One of the most important pieces of equipment in your photo arsenal is the lens. Unfortunately, it is also one of the most exposed and most vulnerable to damage. Here are a few pointers to help you protect your lenses.
The major problems you will encounter are mold, dust and scratches. Let’s look into some ways to avoid them…
First – I know it can be irritating to take the time to put together your camera before each session and then take it all apart again after you’ve gotten your shot, but you should never put away your camera with the lens still attached. It’s one of the best ways I know to get it scratched. The lens cap can (and will) come off in the bag, the banging around when carrying your bag can dent and bend your lens ruining the connectors to the camera and so on. Take the minute or so that is required to take apart the camera and store everything properly. There is no reason why a properly cared for lens can’t last you a lifetime (and your children’s and their children’s lifetimes as well).
Second – Every lens in your equipment bag should have a lens cap. True, they can get lost or misplaced and it can be a pain in the patootie to find them after an intense photo session, but you should NEVER put away your lens without one. The hassle is well worth it, you can save a multi-thousand dollar lens with a lens cap that costs a buck or so.
Third – Get a clear glass filter to screw onto your lens. If you do accidentally drop or scratch it, you will have ruined a filter that costs a couple bucks. Not a lens that can cost thousands. Clear glass filters can be difficult to find, so most photographers use a UV filter. A UV filter is designed to cut out some of the UV rays in the atmosphere when you are shooting, but the vast majority of them are not sold for that use, they are sold as protection for the lens.
Fourth – Keep your lens clean. This is not only good for the eventual photos, but is a protective measure as well. If you clean your lens after each use, (before each use too) you will avoid having potentially damaging dust and sand particles sitting on your lens for who knows how long before it is used again. Dust and sand are lens killers.
Fifth – When shooting, use a lens hood. This is a great way to avoid stray light from getting into the lens and messing up your shot, but it will also protect the front lens element from bumps and scratches. By the way – virtually all professional photographers use a lens hood. Most amateurs don’t. If you use one, you will not only be protecting your lens and getting better shots, but you’ll look like a pro doing it!
Sixth – After use, always put your lens away in your camera bag (we already covered that) and keep a few of those moisture desiccants in there to absorb any moisture that could seep into your lens and create mold.
These tips are admittedly very basic, but you’d be surprised how often I see shooters violating these common sense principles. And paying the price! Get in the habit of doing things right and that will be one thing you will never have to worry about.
To learn more about a great online class, check out – Photography Master Class
For a bit of fun check out – Trick Photography
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