A dirty lens is not your friend. In this video I am going to show you how to clean your camera lens and share with you my best lens cleaning tips and tricks that I have learned in my photography career.
So many photographers don't know the right way to clean a camera lens. My favorite lens cleaning tools are the Giottos Rocket-air Lens Blower to blow off the lens, a LensPen lens brush to brush off the lens, some KimWipes, and Pancro Spray lens cleaner. I also keep Hoodman Lens Cleanse wipes in my camera bags and cases
Photographers spend thousands of dollars on lenses yet so many people cut corners when it comes to keeping their lenses clean. So I want to show you three simple steps to clean your lenses and also share some tips for keeping them clean in the first place.
When we talk about a dirty lens - fingerprints and oily smudges are your worst enemy and dust is not as much of a problem as you think
Dust is everywhere. It WILL get on your lens and sometimes even inside you lens. The fact is - a few specs of dust here or there on the front, inside or rear of your lens will NOT have an effect on image quality. Certainly a thick layer of dust or a particularly large piece of dust on the front or rear element can a problem.
The solution - use lens caps. Don't let your lens sit out without a lens cap for an extended period of time in any environment. I am most picky about the rear element. When I remove a lens from my camera body I always keep the lens rear element down until the cap is on it.
Also, be sure to clean the inside of your camera bag or camera case from time to time. The more dust you keep away from your lens - the cleaner the lens will stay. The preventative measures are important because continual cleaning can shorten the life of your lens, because of the risk of scratching the lens every time you clean the glass.
LINKS MENTIONED IN THIS VIDEO
Giottos Rocket Air Blaster: http://amzn.to/2D50H4o
LensPen Lens Brush: http://amzn.to/2D1BLdO
Pancro Lens Cleaner Spray: http://amzn.to/2D5k8Kt
Hoodman Lens Cleanse: http://amzn.to/2qCgW66
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Thank you for the helpful information. The reason I don't use UV filters (I used to use them) is when recording video my lenses are more prone to flaring. Flaring can be an aesthetic choice, but it doesn't look natural when a UV is on. It just looks like the UV is causing it. I hope that's understandable.
Thanks Joe. A very helpful video. I have a gallon of 99.8% IPA lying around and thought I'd try it with a microfiber for cleaning my lenses, seeing as all lens cleaning fluids are IPA. I noticed that it leaves annoying streaks on the glass which are very hard to fully get rid off. From what I read this is common even with name brands cleaning fluids. Thanks to you I just got the Kimwipes and Pancro and will give it a go. I have been using the rocket blower and lenspen (including the cleaner tip) combo for years and found the results excellent, but whenever I use the lenspen I clench my teeth in fear of scratching the lens. Your method should be better.
I don't think spots on the sensor or lens are a big problem. Often you only notice them in bright skies and at f 14-22 but who uses such apertures ? I do a lot of urbexphotography, switch lenses in dirty dusty old factories, castles etc and I hardly ever have problems with dust. I have my sensor cleaned 2x a year and often it's not even necessary. The dust on the sensor is often not sand, salt or whatever but tiny metal particles from the lens mount ! If you clean the rear of your lens and the lensmount regularly, it shouldn't be a problem. Great tutorial as always btw
Yep, Pancro + Kim Wipes. Learned that one from a DP I worked with on a Discovery show! Funny side note, a TV producer I work with fairly often (you’d definitely recognize his show credits) often wipes his front element or pola with his t-shirt in the field. I cringe every time I see it, but it’s his company and he views all the gear as replaceable, almost to the point of disposable. Whatever it takes to get the shot without interrupting the action.
No, thanks to you...I just discovered you this afternoon, and your channel is full of solutions to the problems ans doubts that newbbies like me found while learning. So, I don´t say adiós (goodbye) I just say hasta luego (see you later) :-)
Thanks for the amazing tips! Really useful as always. Been watching your video from quite some time now and finding them really useful also used a lot thinks I have tricks learned from your video in my shoots especially from how to pose your model, I was wondering if there is a way if you view some of my work and give me feedback, it would mean a lot for me!
You can find my work on instagram @inno.vative
Good advice !!!! As for Microfibre I use them for serious problems that may arise from time to time but the key is this: Buy a large one; Cameron makes one 15" x12" and cut it into 2" squares (with very clean scissors and hands) and drop them into a ziploc. Then if you need one use it only ONCE ! and toss it out .
LOL - no Jack Beeby - I just thought I would recommend it because it sounded cool. Seriously? Bottom line is - you can scratch a lens with anything if you use it wrong. If you follow best practices - this is the best way to go - period.
It all starts with acting Samantha Kelley. Modeling is acting so you have to work on EMOTION - not expressions. Emotion drives body language and expressions and will give you believable and interesting facial expressions.
Joe, wonderful video and yes, I know nothing is perfect but I wondered why you didn't mention the lens caps. Most of the caps are just thrown into their bag or into a pocket until needed later. The camera bag and pockets often have lots of lint. I'd recommend blowing out the caps here and there also?
For on the go I just bring a lens pen, and a couple Lens Cleanse packets. Brush with the lens pen, then use the Lens Clense. The blower takes up a lot more space in your bag and is nice but not 100% necessary.
All sensible tips.
I especially like how you back up the notion that using a filter does not degrade perceptible image quality. Just be sure to use a high-qualitiy one and you're good.
Sure, there may be slight change some distortion, flaring or even ghosting may occur, but I think those circumstances are very few and limited and easily corrected with a lens hood or even your hand to control stray lighting. If it's really an issue for a particularly challenging shooting scenario, then I suppose take caution and remove the filter temporarily to facilitate in the photo you want to make. Otherwise, I always prefer a filter over my lens than not to have one.
Yes, microfiber cloths may seem like a good solution to use for many AT FIRST.. seeming soft and designed to clean. But, like you said, they can absorb oils from you fingers and transfer that to the lens... those who wear glasses will experience this ill effect quite often. They are also inherently designed pick up dust and dirt, and thus it's easy to forget or simply not know how much dust & dirt has been collected by the cloth and you may rub such "rubbish" back over the surface of your lens and potentially cause damage. It may seem economically wasteful, but if you want to protect your lenses and care for them properly, you really should have a disposable wipe that should always be clean and free to wipe your lens each time you need to do so.
Thanks for all the tips and reminders for some us who may not know or practice some of your recommended techniques.
Straight forward and needed information on this. Unfortunately, too many people will say, "Don't ever let anything touch your lense." Always thought that was a contradiction when cleaning it. Thank you for your clarity.
Thanks Joe, lots of good sense there (no surprise really, coming from you!). I'm a scientist by training and KimWipes are useful for all kinds of things (a bit rough on the nose when used as a Kleenex though). There are also lens paper products designed for cleaning microscope optics that I think would be excellent for camera lenses, but they tend to come in very small sheets and are stupidly expensive. Very lint-free though and if they're good for a Zeiss, Leica, Olympus or Nikon microscope, I imagine they'd be great for camera lenses too.
A month ago, you challenged us not to come back until we'd done some shooting. With my health issues and the insanity of the holidays, I've been slow. Yesterday, I was able to get out and shoot a bit. I didn't do model photography, but I scouted a location where I want to shoot with a model someday. I took a few good enough shots. I think the location will work well when/if I find the model and costume.
I really wasn't planning to do anything yesterday. I had a treatment Friday, and I rarely have any energy the day after a treatment. A young lady (20-something) that I've never met and friended me on Facebook through a mutual friend (whom I've never met in real life) was posting that she wanted to take a picture of something. I messaged her and asked if she wanted to shoot together. As we messaged, I proposed this location which was about half an hour from where she was spending the weekend with her mom. She lives about forty-five minutes from me. The day was late, and I was on the border of saying that it was too far, but then she told me that her car was being repaired and had just been finished. The car was at her uncle's house just a few minutes from the location. I figured that even without getting good shots, I could at least see the location and she could get her car.
We had a good time shooting. As we discussed the shoot, she thought the idea sounded good. I asked whether she'd like to tag team if I found a model. She was interested, and by the time I dropped her at her uncle's place where her car was, she was thinking of a friend that she might talk into doing the shoot. The theme is Amelia Earhart so the young lady friend shouldn't have any negative repercussions from posing that way. If we get the shoot done, I'll post an image to your Facebook group.
Now we just need to find a good costume and a model. A 30's era airplane would be nice, but that's beyond my budget. This old airport was fun to see. There's an old search light that has lost some glass panes and appears to hold a hawk, falcon, or eagle nest. If I still live in this area next summer, I may try to catch the birds at their nest.
PS. Thanks for the cleaning tips. I sometimes use the soft side of those brush tools, but I rarely do anything beyond using the bulb air blowers. I can't remember where my rocket blower is, but the ones without fins are sometimes easier to store. I used to have one shaped like a grenade. Maybe I'll try to find that one today.
I must admit I’m most precious about my older lenses as my Bronica, Zuiko and Jupiter lenses are irreplaceable as new. I admit I’ve been known to wipe rain off my "outdoor" lenses carefully with a lens cloth, but I always take a lot of cloths out with me and I also have a blower with me as well as a spare bag for my used cloth. I never ever use anything than a blower when I’m anywhere sandy and I always wait until I get home to properly clean a lens. I used to use UV filters but as I’ve got more into analogue photography and my lenses massive grew in number, as for instance my Olympus came with six lenses, my Bronica has four, it wasn’t economically feasible to put filters on them all. I know people say "Once won't hurt" in letting your standards drop, but for me I know that if I slackened once it would be the thin edge of the wedge and I’ve seen older lenses where the owners have damaged lenses by not being sensible. Please may I add one thing, on cold and wet days leave your lenses in your bag for a good couple of hours before cleaning them as doing to too soon with the sudden change in temperature can cause condensation inside the lens. Great video, and I’m really pleased to hear someone else who take their cleaning regime seriously, some of the advice other YouTubers offer is slightly irresponsible in my opinion, especially those that advocate breathing on your lens then wiping it with your tee shirt.
LOL - forever the skeptic 077 Di??? NO - it is not advertising. It is best practices. If a lot of people jumped off a bridge would you follow? There is simple logic - get a piece of dust on that fiber cloth that you have already used a few times and then wipe it into your lens and scratch the coating..... So instead of taking my word or being a ZOMBIEtographer and following "a bunch of pro photographers" - why not think for yourself? If you care about your gear and especially if you don't have the money to replace it easily - you may want to try my way. If you are rich and don't give a damn about your glass - "jump off the bridge"!
Hey, thanks for advising the use of a UV filter. Morons keep badmouthing UV filters. But they never did a comparison to see if it impacts quality. They are just idiots who heard something from a moron blogger and started preaching.
But you, you just say it how it is. A filter protects your front element and can be replaced very easily if it gets too scuffed up.
I would have emphasized the UV filter more. In my mind that is the best protection for the lens and if that gets damaged, scratched you just buy another one. Also the lens hood offers great mechanical protection.
It's funny you say that about the microfiber cloths. At one point the plastic package that a free one I got ripped a little and I STILL continued to slide the cloth back in, for the reasons outlined in this video. I dropped a different one another day and I ended up just getting rid of it. I probably COULD have washed it, (I actually hadnt considered that) but as you said, sometimes....these companies just give these things away.
Thank you R F! I appreciate the comment. You really shouldn't need an anti fog wipe if you let your lens adapt to the arena temperature slowly. I have found that wiping fog off a lens rarely completely clears the lens until the lens is at room temperature.
Joe Edelman I purposely read your reply knowing something similar would have been your reply. It just wouldn’t be you without you encouraging a relatively new photographer to live up to their potential and not yours.
Seriously Myman Flint? Freakin RUDE!!! To your first question - NO I didn't buy her classes - why would I? Second and more importantly - I am not a circus animal who does tricks on demand. Why would I do a video about Annie Liebovitz online classes - what other video do I have that gives you even the MOST remote idea that is something I would do a video about?
Hi Joe, Those KIMWIPES you suggested - what exact wipes do you suggest one purchases as this brand offers several kinds of wipes - even with some kind of oily substance - As well..that PANCRO Spray...I checked on AMAZON but it is not listed with them.. thanks!
Thanks Joe now I can fire back at my friend's that joke about me always using UV filters personally like B+W, and have to try out those Kimwipes too. And this is a good video, seen lots of people that clean thier lens wrong.
I have always put a uv filter on my camera lenses ... when i was in the NAVY i was a opticalman .. not the eye glass man .. worked on all optical navigational stuff .. sextants , binoculars , optical gun sights and up to periscopes .. this was back in the mid 80's .. we cleaned the glass with pure acetone back then .. with my training back then my pet peve is bubbles in compound lenses ... we had to have zero bubbles in the glass when making them .. i still will pick up a lens and eyeball thru it and look for bubbles in the glass ..
no problem .. man trying to think to back then ,, i think it was a Rico lens i looked at lots of bubbles in it .. i seen it .. so i passed and looked at others .. i was just getting into photography then taking the New York Institute of Photography correspondence coarse ( back in the 85's or so era ) .. not sure how the imperfection wold show up on film .. but didn't want to chance it and looked at other lenses ..
You got me on this one, Joe: I thought I was doing just fine up to the point where you advised not to use the the cleaner end of a lens pen. D'OH! Will purchase the Kim wipes & Pancro spray asap. Thanks again for the advice!
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