Photography is a passion for some and a profession for others. But have you ever wondered what damages the quality of your picture sometimes despite having an expensive camera, perfect location, and a stable position? Yes, your dirty camera lens!
Cleaning your camera lens regularly is the key to get quality shots but you need to be careful with the method because you don’t want to end up scratching your lens with excessive cleaning. These delicate pieces of technology might seem hard and durable at first but can be extremely vulnerable when exposed to harsh chemicals. You can use a lens hood to avoid scratches and other elements while photographing as well.
How to check your camera lenses for dirt spots
Here are some ways you can check your lens for the dirt signs before starting to clean them.
1. Set The Focus
Your camera needs to be in manual mode when you want to check for the dirt signs. After setting the mode, set the focus of your lens to infinite by rotating the focus ring to the infinity point.
2. Take a Photo
After adjusting the focus, take a photo of a clean surface. You can also take photos or both black and white surfaces to get accurate results.
3. Examine The Photos
Examine all the photos you’ve taken by zooming and inspecting the dust particles.
4. Check for other signs
You also might want to check the rear element of your lens for any dust particles. If you find molds inside your camera lens, it is better to get it cleaned by a professional.
Tools for Cleaning Lens
After you have identified the dusty areas, you should start collecting the necessary tools needed for cleaning the leans. It is important to choose the right tools because you don’t want to end up scratching the lens. Investing in high-quality tools can help you maintain the quality of your lens for a long time.
Here is the list of tools you need to clean your lens.
- Giottos Rocket Air Blower
- Lens pen
- Zeiss Lens Cleaning Wipe
Before starting to clean your lens, you need to keep a few things in mind.
- Do not use your mouth to blow the dust of the lens because the saliva and condensation can stick to them.
- Do not touch the bristles of the lens pen with your fingertips or any other object other than the camera lens.
- Do not touch the front element of your lens.
- Do not spray directly onto the cleaning surface and avoid using cleaning fluids like detergent and water.
- Do not use paper towels, t-shirts, and tissue paper to clean the surface of your lens. The wipes you are using should not be washed with fabric softeners.
How to Clean Your Camera Lens
Here are listed the steps you need to follow while cleaning your camera lens.
1. Use a Blower to Remove the Dust
Removing dust using mouth is not a good option. You should never breathe on the camera lens since you can blow condensation onto the lens. The best way to blow the dust off the lens is using a dust blower.
A blower should be used before any other cleaning method. You can hold the blower close to the lens without touching the surface. Then squeeze a few puffs at the lens and it would blow the dust away.
It is better to get a medium-sized or a big blower because they are easier to use. Small blowers do not do the job properly. Do not use air compressors as they can drip oil. Freon-powered air cans can also cause condensation so using them might not be a good idea.
2. Use Lens pen to Eliminate the Remains
After using the dust blower, you might notice your fingerprint on the lens. Using a lens pen can eliminate the remains. The tip of the lens pen is made of various materials but the most popular choice is camel hair.
Lens pen can remove fingerprints, dust, and grease, etc. You can gently brush the lens surface to remove the dust particles. There also is a cleaning pad with an invisible carbon compound on the other side of the lenses that can remove oils.
Lens pen is easy to use and is inexpensive. They can last for several years. Cap the lens pen after using it to avoid contamination. Avoid touching the bristles with your fingers or anything else other than the camera lens.
3. Use Lens Cleaning Wipe
The lens pen can remove almost 98% of the dust. For the remaining 2%, you can use Zeiss wipes cleans. The Lens pen can be used for cleaning the front and rear lens elements but these wipes can clean the actual lens, without damaging or scratching it.
These wipes can be used for a variety of purposes like cleaning the camera bodies, laptop’s screen, iPhone and iPad screen, and even sunglasses.
If you are using a liquid cleaner, you can also use Microfiber lens cleaning cloth to clean smudges. Unlike the lens cleaning wipes, they can be used several times but reusing the cloth can be damaging for the lens. It might leave a scratch on the lens if anything gets trapped in the cloth. Keeping them sealed in a plastic bag after every use can prevent contamination. Avoid washing these clothes with fabric softeners as they can leave chemicals on the lens behind.
The lens is delicate and one needs to make sure to use the right methods and tools to clean them. If you are not confident in buying the above-mentioned materials individually, you can buy ready-made cleaning kits from brands.
Clean dry boxes can be used for the proper storage of a camera lens to protect them from damage and scratches.