Dust Anyone? We Review the Nitecore BB21



The cleaning of your equipment is an essential part of your photographic practice. Up until a month ago, I used my blower brush and cleaning pen for this. Now, however, these two items have not seen the light of day since I received my Nitecore BB21 blower. This small, versatile, and compact device has taken over the cleaning of my camera gear and a few other components as well.

If you are not familiar with Nitecore, they produce high-spec flashlights, camping accessories, and backpacks as well as camera accessories. The BB21 is one of these accessories. This electronic blower is the upgraded and modified version of the BB2, and it is an effective piece of equipment that does more than just clean your camera gear.

Build Quality

The Nitecore BB21 sports a sleek and compact design that’s both functional and aesthetically pleasing. The black and yellow color scheme adds a touch of style to what otherwise would be a mundane cleaning accessory. It is constructed from solid, high-quality plastic, and although it may not seem so, it is surprisingly ergonomically designed. The control buttons are also high-quality plastic and are easily accessible for one-handed use, ensuring you can focus on the job at hand.

Technical Specifications

Input: 5 V, 2 A

Rated Power: 33.6 W

Battery Capacity: 7.2 Wh

Wind Speed on Turbo: 30-80 km/h (18.6-49.7 mph) 

Dimensions: 138 x 62 x 33 mm (5.43 x 2.44 x 1.30 inches)

Performance

Cleaning the lenses and the camera body with the blower was quick, effective, and simple to achieve, and I had no hesitation in using the turbo mode when cleaning the equipment. It removes everything, and with any stubborn areas, you can use the magnetic brush to dislodge any stubborn dust. The magnetic brush supplied is only for the camera body and should not be used on the optics of the lenses. This retracts and locks firmly away when not required. The fan cover is also removable for cleaning of the fan and the filter, and this is what I will use my blower brush for in the future.

I was hesitant at first to use the blower on my camera’s sensor given the power of the wind speeds indicated above, and I kept it at a relatively safe distance and on silent mode the one and only time I needed to use it on my sensor. This was extremely effective in cleaning the sensor quickly and easily. Now, after constant use and being comfortable with the power output of the blower, I will quite happily use it at the recommended setting, optical, the next time I am required to clean the sensor.

There are three power modes – Turbo, Optical, and Silent – and although silent mode is not exactly that, there is an audible difference between this and the two other modes as well as the power output from it. The power on/off button can be used for quick cleaning, or double pressed to provide a constant power of your desired mode. As for the battery life, I’ve used the Nitecore BB21 for over a month now, and although not every day, I’ve yet to charge it as my battery indicator has only dropped one bar.

Uses

The Nitecore BB21 is aimed at cleaning your camera gear and could be considered a stronger replacement for your blower brush, certainly in power anyway. It has a multitude of other uses as well based around photography, and I have found it very effective for the following:

  • Product Photography: cleaning away any random dust particles.
  • PC: cleaning out the entire case, fans, everything. Turbo mode is very effective for this.
  • Keyboards and any accessories where dust can gather and become trapped.
  • Connection ports: USB, card readers, phone ports. 

Pros

  • Well-built construction
  • Lightweight and compact
  • Easy to use
  • Powerful air output
  • Three power modes
  • Multitude of uses

Cons

  • Only one magnetic brush to clean the camera body is supplied, though other attachments can be purchased separately

Conclusion

The Nitecore BB21 is a well-designed and well-built electronic blower that’s powerful, effective, and easy to use. With impressive airflow and adjustable speed settings, it could prove to be a valuable addition to your cleaning arsenal. What I like about the BB21 is that it doesn’t promise to be anything more than it is. It cleans your camera gear and more and does it exceedingly well.



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