Celebrating 64 Years in the Camera Repair Business

Digital camera repair: Nikon Coolpix, Fuji FinePix
Film camera repair: 35mm, SLR, large format, movie cameras

Tips to care for your equipment

We hope these tips will save you some grief, and perhaps even a repair. 

Camera Care Tips:

  1. Loading your camera indoors or in a car will help cut down on the amount of dirt, dust, sand, and hair that may blow into the film chamber when the back door is open.
  2. Never attempt to clean your focus screen. It is very easily scratched.
  3. Clean the mirror of your SLR using only a soft brush. A camel's hair brush is best. 
  4. Clean your camera and lens case periodically.
  5. Check the light seal around the door of your camera periodically for light leaks.
  6. Nikon FM, FM2, FE, FE2, FA, 8008, 8008s, N90, & N90s owners should use an eyepiece to prevent dirt and dust from entering the camera through the eyepiece area.
  7. When traveling with your camera always keep your camera equipment with you as a carry-on item.
  8. Never travel with your flash mounted on your SLR. You risk breaking the shoe base and-or the top cover of the camera.
  9. Always remember to turn off your camera when you are done shooting pictures.
  10. Nikon models such as FE, FE2, & EM have a "B", "M250", or "M90" setting that will allow the camera to be fired without a battery.
  11. Save any major brand name battery that leaks in your camera equipment. Many of the larger battery manufacturers will pay for the damage to your equipment if you send them the leaky batteries and a repair invoice. Call the manufacturer and ask for instructions.
  12. Rewind your film slowly to avoid scratches.
  13. Store film in the refrigerator if you need to keep it for long periods of time.  Protect it in a plastic bag or container.
  14. Never, ever, put any oil on your camera or lens. 
  15. We recommend that you keep your rear lens caps & body caps extra clean in order to avoid contributing dust to your CMOS sensor, CCD, or low pass filter.  Lens cleaner or Windex will work well for this task.
Lens Care Tips:
  1. It is important to keep your lens away from excessive heat (i.e., hot car in summertime or a heat source in a home). This will help prevent the greases, used in most lens barrels, from breaking down into an oil that can run inside your lens and cause overexposure by slowing down the diaphragm.
  2. Use rear element lens caps on your lenses when they are not on the body. Wide angle lenses, by design, have rear elements that extend out farther then the lens barrel and are susceptible to wear, which can ruin sharpness.
  3. Always use a filter or lens shade (hood) to protect the front element.
  4. Never, ever, oil your lens. A minute amount of oil on the diaphragm blades will cause them to operate slowly.
  5. We recommend that you keep your rear lens caps & body caps extra clean in order to avoid contributing dust to your CMOS sensor, CCD, or low pass filter.  Lens cleaner or Windex will work well for this task.
Video Care Tips:
  1. Tapes should not be left in camcorders when they are not in use. The tape may develop creases because of the way it is wrapped around the drum that reads the tape. These creases may cause recording and playback problems. The tape may also stick to the drum.
  2. Do not put a really cold video tape into your camcorder.  Moisture from the warmer air tends to condense on the tape (just like it fogs your glasses when you come inside in winter), and that moisture can cause the tape to stick to the spinning drum.  The tape will get wrapped around the drum, destroying the tape and possibly damaging the video heads. 
  3. Batteries should not be left on camcorders that are not in use.  Some cameras draw a small, but constant, current even when turned off. 
  4. Purchase "memory free" camcorder batteries when replacing old batteries. This style battery allows you to use the battery for short periods of time, and recharge it without developing a situation in which the battery will only charge for short term use. 
  5. Do not leave camcorder tapes in a hot car. 
  6. Do not put labels on camcorder tapes where they may interfere with the opening of the tape door. This may cause the tape to jam in the camera. 
  7. We recommend that a technician clean the tape heads when they get dirty. This will help preserve the life of the heads. 
Projector Care Tips:
  1. Most slide projectors run on rubber belts that will lock into one position or formation if left unused for long periods of time. It is best to run your projector periodically to avoid this. This will also help prevent the lubricants from hardening in one position. 
  2. Do not attempt to use any A/V equipment if the ground pin in the plug has broken off. There is a shock hazard if you were to touch a metal part on the projector and another grounded item. 
  3. You should make sure that your lamp is seated properly in the lamp socket. If it is not pushed down into the socket properly arcing may result and shorten the life of the lamp. 
  4. It is best to not place labels on your slides. They may dry out and fall off into the slide projector mechanism. 
  5. Make sure that the ventilation holes on your projector are not blocked. This will help the projector in keeping the lamp temperature down. 
  6. Cool lamp down after use by leaving the fan on until air coming out of the projector has cooled. Do not move the projector until it has cooled. Both of these tips will help the lamp last longer. 
  7. Do not touch "halogen lamps" with your fingers. The oil from your fingers will shorten the life of the lamp. 
  8. Do not attempt to clean an overhead projector fresnel lens with anything but a water dampened cloth. 
 Humorous Tips:
  1. If you hide your camera in the oven while on vacation, write yourself a BIG note so you remember to remove the camera before heating that pizza the whole family is dying-for on your way home.
  2. When filming speed boat races from your canoe, it's best to use a cheap camera. 
  3. If a bear is sitting in a tree chewing on your camera, throw cookies at him until he drops the camera. 
  4. If your camera is under-water for more than ten seconds, submersing it in a bucket of oil won't help...

Sanford Camera Repair, Inc.
1056 Massachusetts Avenue
Arlington, MA 02476
781 648 2505