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Keeping your Lens Clean!

Matt Schwarz
July 19, 2011 by Matt Schwarz Alum

When it comes right down to it, one of the most important parts of shooting a video, whether it be just for fun, or part of a major production, is keeping your lens clean. If your lens isn’t clean, you could end up with a less than stellar result when editing your video or going into post production. So how can you remove all that dust, water, spit droplets (yuck!), and dirt safely and without risking a scratch?

There are a couple popular methods for cleaning a camera lens, and a couple different tools you can use. Check out Jared’s clip below as he describes his method for cleaning his optics. This method can apply to lenses on a point and shoot, iPhone, or more professional cameras.

As Jared recommends, you should first try to remove any dust or solid material by using some kind of compressed air. This will help make sure you aren’t rubbing in any solid material when you go to wipe down your lens, which could cause scratching. Compressed air cans are available at most camera and office supply stores. If you’d prefer something with a gentler touch, you can purchase a hand air blower like this one below-

Next, you’ll want to wipe down your lens slowly and in a circular motion with a lens cleaning cloth or tissue. Sometimes this is coupled with a lens cleaning solution, but that isn’t always necessary. Some tissue cloths will also come pre-moistened and will not require a cleaning fluid. You can purchase either lens cleaning tissue, or a microfiber cloth, from most camera stores. This process will help remove any dirt, grease from fingers, etc.

*P***Pro tip:** Be sure that the material you use is rated for lens optics. Don’t use the same cloth you use to clean your glasses to clean your lenses! This includes paper towels, tissues, and rags. They may feel soft, but they can seriously damage your lens!

That’s it! You’ve now been officially schooled on the wonders of lens hygiene (and how easy it is to maintain!). This may seem obvious, but after you’re done cleaning your lens and no longer need to use it, the lens cap should be applied and the lens should be placed in its protective bag. Simple steps like this will help keep it clean and happy.


A K Art Photo Plus

I like to dry the lens with a dry part of the cloth rather than air dry it, to remove any residual oil that has been dissolved.

John Peter Thiel

I found Zeiss brand lens wipes on Amazon and they're great. Zeiss swears by them as safe for all lenses, even if they're coated. I used them on my camera lenses, my pricey telescope, and electronic devices such as my iPad. They're kind of idiot proof, and have ended my frustration with cleaning high tech glass with something that is either not really all that effective or makes me worry that I might damage the lens or coating.

John Peter Thiel

Oh, I forgot to mention, they're individually wrapped, single use, pre-moistened lens wipe towelettes--not just lens tissue. I got a package of 600 for $25, so even if I used one nearly every day I would still have two years worth of wipes.


The Zeiss wipes John mentioned are superb. They're great when you need a proper clean of the lens. Most of the time if you're using filters a rocket blower should be more than enough.

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