Giottos Rocket Air Blower
If you own anything with a lens, then sooner or later it’s going to get dusty. The exit pupil of binoculars (the lens nearest your eye) often fills with flecks of debris, be it woodland windfall or coastal sand, and, the moment you bring your bins up to your eyes you lob the mini bucket load straight into your peepers! Camera lenses seem to attract all manner of debris, especially in dry, dusty environments, aided by a build up of static.
So, how to remedy? The easiest option is to blow into the lens with your mouth. This creates a few extra problems. In a cold climate, like the UK, you will steam up your lens, which in turn will prevent any light, loose particles from being blown away. That means, if and when you wipe the lens with your lens cloth, (or the corner of your shirt) you are in fact smearing the dust around with added moisture. Not good for the lens. And, of course, it’s pretty hard to be sure you are not going to blow spit with your puff, no matter how hard you dry your lips first.
Lots of camera maintenance kits include small lens brushes which also have little blower-bulbs on the handle. The idea is that as you brush away dust, you also puff, and the whole lot disappears. Nice idea. Most of them however have such tiny puffer bulbs that at best they move the dust around on the lens and at worst do nothing at all.
Then there are cans of compressed air which deliver a burst of clean, dry air just where you want it. Great for some jobs, but way too powerful for something delicate like a digital camera sensor. They are also pretty lumpy to carry around in your trouser pocket, and, if you hold them at the wrong angle, can give your lens a burst of rather unpleasant, misty propellant!
Enter the Giottos patented air puffer, or, the pocket rocket as I like to call it. It’s simple and it works.
The generous rubber bulb is equipped with a valve that lets air in at the back end when you release pressure, and puffs it through a narrow plastic nozzle when you squeeze it. The beauty of this little gem is that it’s pretty easy to get the jet of clean air just where you want it and super for moving small particles from a digital sensor, or a delicate lens. You have complete control over the force of air blowing from the nozzle, depending on how hard you squeeze, and it lasts forever. Well, maybe not forever, but I have only ever owned one, and it's still going strong after several years of incessant puffing! The one draw back is that you can easily become a compulsive puffer. Since this is so satisfying to squeeze, you keep finding jobs for it to do, whether it’s blowing debris from a computer keyboard or just keeping your neck cool on a hot day! It’s a total must have in any kit bag.