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Author Topic: Shooting in dusty conditions  (Read 3574 times)
bellimages
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« on: October 05, 2007, 09:29:49 AM »
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Is there a way to protect a camera and lens from extreme dust conditions? I'm going to be shooting in Antelope Canyon, and I hear that it's extremely dusty if there are other people in the canyon. I know that there are dust covers for cameras. Has anyone used one? Do they work? Do I need to spend a lot for one?
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Jan Bell, Owner/Photographer, Bell Images
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"Making the simple complicated is commonplace, Making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that's creativity."  –  Charles Mingus
Hank
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« Reply #1 on: October 05, 2007, 10:51:59 AM »
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I've only been able to really control dust (and I shoot lots in dusty environments) by limiting or avoiding lens changes altogether, along with push-pull zooms.  If that means carrying two bodies rather than one and limiting your lens choices for the time being, so be it.  Otherwise, expect the dust.  Dust covers do nothing for you during lens changes.
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Don Libby
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« Reply #2 on: October 05, 2007, 11:08:48 AM »
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Hank is totally correct in that there’s nothing you can do to really stop dust.  I shoot in very dusty dirty conditions (Death Valley and Slot Canyons as an example) and I do not ever change lens while outside.  I also use a little bit of gaffers tape to protect some areas such as the card slot on my P30.  I don’t normally use anything if I use the 1Ds II.  I select the lens prior to going out and it stays on the body till I return.  I also do not use any push pull type of lens.

Not sure what type of equipment you have but while Antelope can be a tad dusty if you’re careful you should have little problems.


Happy shooting

don
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professorgb
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« Reply #3 on: October 05, 2007, 11:43:49 AM »
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As others have said, don't change lenses in the canyon.  Also, it's a good idea to use something like a skylight filter over your lens while in the canyon, as the guides throw dust into the air to make the light beams more obvious and photogenic.  While this dust does make for nice photos, it is often accompanied by small pebbles.  A friend of mine picked up a nick in his filter when one of the pebbles hit the front of his lens.  After that, he covered the front element/lens filter while the dust was being tossed around.  (You won't have this problem in lower Antelope, which I highly recommend you shoot.  Try to get there early in the day and stay a while, as the light changes constantly.)

If you're using a ballhead, be sure to clean it immediately after leaving the canyon.  Mine collected a LOT of dust and started to bind up.  I had to clean my head several times a day while in Arizona.
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Buddy Thomason
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« Reply #4 on: October 05, 2007, 01:46:34 PM »
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In addition to what's been mentioned so far, I use this method.  
 
Given that one must avoid changing lenses, I will pick a lens I think I'll need, attach it to my second camera and then mount it on my second tripod after placing a plastic bag between the tripod mount and the camera/lens mount.  I use a twist tie to secure the bag over the camera/lens.  That way it's ready to go when I need it and as protected as one can make it.  This general technique can be endlessly adapted even when hand-holding without a tripod.  Changing lenses inside the bag is also possible - a la the old film days when re-loading or removing film from film canisters.
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capecodfish
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« Reply #5 on: October 06, 2007, 10:40:33 AM »
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i went a much simpler route in antelope canyon...i brought a cloth to throw over the camera+lens and just kept it there the whole time, using my hand to wrap around it when i moved the tripod.
and of course, when you're back home that night, clean the camera and sensor.
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vandevanterSH
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« Reply #6 on: October 06, 2007, 10:40:28 PM »
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Quote
Is there a way to protect a camera and lens from extreme dust conditions? I'm going to be shooting in Antelope Canyon, and I hear that it's extremely dusty if there are other people in the canyon. I know that there are dust covers for cameras. Has anyone used one? Do they work? Do I need to spend a lot for one?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=144014\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


I was there last week and it was very windy at the upper Canyon;  it was like having sand thrown on top of you and your equipment.  The group that I was with is going to have a lot of expensive repairs.  The lower Canyon seems to have less of a dust problem and IMO is a better experience because of  less people and dust.


Steve
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djgarcia
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« Reply #7 on: October 08, 2007, 01:40:19 PM »
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Sometimes you just have to go with it and take your licks. I was at Monument Valley last month and we had a dust storm before sunset. I had a bandana which I used to cover the camera / lens on the tripod, but that was it. I actually took some shots of the valley during the dust storm. Suffice it to say I ended up with a fair amount of dust (a whole bunch - I'm talking scores) on the sensor for the rest of the trip, and trying to clean it I actually made it worse when I ran out of clean swabs . Still I got the images I wanted and was able to work with them.

Here's one ...

Monument Valley After the Dust Storm

Fortunately ACR which I use for raw development now offers dust removal on the raw development side, so I can go back and edit the raw file without having to re-do spot healing on the background, and can transfer the spot removal from one image to another, which still need to be tweaked but saves a lot of time.
« Last Edit: October 08, 2007, 01:40:57 PM by djgarcia » Logged

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