Jump to content

How to protect my camera against Dust


Malenn
 Share

Recommended Posts

Advertisement (gone after registration)

Hello

Can someone give me some advice on how best to protect my camera (M10) from dust? I know there are systems to protect DSLR cameras. I don't know of any system that can protect rangefinder cameras as well. Does anyone have experience with this?

Link to post
Share on other sites

You have to accept the fact that odds are against you never having a dust issue. I would advise keeping the camera clean by using a microfiber cloth (one just for wiping down the camera body) on the body and using a bulb-typer dust blower on both body and lens. Be sure to take care around the lens mount and hold the camera with the lens mount facing downwards. In short incorporate a fastidious cleaning regime before and after each use. When not in use keep the camera and lenses in a camera bag or in pouches. And when the day comes that the dust demons desend on your sensor have the camera professional cleaned unless you are confident that you are up to the task. Good luck.

Bob

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

14 hours ago, Malenn said:

Hello

Can someone give me some advice on how best to protect my camera (M10) from dust? I know there are systems to protect DSLR cameras. I don't know of any system that can protect rangefinder cameras as well. Does anyone have experience with this?

There are no "systems" for any camera.  SLRs and mirrorless cameras have built in functions that shake the dust off the sensor, with varying results.  For a Leica, my advice is as follows:

Don't take the lens off the body in a dusty or windy place - ever.

Turn the camera off before changing lenses or removing the body cap.  Better to do this indoors.  Keep the sensor pointing down when you have it exposed.

Don't blow on the sensor unless you already have a dust problem.  If you don't, leave it alone.  If you have a dust problem, and want to try and fix it, blow off the sensor with a bulb blower, but make sure the tip doesn't hit the sensor.  Having said that, you have about an even chance of making things worse.  Have the body facing straight down, and hold the tip of the blower between 2 fingers so it can't go too far into the camera.

I would not recommend any wet cleaning unless you are an expert, and have the tools, including LED lights and a sensor scope of some kind. But don't start with a Leica - start with your 20-year old rebel.  I have seen people seriously damage their sensor self-cleaning it.

The guy at your local camera store offering "Professional cleaning" is probably not a professional.  I would not let anybody less than a camera repair person do it, and preferably a Leica tech.

The good thing is that Leicas don't seem to be very prone to dust problems, maybe because the users tend to shoot toward the wide open side of things.  The problem is much more visible when you stop down.

I've owned 5 digital m bodies (m8, M8, M9, M10, M11) and an epson, and none of them were very bothered with dirt.  When I've seen dust spots, a blower has always fixed them.

If you want perfect, dust free shots, shoot film!

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think cleaning a sensor is that complicated or risky if the proper tools are used.  The gel stick works well (it's what Leica uses) as does a good swab like a V-Dust and a good solution like Eclipse or the Visible Dust products.  They have a newer product called CMOS Clean that works well.  

I will generally go over the sensor with the gel stick then do a quick swab with the CMOS Clean.  Done this many many times and never had any issues.  I don't have to do it very often on my M10-R, maybe a couple of times a year if that.  I used to shoot Hasselblad's that were notorious for getting sensor dust, and those needed to be cleaned more often.  Once you get the hang of it, it's really pretty easy and only takes a few minutes to do.  

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello everyone, Thank you for your response to my question regarding dust protection.
What I actually meant - maybe I should have expressed myself better - is that I want to take my M10 to a festival where it will be very dusty. There are 'shoot through systems' (usually plastic bags) for packaging a DFSLR. I was wondering if this also exists for rangefinder cameras. Or have you already made such a system for your camera yourself? Regards, M

Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

Advertisement (gone after registration)

On 6/22/2022 at 2:07 AM, Malenn said:

Hello everyone, Thank you for your response to my question regarding dust protection.
What I actually meant - maybe I should have expressed myself better - is that I want to take my M10 to a festival where it will be very dusty. There are 'shoot through systems' (usually plastic bags) for packaging a DFSLR. I was wondering if this also exists for rangefinder cameras. Or have you already made such a system for your camera yourself? Regards, M

Unless you are going to Burning Man in Nevada, you should be fine. 

Don't change the lens during the time you are at the event. Depending on the type of dust and duration / angle / intensity of exposure it may or may not be an issue. Fine talcum power like dust that blows in places like Monument Valley will find its way in, unless you are using lenses like the Zeiss Milvus which are actually tested  for extreme scenarios.

I have used covers like these during light rain, but found them annoying, so stopped using them.

Edited by ravinj
Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

The festivals that involve throwing/blowing colored powders about, including “color runs’” are not safe for ANY camera. Do a search for the Lensrentals dot com blog article, authored by Roger Cicala, to learn about that. The colored powders are not merely dust, but tiny particles that can destroy cameras and lenses.

Edited to add this link: https://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2013/05/how-to-ruin-your-gear-in-5-minutes-without-water/

Edited by RexGig0
Link to post
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...
Posted (edited)
  • Shoot thru systems don't work well with rangefinders.
  • Don't keep changing lenses in the field. Keep the lens that is mounted on at all times.
  • Some places just have dust blowing all around e.g. festivals (Holi in India where coloured power and dyes are used), deserts, beaches, workshops etc. It you find a lot of dust in your eyes or face, your camera is probably experiencing it too.
  • Always bring a camera bag, and keep camera in bag if you are not taking photos.
  • One protection method could be to use a lens filter, use a cheaper lens and a Visoflex, and tape over camera wherever possible. And keep a blower handy.
  • As a backup, bring your camera phone. You just need to know when to use camera and when to switch to a camera phone.
Edited by rramesh
Link to post
Share on other sites

If the OP is planning something like Burning Man, I would never bring a camera or lenses you aren't willing to dispose of afterwards, or that isn't seriously sealed by design.  I haven't been, but I've heard plenty of first hand stories (esp of dust storms). Otherwise, for basic mitigation in the field, the above advice is spot on. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

One can go and enjoy these festivals, without any cameras, heaven forbid....enjoy the festivities, without the "search and shoot" burden. That way your camera has no chance of being trashed.

Try "describing and explaining" the time you enjoyed, to friends without "look at my pictures" (boringinging!).

<_<

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello all.
Thanks for your responses. I am indeed going to Burning Man 🙂 and I have decided to bring the camera. I am a professional photographer and I want to take portraits of the people there. That is an essential part of my presence at this festival. Some people have a Leica camera to look at. It is, however, a work tool and I think I should take the risk. I will cover with tape all openings and possible entrances. I already emailed Camera West, the Leica shop in San Francisco. They can clean the camera if needed.
Thanks for your comments and tips.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

I think you are misinterpreting the concerns people demonstrate here regarding camera protection.

Making sure that the camera doesn’t get damaged is not a result of only looking at the camera, your implication is probably not very fair.

Most cameras might face major risks for damage if you take them to the Burning Man. If you are indeed a professional photographer, you might consider a more robust and so more suitable camera out of your equipment (maybe a Nikon D6 or a similar watertight equivalent?).

I took my M10 to a catamaran cruise around some islands, and I made sure to protect it (do not change lenses when salt water spindrift is around you), however I did not stay away from any good opportunity for a unique photo. And I‘m not a professional photographer (as most Leica users aren‘t these days). I would not take a Leica M on a rough sailing cruise or similar occasions and not to Burning Man.

As a professional you know for sure, there is not one equipment that fits all situations 😉

The M is very robust, but there are some limitations, other cameras even other Leicas can go beyond a lot better.

Edited by Helge
Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for your response. 

Oh, no. I understand the concerns of the people here very well and I very much appreciate their input. You make it seem like I'm being careless and reckless with my camera. That is certainly not the case. My initial question here in the forum is how to protect the camera from dust. I have had many positive reactions to it. You can choose not to drive in the rain with an expensive car. However, it remains a car that has to do its job. Working with the Leica and the compact size make this a fantastic device. Taking pictures is my priority. I’ts my duty to make sure that my camera is therefore optimally protected.
Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

That is a pretty pointless comparison, you are still assuming that people who are not using a Leica in any hostile environment are not really using it!?

Pretty much every expensive car is able to drive in the rain, but only a few will survive a trip along Himalaya path ways across dry river beds or through desert sand storms. Even with the best protection the best sedan car won‘t be able to do it, but you are trying to do it?

The discussion here was a lot talking about the camera body itself and how to protect it using e.g. duct tape 🤪… It might be feasible to make this possible by not touching any of the wheels and buttons anymore, but there is still the release button!

Same for the 1 lens you attach, turning the focus will continuously pump air in and out of the inner areas, together with the very fine  and abrasive dust you are facing.

So after that event you probably have to get your camera and your lens to be completely disassembled and cleaned and lubricated.

Just taking the professional equipment instead would avoid risk, effort and costs. Like taking an expedition all terrain vehicle up the Himalaya😉

Edited by Helge
Link to post
Share on other sites

Frankly speaking, i will not hesitate to bring my leica to any hostile environment too… but knowing the situation if i know i m gonna lose it why bother?

reading the link above how the color bomb might cause, dont think my crons have a better chance going to survive that 😀

but since u are a pro photographer, it’s your profession, dont sweat it, u dont have a choice

Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

Especially a professional has a choice, the choice to choose the right equipment. The risk of getting stuck in-between because the focus won‘t move anymore (or anything else) seems to me too high considering he wants to make money with his work…

Edited by Helge
Link to post
Share on other sites

@Helge 

I think you are offended mainly by my use of the word 'professional'. However, I didn't want to make a value judgment with this. I know my place and I am the last to judge others and tell them what to do and what not to do. With 'professional' I wanted to indicate that I do not only make the photos for myself, but on commission. Money doesn't grow on my back and a Leica camera is also a valuable tool for me. I was looking for an answer to a specific question, which is why I turned to this forum. I also work with Canon but this DSLR is too heavy to carry around for 7 days (day and night). After Burning Man I am on a road trip through California and a compact 'unobtrusive' system is a must for me.

Duct tape, a good storage bag and a 'do it yourself' plastic cover may do the job 🙂
A second problem is charging the batteries in a place where there is virtually no power available.
But that goes for all brands, doesn't it?

I want to thank everyone in this Forum for their advice and I wishing you happy shooting holidays 🙂 
Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...