Headaches and sneezing tell you that your body is sick, clunking and service engine lights tell you that your car is sick, and the frozen screen and spider web cracks on your phone tell you that your phone is sick. Oftentimes, we rely on obvious symptoms of dysfunction to indicate that something needs our attention; but for photography equipment, the best line of defense against “sickness” is preventing it through regular gear maintenance. Being diligent with gear maintenance will help you preserve the quality and longevity of your equipment. We’ve compiled some resources to answer your burning questions about gear maintenance and to help you get the most out of your photography equipment for years to come.
HOW OFTEN SHOULD I SEND MY LENS IN FOR SERVICE?
The generally accepted rule for lenses is to not clean them unless you have to. Cleaning a lens frequently or improperly can wear down its protective layer and cause damage.
Get your lens cleaned if you notice:
- Spots on your images that change or disappear when you change lenses.
- Exaggerated lens flares
- White, hazy spots (grease on the front element)
- Dark smudges (dust on the rear element)
If you notice issues with the zoom or focusing function of a lens, this is a sign of more serious problems that will not be solved with a simple cleaning and must be fixed by a professional.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN MY LENSES ARE SERVICED?
Shops that offer camera service usually offer lens maintenance as well. If you notice scratches, blurriness, or any changes in your lens capabilities or image quality, it may be because your lens is damaged. We encourage you to send your lens to a specialist to be serviced.
A complete lens cleaning may include checking and/or cleaning the following:
- External lens optics and lens body
- Lens barrel and mount
- Lens operation
- Camera/lens performance and communication.
- Aperture function
Cameras are complex and delicate pieces of equipment and should be treated with care. When a camera is serviced regularly and well taken care of, it can remain in top working condition for a long time, and you can run your business without taking disruptive “sick days”. Don’t learn the value of gear maintenance the hard way, but be diligent about caring for your hand held partner.