Camera Utilities, Accessories and Equipment Maintenance

We have compiled information about camera utilities, accessories and equipment maintenance for photographers in our article.


Camera-Utilities-Accessories-and-Equipment-Maintenance
Camera Utilities, Accessories and Equipment Maintenance

Camera, lens etc. as far as vehicles; It is also important to support and transport them while taking photos, and to organize and store the photos after they are taken. It should not be forgotten that these tools also have an effect and contribution to the quality of the produced photograph. Their protection and care should not be neglected either.


Tripod

A tripod is one of the basic needs—in other words, indispensable tools—for nature photography. Nature photographers need to have a sturdy tripod. A sturdy tripod prevents the camera from moving (wiggling) and shaking the moment the picture is taken. Thus, healthy shots are taken with a long exposure or tele lens and clearer and sharper photos can be obtained. Therefore, it is an important factor in nature photography.


Carbon alloy / carbon fiber tripods are as robust as they are convenient to carry and use. However, they are quite expensive. Although aluminum tripods are affordable, they transmit heat (cold / hot) and vibration more.


Tools such as monopods, gorillapods, and bean bags, which function as a tripod according to their place, can also be used.


Shutter Cable / Remote Control

There should be no shake with the camera while taking a photo, and the subject should be still. Because stillness is essential for clarity and sharpness. When the shutter-release button is pressed with a finger during shooting, camera shake may degrade the clarity of the image. Shutter cable or remote control should be used to avoid this problem.


Lens Hood

Rays from a light source outside the camera lens' field of view enter the lens, creating internal reflection. These reflections cause a foggy image. To prevent this, a lens hood is used.


The lens hood is a cylindrical or tulip-petal accessory made of opaque material that attaches to the end of the lens. The size of the canopy changes according to the viewing angle of the lens. It should be long enough to block light entering the lens from the side, but short enough not to enter the lens' field of view. For example, since the viewing angles of telephoto lenses are narrow, longer shades can be used, while the length of the shade in wide-angle lenses should be short.


The lens hood also has benefits such as protecting the lens from bumps, scratches, raindrops and dust.


Reflective (Reflector)

In nature photography, it is necessary to use a reflector to control / direct the light. As the name suggests, the reflector is used to illuminate the scene or object by reflecting the light to the desired place, and to reduce the contrast by softening the shadows on it.


White reflects light in its softest and most natural state. Since the light reflected by metallic colored reflectors such as silver and gold will be very harsh, it should be used carefully so that it does not degrade the quality of the photo, for example, it should be positioned far from the object. If the reflected light is desired to focus on a certain point on the object or to have a stronger effect, the reflector should be brought closer to the object, and if it is desired to have a diffuse and soft effect, it should be moved away from the object.


There are reflectors in different sizes, usually white, silver and gold, and in different shapes (triangle, circle, rectangle), which can be folded for easy carrying. The most useful is the set of reflectors called "5 in 1". Apart from these, materials such as a white paper / cardboard, fabric, wood, aluminum foil, packaging foam can also be used as reflectors.


Light Diffuser

In nature shots, light that is not harsh and illuminates everywhere at the same rate, homogeneous (evenly spread) and softening the shadows is preferred. Light diffusers / diffusers are used to provide this light. The most useful light diffuser may be a white umbrella. White colored thin fabrics (tulle, cheesecloth, etc.) or translucent synthetic products can be used as light diffusers.


Wind Blocker

The biggest problem in nature is the wind. Movement of the subject taken with the camera adversely affects the clarity and sharpness of the photograph; causes images to be blurred. To reduce or radically solve such problems, a wind blocker is used.


Curtains, cardboard, wood, wicker, etc. to block the wind. materials can be used. The photographer can produce solutions according to his location and his current possibilities. For example, he can block the wind by using his bag, coat, jacket or friend.


Computer and Software

Computer and photo editing software, which digital technology adds to photography tools, are important tools that are interrelated and should be used together.


Computer: The most important components of the computer; processor, ram, motherboard, video card, display, operating system and memory. A decision should be made about which computers should be purchased with very different features and different prices in the market, by evaluating these features. (With the purchasing power of that day, it would be correct to make a decision by considering the circumstances such as how many years later this computer can be changed).


Software: When purchasing software, the level in photography and photo processing knowledge and skills should be considered. For example, PhotoPlus or PhotoScape programs may be sufficient for the entry level. For a more advanced level, Lightroom or Photoshop software can be preferred.


External (portable) hard disk: A necessary tool for storing and backing up photos outside of the computer. While using the external disk, care should be taken that it is not connected to the computer for a long time and that it is not used on other people's computers -in order not to be damaged due to heating.


Memory cards: Digital cameras save captured images on a memory card. While purchasing the card, attention should be paid to the capacity allowed by the machine it will be used in, the high writing speed and whether it is a quality brand.


Card readers: Memory card readers are devices for transferring the digital data on the card to the computer environment -via USB connection. When purchasing, those suitable for more than one card type (such as CF, SD, MiniSD) and those with high data writing (such as USB 3.0) should be preferred.


Bag

It is one of the indispensable tools of photographers. Whether it is one of the models carried on the shoulder or on the back, the photo bag should have two basic features: The first feature should be sufficient volume and ergonomic structure. That is, the machine is large enough to accommodate lenses and other necessary tools; can be carried comfortably on the back or shoulder, can be used easily; For example, it should be in a design where the materials inside can be reached without any trouble without taking it off the back / shoulder. The second feature is that it is strong and has a structure that can protect the material inside against external factors such as compression, impact, falling and getting wet.


In other words, it should be made of durable, waterproof material (or with a rain cover), supported with an insert (pad) and made of soft material (which will not scratch the camera and lenses). Adjustable inner compartments and heat insulated ones should be preferred.


The bag should have an ergonomic carrying system that will distribute the weight to the body / can be carried comfortably for a long time. These features are important for nature photographers, they should not be overlooked.


Equipment Protection and Maintenance

As with many electronic items, digital cameras, lenses, etc. Vehicles are also very sensitive to external factors. Especially humid environments and very cold or very hot weather are the most important enemies of electronic devices. Therefore, the protection and maintenance of the equipment should not be neglected.


First of all, the camera (lens, filter, memory card, etc.) should be meticulously protected against bumps, drops, moisture, dust, dirt, water, hot and cold. For example, the machine should not be exposed to the sun for a long time, it should not be left on sand or snow, and care should be taken not to get it wet. In cold weather, parts such as the lens or the camera screen should be wiped with a soft cloth.


If the camera is to be used in a place with a different temperature from the place it is in, shooting should be started after waiting for 50-60 minutes -to get used to the temperature of the environment-to be taken out of the bag. For example, when shooting with a car in a very cold winter weather; The camera bag should be taken out of the car before it is opened, and after waiting outside for 50-60 minutes, the camera should be taken out with slow movements and prepared for shooting.


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Otherwise (that is, if the machine is taken out of the bag and shooting starts immediately), the condensation that will form inside the machine, which is taken from a warm / hot environment suddenly encounters a cold environment, may cause damage.


For example, malfunctions such as mold in the camera and/or rust on the metal parts, formation of fog that stays in the lens for a long time, - more frighteningly - sticking of the diaphragm leaves may be encountered. Another point to be considered in cold weather is the battery; battery life in cold environments will be lower than normal. In this regard, if going to a place in a cold environment and away from electricity, a few spare batteries should be kept.


Machine, lens etc. If the vehicles collide or fall to the ground in a way that will be damaged, they should not be tried to be corrected, but should be taken to the service as they are. In case of falling into water or getting wet from rain, the battery should be removed immediately, and the moving parts should be dried with a cloth or paper towel, if possible, with a blow dryer, and it should be taken to the service as soon as possible.


The healthiest way to protect yourself from dust when changing lenses is to do this in a clear plastic bag. The bag should not be used for any other purpose and should be wide enough to fit the camera, lens and hand. Before the camera and lens are placed in the bag, they should be cleaned of dust, especially around the bayonet, with a soft brush and/or an air blower. The camera and the lens are placed in the bag and the mouth of the bag is tucked under the arm without removing the hand (for example, the right hand) from the bag. Using the outside hand, the lens change process is performed inside the bag. This can be done while sitting, on the knees or on a suitable surface, both to be easy and to avoid the risk of dropping the camera and lens.


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Cleaning should be done with products such as cleaning foam, oil remover spray, fiber cloth produced for this job; other cleaners should never be used. Before starting the cleaning, coarse dust should be removed with an air blower or a wide brush with soft and fine hair. The side openings of the moving parts such as the shutter button, control dial / wheel, lens rings are also thoroughly cleaned. After removing the dust on the LCD screen, viewfinder, objective lens with an air blower or a wide and soft brush, it is wiped with a spray-sprayed fiber cloth without much pressure. Lens surfaces should not be touched. Do not spray directly onto body or lens surfaces; because the spray can seep into the interior. The lens edges and visor are cleaned by spraying one end of the cotton swab and dried with the other end.


One way of removing contamination, such as fingerprints or grease, from the lens lens, is to use wax soot. The inner surface of a spoon is held over the burning candle flame. The soot smeared on the spoon is removed with a fiber cloth and cleaned by rubbing without pressing the lens. For a clean image, the filters must also be clean. First, the dirt on the outer and inner edges of the filter is brushed with a toothbrush; The coarse dust on it is taken with a wide brush. A small amount of spray is sprayed on both sides of the filter, and the fiber cloth or chamois is held on both sides, starting from the middle, and the filter is rotated and cleaned up to the edges.


When taking pictures in nature, dust on the bag, lens lenses and covers and sand etc. on the moving parts of the tripod. There is a high probability of escaping. It is helpful to clean them during and after shooting. For example, the inside of the bag, lens and tripod covers should be dust-free and dry.


When purchasing vehicles and accessories; Those with a reliable brand, sufficient capacity and speed, and service and warranty facilities should be preferred.

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