Sunday , May 28 2017
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Cleaning and Caring

MOST USEFUL DSLR ACCESSORIES … cleaning equipment, care & common sense

A mischievous guide by Antoine De Bent

Well, common sense should immediately disqualify me as an expert in this particular field; I have over 30 years’ experience within the photo industry, I know all the pitfalls, all the things not to do, all the things that others, more qualified, have decreed as improper, inappropriate or simply dumb arse.

Care of my equipment, that’s camera equipment; really is a subject that I can speak upon with much authority. I know how to care for cameras, I know how to care for others; my fourth wife will no doubt vouch for me, wherever she is.

The truth is, I’ve lost more camera equipment, through disrespect and lack of attention, than I’ve lost women; although, in all fairness, I don’t think you can lose camera equipment due to impotence! … Enough of my personal problems, let’s move on.

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Here are a few camera-care and lens cleaning products to consider:

THE MICRO FIBRE CLOTH

MY TOP RATED CLEANING PRODUCT

I’ve actually used this specific product! Bought these (Ex-Pro) cloths from Amazon, a couple of years ago. They really are incredibly good! Used them for my camera lenses, spectacles and, computer screen.

One of the few multipurpose materials I’d recommend; buy this one, simply because it’s good, inexpensive and blue!

 

 

 

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THE BRUSH

The particular brush, pictured left, is made from goats’ hair, highly rated and efficient but … does it smell of goat I wonder? My second wife did; but then she ran off with the local goat herder, never to be seen again. I’m sorry, I digress. Brushes, such as this one, from MATin, are well worth the few quid they actually cost; there are many other animal and synthetic hair products available.

Furthermore, some cleaning brushes also incorporate a cunningly designed rubbery-type tip, made of a non-abrasive material and virtually guaranteed to make those smears disappear without a streaky trace. Product shown, right, is a Hama lens pen-style brush, complete with pocket clip and the magic rubbery tip.

THE LENS BLOWER BRUSH

Well doesn’t this look beyond ridiculous! A rocket-shaped air-expeller. What’s even funnier is that this sad, poor, replication of a supersonic, high tech missile is actually very efficient at blasting away dust and dirt form all types of surfaces; lenses, camera interiors and screens.

What’s more, if you get your angles right, you can bounce it on to the floor and catch it on the rebound; that impressed my third wife-to-be … in fact that really was all that ever impressed her about me.

Get one of these, a blast of air is probably the least abrasive way to get rid of dust. However don’t, ever, bounce it on the floor, you could end up engaged, or, worse still, married! Learn from the shipwrecks of others.

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For a more ‘aggressive’ air blast there’s always;

COMPRESSED AIR

When I had my photo processing business we got through an extraordinary amount of compressed air canisters.

The reason being, I discovered, was that one our more exuberant staff, Steve, had come up with several ways of creating missile systems; missile systems capable of propelling obscure objects fuelled by a can of compressed air; my compressed air! Especially efficient was his clever design that could fire an empty film pot about 100 yards.

After my attempt at propelling him a 100 yards, the antics stopped.

Yes, compressed air is an efficient dust blaster. Some also find it great fun to use. The red canister, above, is a typical example, from Rybond, of the can style. It really is great for scattering dust from cameras and computer; you can probably think of a whole list of other uses … Steve certainly could.

See below for some great deals on compressed air:

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THE HANDKERCHIEF

I have a very well educated friend, (I think he went to a nursery in Oxford); he is, quite frankly, a know-it-all, what he doesn’t know isn’t worth knowing; and what he does knows is, I’ve concluded, made up.

However, several years ago he gave me a useful tip; a tip based upon light refraction determinable interfaces and frictional retraction, as was so brilliantly explained in the renowned toilet paper article written by, his close friend, Einstein … that’s Cynthia Einstein.

She, accurately, proclaimed that a well-worn, well washed handkerchief, preferably made from cotton, was as good a lens cleaning material that has ever existed; Cynthia was right!

Yes, the old handkerchief really is good at cleaning, and not scratching, lenses. Although, personally, I’d still only use as a last resort.

I’d never be 100% sure that I hadn’t used the hankie for its original intended purpose! … Nuff said.

LENS CLEANING FLUID

Using a lens cleaning spray with a micro-fibre cloth is a very efficient combination for giving that lens or screen a thorough, nonabrasive, clean.

There are several options and combos available including this one, the Camkix Lens and Screen Cleaning Kit; comes with three sprays and micro-fibre cloths for under a tenner.

Read product descriptions and reviews carefully, just to satisfy yourself that you’re not buying paint stripper!

A must have cleaner for photographers and computer buffs alike; no, not the paint stripper.

Bestseller No. 1
Camkix Lens and Screen Cleaning Kit - 2x cleaning spray, 2x microfiber cloth - Perfect to clean the lens of your DSLR or GoPro camera - Also great for your smartphone, tablet, notebook, etc.
228 Reviews
Camkix Lens and Screen Cleaning Kit - 2x cleaning spray, 2x microfiber cloth - Perfect to clean the lens of your DSLR or GoPro camera - Also great for your smartphone, tablet, notebook, etc.
  • SIMPLE AND EFFECTIVE: Just spray on a small amount of cleaning fluid and use the included microfiber cloth to clean and polish the lens of your camera or the screen of your smartphone or tablet.
  • NO MORE SMUDGES OR FINGERPRINTS: This cleaning spray not only removes dust, smudges and fingerprints, it also creates a 'wax and shine' type finish that prevents dust and smudges for a longer period of time than without the cleaning fluid.
  • FOR ALL CAMERA LENS BRANDS: Safe to use to clean optical lenses of any brand, including Canon, Fuji, Nikon, Olympus, Panasonic, Pentax, Samsung, Sigma, Sony, Tamron and Zeiss.
  • FOR ALL TABLET AND SMARTPHONE BRANDS: Safe to use to clean tablet and smartphone screens of any brand, including Acer, Apple (iPad, iPhone), Asus, BlackBerry, Dell, Fujitsu, HP, HTC, Huawei, Lenovo, LG, Microsoft, Motorola, Nokia, Panasonic, Samsung (Galaxy, Galaxy Tab, Galaxy Note) and Sony.
  • ALSO SUITABLE FOR OTHER DEVICES: This cleaning spray can also be used to clean the screen of most action cams, notebooks/laptops, computer monitors, plasma/LCD/LED TVs, portable gaming devices, e-readers, smartwatches, audio/video players, etc.
Bestseller No. 2
Camkix Lens and Screen Cleaning Kit - 3x cleaning spray, 3x microfiber cloth - Perfect to clean the lens of your DSLR or GoPro camera - Also great for your smartphone, tablet, notebook, etc.
228 Reviews
Camkix Lens and Screen Cleaning Kit - 3x cleaning spray, 3x microfiber cloth - Perfect to clean the lens of your DSLR or GoPro camera - Also great for your smartphone, tablet, notebook, etc.
  • SIMPLE AND EFFECTIVE: Just spray on a small amount of cleaning fluid and use the included microfiber cloth to clean and polish the lens of your camera or the screen of your smartphone or tablet.
  • NO MORE SMUDGES OR FINGERPRINTS: This cleaning spray not only removes dust, smudges and fingerprints, it also creates a 'wax and shine' type finish that prevents dust and smudges for a longer period of time than without the cleaning fluid.
  • FOR ALL CAMERA LENS BRANDS: Safe to use to clean optical lenses of any brand, including Canon, Fuji, Nikon, Olympus, Panasonic, Pentax, Samsung, Sigma, Sony, Tamron and Zeiss.
  • FOR ALL TABLET AND SMARTPHONE BRANDS: Safe to use to clean tablet and smartphone screens of any brand, including Acer, Apple (iPad, iPhone), Asus, BlackBerry, Dell, Fujitsu, HP, HTC, Huawei, Lenovo, LG, Microsoft, Motorola, Nokia, Panasonic, Samsung (Galaxy, Galaxy Tab, Galaxy Note) and Sony.
  • ALSO SUITABLE FOR OTHER DEVICES: This cleaning spray can also be used to clean the screen of most action cams, notebooks/laptops, computer monitors, plasma/LCD/LED TVs, portable gaming devices, e-readers, smartwatches, audio/video players, etc.

LENS TISSUES

Lens tissues are now, perhaps, somewhat out of vogue; something of the past, an outdated remnant from the dark ages of film photography.

Lens tissues are little squares of tissues that are used once and, binned! The little, quiet, unassuming tissue does its job without a fuss nor need for celebrity.

Tissues generally come in very inexpensive blocks of maybe 50. Each, optimistic, willing square is only used the once; life can be so harsh. On a more positive note, this means, there’s very low risk of contamination from the grime or grit collected from previous usage.

What cleaning cloth or brush can make that claim?

Who’s laughing now! Tissues may not be as popular as they were, but their low risk cleaning properties make them a first choice cleaning aid for the wise and poor.

Above product is by Neweer, a package of tissues, to last a lifetime, for around £6; they even throw in a micro-fibre cloth … I ask you, really, who wants them anymore!

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I’m sure the industry will re-invent the humble tissue soon (because it’s worth it); my advice is to ‘glamorise and repackage’, make it sound as sweet, and as desirable, as a garden pea.

There are, and will always be, reinventions of the wheel; I’ve tried nearly every photo cleaning product known to mankind, and I’ll be honest, most of them work, although the Brillo Pad … disappointing.

There are gels you can apply and then peel from your optics, they work, but honestly, what a palaver!

Use whatever works for you, a brush, a spray, a tissue … you do the joke.