I have been engaged in rescuing stray cameras for a while now. I clean them, repair what I can, and do my best to bring them back to a working state. Dust is a mortal enemy of cameras and is ubiquitous in the dry desert in which I live. I wage a constant battle against sensor spots and scratched film. I thought I’d share a product that has been a significant weapon in that battle. I recently purchased a VSGO Tumbler Filter air blower. I don’t know much about the brand, but I am impressed with this blower. I have owned and used many different blowers over the years, and this one is just right for me. It appears to be a well-thought-out culmination of design input from actual photographers.
I immediately noticed the quality packaging. I realize that is not necessarily a reflection of the quality of the product, but it says something about the corporate culture. If it arrived in a sandwich bag wrapped in a year-old newspaper, I might make assumptions about the product inside. My first impression was cast before I even opened the box. The blower itself did not disappoint in its attention to detail and simple elegance.
Form follows function, so I’ll get to the features. The VSGO blower is weighted at the bulb end and stands upright by itself. It will not roll off the table. The bulb is remarkably soft and supple. It requires very little effort to generate a stream of air and fills itself quickly. I used it to dust off about six hundred 35mm slides for scanning in one session, without any fatigue in my hand. The nozzle is made of the same soft material and will not scratch a sensor or lens if it happens to make accidental contact. (This was an issue with another brand’s blower I have been using lately. That nozzle is hard plastic and is so long that it sweeps back and forth while squeezing the bulb, making it difficult to target a specific spot.) The air stream is powerful enough to move any dust particles that are not otherwise adhered. I have no concerns about using it on my digital sensors or on SLR mirrors. It would be plenty adequate for any small electronics.
I have saved the best for last, and that is the integral air filter. As the blower refills with air, it draws it in through a small filter near the nozzle. It would seem unproductive for a blower to simply redistribute dust by sucking it in only to blow it back out. I don’t know if it is really a game-changer, but I welcome every little advantage I can get in mitigating dust.