Here's a new topic: Camera Body Care.
What do you do to keep you camera body in first-rate condition? Do you wipe, clean, and dust it frequently?
What parts of the body can you clean without damaging? The outer body is simple to take care of, but what about inside the camera back or the mirror box?
Is compressed air harmless to use?
Do you have your camera examined by a repair shop periodically?
I know some camera shops periodically offer clinics where you can bring in your camera and a factory representative will inspect it for shutter accuracy, condition of seals, etc. Does anyone take advantage of these factory representatives?
Just some questions, where the answers may be of assistance to some of the new photographers who visit this site. Even the experienced photographer may ascertain something from this topic.
"Take only photographs, leave only footprints"
#1. "RE: Camera Body Care" | In response to Reply # 0frankie Basic MemberTue 23-May-00 06:28 PM
I think it's a dicey topic myself. Most of the cameras made today do not fare well with any kind of solvent or alcohol based cleaner. For my Nikon, (F60 - plastic body with Mag chassis) I wipe it with a soft lens tissue. If there's any gunk on the body I moisten the lens tissue and rub off the gunk. I've seen people take lens tissue to the inside and damage the delicate fresnel lens on the ground-glass.
On my older Pentax, it's a little different. It's got that faux-leather textured mac-tac like material. I clean that by first applying some light machine oil into the material (being very careful not to get it inside the camera) and then wipe it away with a damp cloth. The oil application seems to keep the material from drying out.
For the inside, I use only compressed air. If you put a brush in the mirror-well and start swiping about, you're only asking for trouble - most brushes I've seen will leave very heavy deposits of crap on the ground glass if you attempt to use one to dislodge a spot of dust. When you use compressed air, you should keep the spray at least 4 inches away from thr groundglass - otherwise the chemical residue may haze it over and even cause it's coating to peel.
I don't really think as important today, with computer controlled, electronic shutters to "clinic" them. Even my old Pentax (Spotmatic II, 1970) with a CLOTH shutter is just about as good as the day it came home - only repair: My dad didn' like microprism and had the screen switched to a split-range finder..
One thing to watch for is to NOT spray compressed air of any kind against the shutter curtains. Doing so does two things: 1) It warps them enough to cause friction and heat and 2) it dries out the lubricant.
#2. "RE: Camera Body Care" | In response to Reply # 1longlens Charter MemberWed 24-May-00 05:24 PM
Frankie's well meant advice is just asking for trouble. Compressed air, from any source may push some particles of debris out of the camera but will also push particles INTO the camera, perhaps in crevices that will eventually cause problems. Instead, use a small battery powered vaccum cleaner, or a conventional vacuum cleaner (NOT a shop vac)with a sponge in the hose to drop the negative presssure to less than 3 lbs (feel slight sucking presure with yoiur cheek or hand) to remove any particulate material.As Frankie wrote be very delicate and avoid the shutters and mirror completely. I f you must wipe away something inside, use surgical cotton that doesn't unravel, since Q-tips deposit lint (surgical cotton rolls are readily available at most drug stores. I find Johnson & Johnson brand inexpensive). Be very delicate with the cotton, perhaps extending it into a tiny wisp. Having a magnifier on a headband (jeweler's magnifier helps). Don't breath into the camera:warm breath may contain microbes, and a warm dark camera is a wonderful incubator for fungi. I have always been able to clean particles off mirrors that have never been touched. Most mirroprs have no coatingto protect the front mirror surface which is soft and thin. Be careful and good luck.
#3. "RE: Camera Body Care" | In response to Reply # 2f5fstop Basic MemberWed 24-May-00 05:48 PM
I guess both ways will work.
However, I took my F5s to a Nikon technical representative at a local pro photo shop a few months ago, and he used compressed air. I have used compressed air for years and he explained to me what I already knew: make sure can is upright and hold it about 12-14 inches from the mirror box, and aim it on an angle; not directly into the mirror box. (Same instructions when cleaning a lens.)
He stated never put anything into the mirror box. The mirror is very easy to scratch. Scratch won't affect camera operation but could bug a person. Even the softest cotton or cloth can have something on it and/or can leave lint on the inside. Again, not harmful but irritating.
I know I have cleaned my cameras with compressed air for years and never had a problem.
As for outside of the camera I have always used a very damp cloth, or now I use the new microfiber cloths which are fantastic.
Good point on the warm breath and micropes. Never did it myself, but I can see how that could cause future problems.
Instead of the Jeweler's magnifier I use one of those round magnifiers with a round flourescent tube inside that attaches to a desk.
Maybe some day I'll try the vacuum.
"Take only photographs, leave only footprints"
#4. "RE: Camera Body Care" | In response to Reply # 3avm247 Charter MemberWed 14-Jun-00 01:35 PM
I wipe down my camera, lenses, and sb-28 at the end of every session. I usually use and anti-static cloth for the outside and microfiber cloth with a little lens cleaning solution. Kinda like my guns: after every session, I clean my gear.