cancel
Showing results for 
Show  only  | Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Recommendations to protect lenses from sand

LesinGVegas
Contributor

Greetings all, 

I am traveling to White Sands National Park and other southwestern U.S. desert sites in the spring.  The park rangers have reminded me of the need to protect my camera and lens from blowing sand, and their recommendation is to keep it sealed in a camera bag until I'm ready to use it.  Clearly that reduces some opportunities with critters in motion and quickly changing light.  Can you recommend an accessory that protects the camera and lenses so that I can have them at the ready when a photo opportunity is presented?   Thanks for your assistance. 

11 REPLIES 11

shadowsports
Legend
Legend

Greetings,

I think some of this depends on your gear.  A clear lens filter is a good start.  Neoprene lens sleeve?  Something similar to spandex or thin wetsuit like material.  Other protective measure > CarePaks.  Soft bristle brush, rocket blower.  No lens changes outside.   

You are more daring than I might be.  Blowing sand (if actually airborne) is up on the list with playa dust (think burning man) and is somewhere I'd not take my gear.

You can't control the weather and its going to come down to the wind.  Beaches / deserts are beautiful, but sand and sea spray are not friendly to photography gear. 

$15, and someone might laugh at you, but your gear will live another day to take photos.  Others might have suggestions as well. 😀

shadowsports_0-1704985170672.png

shadowsports_1-1704985337539.png

shadowsports_0-1704986223456.png

 

       

~Rick
Bay Area - CA


~R5 C (1.0.6.1) ~RF Trinity, ~RF 100 Macro, ~RF 100~400, ~RF 100~500, +RF 1.4x TC, +Canon Control Ring, BG-R10, 430EX III-RT ~DxO PhotoLab Elite ~DaVinci Resolve ~Windows11 Pro ~ImageClass MF644Cdw/MF656Cdw ~Pixel 8
~CarePaks Are Worth It

Thank you.

ebiggs1
Legend
Legend

I have put my camera in a large freezer bag. You can cut a hole for the lens to stick out and use gaffers tape to secure it. If sand is that bad I would explore the idea of wearing a mask for myself.

My experience, although I never shot at White Sands but I have done a lot of sandy desserts and never had any issues. I would also avoid changing lenses in the open if it is blowing that badly.

EB
EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and less lenses then before!

kvbarkley
VIP
VIP

I think they are exaggerating a bit. Unless you are hiking in the back country in a sandstorm, I have less trouble there than at the beach. Just keeping your camera in a bag unless you are actively using it should be fine.

IMG_3765-sm.jpg

There are two other places in the area you might want to visit: The White Sands Missile range visitor center (They have a V2 cutaway!)  and the New Mexico Museum of Space History in Alamagordo.

Thanks.

kvbarkley
VIP
VIP

BTW, make sure to take advantage of the Twilight ranger guided tours.

wq9nsc
Authority
Authority

It depends a lot on the lens and body you are using.  I have shot in some ugly conditions using a 1 series body and weather sealed L series glass without concern.  If I had been using a lower level body and one of the push/pull type zoom lens which are like little vacuums sucking in stuff from the atmosphere, then I would go with the bag and tape that Ernie suggested to seal things up.  Realize that the controls on lower series bodies are not well sealed and dust/grit will work its way into those and can cause those encoders to wear rapidly and become intermittent.

Whatever setup you use, be sure to CAREFULLY clean the camera when you are through to get all of the grit away so that it doesn't end up inside the lens, body, controls, etc.  Do NOT use high pressure air to blow it off because that will push it further into places it doesn't belong.

I normally don't hesitate to change lenses on site but blowing dust/sand is an exception to that for me.  Try to choose a single lens that will cover your needs and preferably not a type of zoom lens that is good at pulling dust into itself.

Rodger

EOS 1DX M3, 1DX M2, 1DX, 5DS R, M6 Mark II, 1D M2, EOS 650 (film), many lenses, XF400 video

Tronhard
Elite
Elite

There are two issues with sand. One is sand getting into your camera - and the advice about having an environmentally-sealed camera and lens are helpful if you have the choice.  Definitely, if at all possible, do not change lenses in the field!  If you really have to, preferably do so inside a large plastic bag, keep the camera body pointed front end down and turn OFF the camera before taking off the lens.

The other is sand abrading the front element of the lens. If you have paid out money for a good optic, it will have layers of special coatings to enhance the performance of the lens, having that unprotected to sand abrasion will damage your investment.  The solution, as Rick said, is a good quality lens protect filter.  Even if that filter is damaged by sand, it's cheaper to replace than most optics.


cheers, TREVOR

"The Amount of Misery expands to fill the space available"
"All the variety, all the charm, all the beauty of life is made up of light and shadow", Leo Tolstoy;
"Skill in photography is acquired by practice and not by purchase" Percy W. Harris

ebiggs1
Legend
Legend

"I normally don't hesitate to change lenses on site but blowing dust/sand is an exception to that for me."

 

Yes, common sense rules in situations like this. Its hard to comment since I have never been there.

EB
EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and less lenses then before!
National Parks Week Sweepstakes style=

Enter for a chance to win!

April 20th-28th
Announcements