Dirty optics is one of the reasons photographers fail to get crisp clear shots.
So if you want to do more shooting and less cleaning, you must learn to keep dust off your optics. And the good news is, it’s super easy.
How to keep dust and dirt off my camera lens
There’s the right way to keep lenses dustproof. And then there’s the wrong way.
But don’t worry; we’ll show you how to keep your camera sensor clean without damaging it. Let’s get this show on the road, then.
Here are a few reliable ways to keep your lenses clean:
1. Keep the lens cap on during a break
Common sense, right? Sometimes life throws you a lot to deal with, which makes it easier to forget to keep the lens cap on.
So whenever your camera is idle-even for as little as 10 minutes, have the lens cap on.
Putting it inside the bag? Bags get dusty too, so it’s good to keep the lens sealed.
2. Don’t touch the lens
It’s really tempting to just want to remove dust specks on the lenses by touching them. You must be guilty of that sin, right?
Here’s the thing; your fingers could possibly be wet and sticky. The best move is to find a better cleaning solution.
3. Change lenses when you must
Changing lenses is one way to get them dusty easily. And if you are not careful, dirt is likely to get into the inside elements making cleaning one heck of an arduous task.
So change lenses only when the need arises and from a nicely sheltered place (away from windows, fans, and vents).
Always have the replacement close by to minimize dust exposure time.
Another vital tip to remember; keep the camera pointing towards the ground so nothing is blown inside the sensor.
4. Switch off the camera before a lens change
Some camera sensors retain few amounts of electric charge that could easily attract dust. Therefore, it’s best to switch them off whenever you want to change lenses.
5. Use a lens filter
Lens filters are relatively an inexpensive way to keep your lens clean. They can be cleaned in the same manner as well.
The guidelines above will help you prevent your camera lenses from getting dirty from time to time. And when they do, it’s essential to clean the right way.
How to clean your camera optics
It’s super easy to clean the camera lens. You just need to be careful and use suitable material. Here are the steps:
- Use a soft brush or blower to get rid of dust specs
- Pour a small amount of lens cleaning fluid on a piece of soft clothing or a lens tissue
- Rub on the lenses gently and in circular motions. Repeat the process until there’s no dust, grime, or fingerprints.
Using the right lens cleaners
You cannot use every piece of clothing and brush to clean lenses. So, it’s imperative that you know and pack the right cleaning agents.
When it comes to cleaning clothes, those made from microfiber are highly recommended. And unlike lens tissue, you can use them multiple times.
For brushes, those made from camel hair work perfectly. But be wary not to touch them with sweaty and dusty fingers because that could get the lenses dirty.
Separated from your cleaning gear?
It’s not unusual to forget your cleaning agents behind. If that happens, let’s hope you are lucky enough to be wearing a 100% cotton T-shirt.
The next thing you’ll need is a warm breath–you already got it–and that’s all.
Just so you know, it’s only advisable to use cotton T-shirts for emergencies only. Why? Because they can damage your lenses with time.
You can also use cotton swabs for cleaning lenses-especially the edges.
Don’t use facial tissue, liquid fabric softener, acetone, window cleaners, or other abrasive solutions.
They can easily damage the camera’s special optical coatings or chip off the plastic covering.
Some worthwhile cleaning agents you can try are di-ionized water or reagent-grade isopropyl alcohol.
However, they are not dedicated lens cleaners and will fail to work off some smudges.
Use a Lenspen
In a hurry? No worries.
You don’t have to stock a cleaning bag. Simply carry a Lenspen.
They contain a carbon-based cleaning compound for removing minor stains and fingerprints. This handy pen is a great accessory to have if you don’t want to clean your lenses too often.
All said, don’t stress too much over dirty lenses.
It’s something that is bound to happen as long as you get out there. So clean only when it’s really necessary.
Otherwise, overdoing it could shorten the lifetime of the lenses.