We recently asked some KEH employees and photographers to share some of their "camera equipment wisdom and tips". Here is what they had to say:
* Don't wait until the last minute before an important shoot to buy (or rent) a new camera, or other piece of equipment. Always allow time to test and get familiar with it before a job.
* Make sure to have insurance when you are getting paid to deliver a product and if you own a lot of expensive camera gear.
* Always carry a couple of extra batteries. If they are rechargeable, make sure they are charged and ready to go the night before a shoot.
* Always take more memory than you think you will need, and more than one memory card.
* Keep a small tabletop tripod in the car, just in case. You may have to use it in a pinch.
* If your camera uses a tripod bushing - I advise having a spare. A $1.00 item can ruin your shoot if you don't have one.
* A good lens shade can save a front element, and also helps with contrast.
* If you are going to shoot professionally, always have at least 1 spare camera.
* Never carry an empty camera (film, memory cards, batteries)- that is when you will see Bigfoot or the Yeti. Likewise, never set your camera to shoot with out a card in it.
* Always keep a lens or body cap on your digital SLR to cut down on dust. Likewise, turn off your digital camera before changing lenses to help avoid dust (this is when the sensor acts like a magnet!).
* Turn off your digital camera before inserting or removing your memory card
to avoid data corruption that could cause a loss of your images.
* Always use a camera strap- it could save your camera from damage, loss, or theft.
* Don't take your equipment apart unless you are professionally trained.
* Don't leave batteries in equipment for an extended amount of time- they will most likely leak, corrode, or explode.
* Don't move from extreme temperature to extreme temp. quickly with gear (this can cause lens fogging, which can cause fungus growth).
* Learn your manual functions. You never know when your auto-focus, auto-shooting, metering, etc. may give you a problem.
* Always take more than one lens on a shoot with you.
* If shooting film, it's a good idea to take a black changing bag with you in case of rewind failures.
* Always have your contact information either attached to your camera bag or on the inside. It's also a good idea to always have business cards with you.
* Learn how to use your equipment from point A to Z and read your manuals!
* If using flash cords, take a few extra (but not too many to cause confusion).
* Clean your lenses appropriately- Avoid scratches and water spots by using proper cleaning tools and chemicals. Finger prints, fungus, and other oily or liquid substances left on a lens will etch into the coating if left untreated.
* Format memory cards instead of just deleting the images off of them.
* Always keep a protective filter on your lens, and keep caps on lenses when not in use.
* Turn off your VR/IS functions when not in use or on a tripod.
* Don't leave your camera gear unattended.
* Test your camera equipment before leaving for a shoot. If something is wrong, you can plan ahead accordingly.