If you own a professional camera, you will eventually come to notice that the dust buildup on your lenses is affecting the image quality after a couple of months.
Most photographers tend to be anxious about the cleaning process as it can be rather daunting, considering the intricate layers that make up the front element of the lenses.
However, equipping yourself with the right tools and knowledge about your specific type of lenses can help you to clean camera lens at home. Especially, clean them better and with less overall damage to the image quality.
This article will teach you how to clean a camera lens at home and help your lenses produce sharp and crisp photos to last a lifetime by ensuring that it stays in tip-top shape.
Tools You’ll Need
If you want to know how to clean the inside camera lens, you will need some important tools along with proper guidance.
Here is the list of things you’ll need for the cleaning process. It would be better to keep them all in one place before getting started.
Camera Lens Cleaning Kit
- Air blower
- Soft bristle brushes
- Cleaning solution
- Microfiber cloth
- Cleaning wipes
How to Clean Camera Lens at Home
Here, we’ll teach you how to clean the lenses at your own home without any sort of professional help. It will be a step-by-step guide so that you can easily follow the entire process.
Step 1: Take a Dirt Test
In order to verify that your lenses are in need of a cleaning, it’s better to perform a dirt test. Go to manual mode, and set the focus ring to infinity. Look through the viewfinder to find the specks of layered dust. Take pictures of a bright and a dark surface.
Zoom in to closely examine each of the photos for any dust particles or hazy spots. Gently inspect the molds inside the lenses, and if there are any existing molds, it’s better to contact a professional lens cleaning personnel to clear those molds.
Step 2: Clean the Optical Elements
The front and rear elements of the lenses, especially that of the Minolta Lenses are the most prone to attract dust during daily outdoor shootings. Use an air blower to remove the top layer of dust on the lenses.
It’s best to use an air blower because using the breath to remove dust can cause overall damage to the lens coating due to the condensation and the saliva in the mouth.
Air blower is the most effective and portable lens cleaner you can afford. You can do a quick cleaning job while traveling or during outdoor shootings.
Step 3: Clean the Outside
Use a microfiber cloth or a soft bristle brush to get out any hard-to-reach spots on the outside of the lenses. Clean out the focus and zoom rings with the microfiber cloth, but make sure not to use any form of fluid or solution on the lens.
There are tiny crevices on the outside, which can trap liquids and turn into molds over time. This also applies to “waterproof” lenses, as no barrel of the lens is truly water-resistant.
Step 4: Clean the Lens
Apply the cleaning solution to a clean microfiber cloth and wipe your lens down. This may cause streaking and, in such cases, reapply the solution. The solution is alcohol-based. Cleaning camera lens with alcohol generally evaporates by minutes and generally never leaves a mark.
Different sizes in terms of mm of lenses will need different amounts and types of solutions. Make sure to buy the appropriate solution.
Step 5: Wipe Down the Lens
Lens wipes are extremely inexpensive and perfect for cleaning any last-minute smudges. It’s best not to use a microfiber cloth for this step, as they are reusable and can trap dust.
Use lens wipes to avoid leaving any scratches and discard them afterward. You can also use pre-moistened lens wipes for any stubborn spots that can be removed by the alcohol in the wipes.
Additional Tips on How to Clean the Camera Sensor/Lens
Here are some additional tips to ensure that the cleaning process goes smoothly. You can follow them to ensure the safety of the lenses.
- Apply the lens wipes in a circular motion, moving into the center.
- Tilt the camera down before changing lenses to avoid any airborne dust getting on the surface.
- Remember not to use any blower that can cause condensation; ask personnel before buying an air blower.
- Keep your soft bristle brushes away from any destructive oils from transferring, by keeping them separately in a bag.
- Never apply the solution directly to the lenses, always use a lens cloth or paper.
Keep Your Camera Lenses Clean
Now that you know how to clean a camera lens at home, you should get started asap. However, keep in mind that it’s better to not manually clean your camera often, as it can leave smudges or marks accidentally in between cleaning.
And remember to be patient with any stubborn problems, and should be handled by professionals.
Nevertheless, if you come across any problems while cleaning the camera lenses, you can let us know in the comments section or email us. Our team of experts will try to get back to you as soon as possible.