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How to Disinfect your Camera and Gears

The lockdown will end eventually sooner or later,but not the Corona virus infection and spread.It would be continuing to affect us both economically and physically.We have to find a way to coexist with Corona.


Among many professions, Photography is one of the community which are in high risk zone for Corona Exposure.In this blog,we have summarised tips and notes to handle the Corona Crisis - precautions to be taken by the photographer during shooting and how to disinfect the camera equipments after the shoot.


Precautions for Photographers

- If you are covering wedding or events,use N55 mask to cover your nose and mouth.Have sufficient supply of mask and dispose them properly.Here is the WHO guidelines for wearing Mask .




- While covering the program/event, Regularly wash your hands with soap.If you don't have soap solution,use disinfectant.


-Ensure you wash your hands with soap solution before taking food.

-Don't share water bottles,food with others

-While covering wedding/events, often social distance rule may never get followed, Especially in the dining halls.For eg,The Indian wedding is known for its choas.As a photographer you need to attend many weddings/events.So If social distance is not followed,avoid dining.

-Gloves are not necessary to protect yourself against Corona.As well it is difficult to handle cameras with glove.


Guidelines to disinfectant your Gears


As per WHO, Corona virus can stay alive for 48 hours or more, even in metal or plastic surface. Hence it is very important that we follow the disinfectant procedure religiously.


Here is the list of items which you may need to disinfectant:

  • Camera

  • Lens

  • Camera Strap

  • Tripod,Monopod,Tripod Head

  • TTL Flash

  • Batteries

  • Memory card,card reader

  • Battery Charger,cables

  • Mic,USB cables

  • Laptop,Hardisk

  • Camera Bag

  • Light Stand

  • Umbrella

  • Reflectors

  • In case of Studio

  • Background Cloths

  • Props

  • Various Color Gels

  • Umbrella,Snout etc


Above is a rough list of probable equipments.Create your own customized equipment list.

At the time of writing this blog, Except Olympus camera other camera manufacturers have not given any recommendations about disinfectant procedure.Nikon has released disinfectant procedure for their microscope product line only. Hence the recommendations provided in this blog are based on WHO,general practice followed in electronics industry and guidance from Olympus.


The best disinfectant against Corona(COVID-19) is soap solution.However this is not recommended for camera and Lens.


Soap Solution can be used for

  • Tripod,Monopods, Light Stand

  • Camera ,Lens Cap and Lens Hood

  • Umbrella, Reflectors,

  • Studio Backdrops

  • Camera Bag,Strap


Soap Cleaning Procedure

  • Make a soap solution (any detergent soap )

  • Use a clean cloth

  • Soak the cloth in the solution

  • Wipe the gear for 20 sec

  • Leave it to dry

  • After getting dried,keep it in a place which is not touched on daily basis


Disinfecting Camera and Lens


Isopropyl alcohol is commonly used in electronics industry as a cleaning agent.Isopropy alcohol with 60-90% concentration is said to be very effective against many types of virus and bacteria.


Isopropyl alcohol is available in laboratory supply shops.Add 30ml water for 70ml of alcohol,fill it in a spray bottle.

Alternatively,Lysol disinfectant spray, Clorox wipes can also be used.This is recommended by Olympus Camera Manufacturer.


You can use any other disinfectant,as long as it is recommended as COVID-19 disinfectant.


How to use:

  1. Remove camera and lens.

  2. Close the camera and lens with caps.

  3. Close all the open ports in your camera - like Mic,USB , remote jack etc

  4. Spray the Lysol on the body. Wipe it with a clean cloth. Don't spray too much making the equipment wet.

  5. Don't spray Lysol or any disinfectant on the Lens Glass.For Glass cleaning,use the appropriate lens cleaning solution.

  6. LCD, Viewfinder is one of the place where our nose contact directly with camera.However,it is not advisable to spray on the LCD and Viewfinder.Some manufacturers claim the alcohol can affect the performance of LCD.Use alcoholic-wipes like clorox for LCD and Viewfinder.

  7. Use Spray and Clean the battery, TTL Flash,Memory card,chargers,cables, Laptops,Hardisk,card reader, power cords.

  8. After cleaning the gears, keep it for 20 minutes since disinfectant need time to kill the virus and bacteria.

  9. After disinfectant done, keep all the gear in a place where it is not frequently accessed.

  10. If you have studio, disinfect the studio with bleaching powder.

CAUTION: DON'T WIPE TUNGSTEN BULB USED IN LIGHTS WITH ALCOHOL. IT CAN CATCH FIRE.

All your dress you were wearing during the event has to be washed.There are no special procedure except that you can add little bleaching agent along with your detergent. Check with WHO guidelines,if you are in doubt.


IMPORTANT : ALWAYS WASH YOUR HANDS REGULARLY WITH SOAP SOLUTION.

Disclaimer: The recommendations are given in good faith, with due diligence. However recommendations from camera manufacturers or national health advisory supercedes the information contained in this blog.It is always good to check with your manufacturer.


References

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/cleaning-disinfection.html


https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public/when-and-how-to-use-masks


https://www.cdc.gov/infectioncontrol/guidelines/disinfection/disinfection-methods/chemical.html


https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public


https://www.digitalcameraworld.com/news/how-to-disinfect-your-olympus-camera


https://www.microscope.healthcare.nikon.com/about/news/recommended-handling-and-disinfecting-procedures-for-nikon-microscope-products-to-reduce-spread-of-infectious-agents-including-sars-cov-2-coronavirus


https://learnandsupport.getolympus.com/learn-center/photography-tips/home-with-olympus/olympus-camera-cleaning-guidelines-for-covid-19


https://www.epa.gov/pesticide-registration/list-n-disinfectants-use-against-sars-cov-2


https://www.lysol.com/disinfectant-spray/disinfectant-spray/


https://www.clorox.in/


https://blog.gotopac.com/2017/05/15/why-is-70-isopropyl-alcohol-ipa-a-better-disinfectant-than-99-isopropanol-and-what-is-ipa-used-for/


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