Cleaning a camera lens is one of the most important jobs for any photographer. The reason is that the first impression a camera makes to the viewer is through the lens. If the lens is not clean, then the image captured by the camera is very poor.
It’s easy to forget about cleaning your camera lens until it’s too late and you have fingerprints or dust spots all over your photos. The good news is that cleaning your camera lens doesn’t take long at all and can be done with just a few supplies from around the house.
Why You Need to Clean Your Camera Lens
The first thing to remember is that there are two types of camera lenses: fixed and interchangeable. A fixed lens is permanently attached to the camera body, while an interchangeable lens can be removed and replaced with a different one. Both types of lenses can get dirty over time, so it’s important that you learn how to clean them properly.
If you don’t clean your camera lens regularly, then dirt may build up on the glass surface of your lens and affect its ability to focus light properly onto film or digital sensor. This means that photos taken with dirty lenses won’t be as sharp or clear as those taken with a clean one.
Tips to help you clean your lens properly
The first step in cleaning a camera lens is to make sure that the surface is dry before using any kind of cleaner on it. This can be done by using a soft cloth with no fabric softener or special detergents on it, or by using compressed air if there are no other options available. After this has been completed, it’s time to get down to business!
So how do you clean your lens? Here are different ways to do it:
- Use a microfiber cloth to wipe off any large particles from the surface of the lens. You can also use a dry tissue paper if there are only small particles on it. If there are fingerprints or smudges on the lens, do not use any cleaning products as it might damage its coating or finish.
- If there are stains or marks on your lens, mix equal amounts of water and vinegar and apply this mixture on the stained area using an old toothbrush. Let it stand for about 15 minutes before scrubbing it off using soft bristles of an old toothbrush dipped in water only. Do not use any abrasive cleaning products as they may scratch your lens’ surface and cause permanent damage!
- Never spray any liquid directly on your camera lens. It could damage your equipment and leave water spots on the glass.
- Use an air blower (such as a handheld hair dryer) to remove dust from the surface of your camera lens. If you have an optical zoom lens, avoid using compressed air at all costs since it could damage your equipment. If you must use compressed air, point it away from the front element of your lens and don’t apply too much pressure when blowing off dust particles.
- Never use household window cleaners to clean lenses; most contain ammonia, which could damage coatings on your lens’ rear element over time. Instead, use special camera cleaner fluid or bug spray (with DEET) diluted with water in an equal 1:1 ratio — spray a small amount onto a cloth and wipe off gently with a circular motion until clean; rinse with water afterwards so there’s no residue left behind that could cause spots on your photo later on down the road.