Film cameras, while generally durable, require some extra security and care when out in the open and utilized. This article provides essential equipment for anyone who uses a film camera.
1. Cleaning Equipment
A clean camera performs better than one that has been soiled.
The camera’s many parts can be cleaned using items that are easy to be handled. The primary requirements are that cleaning materials must be soft, clean and should not shed fibres. A variety of household cleaning products can be used very sparingly. For instance, a small amount of furniture polish made from wax can be used to wash and revive leather camera covers. However, when it comes to cleaning lenses or interior parts, there are some specific tools necessary.
It’s an excellent idea to purchase a blower since it removes delicate fragments of dust, fibres and other particles without physical contact with the delicate surfaces. It’s helpful in getting into difficult-to-access places like the mirror’s corners. Blowing onto something with your breath isn’t the best option since the air we breathe is typically humid (and cameras don’t like moisture). The more stubborn pieces are easily removed with the use of a brush with soft hairs, specifically designed for this purpose. Finger marks require more effort to move and a cleaning cloth for optical lenses or disposable microfiber tissues are perfect.
This can be supplemented with specific cleansing fluids for lenses. There is a broad selection of these. However, they should be utilized in a sensible manner and only when needed. Be aware that some fluids are nothing more than ionised water, and others could have alcohol and glycerine, which may cover lenses and not remove contaminants from the surface. I personally use ROR Residual oil Remover, a lens cleaning fluid.
2. Lens Caps
Lens caps are often an item that is ranked as the top product, as once you have lenses that are clean, effort must be put into keeping them as clean as they can be. Lens caps offer the added benefit of shielding the lens from contact with any other object (like dust, sticky fingers and moisture particles in the air, and all other sharp everyday objects), And no lens should go without one. There are three types of lenses that include screw-fit (an older, mainly steel and extremely safe design but difficult to put off and on), Snap-on (where retractable lugs hold the filter rings) and push-fit (which is able to easily fall off, based on their tight-fitting). The type you pick is not essential, as long as you’re using one.
If you are using multiple lenses, both rear and front caps are required. If your camera has to spend all day without a lens installed and you don’t have a body cap is essential.
A lot of people opt for UV filters (of some kind) in place of or as an alternative to a lens cap. It’s okay, but take into consideration the opposite argument. Glass filters aren’t designed to stand up to beatings. But it does require something to ensure it’s clean. If you are using a top-quality coated lens, then you’ll need filters of the same quality… as well they’re costly.
3. Carrying Case or Bag
This is an essential item as it assists in keeping cameras (and the related equipment) tidy when the equipment is in the home unattended, and it could offer an increased level of security while travelling.
Camera bags come in a variety of sizes and shapes. Cases are typically small and specific to specific brands and models. They only cover the camera (plus the lens that is included). Bags can hold a handful or even a large number of accessories, contingent on the dimensions. Sure bags are focused on design, some are unattractive but functional, and others fall somewhere between. It’s your choice; however, what’s essential is they must offer some protection against knocks and shocks, as well as some degree in weather protection. The shoulder strap option is handy since it lets you move hands-free.
My preferred choice is a medium-sized to small “messenger” style bag that has a removable card and foam-lined insert. My bag is equipped with removable Velcro partitions, which allow things to be secured, and the remainder of the space is utilized for non-photographic items we usually carry around (keys and wallets, phones, snacks, keys and so on.).
4. Camera Strap
If you do not want to store your camera in its case after each use and would prefer to be in a constant state of preparedness, then the camera strap is a great purchase. While it permits photographers to remain hands-free but its main advantage is that it protects against the possibility of dropping a camera. It’s also a benefit if the lens strap is comfortable, which is why a strap that’s it’s superior to a thin and hard.
I’m not a lover of neckstraps as they can give you an illusion of security. Neck-straps with cameras are known to swing like pendulums and locate other objects to hit against. When I was shooting while in kneeling posture, I swung my arms forward and snagged the camera’s neck strap in my knee, then pulled my beloved Leica out of my palms. Eek!
My preference is an elongated wrist strap. At the same time, straps offer security against injuries; however, they cannot take the place of carelessness. Straps are, therefore, far from my top choices because it’s not as effective as a bag that can be carried on your shoulder.
5. Lens Hood
Some lenses do not require a lens hood. Much depends on the lens’ focal length and the design. Some lenses have an accessible front element that is a type of built-in hood. In addition to their advantages for photography lenses, hoods also serve an additional function. They offer additional protection for the front of the lens. Like lenses caps and camera bags, they come in various shapes and sizes. They all effectively fulfil their second function that is to create a crumple zone. I’d instead invest the money I have saved on a hood for my lens rather than a glass-like UV filter.
Here are my top five suggestions. They are not particularly thrilling. There are no brand-specific products. They’re not expensive, and they will not bring a new perspective to the photography you do. All will aid in keeping a primary camera in good condition and will help maintain it in that state.