Best gear to clean lenses, camera in the field

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Jan 30th, 2006, 11:19 AM
  #1
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Best gear to clean lenses, camera in the field

So - I can certainly ask my camera store guys and they will certainly sell me the only thing they carry and tell me it's great. What do you all use to clean cameras, lenses, filters of dust, grit, in the field? thanks!
Sharon
Four months to Zambia.......
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Jan 30th, 2006, 11:36 AM
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Lens Pen
Thick Microfibre Cleaning Cloth (2)
Lens Cleaning Fluid
Giotto Rocket Bulb Blower

Plus, some specialized equipment for cleaning camera sensors.
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Jan 30th, 2006, 12:30 PM
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Got a lens pen a short while back and I LOVE it!

I also take a sensor cleaning kit which I would only use in the relative safety of the tent, not on a drive.

I have been advised by American photo hobbiest friends that one can buy the exact same pen less expensively from a sporting store (or even the sporting section of a large store like Walmart) where it's sold for cleaning rifle scopes than one can buy it for when it's sold to camera buffs for cleaning camera lenses!

Either way it's a genius little tool!

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Jan 30th, 2006, 12:34 PM
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A friend suggested the Arctic Butterfly for sensor cleaning on the road (not while on a drive); have not bought one yet. Any comments from those who might have used it or a similar brush???
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Jan 30th, 2006, 12:57 PM
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In general, how many times does one clean a sensor while on a trip? Thanks for the previous replies, as well.

kavey - would you mind leading me back to your photo page link - the one of your most recent Afric trip? Thanks!
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Jan 30th, 2006, 01:22 PM
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Depends completely on how much crap I manage to let into the camera and that sticks to the sensor! I don't bother for one or two tiny tiny spots that I can probably clone out in the final image but when it gets more than that or larger spots I'll clean.

http://www.kaveyland.com/FavellesTra...2004/index.htm

Here's the link, though apologies for the copyright notices, I did them using a batch process to speed it up so I know the position of them isn't ideal but I did want them to be positioned such that people wouldn't just crop them off an edge...
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Jan 30th, 2006, 02:19 PM
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The Arctic Butterfly looks like it'll work very well, but I have a hard time paying over $100 for a brush. The Arctic Butterfly adds a twirling mechanism that replaces the canned air you would use to "charge" the brush.

Given that it's illegal to transport Eclipse fluid, you're pretty much limited to the statically charged brush method. Also, it's difficult to find canned air without too many contaminants or propellants on the road, hence the twirling mechanism.

So, there aren't many alternatives to the Arctic Butterfly, but I do believe that the guy who came up with the Copperhill method has one that uses a battery powered blower:

http://www.pbase.com/copperhill/ccd_cleaning


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Jan 30th, 2006, 03:49 PM
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I love the lens pen. Used it for the first time in Africa. I have two of them -- one has a smaller cleaning surface (mini pro model) and is good for cleaning smaller areas. The lens pen is much handier than carrying fluids, tissues or even cloths.

Amazon carries both models at http://www.amazon.com/gp/search/ref=...ywords=lenspen

(Many companies have arranged to have their own brands of lenspens, but its the same product.)

Phil
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Jan 30th, 2006, 09:41 PM
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My most used item is a small anti/static brush for cleaning dust off the filter (which always covers the lense). It works, it is fast, and you can do it regularly on a drive, much faster and more easily than fooling around with fluids anyway. Do it regularly (many times on a drive).

I would also carry an extra lense cap. Even if you attach the cap to the lense, it is easy to lose it. That could be a real pain (it has happened to me, and I've seen it happen to others in my vehicle).
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Jan 31st, 2006, 04:07 AM
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Good suggestion about the extra lense cap ddga.

Phil or anyone with the Fz30:
Do you have any suggestions on where or how I can quickly get (10 days to trip) a 2nd lense cover - is there anyway to attach the cover or an alternate cover to the camera? It's a guaranteed lost or mangled item.
Thanks;
Sherry
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Jan 31st, 2006, 09:18 AM
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Sherry, don't worry about the extra lens cap. I never use mine, except when storing the camera in its case during travel. I keep the lens cap in the case at all times when I am shooting.

While shooting, the lens is protected from any side blows by the lens shade, which is always on the camera during use. It would take a direct frontal blow on the camera to damage the lens, but you have to take that risk. You can't keep putting the lens cap on and taking it off during shooting -- the lens cap is bound to get lost.

A lot of photographers use UV or skylight filters in place of a lens cap. I don't use them on mine because some of them can affect the quality of an image adversely at times, causing flare or even distortion, particularly if the filter is an inexpensive one.

If you really want an extra lens cap, call B&H, tell them what camera you have and see if they can sell you a generic cap that fits. If that fails, I am sure Panasonic can sell you one for an outrageous sum.

Phil
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Jan 31st, 2006, 11:15 AM
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I tend to keep the lens cap in an easy accessible pocket most of the time I'm actively shooting - I put it back on when the vehicle is in motion to stop too much dust sticking to the front of the lens.

OK ignore rest of post, I just need to
test bold formatting for another post!
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Jan 31st, 2006, 03:20 PM
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Good point, Kavey -- dust can be a major problem in safari photography unless the lens is protected and regularly brushed. An alternative, of course, is taking a wet season safari as I just returned from in Zambia. Nary a grain of dust in the air. (But considerable mud, although none of that gets on lenses.)

Phil
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Feb 1st, 2006, 01:55 AM
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Apr 16th, 2006, 02:47 PM
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Have noted the tips so far in this thread, but tho't of an additional question. If the camera is out mostly during the game drive, you are likely to pick up dust on the camera body at least. Then when you put the camera back into your bag, you have transferred dust and the camera bag is no longer a 'clean environment'. How do you avoid/minimize that? Thanks
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Apr 17th, 2006, 12:57 AM
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Good question. I try to wipe the camera body and lens body with a damp cloth. I rather hesitate to use "canned air" because it can also blow the dust inside the body etc. (Use it for the lens glass etc.)
regards - tom
ps - Kavey, how did you do the bold font?
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Apr 17th, 2006, 06:54 AM
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I think it was < b > before the text and < / b > after the text (with spaces removed)
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Apr 17th, 2006, 07:17 PM
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bold font test
bold font test
yes the < b > words < /b > works, spaces removed
regards - tom
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