Equipment Etiquette: Lenses and Filters (Camera Lesson 23)

Summary: Ryan shows you how to properly handle and clean your camera lenses and your filters used for your different film looks.

Length: 8:19 minutes

Depth of Field, Part 1: How Aperture and ISO Affect Focus
Your Guide To High Speed, Part 6: Five Tips For A Successful Shoot
Your Guide To High Speed, Part 5: Lighting Six High Speed Sets
Your Guide To High Speed, Part 4: Common Lighting Problems
Your Guide To High Speed, Part 3: Camera Operation & Workflow
Your Guide To High Speed, Part 2: Frame Rate
Your Guide To High Speed, Part 1: Introduction
12 Crucial Questions Before Lighting Your Set (Cinematic Lighting Lesson 15)
Negative Fill: The Best Kept Secret (Cinematic Lighting Lesson 08)
3 replies
    • Ryan E. Walters
      Ryan E. Walters says:

      Great question. 🙂 While you are correct that in theory holding the lens with the lens mount up does invite dust onto the inner mount, in practice, I haven’t seen that happen much, if at all.

      The bigger issue is getting dust in the body / sensor. You want that sensor to be exposed to the “elements” for the shortest time possible. If you hold the lens so that the lens mount is down, when you go to mount the lens, you have to flip it around, which takes more time, than if you had grabbed the lens properly in the first place, and that opens up the opportunity for more dust directly on the sensor… So the idea is to minimize the amount of time that the sensor is exposed and to keep dust out of the body of the camera all together.

      Also, the environment you find yourself in plays a factor- if it is dusty, windy, rainy, etc, I’ll go to extra lengths to make sure that dust doesn’t get in there. I’ll place a hand over the lens mount while the lens is being handed to me, sometimes I’ll tilt the camera down slightly (if it is raining) to make it more difficult for particles to fall down into the body. I’ll cover the camera with an umbrella, cost, or something else to stop dust from blowing in there…

      The other issue with holding the lens by the lens mount, is that you are introducing another “movement” into the equation when you go to mount the lens. You have to flip it around. While that may not seem like a big deal, especially on a small SLR lens, it becomes a big deal when you start using cinema lenses, especially zoom lenses. That extra “flip” could potentially make you drop the lens, and dropping a cinema lens that costs anywhere from $5,000 – $80,000+ is a great way to never be invited back to set…

      So, I always encourage the proper way to handle lenses form the start. Even with small DSLR lenses. Get the practice down at the start, then when you use more expensive, and larger equipment, you’ll be set up for success and you will not have to re-learn a “new” way of doing things.

      Hope that helps. 🙂

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