How to keep your lens filters clean and your photographs sharp.
Keeping your lens filter clean will help you avoid issues like spots and streaks, and will prolong the life of your filter.
Before you get started, consult any instructions provided by the manufacturer. And when buying cleaning products, play it safe by only using those recommended by experts. You can buy special lens care kits, for instance. Avoid using general purpose cleaning solutions, as these can damage the lens filter.
Get started by removing dust or grit that may have settled onto the filter. One of the best ways to do this is by using a blower. This is a small, hand-held tool with a bulb on the end that releases air when pressed. When using a blower, tilt the lens at a slight angle, to blow dust downwards.
Some blowers also have a brush on the opposite end, or you can buy special lens brushes or pens separately, which do an equally great job at removing dust. Only use a soft-bristled brush designed for cleaning a lens filter, as the bristles of any other brush could scratch the filter’s surface.
You can blow on your lens filter with your breath, but the moisture and the risk that saliva will fly onto your lens can create streaks.
If you notice smudges or streaks on the glass, using a blower or brush alone won’t shift these. In this case, you’ll need to wipe the marks off using a cleaning cloth, and maybe an optical cleanser.
Only use tissues or cloths designed for cleaning a camera lens or lens filter. If you use lens tissues, only use them once. To make life easy, Gobe filters come with their own microfiber cloth.
If you’re out in the field and get caught without any cloths or tissues, you can use a 100% cotton t-shirt, but we recommend you just keep a cleaning cloth in your bag.
A lens cleaning fluid will remove smudges from the lens filter, and there are a few different types to choose from.
Whichever cleaning liquid you choose, don’t apply it directly to the lens filter. Instead, apply the solution to your cloth and gently wipe the filter, using circular motions, starting from the middle and working outwards.
To remove oil-based smears, use a cleaning solution containing alcohol. If you have water-based marks on your lens filter,use a water-based solvent. Keep in mind there’s a world of difference between a water-based solvent and water. Avoid using water to clean your lens filters.
Once your lens filter is spotless, carefully store your cleaning paraphernalia to prevent it from getting dirty. Bear in mind that over-cleaning your lens filter can do more harm than good, so only clean it when it’s necessary.