Taking good care of your photographic equipment will increase its lifespan and enable you to enjoy your favourite hobby or profession without worrying about technical problems. Proper cleaning is one of the fundamentals of good maintenance. For the purpose, you have to buy the right cleaning kit and you should also be aware of the best camera maintenance practices.
Know When to Clean Your Camera and Lenses
Not cleaning your optical equipment at all is a bad thing and the same applies to over-cleaning.
Glass is pretty durable but lenses are typically covered in coatings that necessitate more specialized cleaning routines. The chemicals and filters added to the glass make it more susceptible to scratching, which is why cleaning should only occur when needed.
Choose the Right Supplies
You can’t just use any old piece of cotton fabric and think that you have everything needed to keep your camera and your lenses in an optimal condition. If you want to increase their lifespan, invest in a professional cleaning kit.
Some of the most common and practical cleaning tools include a rocket blower that removes dust, a lens pen, lens wipes, a lens brush and a microfiber cleaning cloth. You’re not going to be using all of these pieces at the same time. Brushes and microfiber cloths are more suited for thorough cleaning. Lens wipes are ideal for on the go smudge removal.
If you don’t feel like getting these pieces individually, you may want to opt for a cleaning kit like those developed by Xpix. One of the company’s sets, for example, features a lower, brushes, cotton swabs, microfiber cleaning cloth, lens cleaning fluid and a lens cleaning pen.
Follow the Right Lens Cleaning Sequence
When doing thorough lens cleaning, you will need to follow several steps. The sequence ensures the removal of dust and particles first. These have to be dealt with before you do anything else because you otherwise risk scratching the expensive optical equipment.
Start with the rocket blower. When squeezed, it releases a stream of air that removes dirt and particles from the crevices. Next, use the lens pen to deal with remaining little specs and dust particles.
Once you’ve dealt with the dirt and the dust, it’s time to clean the glass and remove smudges. Start with the cleaning end of the pen without using too much pressure. If you have to, go over the surface several times. Next, work with the wipes or apply some cleaning fluid to get rid of stubborn smudges and marks.
The final step would be wiping the glass clean with the microfiber cloth.
Clean the Rest of the Camera
Once you’re done with the lens, you’ll have to clean the rest of the camera. Start with the lens cap. If you don’t brush it thoroughly, you’ll immediately deposit dirt on the cleaned glass.
Next, clean the rare element (if your lens is removable).
At this point, you’re ready to start cleaning the camera itself. Using a camera brush (a makeup brush may also do fine but make sure that it’s clean), go over the entire body. Be especially meticulous when cleaning the crevices. Blow out the dust and if you have to, use a moistened microfiber cloth to get rid of stubborn impurities.
When you’re done, place the camera and the lens in a protective bag immediately.
If your camera or your lenses feature more stubborn buildup, you will need to see a professional. Attempting to get rid of layers of impurities on your own can lead to irreversible scratches and damage to otherwise functional photographic equipment.