and the microfiber doesn't remove it, I know ROR will.

    ROR also works on eyeglasses, binoculars, microscopes, CD's and DVD's. It really works extremely well. Highly recommended.

    Post edited by Photobug on
    D750 & D7100 | 24-70 F2.8 G AF-S ED, 70-200 F2.8 AF VR, TC-14E III, TC-1.7EII, 35 F2 AF D, 50mm F1.8G, 105mm G AF-S VR | Backup & Wife's Gear: D5500 & Sony HX50V | 18-140 AF-S ED VR DX, 55-300 AF-S G VR DX |
    |SB-800, Amaran Halo LED Ring light | MB-D16 grip| Gitzo GT3541 + RRS BH-55LR, Gitzo GM2942 + Sirui L-10 | RRS gear | Lowepro, ThinkTank, & Hoodman gear | BosStrap | Vello Freewave Plus wireless Remote, Leica Lens Cleaning Cloth |
  • kanuckkanuck Posts: 1,298Member
    I think for me I kind of take advantage of the fact that I have two official Nikon licensed repair factories close by in Seoul. Therefore, I can buy items used and get them repaired very quickly and also reasonably priced. You can even do interesting things such as switch a 70-200mm VR lens from black to white coating. Front or rear elements can be swapped out for $250 without the cost of shipping, cleanings etc. With a Nikon Korean Warranty you get free cleanings whenever you want as long as the item is Korean and no other market. Even if the warranty has expired! For bodies you get dry cleanings only though once the warranty has expired. This type of walk in service really comes in handy for a lens like the 14-24, which gets all sorts of finger prints and rain spots on its front bulb. I kind of live dangerously with my gear as a result...

    Getting back to your list though Golf, I think a rocket blower and soft brush help with basic maintenance as well. I also like the Gitzo axle grease that comes with everyone of their tripod models. Good topic and useful I think for our investments.
  • sevencrossingsevencrossing Posts: 2,800Member
    I hate cloths, as they can transfer grit from one surface to another
    I prefer disposable optical wet and dry wipes
    I only wipe the filters, the lens surfaces get an occasion blow job
    In 2 years I have only cleaned my D800 sensor once, using the Eclipse system
    if I have been paddling by the sea side
    I give the whole camera a clean with a foam cleaner
  • Vipmediastar_JZVipmediastar_JZ Posts: 1,708Member
    edited August 2014
    I will be adding some of these to the B n H app and the hepa blower from A dorama.
    When I bought the gel stick i did the the mistake of using my regular blower which only introduced more dust.

    One item that I did NOT like was the Lens pen. It looked practical but it just left smudges.

    I just ordered 4 of these Promaster Lens cloths. I keep it handy clipped outside of my bag and the cap keeps the cloth free of grit.
    Post edited by Vipmediastar_JZ on
  • SquamishPhotoSquamishPhoto Posts: 608Member
    I hate cloths, as they can transfer grit from one surface to another
    I prefer disposable optical wet and dry wipes
    I only wipe the filters, the lens surfaces get an occasion blow job
    In 2 years I have only cleaned my D800 sensor once, using the Eclipse system
    if I have been paddling by the sea side
    I give the whole camera a clean with a foam cleaner
    Im in the same boat as you, but I've probably cleaned my sensor maybe three or four times in two years. Nearing 170,000 clicks and I've had no real issues, although I've been meaning to buy one of those gel sticks for a while since they look like the best cleaning method out there.
    Mike
    D3 • D750 • 14-24mm f2.8 • 35mm f1.4A • PC-E 45mm f2.8 • 50mm f1.8G • AF-D 85mm f1.4 • ZF.2 100mm f2 • 200mm f2 VR2
  • kanuckkanuck Posts: 1,298Member
    You guys are right I should stop using micro fiber cloths as they usually don't get the job done very well. I have not tried the disposable optical wet and dry wipes before. They sound intriguing. Any particular brand that you recommend? My rocket blower was a great investment. I like the lens brush as well and have had great success with it over the years.
  • PhotobugPhotobug Posts: 4,603Member
    You guys are right I should stop using micro fiber cloths as they usually don't get the job done very well. I have not tried the disposable optical wet and dry wipes before. They sound intriguing. Any particular brand that you recommend? My rocket blower was a great investment. I like the lens brush as well and have had great success with it over the years.
    Go back a few messages to see my comments on.PEC-PAD...it's the way to go and I still swear using ROR instead of lens cleaner.

    When my micro fiber gets dirty or is not effective I toss it to the wife and she had washes it and it goes back in use. When they get old I toss them.
    D750 & D7100 | 24-70 F2.8 G AF-S ED, 70-200 F2.8 AF VR, TC-14E III, TC-1.7EII, 35 F2 AF D, 50mm F1.8G, 105mm G AF-S VR | Backup & Wife's Gear: D5500 & Sony HX50V | 18-140 AF-S ED VR DX, 55-300 AF-S G VR DX |
    |SB-800, Amaran Halo LED Ring light | MB-D16 grip| Gitzo GT3541 + RRS BH-55LR, Gitzo GM2942 + Sirui L-10 | RRS gear | Lowepro, ThinkTank, & Hoodman gear | BosStrap | Vello Freewave Plus wireless Remote, Leica Lens Cleaning Cloth |
  • kanuckkanuck Posts: 1,298Member
    PEC-PAD got it thanks! I'll take a look in my local shops for them. They probably have their own brands or some random Korean brands here, but its worth a shot. I get micro fiber lens and body clothes thrown in for free with different purchases usually. Leica, Singh Ray and Really Right Stuff do this as well with your orders. I must have over 50 lying around with 3 being packed with my gear regularly.

    When I bought my graduated ND filter from Singh Ray, they gave me a free filter, lens and optical cleaner called Ray-Vu and I have found this spray bottle type to be excellent in getting dry rain drops, finger smudges and other junk off the lens instantly. It does wonders on the LCDs of smart devices and computer monitors as well.
  • Golf007sdGolf007sd Posts: 2,840Moderator
    @Photobug: I'm going to get those goodies you listed. Thanks for the recommendations.
    D4 & D7000 | Nikon Holy Trinity Set + 105 2.8 Mico + 200 F2 VR II | 300 2.8G VR II, 10.5 Fish-eye, 24 & 50 1.4G, 35 & 85 1.8G, 18-200 3.5-5.6 VR I SB-400 & 700 | TC 1.4E III, 1.7 & 2.0E III, 1.7 | Sigma 35 & 50 1.4 DG HSM | RRS Ballhead & Tripods Gear | Gitzo Monopod | Lowepro Gear | HDR via Promote Control System |
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,085Moderator
    You guys are right I should stop using micro fiber cloths as they usually don't get the job done very well. I have not tried the disposable optical wet and dry wipes before. They sound intriguing. Any particular brand that you recommend? My rocket blower was a great investment. I like the lens brush as well and have had great success with it over the years.
    Go back a few messages to see my comments on.PEC-PAD...it's the way to go and I still swear using ROR instead of lens cleaner.

    When my micro fiber gets dirty or is not effective I toss it to the wife and she had washes it and it goes back in use. When they get old I toss them.
    Very interesting Photobug. I'd actually like to know how your wife washes them, because I recently hand washed on in soap flakes then rinsed it really well but had to throw it away because there were small impurities left in it that made my Tokina 11-16 look ruined until I cleaned it again with a brand new cloth. I was thinking I'd try washing it with washing up liquid next time.
    Always learning.
  • jimmyboyjimmyboy Posts: 424Member
    When ever I change lenses I keep the camera body facing the ground. I very seldom get dust on the sensor.
  • PhotobugPhotobug Posts: 4,603Member
    edited August 2014
    PEC-PAD got it thanks! I'll take a look in my local shops for them. They probably have their own brands or some random Korean brands here, but its worth a shot. I get micro fiber lens and body clothes thrown in for free with different purchases usually. Leica, Singh Ray and Really Right Stuff do this as well with your orders. I must have over 50 lying around with 3 being packed with my gear regularly.
    @Kanuck - I have seen it in many photo stores. The last time I was in Robert's Camera store (Indianapolis) they had a special price on a three pack so I stocked up. You won't be unhappy with this purchase.

    @Golf007sd: Your welcome.

    @spraynpray: Talked to the wife and here is her secret for washing a micro fiber lens clothes. She rinses both sides of the cloth to remove any surface build up. Applies a drop of dish washing soap...she uses Palmolive. She uses her finger and works the soap into the cloth, both sides. She says she really rubs in all over the surface and then switches sides. She thoroughly rinses the soap off both sides and wrings out the excess water and then lets it air dry...typically over a faucet.

    It sounds like you followed the same process. Any way I will tell you that typically all spots are removed during the cleaning but if I see any or sense it's not cleaning the lens filter, I toss them. I like to carry one of those small ones that tuck back into a holder in my pocket for that occasional finger slip or if some thing gets blown on the filter.
    ================================
    Regarding the ROR product. Remember if you buy it you only need a very very small drop to clean a 77mm filter. You can apply the drop to the filter or apply to the PEC PAD and then to the filter. I prefer the latter. I also fold the PEC PAD to a pencil shape and apply to the end and then clean in a circular fashion...but you all knew that last part. You can also go for a rectangular shape and then there are several layers between your finger and the layer with the fluid when you are cleaning the filter.
    Post edited by Photobug on
    D750 & D7100 | 24-70 F2.8 G AF-S ED, 70-200 F2.8 AF VR, TC-14E III, TC-1.7EII, 35 F2 AF D, 50mm F1.8G, 105mm G AF-S VR | Backup & Wife's Gear: D5500 & Sony HX50V | 18-140 AF-S ED VR DX, 55-300 AF-S G VR DX |
    |SB-800, Amaran Halo LED Ring light | MB-D16 grip| Gitzo GT3541 + RRS BH-55LR, Gitzo GM2942 + Sirui L-10 | RRS gear | Lowepro, ThinkTank, & Hoodman gear | BosStrap | Vello Freewave Plus wireless Remote, Leica Lens Cleaning Cloth |
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,085Moderator
    @Photobug: Thanks for that. I used soap flakes not liquid which I am sure is the problem. They seem to leave a residue that transfers onto the coating. We call your 'dish washing soap' 'washing up liquid' and we use Palmolive too so you bet I'll be trying that next time.
    Always learning.
  • IronheartIronheart Posts: 3,017Moderator
    Not sure what soap flakes are, or what their original purpose is, but if for hands, they will have a moisturizer that will leave a residue, or for clothes will have a softener.
  • KillerbobKillerbob Posts: 732Member
    edited August 2014
    Living in a harsh environment it is crucial I tend to my gear, otherwise it would be ruined in months. Hence i have a whole ritual when I get back home. I often have to accept that the camera and lenses get a serious beating when I am out, otherwise it disables me taking the pictures I want...

    I have had the D7000/10-24mm out in minus 40 degrees Celsius. It was thoroughly frozen, but with some TLC it came back to life. All my cameras have had saltwater spots on the sensors, along with snow in the "lens-hole". And all-in-all I have ever only completely destroyed one Nikon FM2 house, and had a few lenses loose the auto-focus capability:)

    The gear Golf007sd goes a long way, but you need to know how to use it, and do it! I was very intimidated by the whole sensor-cleaning process, but once I had tried it on the D7000, I had no qualms about doing it on the other cameras.

    The gear I most certainly couldn't live without is;

    - Lens Pen: for use anywhere
    - Microfiber Cloths, preferably in small plastic containers, small and big: for use anywhere
    - Photographics Solutions Non-Abrasive Wipes: for body and lens cleaning anywhere
    - Hama Antistatic Cleaning Cloths: for use anywhere
    - Eyelead filtered Pocket Rocket: for use anywhere
    - Giottos Rocket Blower: for use at home
    - Eyelead Sensor Cleaning Kit: for spot sensor cleaning at home
    - Eyelead Swabs & Fluid Sensor Cleaning Kit: for light sensor cleaning at home
    - Sensor light w. built-in Light: for sensor cleaning at home
    - Photographics Solutions Sensor Swabs and Eclipse Optic Cleaning Fluid: for serious sensor cleaning at home

    I change lenses anywhere, in all conditions, and it is tough on the equipment. However, my logic is that if I don't use it like I want to, why the hell have it in the first place. It's metal, plastic and glass, it can be replaced...

    The only thing I don't do is change lenses in the midst of the tundra on a mid-summers day. Too many bloody flies, knots, and mosquitoes, and I can only imagine what they would do to a sensor were one of those f..... to get into the camera house and I release the shutter. Probably difficult to clean the backside of the shutter curtain:)
    Post edited by Killerbob on
  • PhotobugPhotobug Posts: 4,603Member
    edited August 2014

    Here are some of gear I highly recommend every photographer should have as their "gear cleaning tools."
    9) Microfiber Cleaning Cloths

    @golf007sd: What do you use to clean your DSLR and lens bodies...Zwipes Microfiber cleaning cloths?

    I use a Modern Photography Lens cleaning Chamois I got in the 60's or early 70's direct from Modern Photography. Yea, I even have the instruction sheet and original plastic bag that it came in. I wash it once in a while and then it is very stiff so I have to play with it to soften it up. Have used it to clean the outer surfaces of my lens and SLR's and DSLR's for many years. It's time to upgrade.

    I looked at original list and this was the logical one. Please advise. FYI, I am in a spending mode and will be ordering the Leica lens cleaning cloth and Nikon Fog eliminator wipes.

    I also use a Giottos Rocket Blower and love it.



    Post edited by Photobug on
    D750 & D7100 | 24-70 F2.8 G AF-S ED, 70-200 F2.8 AF VR, TC-14E III, TC-1.7EII, 35 F2 AF D, 50mm F1.8G, 105mm G AF-S VR | Backup & Wife's Gear: D5500 & Sony HX50V | 18-140 AF-S ED VR DX, 55-300 AF-S G VR DX |
    |SB-800, Amaran Halo LED Ring light | MB-D16 grip| Gitzo GT3541 + RRS BH-55LR, Gitzo GM2942 + Sirui L-10 | RRS gear | Lowepro, ThinkTank, & Hoodman gear | BosStrap | Vello Freewave Plus wireless Remote, Leica Lens Cleaning Cloth |
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