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Useful Photography Tip #48: Autofocus Not Working Perfectly? Clean Your Contacts With Isopropyl Alcohol

by Chris Gampat on 12/02/2012

As our cameras get older, so too do our lenses. Every time we take a lens off the camera, little environmental nasties tend to get into the contacts of both the camera and the lens. The effect of this cause: slower autofocus confirmation or your focusing not working anywhere as well as it used to. The solution is extremely affordable and readily available at your local drug store or Amazon. Isopropyl Alcohol is designed for cleaning electronics as well as for other uses. For the best results, you should always dab one end of a Q-Tip ever so slightly and then scrub the contacts with a tiny of of pressure. I put a big emphasis on the word dab because you don’t want that stuff spilling onto the sensor by accident. Just to be extra sure, also try cleaning the contact area of your lens and body caps. If you’re feeling a bit braver, you can also try to dry the moistened contacts with the dry end of the Q-Tip.

So how effective is this? It’s kept my 5D Mk II clicking for all these years and helped to improve my Fujifilm X Pro 1’s AF speed a tad bit more. Proceed with caution and common sense and you’ll be all set to keep your device fine-tuned.

If you like this tip, be sure to check out the rest of our Useful Photography Tips.

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