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06-25-2016, 08:39 PM   #1
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Questions about lens and body maintenance + some extras

Hi.

From the internet, I have seen some people saying one thing, and some people saying another. Just before I make my own conclusion, I once again remembered Pentax Forum is always there for help


Question about Lens and body maintenance


1. Where do you keep your lenses? I saw people buying wine cellar type of dehumidifying safe and some doing their own DIY dry camera boxes which seem to do the job, but not for certain as it has risk of contamination from corrosive water.

2. Is it necessary to keep each lens in a separate rugged container?

3. How often do you clean lenses? Some people say do it every time I take the camera outside and some say that cleaning lens too often is bad for the the lens because it rubs off special coatings on the lenses.

4. If I take a good care of lenses how long does it last?

5. Should I clean the sensor myself? or take it to a electronics place to have it cleaned up for some fees? and how often should I clean the sensor?

6. Would a Fujin Vacuum lens do the job for both the body and the lens?

7. Is there any kind of thin material that we can put on the camera body as second protective skin to avoid scratches and damages? I can put the camera in a small pouch or bag when taking on to outside, but just to be extra careful and to prevent scratches from indoors?

8. Is there a image editing programs that can be run in a macbook air? Macbook airs are very light and easy to carry around, but its processor (from 2013) is not very strong. Are there image programs macboor airs can accomodate?


Thank you!

06-25-2016, 09:02 PM   #2
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1) Depends on where you are at. In a very humid area a dry box or safe might be worth the expense. In most areas, just keeping your gear dry and never putting it away wet will suffice.

2) Not IMHO, but if you want to go ahead. Mine are in different sections of my camera bag. Some have neoprene sleeves around them which lets me stack multiple lenses in the same slot of the bag.

3) Depends on what you mean by 'clean'. I try to wipe the outside down and remove any dust every time I come in. But I rarely if ever clean the glass. I only do that if there is noticeable crud on it and even then very carefully.

4) I have a 135mm made in 1958. I used it to take the first image from my K-1. Worked fine. I'm sure others have even older lenses. Really, what can go wrong with the glass? Electronics might be different.

5) Only clean if needed. The camera has a self clean function that should be used, I have mine set to run on startup. If that fails to clean something try a rocket blower. If that does not work, then you might need a wet cleaning, which you can do yourself or take to a camera shop to have done. This usually costs $40 - $50ish.

6) No idea what that is

7) There are camera armor coverings for some brands, not sure if there are any for Pentax though. The usefulness is debatable to me, but if you are particularly hard on gear it might be worth it. I keep the camera in a bag all the time except when in use.

8) Probably, but I don't use laptops for any image processing, much prefer the 27" screen of my desktop.


Keep in mind though that answers to your questions will vary depending on: location, climate, camera use, and personal preference. Bottom line, there is no 'right' answer, do what you think is best for your situation.
06-25-2016, 10:04 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
1) Depends on where you are at. In a very humid area a dry box or safe might be worth the expense. In most areas, just keeping your gear dry and never putting it away wet will suffice.

2) Not IMHO, but if you want to go ahead. Mine are in different sections of my camera bag. Some have neoprene sleeves around them which lets me stack multiple lenses in the same slot of the bag.

3) Depends on what you mean by 'clean'. I try to wipe the outside down and remove any dust every time I come in. But I rarely if ever clean the glass. I only do that if there is noticeable crud on it and even then very carefully.

4) I have a 135mm made in 1958. I used it to take the first image from my K-1. Worked fine. I'm sure others have even older lenses. Really, what can go wrong with the glass? Electronics might be different.

5) Only clean if needed. The camera has a self clean function that should be used, I have mine set to run on startup. If that fails to clean something try a rocket blower. If that does not work, then you might need a wet cleaning, which you can do yourself or take to a camera shop to have done. This usually costs $40 - $50ish.

6) No idea what that is

7) There are camera armor coverings for some brands, not sure if there are any for Pentax though. The usefulness is debatable to me, but if you are particularly hard on gear it might be worth it. I keep the camera in a bag all the time except when in use.

8) Probably, but I don't use laptops for any image processing, much prefer the 27" screen of my desktop.


Keep in mind though that answers to your questions will vary depending on: location, climate, camera use, and personal preference. Bottom line, there is no 'right' answer, do what you think is best for your situation.
Thank you for the answers. I live in Atlanta GA where a good level humidity is present. Now, I think it might be a good idea to get a lens bag and throw in some silica bags inside for humidity control rather than the safe or DIY box. I heard silica bags absorb humidity slower and my house isn't terribly humid. So..
06-26-2016, 06:55 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by talkskiwon Quote
throw in some silica bags inside for humidity control rather than the safe or DIY box. I heard silica bags absorb humidity slower
Won't work. Silica bags have a very limited and short lived ability to absorb humidity. They can be used to dry out a sealed container such as a box being shipped. But once they absorb to their potential they are useless. In a camera bag which will be opened to new air occasionally their life span will be quite short. There are some that can be re-charged by heating but again they will not last long.

06-26-2016, 07:30 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
Won't work. Silica bags have a very limited and short lived ability to absorb humidity. They can be used to dry out a sealed container such as a box being shipped. But once they absorb to their potential they are useless. In a camera bag which will be opened to new air occasionally their life span will be quite short. There are some that can be re-charged by heating but again they will not last long.
And what do you recommend?
06-26-2016, 11:18 AM   #6
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The Mac Book Air is also memory limited, with a base memory spec of only 4GB (or 8 GB as a purchase time option). IIRC it cannot be upgraded later. That might be more limiting than the CPU.
06-26-2016, 01:44 PM   #7
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Don't worry too much about dirt and damage. Be careful but not paranoid.

1. I store my lenses at home in an airtight box (an inexpensive plastic storage box with gasketed lid) and keep a rechargeable dry pack inside to absorb moisture.

2. A rugged container is not needed for home storage. If you're traveling with too many lenses for a camera bag, then consider a padded Pelican case or similar.

3. I rarely clean my lenses. I use a rocket blower at the end of the day to remove dust from lenses. On the rare occasions when I get water spots, I use a lenspen to erase the spots.

4. Lenses can last "forever". Repairs can be triggered by rough handling or bad luck. Use a new lens frequently so any weak points break before the warranty expires.

5. I only clean the send when dust spots show in photos. The previously mentioned rocket blower gets the dust off my sensor.

6. I never heard of the Fujin Vacuum lens before. I just looked at an advertising video and IMO it's a silly gimmick.

7. Camera protective covers seem unnecessary to me. Don't drop your camera. Don't worry about minor scratches; they won't shorten the camera life. There are cheap LCD protectors to cover the screen.

8. I'm a Windows guy using Adobe LightRoom. It's available for Mac but I don't know processor and memory requirements.
06-26-2016, 05:44 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by JoseFF Quote
And what do you recommend?
Keep your gear dry and if it gets wet dry it as quickly as possible. Atlanta is humid, but it isn't a rain forest. And I assume your house has A/C so the humidity inside is actually quite low. You might have more problems with condensation, going from a cold dry interior to a hot humid exterior, than you would with just humidity.

Not to belittle your concerns, but I think you are really over thinking this. I live in Oregon, where it can rain almost daily 5 months of the year, and I've never had a problem. My one firm rule is when I get back inside to make sure everything is dry completely before I put it away.

If you are still concerned then the only real solution is a dry cabinet. Here is one: https://www.amazon.com/electronic-automatic-digital-control-cabinet/dp/B0087...box+for+camera
Or find a small cabinet and add a 40 watt light bulb and some vent holes. Try a search and you should find some plans to build a simple one.

06-26-2016, 06:18 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
Keep your gear dry and if it gets wet dry it as quickly as possible. Atlanta is humid, but it isn't a rain forest. And I assume your house has A/C so the humidity inside is actually quite low. You might have more problems with condensation, going from a cold dry interior to a hot humid exterior, than you would with just humidity.

Not to belittle your concerns, but I think you are really over thinking this. I live in Oregon, where it can rain almost daily 5 months of the year, and I've never had a problem. My one firm rule is when I get back inside to make sure everything is dry completely before I put it away.

If you are still concerned then the only real solution is a dry cabinet. Here is one: https://www.amazon.com/electronic-automatic-digital-control-cabinet/dp/B0087...box+for+camera
Or find a small cabinet and add a 40 watt light bulb and some vent holes. Try a search and you should find some plans to build a simple one.
Yeah, I understand. I just don't have any experience with DSLRs or cameras in general. That's why I am trying to ask as many questions and learn details about how to keep gears in good condition. The cabinets though, thats what I mentioned as safe on the top post. I'm don't think its necessary anymore after reading the replies. I will probably get a pelican case and keep my stuff there. Definitely make more sense to worry about condensation rather than indoor humidity. Thanks.
06-26-2016, 09:45 PM - 1 Like   #10
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1. I keep my lenses in a cheap plastic storage box. I keep a "rechargeable" Eva-Dry moisture absorber in there. Not sure it's really necessary but it makes me feel better. If you are worried about moisture you could get a humidity meter to make sure the humidity where the lenses are stored is below 60% or so.

2. I keep my lenses in the pouch if I have one. A few of my lenses I don't have a pouch for and they seem to do ok. Obviously I am careful when handling the box.

3. There isn't any regular cleaning required for lenses. I am very reluctant to touch the glass on either end of the lens. My go-to cleaning tool is a "Rocket Blaster", which almost always gets off any dust.

4. Lenses last indefinitely, although over time new lenses have better features (weather sealing, auto-focus, etc). If you buy a lens today it will almost certainly work with cameras 20 years from now, although you may or may not want to.

5. Regular cleaning of the sensor is not necessary. You should only bother if you notice dark spots (dust) in your photos. The first step for sensor cleaning is to use the built-in sensor cleaning feature that most Pentax cameras have, where the camera vibrates the sensor to try to get dust off it. If that doesn't work you can have the camera flip the mirror up to expose the sensor, and then you can blow on it using a Rocket Blaster (NOT your mouth, NOT compressed air). If those don't work I personally would not want to touch the sensor so I would send it in for repair, but I have never needed to do that.

6. I don't really see how this is better than a Rocket Blaster. But who knows. I certainly would not buy it speculatively. If you are having a serious problem keeping your equipment clean I suppose you could try it.

7. I have never seen a "skin" for DSLRs but maybe they exist for more popular models. (Probably not Pentax...) Sometimes people put a clear filter on the front of the lens simply to protect it (personally I don't). Also you can buy plastic screen protectors for the LCD screen on the back for most camera models. As for scratches, I try to be careful but I also don't really care. The camera is a tool. A little bit of scuffing is inevitable.

8. If you have an old MacBook Air you may struggle a bit but I am sure you can work something out. You should probably start with the free software from Apple, called "Photos". It can handle the RAW files from DSLR and includes basic controls for editing.

Lightroom is a step up in features/capability but if you are just beginning I probably wouldn't bother with it just yet. You can have Lightroom pre-generate smaller "preview" files for each of your images which takes a bit of time up front but once it's done it should behave well even on an older computer.
06-26-2016, 11:44 PM - 1 Like   #11
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  1. I keep lenses & silica bag in ziplock inside a plastic cabinet at home. Keep changing silica bag every 3-4 months and change ziplock bag whenever it broken. Cheap solution.
  2. not sure if it necessary but I keep it separated. One lens per one ziplog. Camera body is also in its own ziplock.
  3. only when I see dusts on the glass, and usually clean it up after use at the end of the day. Mostly only use rocket blower.
  4. How long it will last? I guess it will be up to you luck too?
    I got F28 which was made sometime during 1987 to 1989, and it is still working very well, sharp and clean glass.
    I used to have FA35 brand new, use it for like about a year and didn`t touch it much because later I got f28, and it end up with a small dust inside. A FA20 just broke down last month, internal mechanism problem and unable to fix! A DA15 loosed 2 of its internal screws. Hopefully I could fix it myself. Out of 4 lenses I mention, I use FA35 the less, and frequently use f28, fa20 and da15, surprisingly the oldest of all never shows sign of problem!
  5. One a year, I let a professional sensor cleaning take care of it. We got a Pentax service center in Shinjuku and they do it in like 10 - 20 minutes + itís cheap.
  6. I have never tried that.
  7. I use a protective film only on the LCD. My camera body and lenses with metal barrel got scratches all over. A kind of unique looking black body with lot of visible silver scratches. lol [console myself] I like to carry light. I usually go with 1 or 2 primes so I donít use a camera bag, but a shoulder bag. I try to enjoy the view + take photo rather than get a shoulder pain and wary too much of the gears. [of course, sensible precaution is a must.]
  8. I use Adobe products on all of my laptop. The oldest one is 7 years old, and it doesnít have a problem running CC2015. Just give it at less 16 gb of RAM and a SSD drive. I guess MacBook Air also uses SSD. It should be fine.
06-28-2016, 07:01 AM - 1 Like   #12
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You have gotten some great advice here! The main thing that can get scratched rather easily is the LCD. I always use a protector to prevent this. I use the ACMAXX on all my cameras. If yours has the top LCD as well, they also include a cover for that. These are "hard" plastic, not film.

acmaxx pentax | eBay

Cameras & lenses are built to be used & enjoyed; so don't go out shooting with worrying about protecting your equipment as your priority. Most of us even shoot in the rain, I use a plastic bag, if I don't have a regular rain cover. With a little bit of care, your equipment will serve you well. If you do get a scratch or two, consider them "battle scars".
06-29-2016, 07:27 AM - 2 Likes   #13
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Remember your weather seals can become dirty and less effective. Typically a cotton swab dampened in water is sufficient to remove grit. This is important for those doors you open frequently like memory card and battery. If they look oily you can use alcohol, but that would be unusual.
This is also important for the lens mount and the lens plates, particularly the weather seal on the WR lenses.

I generally store my more used lenses in a drawer.
06-29-2016, 02:40 PM - 1 Like   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by talkskiwon Quote
I just don't have any experience with DSLRs or cameras in general. That's why I am trying to ask as many questions and learn details about how to keep gears in good condition.
It's better to ask than to find out the hard way.
06-29-2016, 04:05 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by TER-OR Quote
Remember your weather seals can become dirty and less effective. Typically a cotton swab dampened in water is sufficient to remove grit. This is important for those doors you open frequently like memory card and battery. If they look oily you can use alcohol, but that would be unusual.
This is also important for the lens mount and the lens plates, particularly the weather seal on the WR lenses.

I generally store my more used lenses in a drawer.
I'm not sure what you mean by lens plates, do you mean the front caps and rear caps? and could you tell me more about WR lenses being particularly less effective upon uncleanness?

---------- Post added 06-29-16 at 04:06 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by TaoMaas Quote
It's better to ask than to find out the hard way.
Agreed.
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