When using digital SLR lenses, it is important to clean on an as-needed basis. Cleaning lenses every day will often do more damage than good. However, occasionally cleaning dirty lenses is not too intimidating, and it is a necessary part of camera maintenance. Always clean DSLR lenses carefully, and use recommended materials for cleaning. The following cleaning method is affordable, effective, and easy.
Invest in Multiple UV or Skylight Filters
Purchase a UV or skylight filter for each lens. Simply keep the filter attached to the lens, and do not take it off. Starting the habit of covering lenses with UV filters can help prevent the lenses from scratching and breaking. In addition, using UV filters can make the cleaning process easier as the filter will need to be cleaned instead of the actual lens. Photographers who have invested in high-end lenses logically may want to invest in high-end filters. Also, always use lens hoods for extra protection.
Lens Cleaning Fluid is One of the Best Investments
Purchase lens cleaning fluid from the camera store. A few drops of alcohol-based cleaning fluid will remove smudges and fingerprints without leaving streaks. It is very important to always apply the cleaning fluid to a cleaning tissue, and never apply the cleaning fluid directly to the lens.
Many photographers suggest that the best way to clean a lens is to forgo cleaning fluid altogether. Instead, it is recommended that photographers simply breathe on the lens and wipe it with a cleaning tissue in order to minimize the potential for damage. The methods can be combined for the best cleaning. First, breathe on the lens and gently wipe it. Follow up with cleaning fluid to help remove difficult smudges when needed.
Cleaning Tissues and Cleaning Cloths Designed for Lenses
Never use normal facial tissues. Use each cleaning tissue once, and throw it away. Lens tissues are thin enough not to scratch or damage the lens. Reusable microfiber cloths can also be purchased. New microfiber cloths can work well. However, it is important to be cognizant of any debris stuck t
o the reusable cloth that could damage lenses. Cleaning cloths are affordable, and many photographers opt to only use them once or twice before disposing of them. A few new cleaning cloths are much cheaper than an entire new lens.
Blowers and Brushes for Deep Cleaning
Beginner and experienced photographers should use blowers with caution. It is not uncommon for people to accidentally blow dust inside the camera rather than removing it. Check blowers before use by squeezing them a few times to ensure that any dust that might have gathered is out.
Cheap Silica Gel Packs
Throw a few small silica gel packs in the bottom of the bag to keep moisture from accumulating. This is one of the most affordable and easiest ways to prevent damage. It is important to remember to change the silica gel packs occasionally as they will attract moisture over time and no longer be useful.
Keep Expensive DSLR Lenses Clean Without Spending a Fortune
Invest in a few affordable items to keep digital SRL lenses in top shape for years. Lenses are expensive. Take the time to take care of them, and use a few simple tricks to keep cameras and lenses in great shape.