Jun 16 2007

Cleaning your Lens

Published by at 10:41 am under Tips and Ideas

Lens care is important, but sometimes cleaning your lens can be more dangerous and harmful to your photography than just leaving it dirty. Remember that the lens is very delicate and does not need to be cleaned often – only when it is noticeably dirty. There are a few steps and tips you can follow to avoid damaging your lens as you clean it, and if you are cautious, you shouldn’t have any problems with damage.

You first need to remove the dust and dirt that is stuck to your lens. Gently brush this away with a brush tool. Avoid wiping or brushing too hard, because any material that is harder than your lens will scratch it. Even though you may not be able to see it, microscopic pieces of stone may cause tiny scratches that cannot be fixed. The morale of the story? Be careful.

This may be all it takes to make your lens usable again. If so, stop cleaning. Never put your camera in more danger than necessary. If there are oils or other build-up on your lens that could not be removed with a brush, however, it is necessary to clean your lens further using a cloth. Use a high quality cloth and make sure your cloth is very clean. If possible, wash your cloth between every cleaning. One piece of dirt could ruin your camera.

There are two different types of cleaners you can use to clean your lens. First, if the film built up on the lens is water-soluble, your best option is simply to use distilled water. You can buy distilled water at any grocery store, but by steaming up your lens simply by breathing on it is also a form of using distilled water. The important thing is to make sure your water is clean, and by ensuring that it is distilled instead of regular tap water, you can be certain that it has no harmful minerals in it. Pour the water onto the cloth, never directly onto the lens, where it can seep into the camera and cause irreversible damage.

The oils on your lens, on the other hand, require a different kind of cleaner. You can use regular alcohol, but this is only safe if it is in a 100% pure form. If there are additives, they may damage your lens. Never use products such as paint thinners or anything toxic, since your camera will be very close to your face. Your best bet if you need an oil-based cleaner is to buy something made specially for cleaning a camera lens. This will ensure that you will not hurt your camera. As with water, pour the cleanser onto the cloth instead of directly onto the lens.

Take care, and you can clean your lens easily without causing damage, and the end result will be more beautiful pictures.

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