If you own a professional DSLR camera for a while, the chances are that the camera lens has acquired some form of dust and mold over the period of its service. The glass lens cover is essentially built to be durable, but the advanced chemical coating is what makes it susceptible to smudges and damage.
Due to the layer of chemicals, the surface of the lens easily attracts airborne dust and fingerprints. It is strongly advised that you do a proper dirt test to see if your lens truly requires a thorough cleaning process, to avoid any unnecessary smudges.
This article will show you how to clean a lens filter by listing the required materials and methods.
Materials You’ll Need
Here, a list of materials and lens cleaning solution you’ll need to complete the entire process. Make sure all of them are available before you begin cleaning the lens filters.
- Microfiber cloth or Egyptian cotton fabric
- Lens cleaning solution
- Air blower
- Cleaning wipes
- Cotton swab
How to Clean Lens Filters at Home
Cleaning a camera lens filter is almost the same method of cleaning the camera lens. But it has some differences as well.
Below, we’ll detail the entire process of cleaning the lens filters. We have tried to make the steps as clear as possible for your convenience.
Step 1: Blow Off Dust
Hold the lens filter at an angle and use your air blower to blow the dust downward, away from the lens. Do not use compressed air cans or your breath. Both of these may seem easier, but these can create condensation, which will eventually get trapped and turn into molds over time.
It’s also better to not use brushes, as lens filters are much more prone to streaks, which can greatly affect the quality of your images.
Step 2: Remove Dirt from the Edges
Use a cotton swab to go around the edges of the filter, both inside and outside. This removes any dust and mold that has been building up over time. Remember not to reuse a cotton swab, as the cotton can attach dust to itself and create streaks when applied to the filter.
Step 3: Use a Cleaning Solution
Apply a small amount of cleaning solution to your microfiber cloth and remove any blemishes using a circular motion going inwards. It’s best not to be too aggressive, even in terms of stubborn smudges. As one small slip of the hand can leave a smudge, that can often be invisible to the naked eye.
The cleaning solution is alcohol-based and evaporates rather quickly. Be generous with your cleaning solution if the scratch stays after one application. However, remember not to directly apply the solution to the filter, as the alcohol in the solution can rub off the chemicals on the lens.
Step 4: Clean and Reattach to the Lens
Use lens cleaning wipes for this last step, as it can remove any last-minute mishaps. These wipes are disposable, so it doesn’t attract any dust in the process. These wipes can also remove any unevaporated solution, which is why it’s best to not use pre-moistened wipes.
Reattach the filter to the lens as soon as you’re done cleaning, so as not to let any dust attach to it.
Remember not to put your fingers on the filter, and only hold it from the sides to avoid your fingers’ destructive oils from getting on it.
Additional Tips on How to Clean Lens Filters
One of the major questions in the form and other areas we see is how to clean nd filters easily. Here are a few tips that will further aid you in the cleaning process, and ensure that no harm comes to the lens filters during the process.
- Do not apply your cotton t-shirt to the filter; it can attract airborne dust. Facial tissues are also not applicable.
- Do not use any other cleaning solution other than professional camera cleaning solutions. This also includes window cleaners and acetone.
- Clean your lens and manually take apart your camera as little as possible.
- Perform a dirt test, by taking pictures of a white surface and examining the photos and determining the condition of the lens.
- Set your lens cap, anytime you’re not using your camera and after the cleaning process.
- Remember to avoid any mishaps by reading the instructions by the manufacturer. This helps you understand the internal functionality of your camera better.
- Make sure you use the right fabric for the cleaning process. Otherwise, it might leave streaks and scratches.
Make Your Gear Last a Lifetime!
Although dust may seem like the prime suspect for a dirty lens filter, it is often unintentional smudges from the destructive oils on your fingers or mold from any fluid trapped inside.
Cleaning your DSLR is certainly a critical process, and any photographer should educate themselves on this to minimize the overall damage. With the right materials and methods, your camera can have the capability to produce sharp and crisp images to last a lifetime.
So, after learning how to clean lens filters, it’s time for you to put your skills to use. And if you still have some unanswered questions regarding the process, hit me up in the comments section.