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Any precision equipment benefits from being kept clean, dry and free from dust, dirt and other types of contamination. However, when using photographic equipment regularly, and particularly outdoors, it is inevitable that general cleanliness will deteriorate.

Simple daily cleaning routines are always worthwhile. Take a few minutes after every shoot to wipe camera bodies, lens barrels and controls, flashguns and so on with an appropriate clean and soft cloth to remove external contamination, dust and grit. Micro-fibre cloths, anti-static cloths, lens tissues and other general purpose photographic cleaning equipment may be used. A blower brush can also be used to remove dust particles and grains of sand or grit from inaccessible locations. Sand is the enemy of all precision equipment and must not be allowed to penetrate small apertures and come into contact with moving surfaces. Hold the camera in an elevated position and work on the lower surface so that contamination falls away from the body. Do not attempt to work with a brush around the shutter which is easily damaged.

To maintain professional standards when using high-quality equipment it is undoubtedly wise and desirable to routinely return cameras to the relevant manufacturer for servicing, calibration and cleaning. Although this service may be relatively expensive, it reduces the incidence of problems related to contamination. It is also surprising how often a routine service reveals an unknown deficiency in the performance of the equipment.


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