After decades of shooting SLR and DSLR cameras, here are a couple tips. There is an ongoing huge debate on whether or not to use a UV or skylight filter. The issue becomes, the camera is only as good as the lens attached, quality lenses cost money. Why would I use an $80 filter on my $1500 lens? That defeats the purpose of buying quality glass. The other side says, to protect against dust, dirt and fingerprints. I personally use a high quality filter, such as b+w, but I have noticed that it does affect the image ever so slightly. A lens hood should be used whenever possible to help protect the end of the lens element as well. I would rather break an $80 dollar filter than damage an the glass element on a $1500 lens.
For cleaning, never wash a lens cloth. They cost about $3, replace it. You can find them virtually everywhere. Never ever use a paper product, it will scratch the glass. If shooting in a dirty environment, wait until you get home to clean things up. Never touch a dirty lens element with a finger, it will scratch.
I’ve used single use lens wipes in the past, they are commonly sold for eyeglasses, they tend to work very well but can leave a haze on them, so following up with a lens cloth is a good idea. Be extremely careful in which fluids and wipes you use on your equipment, some will remove the lettering from your camera body.
Turn your DSLR off before switching lenses. Turn your DSLR towards the ground when you switch lenses. We cover this in the basic workshop, once you change your lens (a few times) with the body facing down it becomes second nature.
Always use lens caps when not using the camera or storing lenses. Put your equipment back into the bag when your not using them. Try to never change out a lens on the deck of a boat, (salt water) go below, try to never change out a lens in the desert (dust and dirt), get back inside the truck.
If your not comfortable cleaning your own equipment, take it to a local camera shop, they can clean it and give it a once over. Join us for a workshop, you will get lots of simple, easy tips to improve your photography.