Camera cleaning check 04: Accessories
Even if you keep your camera and lenses clean, it’s all too easy to forget about the more mundane items, but dirt and dust in your camera bag can find its way into your camera, while the locks and controls of your tripod can soon become jammed if they are left wet or dirty.
Even though they aren’t as delicate and fragile as cameras or lenses, almost every piece of photographic kit can benefit from the occasional clean.
For most items this is simply a case of wiping or brushing them to make sure they are free of dust or dirt, but there are a couple of accessories that often go unnoticed.
The first is your tripod, as it is the one piece of kit that often spends its time covered in dirt, water and sand, especially if you shoot at the coast or other harsh environment.
If so, you may need to wash the whole tripod in clean water; then, to reduce the risk of corrosion, use a small amount of water-repelling lubricant such as WD40 on the exposed metal parts, such as leg locks.
Don’t be tempted to overdo this, though, as this can cause more problems than it solves.
Finally, it’s worth taking a look at your camera bag, as even though a dirty or dusty bag might not have a direct effect on your shots, the dust can find its way onto (or even into) your camera.
To clean inside the bag, remove all of the kit and dividers, then go outside and turn the bag inside out and upside down to shake out any loose dirt and dust.
Alternatively you can use the brush nozzle on your vacuum cleaner to clean inside the bag.
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