Celebrating 58 Years in the Camera Repair Business
Camera Club Newsletters
Proper Camera Storageby Gerald L. Sanford, MNEC
With Winter slowly giving way to Spring and Summer, perhaps now is the time to discuss various camera problems collected from our customers during the past several years. We can learn from their misfortunes.
Many of us store our camera and lenses in the basement for one reason or another. However, I would advise you to bring them into the upstairs for the Summer months, or when you take a trip for more than a day, at any time of year. At the very least, put them as close to the ceiling as possible, definitely NOT ON THE FLOOR! One of our customers left his Hasselblad and Canon outfits on the basement floor where they were badly damaged by water from a burst pipe. A sudden unexpected flooding of the basement has taken its toll on many a camera over the years, and even a dry basement can saturate a camera with a musty odor. A lens is quite likely to have fungus bacteria get started due to cellar storage; it only takes a tiny amount of condensation moisture and they are off! Etching the glass is what they do best! World traveling, especially, may bring on a fungus attack! Those "no-see-um' critters love lenses!
Indeed, even a short stay in a humid, hot country can allow fungus spores to enter your lenses, but not be visible until a year later. If you are in doubt, have a competent repair shop check your lenses, as early detection is paramount, since the problem worsens as time passes onward.
Throughout the years another storage problem has popped up quite often, and, as with fungus, is slow to develop, but is even more dangerous, and that is very tiny droplets of cooking oil deposited upon the lens front element, which results in mind boggling unsharp pictures. Many people, it seems park their camera on a shelf or table, lens facing upward, where these droplets etch tiny "pits' in the glass. The only cure is a new lens element. A filter, of course, will save the lens and be far less costly!
Storing your photo equipment in steady, strong heat such as an attic, or car trunk, is also to be avoided. Over time, carrying a camera or lens in a the car trunk results in the loss of necessary lubricants in the shutter and wind units, causing erratic exposure and frame counts. A similar problem could exist in the lens, except for an additional heat trouble of a "sticky" diaphragm due to grease slowing vaporizing and coating the iris blades, thus making them open and close erratically for no reason, so it is wise to check them every year.
Long term storage on a boat, especially on salt water is not recommended, either. The salt air carries many small particles of brine that can sneak in to damage tiny electronic terminals and switches.
Keeping your camera in a
range oven to thwart thieves is not a good ideal as several customers found
out when they inadvertently switched on the oven without checking first.
Melting plastic and curled leather!
1056 Massachusetts Avenue
Arlington, MA 02476
781 648 2505