To get the best out of your DSLR camera, you have to make certain that it’s lens (sensor and filter also) is clean and dust-free. Cleaning up your lens(es) can be difficult, and you have to do it with maximum caution.
Cleaning your camera’s lenses should be a frequent thing. When should you clean your lens? Naturally when it’s looking dusty and has fingerprints on it. Remember not to clean it too often, or you might harm the glass. So here are some simple hints and tricks how to clean the lens of a DSLR camera.
Use a Cleaning Cloth
A very effective method is to use a modern microfiber cleaning cloth. These thin and washable cloths pick up the dust and smudges easily from the lens or a filter. You also have to keep the cloth itself clean, either wash it regularly or have more than just one around. Remove larger particles, like pieces of sand and dust from the lens first, or you may cause a scratch on the lens.
Wet Cleaning Wipes
These are special wet thin cleaning papers that let you wipe the lens without damaging them. These should always be thrown away after done cleaning. Don’t use normal computer cleaning tissues – these are too rough and contain chemicals that can damage the delicate glass lens.
Special Lens Cleaning Fluid
In many camera retailers you’ll find an alcohol based lens cleaning fluid that works very well. Remember not to spray too much of the fluid at a time – usually just a quick spray or two will do and then wipe in a soft circular motion with a cleaning cloth to clean the lens. The fluid is typically sprayed onto a cloth or tissue instead than the glass itself.
If you have quite a lot of dust on your camera one great way is to use a brush. A fine brush with soft bristles, is suitable for removing some rough dust particles before cleaning the lens with a cleaning cloth or wipes.
A large rubber dust blower is also an effective way to clean the lens and the body of a DSLR, it can blow away dust from cracks very easily. It’s wise to be careful with those when cleaning the inside parts of your camera, as it actually may blow more dust into the camera or lens. And, try not to touch the sensor or the shutter with the tip of the air blower. Never blast your camera’s imaging sensor or mirror with canned air!
To sum up, always be careful when changing lenses. Most likely the most important dust-prevention you can do is to change lenses fast (but still with caution) in a totally dust-free conditions. If you’re cleaning sensor, the first step should always be a non-contact one – the one that Canon particularly encourages – blowing air onto the sensor. Start with that, then use a soft brush and then move on with the wipes, cloths and fluids. Always remember, the surface of your camera’s lens has a specific coating created to improve contrast, color saturation and color mapping. These coatings can be nicked easily.