Tips for Taking Care of Your Camera Hire Equipment
Tips for taking care of your camera hire are oddly not prevalent. But when you do hire cameras, it’s paramount (and all-round good manners!) that you are able to take the best care of the camera equipment as much as possible. The same goes for when you hire lenses, too – whether you hire a Tokina lens, hire an Irix lens, or hire a Canon lens… perhaps even more so, as they can be more vulnerable to preventable damage. Here are some tips and ideas we’ve come up with here at Full Frame Camera Co. to help you get on with taking good care of your camera rental and lens rental.
Ask the Hire questions upfront
Most professional cameras have a battery compartment and a removable battery, as well as the ability to add extra power. These are easily accessed with a good V Mount Plate or Gold Mount Battery Plate for example, and will allow you to either use your own battery or use the one that is supplied – or both. If you’re not sure about this, always get in touch with the hire supplier first. Try to do this before you make your camera hire order online, or before you leave the rental premises, and not during the time that you’re shooting. It’s your responsibility to check things like permitted battery use. If, for example, you arrive at a shoot without enough batteries and there is no such thing as a spare inside the rental unit, it’s up to you to fix this problem for yourself, which can be tricky when you’re already on location. The same goes for storage!
Generally speaking, when you hire a camera in the UK, you can request to also rent data storage but it doesn’t arrive automatically and there is usually an extra hire charge.
Some camera houses might be kind enough to lend you a memory card with the camera, but this is extremely rare given how many times they “go missing”.
If you’re looking for professional broadcast equipment like old school VTRs, external drives and readers – you will need to hire those separately.
Looking after your camera
Cameras are expensive items that you probably don’t want to replace any time soon. As a result, you need to take good care of it so that it doesn’t get damaged or lost. Here are some tips on how to look after your camera properly.
- Keep your camera in the camera bag when not using it
- When loading your camera body in the bag, remove all camera related accessories (dolly, cloths etc) from the camera compartment…
- …and put the rest of the accessories into the correct compartments
- Make sure you’re using the bag which came with the camera
- Keep the camera dry and clean by wiping it with a soft, non-abrasive cloth (some camera hire companies will include this with your equipment)
- Don’t drop the camera!
- Be battery aware
Lenses come in all shapes and sizes and all have their own unique features and specifications that need to be considered when renting. In order to ensure that the rental equipment is in good condition for you to use, always do the following:
Check the lens hood is on securely and no items or rubbish has fallen inside (not only for safety but for cleanliness).
Check that you have the right lens covers on the right lenses…
- Don’t point the lens at a short distance from water or other liquids unless using specialist equipment
- Use a blower brush to remove dust particles from the lens while avoiding contact with the front element of the lens
- Keep lens caps on while not in use
Taking care of tripods
If you’re hiring a specific camera then you might also have to hire a specialist stands, steadis or tripods which are different to what you already own.
- The first thing to check with tripods, is that the tripod is working as it should – any issues can quickly become expensive if you’re not careful.
- Always check equipment before you start to use it.
- Make sure that it’s properly balanced – to avoid those stray shots that have to be taken in any other direction than the one you intended.
- Get the legs fully extended for stability and double check that the bolts are properly tightened.
- Even if you have a hydraulic tripod – don’t get complacent. It doesn’t mean you can slack off with respect to tightening and checking equipment before you put it to use!
This might be an odd as part of our piece on tips for taking care of your camera hire equipment, but some folks get extreme with their tripod setups. If you’re the type to use spiked legs on an outdoors video production for example to help stabilise the legs, it’s important that when you’re done, the unit (after removing and packing away the camera) is carefully removed from the ground, and not ‘jiggled’ or ripped out with force, as this can severely weaken the joints and the legs.
Whether you’re taking photos for personal use or to start a photography business, renting equipment is one of the best ways of acquiring the equipment you need to start shooting and providing you with inspiration.
There is a lot of useful information in our UK lens hire catalogues online, and here on the blog we will endeavour to continue publishing useful resources for learning more about using different camera equipment types.
If you have any questions about hiring equipment for photography or videography, get in touch and we’ll try our best to answer them.
Do you have any more tips? Connect with Full Frame Camera Co. on social media, we would love to hear from you!