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Old March 7th, 2006, 02:16 AM   #1
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Tips to keep the bugs off...

I'm hoping someone has a creative tip about how to keep insects away from the front of the camera lens.

I shoot in South East Asia, and outside in the hot and humid weather its not long before you're surrounded by hundreds of very inquisitive flying insects. A lot of the time they circle around right in front of the lens, causing no end of retakes or if you don't notice them in the viewfinder, aggravation when you get the footage back into the edit suite.

I've had the following unwelcome guests landing on my lens, ruining shots over the last few years: Bees, flies, ants, winged termites, roaches, and the odd gecko.

Anyone have any ideas?
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Old March 7th, 2006, 02:20 AM   #2
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I had an ant somehow crawl on my lens once, but that's about it for me as far as bug and camera experiences go. When possible, try zooming in so that bugs near you are put out of focus.
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Old March 7th, 2006, 10:52 AM   #3
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Have you tried spraying a rag with insect repellant and then clipping the rag somewhere near the lens of the camera?

In Pennsylvania, we have little bugs called "gnats". They are really tiny bugs that fly around in clouds, and tend to swarm around actor's faces. We were shooting for a few days near a creek and the bugs were causing a problem, so I stopped at an army surplus store at the end of the first day and picked up some REALLY powerful bug repellant. Spraying the actors' shoulders and a rag that I had clipped onto the camera's carry strap helped a lot.
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Old March 7th, 2006, 02:31 PM   #4
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Hello John:

I live in the land of mosquitos and for me the only thing that works is to rub a little lemon juice around the edge of lens hood. Keeps the bugs away, if you use repellant on plastic particularly the stuff high in deet you will melt the plastic. I wouldn't put the 99% deet stuff near my camera no matter what

Works for me.

Brian
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Old March 7th, 2006, 04:04 PM   #5
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Beware of any DEET based repellant near lenses or any plastic. It attacks lens coatings and, as Brian says, softens many plastics resulting in fingermarks, etc.!
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Old March 7th, 2006, 08:29 PM   #6
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Thanks for the tips, I'll try the lemon juice thing, or maybe a non DEET inect repelant, on my next shoot.
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Old March 8th, 2006, 05:00 AM   #7
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We have also a lot of mosquitos in the summer time. They follow the carbon oxide generated by breathing, and thus, not standing next to the camera already helps. When I take footages of landscapes, I typically set the camera and then move couple meters away. I've once tried to breath through a tube taking the carbon oxide away from the camera, and that also helped. Needless to say, still that's not a pleasant way to work.
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Old March 8th, 2006, 10:59 AM   #8
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Lauri brings up a very good point carbon monoxide and bugs love each other. I do a lot of my shooting out on the tundra, the only way for me to get to locations is by ATV. I've discovered that if I park the ATV and walk 300 meters away from it, it makes all the difference in the world. Cars and trucks would be the same if you can avoid any supply of carbon you will cut the number of bugs attracted way down.

On the breath thing....hmmm how long can one hold there breath LOL.

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Old March 8th, 2006, 11:01 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian McKay
I live in the land of mosquitos and for me the only thing that works is to rub a little lemon juice around the edge of lens hood.
Interesting. I would have thought that the juice would attract the mosquitos. I'll have to try that next summer. Thanks for the tip!
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Old March 8th, 2006, 11:05 AM   #10
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Eating bananas is supposed to keep the skeeters from biting. It won't keep them from flying around the lens, but it will keep you from shaking the cam as you try to swat them.
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Old March 8th, 2006, 11:19 AM   #11
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Kevin it's got something to do with the citranella (spelling) a chemical found in lemons and oranges. I take a piece of the lemon peel in a zip lock bag and throughout the day will apply some of the juice to the hood.

Keith best check that one out Bananas do the opposite they attract mosquitos, if we eat enough of them we actualy sweat the sugar to the surface of our skin and the buggers will tear you to pieces.

Believe me guys when I say I live in the land of mosquitos I truly mean it. "In the summer if you clap your hands together you get a smush rather than a clap."

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Old March 8th, 2006, 11:31 AM   #12
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Brian- I heard it was the potassium in bananas the keep them away.
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Old March 8th, 2006, 01:28 PM   #13
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Keith this is neat....I just did a quick google on the banana thing and got both pros and cons some saying eat them others saying to avoid them.

It's like the Canon owner vs the Sony owner LOL however being an XL2 owner I know the true answer to that one....the banana thing still has me wondering.

All fun aside I avoid bananas weather or not it works I don't know, maybe it's all in my head LOL.

Brian

PS: if you're ever short on mosquitos for a horror flick let me know I'll ship you a few million free of charge
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Old March 8th, 2006, 01:45 PM   #14
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Thanks Brian, but I live in Florida. I think we have more than enough ;)
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Old March 8th, 2006, 02:12 PM   #15
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Absolutely....I've often thought it should have been Everglad not Everglade....darn am I Ever Glad to get the heck out of there.

The main difference with you and I is you have the buggers 12 months of the year while I only have to itch and scratch for two months....but then again when I pack the camera to go I have to take a rifle just incase Mr. Polar Bear thinks I'm dinner.

All the best.

Brian
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