Recently I have purchased a Nikon D5300 DSLR equipped with a 18-55 kit lens. The seller has attached a UV protector to the front of the lens. Being my first DSLR, I am very picky about taking care of it. So, I installed an LCD guard on the LCD screen. Also, every time I finish using the camera, I wrap both the camera and the lens inside plastic jackets provided with the kit and put both of those together inside a Nikon leather bag. Now, it has become a pain. Wrapping and unwrapping has become a tedious task and taking away all the fun in learning photography. How do I balance between these two, viz. taking care and learning the art? Please suggest.
Personally, I use ONE decent quality portable camera bag - When finished, lens cap on, in bag, zip up, job done. DO NOT take your lens off every time you have finished with it, it will wear out components and let dust in.
I never suffer with dust in the camera, so it must be working right.
Don't be too precious about your camera, but treat it with care and keep it clean.
First, take off the UV filter. It is only needed in case your lens in faced with danger such as flying sand or splashing saltwater.
Second, get a proper camera bag which fits your camera and lens attached. Keep them that way. The camera and lens together make a better seal than the body-cap and rear lens cap. Also, put back the lens cap whenever you are not shooting.
Always store your camera clean. Before putting it away for the rest of the day or night, make sure the surface is clean, particularly the lens and then the LCD. Both can get scratched if you accidentally rub hard particles on it.
Should your camera be exposed to salt, clean it with a moist cloth and dry it thoroughly before storing it away. Be careful around the mount and edged of buttons which it can enter the camera or lens.
For long term storage, you can add a small bag of silica gel in the camera bag. This will protect it from humidity which may be needed more if you live somewhere humid. Also, as commentators suggest, remove the battery and put back its cover, if available, to avoid shorting the contacts.
Replace the lens cap as soon as you're done shooting. Place the camera in a camera bag and secure the bag's top before walking. That should be sufficient for most situations.
If you're going to be near water, a waterproof bag can work nicely. I have one that goes over my entire camera case, 2 liters in capacity, that I purchased at a boating store at not much expense.
Using the original shipping plastic for short-term storage is not advised; it won't stop water and there are better ways of keeping the camera.
Most cases have sufficient padding and do a good job of keeping grit out. If the case gets the least bit dirty, I vacuum it, inside and out. Make sure the camera is clean (and if you want to be very safe, in a controlled environment) before changing lenses.
I used a UV filter on the front of my lenses to protect them for the first ten years after I graduated college. With heavy use, I never damaged a lens or filter. Now I only attach a filter if I know I'm going to be wiping the front of the lens in a location that has grit in the air, like on the beach. In the past ten years or more I've operated without a UV filter and without regrets. The filter should be no bother to simply leave on the lens.
I have been where you are when I got my first DSLR. However, I have learned that, there are few things to keep in mind so that your camera is protected and you enjoy photography.
- I cannot stress this more: Get a good camera bag and ensure that you have silica gel pouches. Moisture is killer.
- Also, protecting the camera changes with you location, in a beach keep the LCD cover on, screw on a lens cover and if not shooting, keep the camera inside a waterproof cover (like zip) and put it inside the camera bag.
- For regular shooting, always wear the camera with the strap. That will be your first lesson in photography. Wear the straps.
- For a regular shoot, you do not always need to keep the lens filters on. They are meant to serve a special purpose, so use them only if you scene warrants the use of the lens filters.
- Anytime you are not using the camera, follow step 1 and ensure that your lens is always protected using the lens cover.
Photography is fun, don't get tied down by the covers and caps. But remember, wear the straps and store them with silica gen and covers in a good bag.