Inspecting Your Camera's Mechanical Components

Removing the lens from a camera provides an opportunity to inspect and clean not only the optical surfaces, but its mechanical components as well. Two items of special concern are the grip housing the electronics and servo motors that drive the zoom and iris and the toothed rings that rotate to change f-stop and focal length. Start by using an appropriately sized screwdriver to ensure that all of the tiny screws that secure the grip to the lens are tight. This housing--called upon to support the full weight of the lens, camera, and battery when handholding--can work loose, occasionally with disastrous results.

Then, using an old toothbrush or a wooden toothpick, clean any grit, grime, or other debris from between the teeth of the zoom and iris rings. Keeping these gears clean eliminates stutters and bumps when the servo motors are engaged.

Complete your brief mechanical inspection by checking the rubber boots that protect the zoom rocker and other switches on the grip housing from tears or cracks. The rubber boots prevent water from reaching the circuit boards within and shorting out the lens electronics.

A few tips on remounting the lens: Reconnecting the control cable before attaching the lens makes lining up the plug a breeze. Make certain that the locking collar is fully open before inserting the lens and give the collar a little extra twist once the lens is secure to make sure it doesn't work loose.