Photography Cheat Sheet: How to Keep Your Lens Clean

Here’s how you can keep your lens free of dirt, dust, grime, and moisture to get great photos.

Cleaning your camera’s lens is either as simple as wiping dust, water droplets, or smudge off the front element, or as complicated as taking apart the lens to clean its insides. However, there’s also a bunch of simple things you can do to keep your lenses clean and ready for the next shoot. For our photography cheat sheet today, we have five easy steps you can do as part of gear maintenance.

One thing you may be overlooking is protecting your camera lens by keeping the lens cap on when you’re not shooting with it. Never leave for a shoot without a lens cap, and keep extra caps in your camera bag or pocket so you’re sure you always have one. A lens hood may also come in handy, not only to keep away glare but also to shield your lens from dust and water when shooting outdoors. Make sure to also put the rear cap on before storing your lenses.

Next is something you probably already know: use only microfiber cloth to clean smears from the front optics of your lens. You may also keep a soft cleaning brush to remove dirt or dust before wiping the glass. Another alternative is lens cleaning wipes. Never use your shirt or any other cloth! Plus, microfiber cloths are pretty cheap.

Once in a while, you may also want to clean the electronic contacts of your lens. Do so with a Q-Tip moistened with isopropyl alcohol, rubbing gently. You may also occasionally clean the front element of your lens with isopropyl alcohol, and wipe it dry with a microfiber cloth.

If you think your lens has some dust, mold, or moisture inside the glass elements, leave it to professional cleaning and calibrating services. You may also want to check out this cheat sheet for the occasional meticulous cleaning.

Need more photography tips and tricks like this? Don’t forget to check out our photography cheat sheet collection to find more that will come in handy for future shoots and projects!

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