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Shooting near the sea - taking care of equipment


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#1 James Malamatinas

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Posted 23 August 2017 - 05:14 AM

I'm about to begin a feature where we'll be spending 3 weeks shooting on / near to the beach. I've done plenty of shoots on beaches before but usually one or two days - are there additional precautions to take maintaining gear when shooting in moist, salty conditions e.g. silicon packs in lens cases, should equipment be wiped down daily etc?

 

It may be worth noting that we are shooting 35mm, does it affect how stock should be stored for example?

 

 


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#2 Simon Wyss

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Posted 23 August 2017 - 09:27 AM

What I can suggest as technician is to cover metal parts prone to oxidation with Vaseline (thinly). Steel, aluminum.

 

The other enemy besides salt from water splashes and that in the air is sand. There you have only one means of protection: cover in cover. When opening a film canister, do it in a changing bag and under a tent or in a car or a cabin where you have no draught. Put loaded magazines in plastic or wax bags, close them. Load camera in a car. Nothing is worse than sand. Same with lenses, keep them in bags and then again in air-tight containers. Have Skylight filters screwed to the front, Vaseline in the thread. It’s much better to have to clean away Vaseline after the shoot than to repair lenses or have scratched film.


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#3 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 23 August 2017 - 12:52 PM

I shot a movie in the Florida Keys a few years back. Lots of shooting on boats and on beaches. I don't know if I'd recommend covering equipment with vaseline (however thinly). It will make equipment very messy to work with and you'll get sand stuck to it.

 

My assistants were locals, and they were used to dealing with salt and sand. They spent an hour every night wiping down all the equipment with wet wipes and alcohol wipes. You have to be diligent, as it's amazing how quickly the salt can damage gear.


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#4 AJ Young

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Posted 23 August 2017 - 01:13 PM

Sand will get into your lenses really quick, especially on windy days. We shot a lot of beach scenes on Watchman's Canoe and my AC Renni Pollack was a master at using compressed air to get the sand out of our lenses.

 

Lens swaps may result in fogging of either the rear element or sensor, depending on the weather and camera heat. We fixed this problem by mounting the lens, but before locking the PL, pulling it out just a bit to let the air settle in side. We then locked the lens properly and shot our hearts out.


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#5 Robin R Probyn

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Posted 23 August 2017 - 06:38 PM

Vaseline .. !! yikes..  wouldn't go that path..(technicians trying to create work for themselves ) :)..  I,d go with a brush rather than canned air on lenses.. can just push the sand right inside.. 

 

Plenty of see through bin/garbage bags.. and camera tape.. just cover the whole thing ..and tape it down..  tape around matt box.. if your right by the water and actually on the beach and its windy.. when your at some distance I think just gauge the situation.. conditions.. wind etc.. 

 

Wipe down everything end of the day.. damp cloth .. not too wet..

 

1000 ft mags if possible.. any changes you can do in a van/shelter the better..  we used to put stock in those plastic cooler boxes, you can get from Walmart or similar.. 


Edited by Robin R Probyn, 23 August 2017 - 06:43 PM.

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#6 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 23 August 2017 - 07:32 PM

I shot a movie in the Florida Keys a few years back.

 

Did it have a shark in it?

 

I've seen that movie.

 

It was a grin!

 

Two grins!


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#7 Dom Jaeger

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Posted 23 August 2017 - 08:04 PM

I would second Robin's suggestions - avoid using compressed air on lenses to remove sand or dust as you're more likely to blow it in, use a brush instead. I use air on the front element in my workshop, but it's filtered compressor air (not canned air that can leave residue) and I'm careful not to have it too strong. I use a brush on the lens body. If sand gets under a lens ring and the lens starts sounding crunchy it needs to be partially dismantled by a technician for cleaning.

 

Don't Vaseline anything, you don't want sticky surfaces in sandy or dusty environments. Bag things as Robin said, try to do mag and lens changes in a truck or protected space, wipe everything down meticulously at the end of each day. Be extra careful when it's windy. If you see screw heads or external metal areas beginning to whiten or tarnish due to corrosion use a rust inhibitor (I use CRC 2-26) on a cotton bud to clean the area. A dab on connector pins then worked into the socket will help avoid electrical issues.

 

If you drop something in seawater submerge it as quickly as possible in a bucket of freshwater and send it straight to a technician.

 

If it's rental house gear you can ask them during prep what they recommend to protect their equipment. Corroded or sand damaged gear will attract a hefty repair bill when you return it.


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#8 Keith Walters

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Posted 23 August 2017 - 10:52 PM

 

If you drop something in seawater submerge it as quickly as possible in a bucket of freshwater and send it straight to a technician.

 

 

Yes, but remove any batteries first!


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#9 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 24 August 2017 - 12:05 AM

Two grins!

Two grins indeed.

 

It paid the rent. Other than that, no comment.


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