Proper maintenance of your camera can extend its life and, above all, improve your pictures. In this guide, you will learn how to clean your camera lens quickly and easily
When you dedicate your life, time, and money to artistic activity, the most common thing is that you appreciate your material and take care of it as if it were a treasure. Especially when that material is as sensitive as cameras. . The lens is one of the most sensitive parts of the camera since light has to pass through the lens to get to the camera sensor and, above all, because it is usually the part that stands out the most. That’s why we have to take care of transporting the material with specialized cases or backpacks, with padded compartments, and clean the lens often.
Why would you want to clean your lenses and camera?
Where do you mainly shoot? In a sterile clean room, in a clean studio after all, or outside in the wind, weather and dirt?
We admit it: Our cameras sometimes look really awful. We take them everywhere with us for our job, shooting in every place and in every weather. Rain, saltwater and sand, dust and pollen, lint and crumbs, and even grease and sunscreen from hands and face – our cameras and lenses are working tools and they get all that.
But even if you can afford to be more gentle with your camera, it will eventually get dirty. Depending on your photography habits, it will happen sooner or later. A motocross or rally photographer standing right at the track will surely clean his camera and lenses after every use. If you shoot mainly in the studio, camera cleaning may only be necessary every few months.
The camera sensor, the “heart” of your camera inside the body, can also get dirty. Every time you change your lens, the camera body is briefly open and dust, pollen and other particles get inside. This dirt will eventually show up as smudges on your photos and videos. So from time to time, you’ll need to clean this inner area of your camera as well – with extra care, of course.
How not to clean your camera and lenses under any circumstances!
Cleaning your camera and lenses properly will preserve your expensive equipment and extend its life. You have to do it right, though, or you can damage or even destroy your equipment during the cleaning process.
We always want to scream “stop” when we see someone cleaning the lenses of their lens with paper tissue or the sleeve of their shirt while out and about.
Don’t. Simply wiping off many hundreds or even thousands of dollars worth of sensitive technical equipment with your T-shirt or tissue is not the best idea. If you don’t have anything to clean it with, leave the stain on the lens rather than risk scratching it.
Proper way to clean your camera lens
The market offers a lot of utensils for the right camera cleaning. Some of them are very good, some are very bad, some are superfluous and some are simply completely overpriced.
We recommend that you take your cleaning kit with you when you’re out shooting.
It seems quite obvious, but to clean our lens well, it is necessary to do it with clean material, in an environment free of dust and dirt, and with a lot of light to be able to appreciate perfectly that we have cleaned our equipment correctly. We also recommend the use of latex gloves (without powder) to avoid depositing grease from our hands on the lenses.
Then you follow next steps.
1. Blow away larger debris
The first thing we must do in the process is to remove the larger debris with an air bulb (so that, when rubbing to clean the lens we do not scratch the surface). The best way to use this device is to blow with the bulb at 45 degrees angle, from the center to the sides. It is important to try to prevent the bulb from touching the lens.
2. Use cleaning fluid and microfibre lens cloth
We can then use a solution used by many professional photographers to wet the lens to ensure that no dirt is left behind. This solution consists of 80% distilled water, 20% isopropyl alcohol (both liquids can be found very easily), and a few drops of wetting agent (which can be found in many photography stores). It can be applied, for example, with a clean microfiber cloth (it is recommended to have two: one to clean and another to dry) that, besides not leaving dust or residues can be found very easily. It should be done with great care, cleaning in circles. With this, we will achieve that our lens will shine. It serves to eliminate from the dust to the accumulated fat of the use. We recommend Altura Photo Professional Cleaning Kit.
Another way to protect the lens is to use a UV filter (which is highly recommended from photo stores). It is especially useful in bad weather, especially when we are in a sandy area with wind, as it could hit our lens and damage it. It is also quite useful against dust. However, sooner or later you will have to clean this filter in the same way.
Remember to take care of the camera in the best possible way. Sooner or later, every photographer comes to the point where they need to clean their lenses and camera. Regular care of your camera and lenses is necessary to avoid stains and smears on your photos. It also prolongs the life of your expensive equipment.
The result of this cleaning will be a bright lens and a ready to use material.