Landscape shooters: How do you keep your equipment clean?

Joined
Nov 28, 2012
Messages
257
Location
California
I'll be hiking for the first time with my camera/tripod next week, and I am wondering how seasoned vets keep their equipment dust/dirt free? I was thinking about covering the lens and body with a gallon sized ziplock (attaching it with a rubber band). I'm less worried about the tripod getting dirty.

How do you keep your camera and lens clean and dirt free when on a dusty trail? How do you clean them when you get back home?

Thanks!
 
Joined
Mar 24, 2013
Messages
99
Location
Hampshire
When (if) changing lenses make sure that the body and lens are horizontal - that way no dirt or dust falls onto (or into) either bit.

When home use an airbrush (or low pressure air) to blow of all the dust from the body and outside of lenses, then use a soft paint brush to get into the nooks and crannies around the camera.

After that, clean glass as normal.
 
Joined
Nov 28, 2012
Messages
257
Location
California
I just ordered a boar-hair brush from B&H. I'll pick up some canned compressed air (I wonder if I can use the air from my compressor since the camera is "weather sealed?" Prob. not a good idea?)

Thanks.
 
Joined
Mar 24, 2013
Messages
99
Location
Hampshire
You could use the compressor but keep the outlet nozzle away from the camera and lens - what you want to do is blow the dust away not sandblast the body using the power of the compressed air :)

All you are doing is creating a better 'rocket blower' that doesnt require as much effort and blows constantly.

The advantage to a tin would be that you could take that with you (I assume you are not flying) and clean the gear when you have a spare 5 mins - but again it is gentle stream of air is what you want, not a piercing jet ;)
 
Joined
Nov 28, 2012
Messages
257
Location
California
Not flying. Luckily the Sierra-Nevadas are less than 4-5 hours away by car.

The canned compressed air is most likely the safer bet. I'm not sure what they use as a bittering agent and how that may affect the camera, though. Most likely not an issue. I don't want it to leave a residue, etc.

The only downside to using the shop compressor is that the air can contain some moisture and I can blow a piece of my camera off. LOL

I might just used shop air and see what happens. I would make sure to keep a lens on the camera body while cleaning. Then I would remove the camera from the garage and then proceed to remove the lens in a low-dust environment.

hmmm
 
Joined
Mar 31, 2008
Messages
381
Location
Apex, NC
I try to be careful when changing lenses, but eventually some dust inevitably appears on the sensor.

As for the exterior of the camera, I don't worry too much about it. I keep a car interior detailing brush in my bag to get dust and grit out of the seams. I'm not a fan of compressed air cans as you can often get little jets of propellant coming out along with the air.
 
Joined
Jan 11, 2009
Messages
3,409
Location
Tokyo, Japan
Hi Matt, I use my air brush compressor (one I use for painting scale models) to clean my camera equipment all the time, including as a replacement for a rocket blower. The thing is, you need to have a water trap. I actually have two, one where the air comes out of the tank and another immediately before the air brush/blower.
 
Joined
Mar 15, 2009
Messages
7,507
Location
Los Angeles, CA
I put the camera in the bag and cover my face when it's very dusty. Protect your lungs first, the camera second. Unless it's a once-in-a-lifetime shot that you can't afford to miss, of course. Not worth the trip to Nikon and get hit with impact damage.

I use zip lock bags when shooting in rain. Water is easier to clean up and it'll dry eventually. When sand & dust get lodged in your lens, it will require a trip to Nikon. As to how to clean the body, I just use a rocket blower and wipe it off with soft cloth and water. Don't use any chemicals as they can sometimes wipe off the paint markings.
 
Joined
Nov 28, 2012
Messages
257
Location
California
Thanks for all the suggestions so far. Looks like I'll be using the 24-70mm mostly. I don't think I'll be changing lenses much. I ordered a boar-bristle brush from B&H and I'll be sure to bring some cotton towels and an air blower. Maybe some distilled water. Worst case I'll just use my home air compressor from a distance if there is some major dirt, etc.

I don't expect dust clouds, but there might be some on the trail. I'm going to carry the camera mounted on the tripod (or do you recommend against this practice?).

Also what about the camera being in direct sunlight for hours? Good or bad idea?
 
Joined
May 11, 2006
Messages
1,002
Location
CHARLOTTE
Real Name
Randy
rocket blower is all i usually need, wet work when needed but it still makes me nervous to do it

and I got a 2nd d800 so i don't change lenses, 24-70 on 1 and 70-200 on the other (soon to be the 80-400 on the 2nd D800)
 
Joined
Nov 28, 2012
Messages
257
Location
California
There you go! No need to change lenses when you have two D800s! LMAO

rocket blower is all i usually need, wet work when needed but it still makes me nervous to do it

and I got a 2nd d800 so i don't change lenses, 24-70 on 1 and 70-200 on the other (soon to be the 80-400 on the 2nd D800)

I just realized how heavy my 24-70mm is going to be...should I carry a Prime?
 
Joined
May 11, 2006
Messages
1,002
Location
CHARLOTTE
Real Name
Randy
There you go! No need to change lenses when you have two D800s! LMAO



I just realized how heavy my 24-70mm is going to be...should I carry a Prime?

i'm thinking of selling one of them though, since I am reaching my 5 body self imposed limit:smile:.....gotta get ready for the d400 (but then the d7100goes away)

----------------------------------

i am moving away from all primes as zooms get better so I wouldn't take a prime for LS
I was never much into wide primes anyway though.

The 24-70 started this trend for me, the 24-120 was an even bigger surprise for a zoom and the 80-400 was a mind blower.
 
Joined
Nov 28, 2012
Messages
257
Location
California
Just want to update you guys...got back from the sierra-Nevada mountains, and my d800e/RRS tripod and ballhead were champs. I carried my d800e attached to my tripod the while time. Did a couple long hikes in the elements. Not much dust, but I wiped down my tripod with a towel and distilled water. Used the boar-bristle brush to clean my camera body. When I got home I used shop air from my compressor. Cleaned the camera right off.

I'm amazed how well the camera and tripod did in the elements.
 
Joined
Nov 28, 2012
Messages
257
Location
California
Hi, Greg--

Thanks for looking. Those areas are history-rich. Fun to shoot.This D800 is showing me how much I actually don't know about photography. It's a great learning instrument.

Great shots! I spent a lot of time in that area in my youth:biggrin:
Took some photos of the same buildings a long time ago. Nice memories.
Thanks,

Greg
 
Joined
Feb 11, 2006
Messages
6,698
Location
Riverside, CA
90% of my shooting is outdoors. I hike miles and miles with my gear. Dirt really never is a concern. I am curious where you plan on going or how you hike? (on your knees?)

All kidding aside. The only time I worry about dust is when I am out in Death Valley shooting the dunes. You mentioned a dusty trail, I guess if other people are kicking up dust in front of you, put your camera in your bag. I assume you aren't kicking up your own dust.
 
Joined
Nov 28, 2012
Messages
257
Location
California
You're right! ;)

I was surprised to find out that the camera and tripod stayed really clean. There were a few particles that settled in areas like where the lens and body meet, but I cleaned that out with some compressed air and a boar-bristle brush before I removed the lens. No issue. I'm really happy to have taken these great tools out. They are no worse for wear. I think the next hike will be to the top of the Sierra Buttes next month. Or maybe back on the Pacific Crest Trail again.

BTW, the el mucho money RRS spiked feet for my tripod worked extremely well in gravel, dirt, and in bushes. No issue there. Plus it was windy in some locations, and I was able to push the spikes down in mud an gravel. Currently the street feet are on my tripod again.

90% of my shooting is outdoors. I hike miles and miles with my gear. Dirt really never is a concern. I am curious where you plan on going or how you hike? (on your knees?)

All kidding aside. The only time I worry about dust is when I am out in Death Valley shooting the dunes. You mentioned a dusty trail, I guess if other people are kicking up dust in front of you, put your camera in your bag. I assume you aren't kicking up your own dust.
 
Joined
Jul 11, 2008
Messages
3,063
Location
Mohawk Valley, New York , USA
I try to change lenses quickly and at an angle to try to reduce dust etc. from entering the camera and clean the rear lens before putting it on the camera….
I also use a large rocket blower and these two techniques seem to work pretty darn good …
Was in S.Utah/N.Arizona in late April and it can be pretty dusty (especially the Monument Valley area) and was very pleased to see very few dust spots on pictures when post-processing them ….
My previous D700 was nowhere's as good dust wise ….

ron
 

Latest threads

Links on this page may be to our affiliates. Sales through affiliate links may benefit this site.
Nikon Cafe is a fan site and not associated with Nikon Corporation.
Forum post reactions by Twemoji: https://github.com/twitter/twemoji
Forum GIFs powered by GIPHY: https://giphy.com/
Copyright © Amin Forums, LLC
Top Bottom