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Camera Lens Cleaning

Updated on August 19, 2014

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.

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.

Find a Lens Pen for Your Camera Lens

How To Clean a Camera Lens - Demonstration

Photo Credit

Introduction: eriwist.

Protecting Your Camera Lens: nrbelex.

Camera Lens Cleaning Hints: j.reed.

Camera Lens Cleaning: Was This Page Helpful? Let Us Know!

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    • TeamDealStartsH profile image

      TeamDealStartsH 6 years ago

      Thanks for the awesome Lens! I was afraid to clean my Digital Cameras Lens! I thought I might scratch it or something! They are expensive after all!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I really enjoyed this lens.

      The joy of taking photos and sharing is long lasting.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Yes, proper lens cleaning is essential for great pictures.

      Thanks for sharing this information.

    • profile image

      Sonaprint 7 years ago

      Another Great Lens...I'm glad I am a Fan!!!

    • Andy-Po profile image

      Andy 7 years ago from London, England

      Very good advice. It is so important to keep your optics clean.

    • annetteghallowe1 profile image

      annetteghallowe1 9 years ago

      There is nothing worse than looking at a scratch on an expensive lens. Using the proper equipment to clean lenses is such a simple way to prolong the life of camera equipment.

    • rebeccahiatt profile image

      rebeccahiatt 9 years ago

      Very helpful, good things to know.