This article, we’re talking about how to clean a camera lens so you don’t damage it. All right let’s get into cleaning lenses. All right guys welcome to my workbench. This is where I prepare all my gear before I go out on a shoot so this is definitely where I look at all my lenses.
And clean before I actually start packing the rest of my gear because of one of the most important things is having clean lenses. So How To Clean A Camera Lens, I’m gonna break this down into four steps .
4 Steps -How To Clean Camera Lenses At Home
- Inspect the lens
- Blow or brush the dust off the lens
- Clean Smuges Off
- Protect the lens
Inspect the Lens
That is the first inspection, so that’s looking at your lenses. Two are actually cleaning the dust off your lenses. Because that’s something you have to do before you even get to number three.Which is using a rag to actually get rid
of smudges and then four is protecting.
So we’re gonna go over each step in-depth and go over why it’s important that you always clean your lenses. Okay so first things first, you have to inspect to clean the camera lens.
Now when it comes to cleaning lenses, one of the things you have to worry about is that the more that you clean. There is more potential than you could scratch a lens if there’s dust on it or you could ruin it in some way.
So obviously if your lens doesn’t need cleaning, you don’t necessarily want to clean it all the time.You don’t always want to be rubbing your lenses. It’s glass and you just want to keep them as nice as possible.
You definitely do want to clean them if there’s any sort of issue with it. If there are any smudges if there’s any dust on it. So the first thing you want to do is just inspect your lenses and you just want to see if they’re clean or not.
And so you’re gonna look at your filters, you’re gonna look at your lenses and I highly suggest using a light. I have an overhead light, and I can really see what’s going on. This lens is completely has a big thumbprint right on it.
I don’t know how it got there. But not only the front element, but you also gotta spin around. Open up the back ’cause the thing that could really ruin a shoot is if there’s a giant thumbprint right there on the back of your lens. So you gotta inspect both the back elements, the front elements.
You gotta check all your things that are going in front of your lens so all your filters. Okay so now that I’ve looked at all of my lenses.I’ve realized that almost every lens needs at least the front element cleaned, not necessarily the back element.
Blow Or Brush The Dust Off The Lens
I try to keep those as clean as possible. And what we’re gonna do is first get rid of the dust. And that’s important to do before any sort of smudges. So this is an air blower. These are cheap, they’re a few bucks and what it is is it forces air out and it really will get the dust off I highly suggest getting a blower.
It’s gonna make the world of a difference when it comes to getting rid of dust. This is on me every time I go out to shoot no matter what it is. Even if I’m just going out with friends to go shoot just some a fun video.
I always bring an air blower because there’s always something that gets on my lens and it’s easy just to (air blowing) blow it off real quick. And that’s it. So, get a blower.
The other thing that you could use is a lens cleaning brush. So I have this one, it’s really small, this also comes with me everywhere. And if you’re, if a piece of dust just isn’t coming off, you might lens cleaning brush it off.
These won’t hurt your lens either and these are nice to try and get rid of bigger pieces of dust if the blower’s not working properly. But I highly suggest always starting with the blower because you’re using air versus this is physically touching your lens.
You want to touch your lens as little as possible. So you blew air on your lens, you brushed your lens. There’s still some smudges on it. That should get rid of all the dust but what we need to take care of next are the smudges.
So we’re going to look at this lens, it’s got a couple of smudges on it.I’m gonna first look at it in the light. And really spin the lens around, you wanna just see what is going on, make sure that there’s not something you’re missing and you can use a lens cloth.
For something very small and light, you could just take your lens cloth, do a little circular motion and it will be gone and the key is circular motions. You don’t want to wipe across. You start in the middle and you work your way out.
Now for anything that’s tougher, you gotta use a solution that will help get it off. I use the Pancro, it’s a professional lens cleaning solution, this stuff is invaluable, I use it all the time. So with the lens cleaning solution, I’ll spray it on my actual cleaning cloth.
And then, like I was saying, you want to do circular motions. So you start in the center and you work your way out. Because what happens is, when you use this circular motion, it actually causes fewer streaks.
So if you ere to go straight across, it’s gonna cause a streak. The idea is that we want this to be as clean as possible. So you’re gonna start in the middle with the little bit that has some moisture on it. And you’re gonna work your way out.
And if you did not get rid of the smudges, you can repeat this. But obviously you don’t want to put too much pressure on the lens, only enough that removes the smudges. You don’t want to keep, you don’t want to shove into your lens because you might eventually damage it.
The idea is that we’re trying to do the most minimally invasive work on the lens to get it as clean as possible without actually damaging the lens. Because as you know, lenses can get very expensive very fast. The last piece of this is that you want to protect it.
Protect the lens
So I have filter cases, these are great to hold all my filters, no dust or anything can get in them. And then obviously when I pull it out, I always pull it by the sides. You never want to put physically your finger on it and then when it comes to a lens, just always use lens caps.
Always keep your lens cap on, never just let it sit here open. Dust could fall on it, you could accidentally touch it but you always want to keep your lens caps on. And another way to do this is to always keep a filter, like a clear UV filter, on the front element of your lens.
That way, when you’re using a UV filter, there’s no chance of anything getting in the actual lens itself. That’s one of the things that you could do to prevent damage to the front element of your lens is always have a UV filter on it.
I personally don’t like using UV filters for filming that often just because they’re introducing another layer of glass. That I don’t necessarily need
but a lot of times I’m using ND filters. So when I’m using ND filters, that’s acting as protection and you only have to clean the ND filter.
And that’s the whole idea. The less that we actually touch the physical lens. The better because this is the more expensive part of the whole setup rather than the lenses that go in front.
So if you don’t use any elements in front of your lens yet, I highly suggest if you don’t use ’em, get UV filters, they’re super cheap. And they’re a good way just to protect your lens. If you’re in a situation where things could get really dirty when I travel, I’m always in situations where my lenses can get damages.
In those situations, always use a filter of some sort in front ’cause your lens could get damaged. But the good thing is it’s just the front element, you can pull it off, put another one on and you are good to go.
All right guys, let’s go over this one more time. The four steps to keeping your lenses clean. One is inspected. Two are blown away dust or wipe away dust using a specific lens brush. To know How To Clean A Camera Lens.
Clean Smudges Off
Number three is using your cloth to remove smudges and using a non-streaking lens cleaner to do it. And then the fourth step is to get cases,
get caps, do something to protect the lens. So it doesn’t get unnecessary dust and smudges on the lens itself.
All right guys, that is it, that’s everything I have for cleaning your lens. So from this, you should be able to start cleaning your lenses and not have any issues. I highly suggest just be careful cause you don’t want to scratch your lenses.
One more tip before we go. I use these Zeiss cleaning wipes. These are great to just always have on you. Because they are a cleaning wipe that also has a solution in it. So it’s basically a one time use, you rip it off, and how to clean a camera lens.
So it’s very good to have in the field and I take them with me everywhere. I go because you never know if you accidentally throw a thumb mark on your lens or something happens, you need to clean it real quick. So I keep these in my pocket.
So I do not have to stop, get my stuff out, clean my lenses, in the field,
especially when there’s a lot going on. So just another note, keep in mind, if you have things on you, like these cleaning wipes, it makes it a lot easier to keep your glass clean. When you’re out in the field.
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