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Camera Lens Cleaning
The Camera Lens
The lens on a digital camera is one of the most critical and expensive parts of your equipment. If the images you create are to be sharp and clear, the camera lens must be clean and scratch free. If debris cannot be removed or significant scratching occurs, it is often more economical to replace the entire camera rather than just the lens. Learn about proper camera lens cleaning and overall care here.
Protecting Your Camera Lens
As the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Avoiding damage and dirt reduces the need for drastic measures related to camera lens cleaning.Hands off:The oily residue from your fingers can damage the optical coating on your camera lens and perhaps show up in the images you capture. Use Proper Protection:Lens covers, camera bags, and even inexpensive filters can go a long way in protecting a camera lens from unwanted contact with objects that can harm them and from the accumulation of dust, mositure, and other dangerous elements. Many simple point and shoot cameras have automatic covers that need to be kept in working order as these compact devices are often tossed into purses, pockets, drawers and other areas without attention to the other objects lurking nearby. An Inexpensive Shield:Many photographers recommend attaching an inexpensive UV filter that will help shield the lens from UV rays and take the brunt of any contact by foreign matter and sharp objects.Avoid Environmental Hazards:Moisture is dangerous; potentially it can fog the lens or even cause warping in the housing. High temperatures can breakdown lubricants in the lens barrel and moving from temperature extremes can create condensation. For these reasons leaving a camera in the car can be hazardous. Windy environments and beaches can also kick up a large amount of particles which can find their way into nooks and crannies. Keeping the camera covered and shaded are minimum precautions.
UV Filters for Your Camera Lens
Camera Lens Cleaning Hints
Camera lens cleaning should be performed only when visible deposits are noticed. Despite your best efforts, dirt and smudges will occur over time. Proper cleaning techniques are important in order to avoid damaging the lens during the cleaning process.Blower Brushes:Dust and other particles are best removed from the lens without making contact as there is always the risk of scratching the lens. A blower brush or ear syringe can be used.Soft Bristle Brushes:Soft brushes are also a good possiblity for camera lens cleaning but it's important that the brush be clean and care taken to avoid scratching the lens surface.Cloth and Cleaners:Fingerprints and smudges can often be tackled with a microfiber cloth and perhaps a lens cleaning fluid. No solution should every be applied directly to the lens; instead it should be applied to the cleaning cloth first. Only approved camera lens cleaners should be used. Any abrasive cleaner should be suspect as they can remove the optical coating of the lens.Take Care When Wiping:Even when using an appropriate cloth, it's wise to blow the lens off first and to then wipe in a circular motion working from the center outward.Lens Pens:Lens pens are also popular camera lens cleaning tool as they're easy to tote along and are quite effective in removing both dust and smudges.
Lens Care in the Winter
Looking for tips on camera lens cleaning for winter? Visit this article on winterizing your camera.
Camera Lens Cleaning Cloth
Find a Lens Pen for Your Camera Lens
How To Clean a Camera Lens - Demonstration
Lens Repair Information and Services
- Focal Point Lens
Information about polishing, recoating, separation repairs, as well as fungus and haze removal and more.
- Digital Photography School
Tips on digital camera lens cleaning.
Some step by step instructions regarding cleaning the lens and filter.
- Sanford Camera Repair
A lens and camera repair resource.
- Camera Repair
Another camera repair resource.