Any photographer serious about his hobby or profession should try his or her best to keep all equipment in top shape. When you take care of your equipment, you minimize chances of malfunction. With digital equipment, maintenance becomes even more important.
Here are five tips to help you maintain your photographic equipment:
1. Keep your Equipment Dry
Moisture is an enemy of any photographic equipment, and even more so when it is digital. Stay especially alert against moisture when you are at a beach, or out on an overcast day. But that doesn’t mean your equipment is safe indoors either. Moisture has a nagging habit of getting in where its not wanted. Leaving a lens unattended over a period of months can often result in a spot of fungus growing WITHIN the lens elements. So, if you plan to store your equipment over lengthy periods without use, wrap up the stuff in plastic covers at the very least, in airtight containers at best!
2. Use a UV Filter
There is more than one use to the UV filter. While the obvious requirement is to filter out the ultraviolet rays, a UV is also a comparatively cheap protector to your lens! Ensure all your lenses are protected with a UV filter at ALL times. Replacing a scratched UV filter wont hurt you much, but replacing a scratched lens will! The front element of your lens probably costs at least twenty times the price of the UV filter.
3. Use the Right Tools for the Right Job
Want to clean your lens? Use a lens cleaning kit. DO NOT try cleaning your lens with any piece of cloth you can lay your hands on, although it may be tempting to do so. ALWAYS remember a scratched lens surface WILL have SOME effect on your images. The more the scratches, the less is the sharpness, at least at large apertures.
4. Use a Camera Bag
Camera bags are designed to protect your equipment from moisture and physical damage. Camera bags are available in a variety of sizes and colors, and a variety of qualities. Do get the best bag your money can buy. Some bags also come with lens compartments, some even with laptop compartments (the backpack variety).
5. Protect from Sunlight
It is pretty obvious why you need to protect your camera from moisture, but did you know direct rays of the sun could damage a camera as well? This is how – if you leave a camera face up with bright sunlight falling into an open lens, this is enough to literally MELT the innards of your camera. Most of have at some point tried the experiment of starting a fire using a magnifying glass. This is enough to understand what a lens in direct sunlight can do! So – NEVER leave your camera facing up with the lens cap off. Moreover digital equipment is sensitive to extreme temperatures in any case; so do not leave a camera in places like a car glove compartment, on a hot day.
You should get used to these rules, and so accustomed to following them that they becomes second nature.