I have stressed time and again here on How-To Geek: the lens is just as important, if not more important, than the camera to which it is connected. If your photos are blurry because there are spots on the lens, there is nothing you can do to fix it in the mail. Cleaning of dust spots is also a pain. With that in mind, let's see how you keep the camera lenses clean.
Hold the lens cover on
If you are not using the camera, hold the lens cover on. If the lens is off from your camera, make sure both lens covers are on. It's really that simple: keeping the lens covers on your lenses means they're not exposed to any dust particles in the air and you can handle them without fear of your dirty fingers leaving stains.
It doesn't mean you should jealously protect your lenses, just remove the lens cover when you have the perfect shot erected. Lenses are surprisingly durable – as long as you don't practice your field targeting technique with them – and as we see it is easy to clean. If you walk around a city that takes some pictures, the camera should be on and the lens cover is off. It is only when the camera is at home or in the bag that you should leave the covers on.
Think when you shoot
Dust and stain will come from two sources: the outside and you. If you like a little about where you shoot and how to handle your lenses, it's much easier to keep them clean.
Seaspray is famous among landscape photographers for its ability to sneak a lens. A small drop lands on the front element, and even if you wipe it off or the water evaporates, it leaves the salt behind. It's a matter of a second to wipe it clean, you just have to think about it.
If you work in a dusty, wet or otherwise particle-filled environment, ignore my advice above about lens protection and keep them. Also, avoid pointing the lens directly in the wind / spray / anything until you are ready to shoot.
When changing lenses or otherwise handling the camera, do not touch the front element. Just keep your dirty paws away from the glass and it will be clean! You should not leave an exposed lens seat upward: dust particles in the air will settle on them.
Carrying a microfiber cloth
Most landscape photographers own more microfiber clothing than underwear. They are very cheap and very practical. If there is dirt or dirt on the lens, just take one cloth out of your bag and give it a dry one. If a cloth gets dirty, just take another one. After I created my camera for a landscape shot, I normally give the lens a quick drying, only if that is the case.
Any microfiber cloth will do. I suggest you buy a pile of them – like this 30 pack on Amazon for $ 19 – and treat them as near disposable. Throw some in any bags you own, leave one in the car (it's also good for cleaning your sunglasses), or else just keep them available. Every so often they run through your washing machine.
Make the Unintentional Thorough Clean
Whatever you do, your lenses will sometimes need a decent purity. The good news is that it is very easy to do and you only need a few things: an air blower, a soft brush, a microfiber cloth and a lens cloth or lens pen.
The process is easy:
- ] Use the air blower, microfiber cloth and soft brush to clean any particles sticking to the lens.
- Take the lens or lens pen and rub the circles outward from the cleaning tube a few stains.
- The last step is to take the air blower and the brush and give the inside of the lens cover a good purity as well; There is no need to clean the lens if the lens cover should just throw dust just above it as soon as you are done.
Keeping the lenses clean requires very little effort and your pictures look better for it. You should also consider cleaning the camera's sensor – even if the process is a bit more involved.