Here are a few tips to help you keep your equipment safe, healthy and in good working order! If you are unsure about something, please err on the side of caution. You are always welcome to consult with our team for any help on cleaning, repairs or maintenance!
Storage and Transport:
- Use appropriate cases to carry all equipment to prevent scratching the body, glass, or any other part of the camera or lens. Do not store multiple items in a single compartment where they are likely to rub, collide or come in contact with hard or rough surfaces.
- We strongly recommend investing in a good camera bag that is large enough to carry all the gear you are likely to need on a shoot. Alternatively, you can rent one from us.
- Never leave equipment inside a closed vehicle parked in the sun. The heat generated may damage the equipment, even if it has been stored inside a case. Also, it is extremely likely to be stolen! Never transport equipment in the boot of a two-wheeler as it is exposed to a lot of heat and vibrations.
- Avoid checking-in equipment with luggage at airports. Vibrations and rough handling can cause serious damage to cameras and lenses. Also, they are extremely likely to be stolen from your luggage.
- Always keep both lens caps on when a lens is not in use. In case of rental equipment, we definitely frown upon equipment handling habits that leave sand, spots, grime, smudges, stains, fingerprints on either the front or rear element. The same goes for camera bodies.
- If you are moving between places that have a high temperature difference (such as from an air-conditioned room into the outdoors) allow the equipment to gradually adjust to the temperature difference. Call us if you do not know how to do this. Sudden changes in temperature can cause fogging and moisture on the external as well as internal parts and this may sometimes be irreversible, in which case you will be left with equipment that has moisture trapped inside.
- All our lenses go out with a UV filter attached (and we recommend you do the same for your lenses as well). This filter should be kept on at all times – it is meant to protect the lens front element from fingerprints, scratches and cracks. If you choose to shoot without the filter, you do so at your own risk. As far as possible, also keep the hood on while shooting for additional protection.
- Protect gear from moisture and water at all times. Weather sealing will not protect gear against drenching and dunking. Weather sealing also may not always protect equipment from fine particulate matter such as sand, dry colours used during festivals and excessive moisture.
- Never change lenses in the open as this can introduce dust and moisture on the camera's sensor as well as the lens' rear element. If you must change lenses outdoors, shield your gear as much as possible.
- Some lenses allow full-time manual focus (in One-Shot AF Mode only) while others do not. Please check if yours does before you try to override autofocus as forcing it will definitely damage the autofocus motor of the lens.
- When using a long/heavy lens, mount the lens on the tripod instead of the camera. This provides better balance and the tripod is that much less likely to tip over while you are shooting at extreme angles. It also protects your body's lens mount from bending.
- Some lenses cannot be used with Teleconverters. Please confirm whether the lens and teleconverter you are tying to connect are compatible.
- Under no circumstance should you try to wipe any of the glass elements of a lens or the camera sensor, mirror, focusing glass, etc. It will only get much worse without the right tools and may need expensive repairs to fix.
- Unless you know exactly what you are doing, the only tools you should use to clean a lens are a gentle manual blower and a lenspen. Do not use alcohol, solvents, detergents or any other chemicals for cleaning.
- Bodies should only be cleaned externally with a blower and gentle brush. If there is dust on the mirror, simply try to blow it out. Any cleaning procedure more intrusive than this has the potential to result in an expensive repair, regardless of how many YouTube videos you may have watched.
- Some dust is inevitable inside a lens, especially in lenses that have telescopic zoom mechanisms, such as the Canon 100-400. Zoom lens suck in air (and dust with it) when they expand. This does not perceptibly affect the image unless its a particularly severe case. The same applies to fungus.
- If you see dust in your images, it is extremely unlikely that this is dust from the lens. Most of the time, this is sensor dust and may require sensor cleaning.
- If you see dust in the viewfinder, this very definitely is not dust from the lens or the sensor. This is dust present on the mirror, focusing screen or beyond the focusing screen. Regardless of where it is, it is not going to appear in your images.
When Things Go Wrong:
- If you find that the equipment has suffered some damage or become wet, please stop using it and switch it off immediately. If it is rented equipment, please call us at the earliest possible opportunity and we will assist you on how best to deal with the situation. Do not use the equipment again unless specifically asked to do so by a P&Z representative.
- This is worth a mention here: If you have rented some equipment from us and it suffers any damage, we expect you to inform us of the damage right away. Not doing so leaves us unaware of the situation until you return the equipment and this can potentially jeopardize the next customer's shoot. As a result, we view any unreasonable delay in informing us of damage as unprofessional and ineligible for any consideration. Accidents, we can understand but the lack of timely intimation, we cannot.
- Doing certain things will void the warranty of the equipment. This includes opening up equipment (service centers have some pretty neat tricks to figure out if an item has been opened up in an unauthorised manner), installing custom firmware, making modifications and many other actions that the OEM considers a breach of the terms of warranty.
- If you lose certain parts or damage something due to impact, regardless of your warranty entitlement, the repair will be a non-warranty repair.
- Sand and water damage cases are summarily excluded from warranty considerations by all service centers. If you risk shooting close to water or sand without adequate precautions, you will be left with a hefty repair bill.