To be a great photographer, you need to know how to find the proper lighting, set the scene, edit photos, and more. However, camera maintenance is one aspect of photography that people often look over.
If you don’t properly maintain your photography equipment, you’ll hold yourself back from getting great shots. Cleaning your camera lens is one of the most critical yet overlooked aspects of maintaining photography equipment.
Read this guide to learn how to clean camera lenses.
Gather the Right Supplies
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You first need to gather the right supplies to clean your camera lenses. You will need the following:
- Lens cleaning liquid: This will help remove oily finger smudges and watermarks from the rain. You can find both alcohol and alcohol-free cleaning liquid.
- Lens tissue: Lens cleaning tissues contain tightly woven fibers that won’t break on your lens.
- Microfiber cloth: A microfiber cloth allows you to polish your camera lens.
- Blower or bristle brush: These tools can remove dirt and debris.
- Cleaning spray: You can use camera cleaning spray to clean all parts of your camera.
We also recommend investing in a cleaning pouch kit to keep all your supplies in one place.
How to Clean Your Camera Lens
Once you’ve gathered your supplies, follow these steps to clean your camera lens:
- Take preventative steps: We recommend investing in a UV filter to protect your camera lens. These filters are affordable and can be placed right on the front of your camera.
- Remove dust and debris: Use your blower or soft bristle brush to remove dirt and debris from your lens.
- Apply cleaning solution: Use your lens tissue to apply the cleaning liquid to the camera lens. Apply the liquid to the tissue first – you only need about 3 to 5 drops. Then, wipe the tissue gently across the lens surface. After wiping down your lens, take a dry piece of cleaning tissue to remove any excess moisture. You may repeat this step until your lens is streak-free.
- Polish with microfiber cloth: Finally, use the microfiber cloth to polish your camera lens. Don’t do this before the previous steps; otherwise, you could remove dust around and scratch your lens by accident.
Clean the Rear Element and Barrel
Whether you’re using a long term time lapse camera or some other device, you’ll also want to take time to clean your lens’s rear element and barrel. You can use the same steps as above to clean the rear element of your lens. You’ll need to take extra care when cleaning the barrel, as not all camera lenses are weather sealed.
Unless you have a special barrel cleaning liquid, we recommend cleaning the barrel with a dry tissue and microfiber cloth. Once finished, place your lens in your camera bag, lens, pouch, or wherever it’ll be protected from the elements.
How to Clean Camera Lenses: Time to Get Started
As you can see, cleaning a camera lens is relatively simple and straightforward. Now that you know how to clean camera lenses, you’ll never have to worry about a finger smudge getting in the way of your perfect shot.
Check back in with us for more camera maintenance tips!