One thing we never forget when leaving the rescue center to find cameras is a field kit to test what we might find. As much as we like to think most cameras will be in working condition there is no better way than to have a few tools at hand to make sure. For this very reason we have created a list of the tools that we carry. (Also check the Camera Rescue Club cases…)
When the film camera market peaked almost all needed a battery to either power the lightmeter or the whole cameras operation. For this reason we highly recommend you carrry some of the following batteries.
AA – 4
AAA – 4
LR44/SR44 – 2 to 4
PX625 – 2-3
CR2 – 2
CR123 – 2
2CR5 – 1 CR2/P – 1
4LR44 – 1
That basic set should be fine for the most cameras.
When checking optics you usually want to shine a light to check for fungus, haze or dust. These days, all phones have a flashlight feature on them but it doesn’t hurt to have a dedicated flashlight in your bag.
Like we mentioned in the batteries section, you need a coin to open the battery compartment in cameras. One of the most common problems, is batteries left to rot in a camera, causing swelling and corrosion that kills the camera. Any smallish coin will do the job but a 100 Yen coin is the size that most manufacturers used to design the slot.
When inspecting lenses or viewfinders you might find that dust or debris has settled on the lens elements, but one has to be really careful as its very easy to scratch the coatings. So always blow off anything that could potentially scratch the lens, once you scratch a lens there is no way back, and the value can be significantly reduced. A small air blower is never a bad purchase, for your own gear or when finding new gear.
This one is a hard one to recommend, not because its a bad thing to have but you want to keep your cleaning cloth clean, by this we mean free of hand grease, sand, debris and so on. So if you can’t make sure your cleaning cloth is clean, we recommend the wet wipes from Zeiss. You always want to clean lens elements with a bit of humidity, be it moist wipes or a bit of a breath fog to help not scratch the elements.
A lot of cameras, specially point and shoots, will have an auto film loading and rewind features. So it’s never a bad idea to carry an old roll of 35mm film (with film) to check if the camera exposes, advances and rewinds. Sometimes the motors give up on cameras and it’s good to check all the functions on site. Do remember to not let the cameras rewind all the film or you will also need a film leader extractor at hand.
Camera Rescue Club Case
Last but not least we highly recommend you carry all of this in a case that fits in a bag or backpack. That way it’s all accessible if you bump into a camera, lens or similar when scouting. We have rescued some cases and customised them with Camera Rescue Club stickers that could fit all that is mentioned in this article (you will need a small air blower). You can choose between black or silver. They also fit film nicely. Buy them following the buttons below!
And good luck searching for gear, your next find is always close!!