Don't vacuum a camera!

Discussion in 'Photography' started by Paul in Houston TX, Jan 14, 2014.

  1. Well, my nice little Panasonic ZS8 is no more.
    Took it apart to clean the dust out tonight and some of
    the wiring was sucked into the vacuum and destroyed.
    There is only one junk one on eBay and it looks really rough.
    The new version of ZS8 is substantially downgraded
    in what it can do compared to my 3 year old one.
    So, I Ordered a new ZS25 from B&H. It is supposed to
    be here (Houston) on Jan 17.
    Maybe it won't be as dust prone. But I doubt it.
    Paul in Houston TX, Jan 14, 2014
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  2. Paul in Houston TX

    Whiskers Guest

    Use the little 'puffer brushes' meant for dusting lenses, or some other
    gentle 'blower' of dry air. Or get one of the 'waterproof' or 'tough' or
    'rugged' models and save yourself a lot of annoyance.
    Whiskers, Jan 14, 2014
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  3. Paul in Houston TX

    Giff Guest

    I recently got a Nikon D7100. They say it's sealed. What do you guys think?

    I just took it to the desert for several hours (but without ever
    changing the lens), should I try to (gently) clean it or can I trust the
    sealing? Also, how does one notice whether some dust/sand found its way in?

    Giff, Jan 14, 2014
  4. Paul in Houston TX

    Savageduck Guest

    If you own a DSLR you should learn about the basic vulnerability to
    dust, especially when changing lenses in a windy environment. (It
    doesn't have to be particularly dusty) That is a time when sealing
    claims by the manufacturer are worthless. Then remember, a zoom lens
    behaves like a bellows and some lenses can act like a pump exacerbating
    the dust problem.
    So, learning some cleaning techniques is very important.

    1: get a blower such as a Giottos rocket. DO NOT USE CANNED AIR!!
    This is useful for blowing dust off the exterior of camera & lenses,
    especially at vulnerable points such as telescoping sections of zoom
    lenses. An exterior removal of obvious dust should be done before going
    to the mirror/sensor chamber. Then use a few puff of the blower to
    clean the mirror/sensor chamber.

    2: get a soft lint free cloth to wipe down the exterior for heavier
    dust contamination.

    3: learn how to clean sensors with the right tools, sooner or later you
    will have dust to clean which the automatic camera system isn't able to
    handle. Some of that can be dealt with using a blower, but persistent
    dust spots will need wet cleaning. I recommend the following:
    < >
    < >
    < >

    If you are on the road and are going to be in a dusty, windy
    environment and know you might have to change lenses, pack a change bag
    in with your kit. A pillow case does quite well for this. otherwise do
    your best to protect the exposed mirror/sensor chamber from the wind.
    Savageduck, Jan 14, 2014
  5. Paul in Houston TX

    Savageduck Guest

    Agreed, a brush is a useful tool for exterior and a separate brush for
    the chamber work very well. NEVER USE COMPRESSED OR CANNED AIR/GAS!!!
    use a bulb type blower.
    Having had my first DSLR sensor dust education with a D70, which is/was
    a veritable dust magnet, I was pretty much pushed into learning what to
    do using wet and dry cleaning methods. If I had to send that camera out
    to service with the frequenct it needed cleaning, they would have had
    the camera more than I did.

    Learn how to clean stuff, and buy the tools.
    < >
    < >
    < >
    Savageduck, Jan 14, 2014
  6. Paul in Houston TX

    Whiskers Guest

    Not forgetting to remove all dust from the outside of the lenses and
    camera, before putting them into the changing bag!

    I still have a proper 'changing bag' with long sleeves with elasticated
    cuffs, and light-proof fastenings. One of those would be ideal, with
    practice, but for just changing lenses it might be easier to use a
    transparent bag!
    Whiskers, Jan 14, 2014
  7. Paul in Houston TX

    PeterN Guest

    Good luck and enjoy it.
    BTW did your wife, or significant other, buty that explanation? ;-)
    PeterN, Jan 14, 2014
  8. Lens makes a crunching sound while zooming.
    Pictures end up like these:
    Paul in Houston TX, Jan 15, 2014
  9. Paul in Houston TX

    Savageduck Guest

    Savageduck, Jan 15, 2014
  10. Thank you Mr. Duck!
    That cleaned up the spots nicely.

    I sometimes use Gimp to clean up a few of the important photos
    that will go to customers, or on the covers of site equipment manuals.
    But, as you said, it soon becomes tiresome.

    Thank you for the links to camera cleaning.
    It is greatly appreciated.
    I never thought about zooming acting like a bellows...
    how interesting!

    I like the Panasonic ZS cameras because they fit nearly all of
    my requirements.
    However, they are dust prone and cleaning them is a 4-6 hour
    operation involving a large number of microscopic screws and
    lots of little parts.
    Dicapac and plastic bags help but often I cannot use either.
    I put polyester tape over all seams and holes that don't move
    but the dust still gets in. Covered the LCD in mylar tape
    for scratch resistance.
    Paul in Houston TX, Jan 16, 2014
  11. Paul in Houston TX

    Savageduck Guest

    We have discussed this problem before, and I believe now as then that
    the same sort of protection you might use for diving is what you need
    for some sort of total environment protection, and there are no real
    bargains in that area other than the Dicapac. You say the Dicapac
    helps, but you cannot use it. At this point I wonder why. It seems much
    simpler than constantly dismantling and cleaning your camera. That is
    as you just told us a risky proposition. So, sometimes you might just
    have to forego the shirt pocket option.

    < >
    < might check with B&H, but this looks like the Panasonic product. I
    am sure that they would be able to steer you in the right direction.
    Panasonic sells it for $269.96
    < >

    So you might as well give B&H a call and have them add one to your order.
    Savageduck, Jan 16, 2014
  12. Paul in Houston TX

    Savageduck Guest

    With one of those all you have to do is rinse the dust off before
    opening the case to get to a clean undamaged camera.
    Savageduck, Jan 16, 2014
  13. Thanks!
    I had looked at all of them in the last year or so and looked at
    them all again on Monday. All have drawbacks preventing their use
    for work. My best option is a plastic baggie when not being used.
    It's just something that I have to live with.
    Paul in Houston TX, Jan 16, 2014
  14. Paul in Houston TX

    Whiskers Guest

    I do hope you're removing all external dust from the camera before you
    put it into any sort of bag - otherwise all you're doing is giving it a
    dust bath. Also clean the outside of the bag itself before opening it,
    otherwise dust will transfer from the outside to the inside.
    Whiskers, Jan 16, 2014
  15. Paul in Houston TX

    otter Guest

    Sorry, but this cracks me up :).

    I'm trying really hard not to say something insensitive, like "In other
    news, don't lick a metal pole in freezing temperatures..."

    But, I'm a nice guy who would never make fun of someone's troubles.
    Don't you hate it when that happens?

    otter, Jan 18, 2014
  16. Paul in Houston TX

    Giff Guest

    yeah, I remember that from my old D600
    this has luckily never (yet) happened :)

    Giff, Jan 18, 2014
  17. Paul in Houston TX

    Giff Guest

    Thanks for your opinions, Scott.

    Giff, Jan 18, 2014
  18. Yah, It was a lighthearted post.
    The ZS8 was a good little cam. Sad to see it go.
    If I had more time I would have gotten a couple of junk
    ones from EBay and made one good one.
    I may still do that and keep it as a spare.
    I have my new ZS25 now. Hope it will last a year.
    IMO, it's not as good as my old ZS8.
    Paul in Houston TX, Jan 18, 2014
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