Inside the Mind of a Camera Restoration Genius

Brownie Reflex 20-1959-X3

All images by Douglas Bailey. Used with permission

Photographer Douglas Bailey is not only a photographer, but he’s a collector and a special type of reseller. Like many of us, Doug went through a particular inspirational dry spell that lead him to exploring new things. He discovered the analog world and fell deeply in love with it. “Shooting film causes you to slow down, shoot less, think more about composition because you know every time you push that shutter you’ve just spent real money.” says Douglas. “And there is that edge of excitement not knowing if you got anything worth keeping for days until you get your processed film back.”

Doug’s love of analog cameras turned into a special type of gear acquisition syndrome. He collected cameras, restored them, and eventually found himself with too many. So he started selling a couple. Then he would use the investments to buy new cameras, fix those up, and resell after playing with them for a while.

The story of how Doug found his inspiration in the analog world and how he restores his cameras is after the jump.

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How to Get the Best Autofocus Performance From Your Camera

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Olympus OMD EM5 Mk II first impressions product photos (8 of 10)ISO 1001-30 sec at f - 4.5

When we test cameras, we always try to gauge how the autofocus performance works in various situations. We’ve learned how to get the best autofocusing performance from different camera systems and developed better practices to see how good the focusing really can be.

Now if you want your camera to actually autofocus better, you’ll need to know a couple of things.

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The Introduction to Getting the Best Results from Your Lenses

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Zeiss Rokinon Sigma 85mm f1.4 three way comparison (2 of 3)ISO 4001-125 sec at f - 3.5

Your lenses are much more important than your camera is. They do a big job of helping to determine what kind of image quality comes out of the camera. And in the same way that you’d treat your camera with lots of care, you should be treating your lenses even better. You know some of the basics already–or at least you think you do.

To get the most from your lenses, you’ll need to understand how they work.

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Photographer David Alan Harvey Shows You How to Clean Your Lens in the Rain

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer SLR Magic 23mm f1.7 lens fujifilm x pro product photos (7 of 7)ISO 4001-200 sec at f - 5.0

We’ve shown you how to clean your lens’s contacts, but what about when you’re out in the field and don’t have the right equipment with you? Well, Magnum Photographer David Alan Harvey has been in the situation many times and can show you with experience exactly what you’re supposed to do. Despite the fact that you should always have a lens cleaning cloth on you (the microfiber kind) sometimes you can’t always get to it.

Instead, Dave recommends reaching for some good ol’ Fruit of the Loom–or flannel. No, we’re serious.

In truth, we did the same thing when I was a working photojournalist and packed tightly shoulder to shoulder with other photographers during hot New York summers. Providing my shirt wasn’t soaking wet from sweat to begin with, it worked well enough providing that there wasn’t any sediment on the lens–otherwise you’re scratching the coating. But if there is already water on it (and lubrication is important) then you should be fine.

Check out Dave’s video after the jump, and then go right ahead and take a peek at our tips on proper maintenance of your camera.

Via Burn Magazine

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15 Ways to Get the Most Out of an Older Camera

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Tamron 70-200mm f2.8 VC image samples (34 of 36)ISO 4001-250 sec at f - 3.2

Not everyone has the money to be able to buy new cameras every year or two years. And many of us are also quite happy with the cameras that we have. But as cameras get older, there are a couple of tricks that you can do to get the most out of them.

Here are just a few from experience.

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Industry Experts Weigh In: Can You Clean a Lens with Vodka?


Seriously, go Google, “Cleaning a Lens with Vodka.” You’ll see a mixture of horror stories and mostly good insights. But besides the waste of precious liquid that can otherwise be consumed with some freshly squeezed OJ, there are reports that it can clean your lens. However, we’ve always used Isopropyl Alcohol instead.

To check in on this and clear the myths up, we asked industry experts from nearly every lens and camera manufacturer out there, and most of them got back to us on deadline. Here’s what they had to say.

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How to Clean Your MeFOTO Tripod


We recently ran across a very informative blog post on the MeFOTO blog that we thought was very much worth sharing. This post is about cleaning your MeFOTO tripod, and we’ve given our first impressions on one of them a while ago. So without any further delay, here is just that blog post that we are republishing with permission.

Cleaning your MeFOTO is a task that may seem a little daunting at first but we’re here to show you it doesn’t have to be! You should clean your MeFOTO once a year (or more if you’ve been taking it on the beach and around salt water).  Whether you have a BackPacker, RoadTrip, or GlobeTrotter, the process will be the same.

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Nikon Says That Your Halitosis Can Damage Their Lenses


In Nikon’s support forums, there is an inquiry about how to clean camera lenses. And apparently, Nikon states that you shouldn’t breathe on the lens because your breath contains harmful acids that could damage the coatings. According to the statement:

“How do I clean the camera lens?

The best way to clean a lens is to use a piece of lint free lens cleaning tissue and a small amount of Lens Cleaning solution. Do not use anything containing abrasives or solvents, only use Lens Cleaning Solution.

First we recommend taking a small blower brush to blow off or brush away loose dust or debris.

Next, place a drop or two of cleaner on the tissue (never directly onto the lens) and then wipe the lens in a circular motion, beginning in the center and working your way outward, removing any marks or smear.

If the above supplies are not available a clean, dry, soft, lint free cloth can be used to clean the lens. Do not breathe on the lens to fog it for cleaning. There are harmful acids in breath that can damage lens coatings. Just use the blower bulb, then brush, and wipe the lens in a circular spiral from the center outward.

The same method can be used to clean the viewfinder eyepiece of Nikon cameras.”

Interstingly enough, the method still works for your eyeglasses according to more than one source. Just don’t use soap and tap water–that’s just dumb.

(Via Petapixel)