A clean and clear lens will make your photo more apparent and beautiful. Many photographers want to know about the cleaning process of the lenses to remove dust and fingerprints from the camera lenses.
In this write-up, you will get to learn the professional methods of cleaning the DSLR camera lenses.
For cleaning the lenses properly you need to have some essential tools which are as below:
1. Liquid for Lens Cleaning: You will need a liquid cleaning solution to remove oil left by finger smudges and watermarks by rain. Some alcohol-based solutions affect the lens coating of antique lenses; therefore these include or are alcohol-free.
It is better to use an alcohol-free liquid manufactured by CURA in Japan, although you may find similar liquids at camera stores.
2. Microfiber Cloth: A good microfiber cleaning cloth is a must-have for any lens maintenance kit, and experts recommend keeping one in your camera bag at all times
3. Tissues for Lenses: Ordinary tissues leave fibers all over the place but the threads of special lens cleaning tissues come with tight woven and do not fragment. You can go for the CURA Micro Wiper sheets.
4. Blower: A dust blower is an ideal option for cleaning big particles of dust and debris. You may have the Giottos Rocket blower in your care kit.
5. Soft Lens Brush: If you do not want to use a blower to clean your lenses, a soft-bristle brush will do the job. You can use a CURA Kabuki Lens Brush, which has very fine, non-falling bristles.
6. Camera Cleaning Spray: An antistatic, non-alcohol-based camera body cleaning spray is worth having and the CURA Camera Body Cleaner is one of the bests.
7. Cleaning Kit Container: You should find a sealable and clean plastic pouch or container for storing your kits otherwise it may get dusty and dirty.
Keeping the kits clean will save your time and you can clean your lenses instantly.
The Professional Way to Clean the Camera Lens
You will get to know the professional cleaning procedure of a camera lens here.
Step 1: Taking Protective Measures: Preventative actions and excellent lens care practices are two of the most important things you can do to keep your lenses in good shape because camera lenses are costly; it is worth spending a tiny portion of that money on a UV filter or protector.
UV filters are available in a variety of sizes to accommodate various lenses. As soon as you receive your lens out of the box, buy an inexpensive protective filter and place it on the front of it.
Replace the UV protection filter as soon as possible; if you have once damaged a lens as you can again damage it. Another important habit to develop is to always keep the front and back lens covers on your lens because they are ideal for keeping dust, grime, oils, and sticky fingers at bay.
Step 2: Blowing the Dust Away: Use a blower to remove the loose dust and dirt from the lens glass before touching it with a cloth or lens tissue because if you wipe the dust off with a towel first, you risk scratching the lens.
Working in bright light and with the lens pointing upward, blow across the lens from one side to the other at a 45-degree angle.
The lens blower is preferable to blowing with your lips since saliva might get on your lens. Furthermore, a blower allows you to produce rapid, consecutive puffs of air to the other side.
Step 3: Blushing Away Stubborn Elements: Use a soft-bristled brush to remove dust if you have sticky particles of dust or dirt on your lens, a blower will not remove those. If you have been shooting in the rain, you have undoubtedly seen a lot of tiny dots.
A lens brush can also get into the narrow grooves around the lens’s edges. Use extremely delicate sweeping motions from one side of the lens to the other with your lens pointing upwards. If a large chunk gets trapped in the bristles, you may scratch the lens if you press down hard on the brush.
Step 4: Using a Cleaning Solution: It is time for a thorough cleaning now that you have swept and blown away the bigger bits of dust and dirt. You will need lens cleaning solutions and lens cleaning tissues or paper for this stage. Apply 3-5 drops of the lens cleaner to a lens tissue or folded lens cleaning paper and hold the lens firmly in one hand with the lens pointing up.
Gently wipe the lens surface with the moist lens cleaning tissue with your other hand. If feasible, use a side-to-side movement rather than a spiraling motion. When you have finished wiping the whole surface, carefully wipe away any leftover moisture with a clean, dry lens cleaning tissue.
Allow the lens to dry fully before inspecting the surface for smudges, oils, fingerprints, and tenacious dirt, and continue this process until your glass is streak-free, if necessary. If you do not have any lens papers, a microfiber lens cloth will be good enough.
Step 5: Using a Microfiber Cloth: It is time to finish polishing the lens now that it is clean. If you followed steps 1–3 and cleaned your lens thoroughly, you may polish it with a delicate, fine-weave microfiber cloth for a gleaming finish. Remember that if you do this before completing steps 1–3, you risk dragging dust around the lens and scratching it!
Fold the fabric into a cushioned triangle or square, depending on its size. Hold the folded microfiber towel in one hand while holding the lens upright with the other.
Wipe the glass for removing the remaining streaks, if any, from step 3 gently. You may use the microfiber cleaning cloth in a left-to-right or circular motion until you have eliminated all traces of dust and filth.
Step 6: Cleaning the Back Element: Take some time to examine your backside when you are polishing the front glass portion of your lens. Some back parts are easy to clean, while others are hidden within the lens.
As the back element will be considerably smaller, you may need to use the corner of a lens paper and microfiber cleaning cloth, or a Q-tip to complete steps 1-4 as stated above.
Step 7: Cleaning the Barrel: It is time to finish the work now that the front and back glass parts are gleaming like new. You need to clean the glass barrel also along with the glass because all lenses are not weather-sealed, you must exercise extreme caution while cleaning the lens barrel with liquids.
Fit the back and front caps to your lens and clean up all of the nooks and crevices with the blower and brush.
There are liquid solutions available for cleaning the exterior of lenses and cameras. If you do not have access to a lens cleaner, wet the corner of a microfiber lens cloth and gently clean the lens. Instead of leaving your lens on an exposed shelf where dust may collect, put it in a clean camera bag, lens pouch, or cabinet.
Checking When to Clean the Lens
You line up your lenses and do a military-grade examination to see whether you need to clean them.
Visually inspecting the cleanliness of your lenses, especially before a big shoot, is a great habit to develop. That way, you can rest assured that your image quality will be excellent. It might be a dirty lens if you detect spots and markings on your photographs when studying them. There are some ways to check if your lens requires cleaning.
Set your lens to manual mode and concentrate on the farthest object before locking focus or not touching the focus ring again or set the aperture to a small value, such as f/16.
You can also take numerous photos with the lens pointed at a plain white surface or a clean blue sky. Zoom in on the image, either on the camera LCD or on a computer, and inspect every region of the frame. If the sensor has black stains, streaks, or lines, you need to clean it.
Keeping the Camera Lens Clean
You can do the below stuffs to keep your camera lens clean:
- Storing in a dry space can help you to keep your camera lens clean for a long time
- Avoid keeping your camera lenses on the shelves because then they will attach to the dust and dirt just like a magnet.
- Keep your camera bag clean otherwise, your lens can get dirty from your camera bag repeatedly
- Use different microfiber cleaning cloths for your home and camera bag
- Use a cleaning brush, dust blower, and cleaning liquid as needed to clean the lenses perfectly.
- Protect your lenses with lens hoods
- Clean the lenses regularly
- Use a UV filter constantly to prevent damage and do not remove the UV filter from the lenses
- Do not clean your lens in the sink where you wash the dishes even if your lens is weather-sealed.
The Frequency of Cleaning the camera Lens
The frequency of cleaning your camera lens will depend on your use. If you tend to shoot every weekend you should clean your lenses every Friday. Make sure you are not leaving any sticky residue on the lens for long period.
Removing Moisture from the Camera Lens
You can easily remove moisture from the camera lens by undergoing the following ways
- You may put your lens inside an uncooked rice container which will remove the moisture from the lens just like magic
- Or, you may use silica gel in a similar way to the rice container
- Place your lens on sunlight directly to dry out the moisture from the lens
- If the above-mentioned ways do not work you need to visit the repair store.
Using Household Items for Cleaning the Camera Lens
Some household items use can use while cleaning the camera lens. Though these items are not ideal you can instantly clean the lens if you do not have the cleaning kits at home.
- Microfiber Cloth: Microfiber cloth will be a common thing in your house if you wear glasses.
- Eyeglass Cleaner: you will find it in any local optometrist
- Breath: blowing hot breath onto the surface of the lens and wiping with a soft woven material can clean your lens.
- Turkey Baster: you can use a turkey baster to puff air across the lens which will remove large dust and dirt particles.
- Eye Dropper: You can use a large eyedropper similarly to a turkey baster to clean the lens
- Makeup Brush: Using a soft and high-quality makeup brush can sweep dirt and dust away.
Making DIY Lens Cleaner
You can easily make DIY lens cleaner at your home by following the simple steps:
- Take a small eyeglass spray bottle
- Fill with 99% Isopropyl Alcohol halfway and do not use any other percentage or any other element
- Fill the other halfway with distilled water
- Mix the contents by shaking gently
You can use this spray for cleaning your camera lens at a cheaper price.
There is no reason why your lenses can not appear brand new a decade from now with a few preventative steps and a regular cleaning regimen. After all, manufacturers construct lenses to last a lifetime, which is why so many antique lenses are still available on the used camera market.
You need to have some specific equipment and tools to clean your camera lenses properly. You should check regularly if your lenses require cleaning also take some precautions to keep your lenses clean for a longer time.
Using regular household stuff and DIY lens cleaner can be helpful to a great extent. Knowing the frequency of cleaning and removing the moisture properly is also important.
Last Updated on January 2, 2023