Conditions for Camera Storage/Rotation of Camera Bodies
A query for those - like myself - who (perhaps) own too many camera bodies: How do you store the cameras (thinking here longer term) and/or how often do you rotate through your inventory to keep all in "healthy" operating condition? In my case, I am currently using an F6 and an F5 for the bulk of my 35mm SLR shooting (on long treks into the hinterlands, I generally swap out the F5 for either an F2 or an F2AS). That said, through the course of the year (not on any regular kind of schedule), I rotate in and out an F3HP, a second F5, a second F2AS and a pair of F2 bodies. When not in use, all reside in an assortment of hard cases. Other than removing batteries and locking up the mirrors, all are sent into storage as is. Should I be taking any other precautions?
The issue came to the fore a few days ago at a local camera store when I was picking up some processed film. The conversation evolved into a discussion about analog photography, the drop in prices of analog bodies over the past couple of years, and the fact that some of us had begun accumulating cameras as a result... At any rate, the individual I spoke to - in addition to the above - also places a sheet of tissue paper between the presure plate on the back door of the camera and the body itself. Is this necessary? Are there other precautions I should consider? I would estimate that I run through my entire inventory of bodies maybe twice a year...
Interesting. I don't take any special precautions with my bodies other than removing the batteries and insuring that there's a fresh supply of silica gel in the storage case. I've been trying to track body usage but haven't gotten too good of a system yet. I'm planning a project for 2013 where I'll use a different body each month and attempt to rotate through my lenses as well.
If you go through your entire inventory twice a year, you're already doing it. I have some equipment that hardly ever gets used, I just pick it up and cycle it a bunch of times every six months or so. Flashes get powered up for several hours every 2 or three months to keep the capacitors happy.
I store things in drawers, not cases or bags or wraps. No silica gel, silica gel is worthless unless you dry it out periodically.
Drawer, with silica gel.
Silica is inexpensive even if you buy it in the cute little metal cans. They usually have moisture indicators on the can that tells you when to dry then out. An oven is all you need
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I keep my cameras in bubble-wrap bags in a drawer. Every few months, when I am on my own, I take a drawer down to the sitting room and dry fire them a few times while watching the TV.
Fairly dry here (about the same rainfall as Israel, I am told) so I don't worry about silica gel.
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Remove batteries (if they have them) and store with camera.
Store in heated room.
Wrap them in a clean, dry, lint-free cloth. Use a tube of bubble wrap to protect from other nearby objects.
Do not use sealed ziploc bags. Will promote moisture from condensation.
Do use gel paks. Regen based on manufacturer recommendation. Write date of last regen on sticker, place on gel pack.
Exercise all shutter speeds, film transport mechanism, self timer, etc. once every six months. Write date on string tag and attach to camera.
Use camera body caps and lens caps. Buy cheapo e-bay ones if you need to.
Wrap lens in sock and store in own case or a tube of bubble wrap. (Resist the urge to pop the bubbles.)
If you use the camera fairly regularly, send to a trusted repair person for a professional CLA once every 5 to 10 years (based on your use.) Heavy use will require more frequent service.
Wipe them down occasionally with clean, dry, lint-free cloth. Do not use armor all or other oils unless specifically recommended by the manufacturer in the user manual. Then use only what is recommended.
If you actually do all that they will outlast you, unless the electronics puke on you.
You need something interesting to occupy your mind whilst watching TV!
Originally Posted by Peltigera
I would add not to leave them with the shutters cocked, especially if they have cloth shutters. Over time this will stretch the springs and throw the shutter speeds out of adjustment.
I just try to use a different body with each roll of film. This doesn't always work - there are some films which I can only use in two or three cameras, either because the rest don't have a high enough ISO setting or because the metering is less accurate on some than others.
The secret is not to be too acquisitive, and accumulate cameras that you don't use, because the more cameras you have the more you need to protect, worry about, insure, and have serviced .
You are certainly right, that is the secret.
Originally Posted by benjiboy