Your lenses’ condition is the major factor that affects your overall image quality. Clean lenses provide with sharp and crisp photos. Also, clean lens tend to last longer than dirty lens for obvious reasons. To protect your DSLR lenses and make sure they always help you take good quality pictures, you need to clean them regularly.
But first you need to learn how to clean them properly. Here are some common questions on how to clean your lens:
How do I perform a dirt test on DSLR lens?
Checking your lens for signs of dirt will let you know if they’re ready for a routine cleaning. Here’s how to do it:
1. Set your focus to infinity
To be able to adjust the focus, set your camera to Manual mode. Then turn the focus ring to infinity. Doing so will allow you to see specks of dust in the viewfinder.
2. Take a photo of a plain surface
Look for a plain surface and take a photo of it. For more accurate results, do a two-shot approach. Take a photo of both light-colored and dark-colored surfaces, so you can easily spot dust particles on the photos.
3. Examine the photos you’ve taken recently.
Put your camera in Playback mode and zoom in each image. Carefully inspect the images for any hazy spots or dust particles. If you find dirt, it’s time to clean your DSLR lens.
4. Check for other signs of a dirty DSLR lens.
Inspect the rear element of your lens for dust and smudge. Check for molds inside the lens as well. If there are molds, it’s safer to have your lens cleaned by an authorized camera cleaning personnel than to remove the molds by yourself.
What tools do I need for cleaning my DSLR camera lens?
Cleaning camera lenses should be an easy and straightforward task as long as you use the right lens cleaning kit. Invest in high-quality camera cleaning tools to maintain your DSLR lenses’ excellent condition.
Here are the four must-have supplies in your lens cleaning kit:
1. Air Blower
Breathing on the lens to blow dirt away is harmful to your lens, as acids in your breath can damage lens coatings. A safer way to get rid of dust on a lens is to use a manual air blower that easily removes specks of dust.
When you’re traveling a lot or when shooting outdoors, a blower should always be in your camera bag so that it’s ready to use when your lens gets dusty.
2. Soft-bristled brushes
Get a soft-bristled brush made of camel or goat hair to keep your sensitive camera lens from getting scratched while you’re cleaning it. Also, avoid touching the bristles of the brush if your fingers are oily to keep your lens from getting smudged after you brush it.
3. Microfiber cloth and cleaning wipes
Lens cleaning wipes should be disposed of right away after use. Reusing a cleaning wipe will only put the dirt back on your lens.
As for the microfiber cloth, make sure the one you’re using is clean. When you wash the cloth, never use a fabric softener because the chemicals in it may leave streaks on your lens and may damage the lens coating.
4. Cleaning fluid
A lens cleaning solution removes fingerprints and smudges without leaving any streaks. Use just the right amount of fluid—a drop or two is enough. Putting more fluid than necessary on the cleaning cloth may damage your camera’s optics, as excess fluid can flow inside it.
How do I clean a DSLR camera lens?
Here’s a simple step-by-step instruction that you can follow to clean your DSLR lenses and keep them in good condition:
- Using an air blower and a soft-bristled brush, remove as much dirt as you can.
- Add a drop or two of lens cleaning fluid to a microfiber cloth or a cleaning wipe.
- Starting from the outer part, wipe the lens in a circular motion going to the center and gently remove fingerprints, oil, smudges, dirt, and dust.
How do I avoid getting dust on my camera lens?
Prevention is always better than a cure. Aside from taking steps to keep your lens clean, you should also make sure to minimize dust build up on it.
1. Tilt the DSLR camera down when changing lenses.
The camera and the lenses you’re switching should be facing down. This will prevent dust particles from landing on the DSLR sensor and lens optics.
2. Never use canned air.
Canned or compressed air can blast and destroy the camera sensor and the optics of your DSLR lens. If you feel the need to blow out dust from your lens, use a manual air blower instead. It’s much safer that way because the air from a manual blower isn’t as pressurized as canned air.
3. Wipe dirt and dust off your lens mount.
Don’t let dirt and dust particles sit on your lens mount for a long time. Wipe it clean before it sticks to the rear of your DSLR lens. Quick dirt and dust removal will decrease the chances of these particles to reach the optics of your camera lens.