Static Electricity

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by UncleRico, Jan 2, 2010.

  1. UncleRico

    UncleRico TPF Noob!

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    It must be the dry winter air, but I have be electrically charged for the last month. It seems like anything I touch causes a static spark. I'm concerned it will damage my camera. I'm pretty sure laptops and other electronics have static guards in place. Is it the same for cameras?

    I'd hate to cause damage. I try to touch something else before I grab my camera, but sometimes I forget.

    Any advice?

    Thanks,

    Ryan
     
  2. Provo

    Provo TPF Noob!

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    Spray the carpet with anti static spray you can get this at any carpet supplier even walmart sometimes has it. And get a humidifier to decrease the static buildup in your residence. Other then that ground yourself to metal prior to handling sensitive equipment
     
  3. HikinMike

    HikinMike No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Yes, I wouldn't worry about it.
     
  4. UncleRico

    UncleRico TPF Noob!

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    Thanks, all. Just trying to avoid damage to the camera.

    Ryan
     
  5. PatrickHMS

    PatrickHMS TPF Noob!

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    When we were kids, we used to walk all over the house, shuffling our feet on the carpets, then go up to someone and "zap" them with the built-up charge.
     
  6. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    Add 1 oz. of liquid fabric softner to a quart of water, mix and put the mixture in a spray bottle. Lightly spray your carpets with a mist of the solution to greatly reduce the buildup of static electricity.

    An except from Wikipedia.org:
     
  7. Dwig

    Dwig TPF Noob!

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    Static electricity isn't likely to harm modern electronic cameras. There have been times when a very strong shock would cause them to "go catatonic". Should the camera become unresponsive try removing the battery, waiting a few seconds, and then reinserting the battery.

    There were a number of reports of this with F3's used during the original Desert Storm when photographers jumped out of hovering helicopters just a few feet from the ground. Whirling blades in dry air could create a significant charge. While many were reported as "broken" or "fried", none actually were. A simple reset as mentioned above curred the problem.

    Film users should be extremely cautious. NEVER rewind film in such conditions without grounding the camera during the whole rewind cycle (hold camera in bare hands while also touching something grounded. Static electricity can discharge from the pressure plate to the film guide rails or cassette. If it does it exposes small lightning like streaks in the emulsion. If yoiur camera has automatic electric rewind, as many do these days, don't take the last picture on the roll until you ground the camera.
     
  8. UncleRico

    UncleRico TPF Noob!

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    Thanks, Dwig. Good information.

    Ryan
     

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