How to Clean Camera Lens?

How to Clean Camera Lens? – Before You Start

When you’ve invested a small fortune on a camera lens, there is no reason why you should allow it to become dirty.

So whatever subjects you capture, it’s recommended that you have lens cleaning equipment in your camera backpack.

You never know when you’ll need equipment such as a bulb blower, lens cleaning solution, microfiber lens cloth, etc. This equipment allows you to effectively clean all kinds of dirt from your lenses regardless of where you are.

Dust, fingerprint smears, water drops all negatively affect picture quality. Therefore keeping your lenses dirt and dust-free is a must.

Let’s look at a couple of ways to clean and protect your lenses to uphold the best picture quality possible.

UV Filters

How to Clean Camera Lens
How to Clean Camera Lens – UV Filters

When it comes to cleaning camera lenses, prevention is better than cure. Therefore appending UV filters at the front of a camera lens is the perfect way to reduce dust as well as integrate an additional layer of protection.

UV filters are accessories, and you don’t want to buy the cheapest options because the quality of the optical glass varies depending on the brand and price.

Therefore stick to well-known UV filter brands such as Hoya and Tiffen to make sure you get the best optical quality. When these filters get dirty, use the cleaning options illustrated below.

Bulb Blower

How to Clean Camera Lens
How to Clean Camera Lens – Bulb Blower

To start the lens cleaning process is a bulb blower which is used to eliminate dust and other loose particles from the front and rear sides of the lens.

Bulb blowers for lenses come in various sizes, with the larger offerings having more power to blow dust away.

There are smaller versions that are less powerful but portable, making them ideal for carrying around.

For most cinematographers and photographers, carrying a small bulb blower in their camera backpack and having a larger one at home is the ideal combination.

Lens Brush

How to Clean Camera Lens
How to Clean Camera Lens – Lens Brush

A lens brush is the next cleaning alternative if your bulb blower can’t eliminate stubborn dust specs. Lens brushes comprise ultra-soft bristles that won’t damage your camera lens and are perfect for eliminating trickier dust specs.

However, if there’s oil or water in the lens, a lens brush will spread the liquid over the lens or UV filter. If this is the case, it’s best not to clean the lens with a brush and instead go for a micro-fiber cloth couple with a lens cleaning solution.

Lens Pen

How to Clean Camera Lens
How to Clean Camera Lens – Lens Pen

A lens pen is a carbon-based cleaning compound retained in the cap and restores the cleaning pad every time the cap is screwed on while the lens pen isn’t being used.

These useful accessories are perfect for eliminating fingerprints and small marks where the filter or entire element doesn’t need to be cleaned.

The benefit of a lens pen is that it can complete the cleaning job required easily and quickly without the need for a cleaning solution.

After using a cleaning pad to eliminate dirt, you can either use a blower or lens brush to eliminate any carbon particles left behind.

Deep Cleaning Lens Solution

How to Clean Camera Lens
How to Clean Camera Lens – Deep Cleaning Lens Solution

If your camera lens has tough marks, the only option is to use a deep cleaning lens solution coupled with a dedicated lens cloth.

Lens solutions usually come in the form of sprays which can be applied directly to the lens or as a liquid that should be applied to a lens cloth.

So you need to pour a few droplets of the cleaning solution or spray the lens with the solution and clean the lens by moving the cloth in a circular motion as you move from the center to the edge of the lens.

You can repeat this circular motion if need be; this will eliminate all kinds of dirt from the lens, and it’s essentially a deep clean.

Don’t Clean Your Lenses Regularly

How to Clean Camera Lens
How to Clean Camera Lens – Don’t Clean Your Lenses Regularly

The best method of cleaning a camera lens is to keep it as clean as possible so that you don’t have to clean it many times. The front and back elements of a lens are highly sensitive, and cleaning them too much could negatively impact their coatings.

Ensure that the front and back lens caps are in place before storing the lens in your kit bag. In addition, you should attach a lens cap to the lens on your camera when it’s not in use.

Doing this will significantly reduce the amount of dust that settles on the lens, thereby reducing the general need for cleaning, not to mention it will shield your lenses.

Final Thought

Now that you know how to clean a camera lens, it’s time to spruce up your gear. With a couple of preventive measures combined with a proper cleaning regime, there is no reason why your camera lens can’t still look brand new a couple of years from now.

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