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Sand Volleyball
Valerie Shoaps, Photographer
Santa Cruz | CA | US | Posted: 3:43 AM on 03.28.17
->> The season is starting here, and I've shot a lot of indoor volleyball. But I'm a little bit concerned about shooting in the sand. Outside of using rain gear, is there anything I can do to protect my gear or is this not really an issue? I like getting close and sand flies everywhere. Any info or tips are appreciated. Thanks.

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Doug Pizac, Photographer
Sandy | UT | USA | Posted: 2:57 PM on 03.28.17
->> The easiest safeguard is to NOT change lenses. If you want to use three lenses, use three bodies. Even if the action has stopped there are still itsy bitsy teenie weenie particles flying in the air that will get inside.

As to your lenses, same thing with the airborne particles. Get a small plastic garbage bag you can cut up like sheets of cloth and make yourself a covering for the lens and camera similar to the rain jackets that are sold for gear during light sprinkles if you don't have a rain guard already.

And whatever you do, do NOT used canned air to blow off your cameras and lenses as the pressure will surely drive the particles inside between the glass elements, the shutter curtains, etc. Use a high grade camel hair brush and wet-wipes to clean.
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Wally Nell, Photographer
CLEVELAND | OH | USA | Posted: 9:37 PM on 03.28.17
->> Valerie, I typically shoot with one camera body and lens, with a spare body and lens (fitted) in a camera bag next to me. I try not to switch lenses on the sand. I sit on a towel to avoid my equipment accidentally get in direct contact with the sand. At times you can't help it, but anyway. I have my camera on a neck strap, so I can use my hands to get up. (I am a wee bit overweight, hence the helping hand thingie.)
At times you will need to get lower to the ground to avoid the net tape across the players eyes, and having a towel to protect your body and equipment is a good thing.
If you are shooting with pro-level bodies, like Canon 1D series, or the Nikon D3, D4 or D5, you probably have to worry less about getting dust in your equipment. You just need to be careful.
And oh yes, I not only have a large towel to sit on, I also have a little hand towel in my bag to wipe my sandy hands on, or for whatever reason.
Enjoy the volleyball, it is an amazing sport!
As Gary Sato says: GROW THE GAME!
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Valerie Shoaps, Photographer
Santa Cruz | CA | US | Posted: 2:41 AM on 03.30.17
->> Thanks for the info. I've been to a couple of practices and sand was flying everywhere. I'm planning on a combo of D5 and 70-200/2.8 and 200/2. I definitely won't switch lenses out there. I'll be set up by the net and behind the line as close as they'll let me.

Doug, is a RocketBlower too much pressure? Are you taking about particles in between the section of a lens? I don't usually blow out the bodies unless I suspect there's a problem. Are you recommending the brush on the mount before taking a lens off? Both lenses and body are weather sealed.

Wally, I'll give the towel a shot. I love to shoot low and that sounds good until the towel gets too sandy :)
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Corey Perrine, Photographer
Philadelphia | PA | USA | Posted: 7:10 AM on 03.30.17
->> Hi Valerie,
I usually carry these Optech Rain Sleeves around in my cases. Just because rain gear will suffice, you have one less thing to worry about if you have one little particle of sand messing up your day. So too with mud these are a huge help.Also a bag of big rubber bands to keep it tight. All are disposable if you want and peace of mind that is priceless. It's also great for packing if you don't want to pack your rain gear.
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Doug Pizac, Photographer
Sandy | UT | USA | Posted: 12:02 PM on 03.30.17
->> Valerie...

A RocketBlower is also a no-no. Forced air pushes particles and you cannot control the direction of the flow. You want to remove them. A simple lipstick brush like below should be a standard item in your bag. And be sure to never touch the bristles to your skin as it will pick up the minute oils.

Being weather sealed is not vacuum sealed, but today's sealing is a heck of a lot better than in the past but still not perfect. You want to remove every variable for cleanliness. This may be deemed overkill by some, but always better to be safe than sorry with a little preventive action.

It sounds like you have one body (D5) and two lenses to switch. If it is sand flying everywhere as you say, then definitely brush around the mount first before taking the lens off. Just the rotation can jolt sand off the exterior part of the lens mount into the body.

I know of some sand volleyball pro shooters that use a small battery-powered vacuum cleaner which works just the opposite of the RocketBlower. They're used for cleaning computer keyboards. Some use it in tandem with the lipstick brush. The brush dislodges and the vacuum sucks up the debris.

Here's one on Amazon that comes with brush attachments and works on four AA batteries. Because you're cleaning the outside of the camera and lens -- versus the front/rear elements -- you don't need a camel hair brush for them.
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Michael Stevens, Photographer, Assistant
Glendale | AZ | USA | Posted: 6:23 PM on 04.23.17
->> Wally! You're back in the states? Excellent...

I agree completely with Wally and have shot next to him at a few AVP events when they had a stop in Phoenix many years ago.

If you've got a pro-level body and lenses you don't have a lot to worry about. That being said, I don't recall shooting with much besides a 70-200. I would occasionally use my 28-70 for other things but have always had a spare body on me so never needed to change quickly at the court side while the dust was still settling. The wide would be for crowd or jube shots and even on a slower body (think it was a 40D at the time) it's enough for that type of shot.

I would definitely have an extra microfiber cloth and keep it ONLY for cleaning your lens filter.
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Robert Beck, Photographer
Carlsbad | CA | USA | Posted: 10:01 PM on 06.27.17
->> What's a lens filter?
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Thread Title: Sand Volleyball
Thread Started By: Valerie Shoaps
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