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Author Topic: Sand and Sensors  (Read 4306 times)
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« on: September 13, 2003, 01:22:04 PM »
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This is the sillyest advice I've ever heard. Does he expect that the sand will jump off the beach into your camera, or that a sane person would change lenses while the wind was blowing while sitting on a sandy blanket?

As long as you use common sense you'll have no problems.

Low humidity as well huh?

If I didn't have so much negative to say about this person's advise, I'd be speechless. Huh

Michael
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sc21
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« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2003, 12:14:49 AM »
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I live on the coast of Maine, and we don't have too much sand (the glaciers took it all south to make Cape Cod), but I do get near a lot of salt water.  So here's some ocean/beach gear tips that have served me well...

The thing about beaches is that it's not just the sand, but the salty air.  So if the wind is blowing, cut a hole in a plastic bag, put your camera in the bag (get one just big enough for your camera) and push the lens out through the hole (letting the plastic stretch around it).  Now cut a smaller hole in the back for your viewfinder.  A strip of tape on the bottom to seal it up, and you've got everything protected except for the lens barrel.  With digital, you don't even have to open it up to change the film.  (These bags are also great for when it rains.)

If the wind and surf isn't up, simply use masking tape to cover the bottom of the camera, over the flash card door, and the flash terminal (if you're not going to use it).  Anywhere salt and sand can get in.  When you get back to your room, simply pull off the tape and wash the camera and lens barrel with a damp cloth.

Next, don't take your camera bag to the beach - even outdoor bags, like my Lowepro Orion AW, aren't designed for it, and if they get sandy or salty, the sand and salt will always be in there.

Instead, use a regular Playmate cooler.  They're white on top, so they don't soak up the heat, you can pour a bucket of water over them and your gear stays dry, they're quick to open and lock shut (even with one hand), and to thieves they look like a cooler of beer.

I've lined mine with foam rubber on the bottom, and then more foam, zipped up tight in ziploc sandwich bags, taped to the sides and customized to fit my camera and an extra lens.  (Since it's all in plastic, you can easily wash it, but you won't really need to if you keep it shut.)  The hard case and soft inside is also great if your gear should take a fall or a hard knock.  Toss in a small towel on top, a couple garbage bags tucked in the sides, and you're all set.

Finally, for your question of changing lenses, if you do it inside the cooler, and quickly, with your back towards any wind there is, you won't have the trouble of salty wind and sand.  So yeah, just use common sense and you'll be fine.

Steve
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Edward
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« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2003, 09:36:57 PM »
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Great tips!  I would add a bigger towel in a big ziplock bag so you have something dry if there is a disaster.  I would also recommend buying a roll of real gaffer tape.  If you have not used it, it looks like duct tape, holds almost as well, and strips off clean if you do not leave it on for more than a few days.  Worst comes to worse, you can wrap a camera in it.:-)
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jhaze
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« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2003, 10:43:21 AM »
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The tech that cleans my 10D from time to time (better than I can do) has strong opinions sometimes. Not only does he shake his head over using a DSLR in the Rocky mountain area of US where we live because of low humidity---> dust, but...

He tells me NOT (as in don't even get near with the 10D) to go to any beaches with my 10D, as sand will have a chance of destroying my sensor, beyond what a cleaning can fix. I'm planning a trip to Oregon coast, and if I were to follow his advice, I'd better bring along my Canon G-2 or film T-90 as well (!).

I may want to switch from 100 macro to 16-35 and back, but if needed, I can restrain myself to one lens near sand if needed.

He may be reactionary. Any experiences from folks with 10D's "On the Beach" as it were wrt changing lenses, using hard cases, even showing up with a 10D?

And how about salt- air? Living 1000 miles inland makes me a neophyte about this issue.
 
Although I trust this tech very much, I have to question such a severe admonishment.

TIA,

Jim Hayes
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Jeff Donald
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« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2003, 05:23:16 PM »
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I live in Florida and shot at the beach almost every day.  None of my cameras show any adverse effects of sand or salt air.  Take normal precautions and you should be fine.  Sounds to me like your tech is setting you up for a big cleaning bill when you return.  

The down side to living near the beach is fungus in your lenses from the high humidity.  Your won't be at the beach long enough to worry about fungus.  The posititve thing about the humidity is I rarely have dust problems.
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flash
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« Reply #5 on: September 16, 2003, 01:09:00 AM »
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I live on the beach, and I mean on the beach. No noisy neighbours here.

 To date I have had no more issues with my 10D than any other camera I ever owned. I did have an EOS1n where the buttons got seized up because of sand but I was shooting on beaches for up to 10 hours a day four to six days a week. This only happened once in two years of this type of work. Take the precautions you think are right for you and you'll be fine.

Gordon
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victoraberdeen
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« Reply #6 on: September 17, 2003, 02:44:43 AM »
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You can clean the gaffer tape glue by using zippo lighter fluid, just pour some on cotton wool and wipe the glue away. It will move any sticker glue, but if you dont remove the glue after the fluid has evaporated the glue sticks again...  and no smoking
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