Well as it is still spring, I thought I would just talk briefly about cleaning gear. It is the time of year when many of you will be thinking about going on various trips so it is worth giving all your gear a good once over to make sure all is well before you go and get your shots of a lifetime.
I start by getting all the gear downstairs, emptying it out all over the floor - gently of course, I don't just tip it out you will understand. Then line up all the lenses and get the Henry vacuum cleaner, the Hurricane Blower, and puffer brush.
The first thing is off with the lens end caps, and then brush them with the puffer brush with the fine wand on the vacuum cleaner held close by sucking up all the loose bits. These end caps I have consistently found are the dirtiest parts of the kit, and harbour all manner of crud that can find it's way onto the glass elements. I guess that comes from putting them in dirty pockets.
Next is glass itself. Again puffer brush and vac get rid of the loose stuff.
I never use filters to protect the front elements of my lenses unless I am in dirty or sea salt spray environments. Most of my lenses were fine, but if there are any stuck on spots, then out come the lens wipes and lens cleaner. Some folks are always very concerned about touching the front elements, but a good cleaner fluid and the Lee Filters lens cloths do the trick in no time and with no stress.
Bodies get a wipe down with Pec Pad wipes and a check of the sensor for dust spots. A look at two 7D's and the 1Dmk111 showed them to be totally clean. The self cleaning sensors on the Canon's do work really well. The 5D, which doesn't have a self cleaning sensor, that I only recently acquired has already got a dust spot - or at least it did, until I attacked it with the Visible Dust Arctic Butterfly. Another quick job and all is well.
The final thing I do before I put it all back in the bag is to vacuum it out. You will be surprised how much crud finds it's way in there. So a good go with the wand on the 'Henry' soon sees all is clean and well.
So happy cleaning