How to Keep a Camera Lens Clean

Regardless of whether you are a weekend shooter or a seasoned photographer, it probably has happened to you: After shooting your best work, you find that the pictures are useless because there was dirt on the lens. In some cases, small spots can be eliminated, but by and large, you will have to shoot the pictures again. Here are some choices you have to keep your lenses clean without doing them damage.


Step 1

Buy a lens cap and keep in on your camera when it's not in use. Also, make sure it's free of dirt and dust before attaching it to your camera.

Step 2

Keep an ultraviolet filter on your camera at all times. You will no longer have to worry about dust and dirt, and you will be running less risk in scratching your lens. Though UV filters are relatively inexpensive, choose a good one that won't distort your pictures. Do remember that you will probably have to purchase one for each lens because they might have different diameters.

Step 3

Keep dust from getting inside of the body of your camera because it will become attached to both the image sensor and the back end of your lens. This mostly happens when you change lenses. Always pick a place that's dust-free, and point your camera toward the ground as you make the change.

Step 4

Buy a can of compressed air and use it on your lens and inside your camera. Although it is not as effective if your equipment is particularly dirty, it is a good way to clean the lens without touching it.

Step 5

Consider using a cleansing fluid that contains alcohol on your lens if it is dirty with fingerprints or oils from your hand. Simply apply the fluid with a dust-free cleaning cloth. Under no circumstances should you pour it directly on the lens, because it could enter the body of your camera. At the same time, make sure there is no dirt on the lens that will scratch it. If only a little dirt is on your lens, simply breathe on it, then clean with a dust-free cloth or tissue.

Tips and Warnings

Understand that the best protection against scratching your lenses is to keep them clean in the first place. The methods outlined in this article are meant to be methods of last resort; because no matter how careful you may be, you will always run the risk of scratching your lenses by using them.

About this Author

Bill Herrfeldt specializes in finance, sports and the needs of retiring people, and has been published in the national edition of "Erickson Tribune," the "Washington Post" and the "Arizona Republic." He graduated from the University of Louisville.

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