Changing Lenses in Cave

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Changing Lenses in Cave

Postby Magee » Dec 23, 2011 11:44 am

I have been told to never change lenses inside of a cave. I would be shooting in Mammoth Cave and really don't want to carry a body for each lens. Are their extra procedures for lens changes in a cave? Thanks for any and all advice.
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Re: Changing Lenses in Cave

Postby Squirrel Girl » Dec 23, 2011 1:11 pm

Will you be on the path? If you're taking a tour and not "caving," it wouldn't be so bad. You might get away with it.
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Re: Changing Lenses in Cave

Postby Magee » Dec 23, 2011 1:23 pm

I will not for the most part being caving! I will be on paths, however some of them are not part of the tour anymore. I am thinking of trying to do some lens changes in a zip lock bag and see how much of an issue that would be.

What is the issue of changing lenses in the cave, perhaps if I understand the problem better I can figure out a way to protect the equipment.
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Re: Changing Lenses in Cave

Postby Squirrel Girl » Dec 23, 2011 1:34 pm

Moisture, dust, dirt, and mud. Some of it's flying around in the air, some of it gets on your hands and EVERYTHING you touch.
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Re: Changing Lenses in Cave

Postby Chads93GT » Dec 23, 2011 1:54 pm

If your hands are clean I don't see how it would be any different than air born contaminate outside while hiking through the woods. Humidity would only be a concern if you can see it I would think. Such as steam rolling off of your body?? But if the air is clear then.......
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Re: Changing Lenses in Cave

Postby Magee » Dec 23, 2011 2:06 pm

That was my thoughs. I could not see where it would be any more of an issue than changing them above ground. However I have been told other wise, by someone who's cave experience I greatly respect!
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Re: Changing Lenses in Cave

Postby Chads93GT » Dec 23, 2011 2:13 pm

In a cave you can see contaminates floating from your headlamp. I just don't see how it's worse than outside in the wind. Who knows man.
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Re: Changing Lenses in Cave

Postby Squirrel Girl » Dec 23, 2011 2:21 pm

I think I hit the most important problems (anyone else, feel free to weigh in... as if you wouldn't anyway!). So if you can handle them on the trail, you're probably good to go. I think the deal is that just when you expect/plan that you won't have to deal with any of these, Murphy's Law comes along and suddenly you're dealing with one of them in a way that totally catches you off guard. [There's no way my hands will get very dirty. A packet of WetOnes will be all I need..... Oh $*&^, now my hands are totally dirty and I'm stuck!]

The moisture issue is probably unimportant once your camera and lenses have equilibrated with the cave temperature.
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Re: Changing Lenses in Cave

Postby Chads93GT » Dec 23, 2011 2:30 pm

Lol I'd never try it if I were truly hat dirty lol.
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Re: Changing Lenses in Cave

Postby NZcaver » Dec 23, 2011 3:29 pm

Bring a puffer and use it if needed, like you would changing lenses anywhere else. I don't think this will be much of an issue in Mammoth once your body and glass have acclimated to the temp/humidity. I wouldn't bother changing lenses inside a ziploc bag unless you like struggling with really awkward tasks. A second pair of hands might be useful if available. I was in Mammoth a few months ago and changed lenses without issue. However I only carried my DSLR when wandering freely not too far inside the historic entrance, not on any cave tours.
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Re: Changing Lenses in Cave

Postby innermostphoto » Dec 25, 2011 11:19 am

Don't bother with a "puffer" unless you want to blow dust and dirt inside your camera. It's really not that big a deal changing lenses in cave as I do it all the time. One thing this really helps is change lenses with the camera pointed down as this allows dust and dirt to fall away from the camera body. I agree with everyone else , don't bother with a zip lock bag. Good luck.

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Re: Changing Lenses in Cave

Postby Magee » Dec 25, 2011 3:15 pm

Thanks for everyone commits! I could not see that there was more danger in changing lenses in the cave than out if the standard procedures were followed. However being told other wise I wanted to double check before damaging a body.
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