A Guide to Protecting and Cleaning Your Camera Lens

Whether you were lucky enough to get your first camera for Christmas, or a veteran photographer, knowing how to care for your DSLR camera lens is key. These lenses run pricey and are extremely sensitive to scratches and smudges. Knowing how to protect and clean them properly keeps them working longer.

How to Protect

Lens caps

As your first line of defense against unnecessary grit and grease, lens caps should be in use whenever the camera itself is not. It takes a second and can save a lot of hassle.

Camera Bag

Having a camera bag lets you transport all of your camera accessories easily, and also provides your camera with some protective padding. However, making sure to clean it out every once in awhile is extremely important. Sand or dirt can find their way into the bag, and can ultimately mess with your lens, or even your zoom and focus functions.  

Lens filter

Behind your lens cap, a lens filter is the next step in providing a barrier between your fragile lens and the outside elements. Placed in front of the lens, the filter can be removed and cleaned in place of the lens itself. Nicer lenses should go hand in hand with nicer filters. So, although they can run up in price, they are a necessary investment to keep your valuable lens safe from scratches.

How to Clean

Cleaning your lens or filter is pretty simple when you have the right tools.

What you need:

Air blower/ Soft Bristle Brush

You are going to want to use an air blower to blow dust off the surface of the lens. Avoid personally blowing on it, as you run the risk of spraying saliva on the lens. Removing dust can also be done by using a soft bristle brush, such as a camel hair brush.

Lens tissue:

These inexpensive tissues are made specifically for lenses and are one-use only. Make sure not to use generic tissues. These are often too rough for lenses or have lotions in them that leave smudges behind.

/or Microber Cloth

Like lens tissues, these cloths are safe to use on your lens. Unlike lens tissues, they can be used more than once. Key is, make sure they are clean. If any grit finds their way into the cloth between uses, it can scratch up the surface pretty badly.

Lens Cleaner

This liquid can be found in any camera store and is best for removing steaks from the surface of the lens.

Time to Clean!

First, blow or brush away any dust on the lens.

Second, apply 1-3 drops of lens cleaner to the microfiber cloth or lens tissue.

Third, starting from the center of the lens working out, move the cloth/tissue in little circles to remove any smudges.
Just remember, when it comes to cleaning your lens, don’t overdo it. Dust will always find it’s way to the lens – this isn’t a huge deal! But when you find a steak or smudge, break out the cleaning supplies and give your lens some TLC.  Be sure to like us on Facebook to stay in the loop for other great articles and camera tips!