How to Clean a Camera Lens or Lens Filter

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Photography is dirty work. To help you clean up, here’s a step-by-step guide on how to keep your lens filters clean and your photographs sharp.

Words and Photography by Gobe HQ

A dirty camera lens or lens filter presents quite the pickle. There are hundreds of ways to clean them, but only one way to do it right – with as little damage to your glass as possible. Follow these steps and your gear will sparkle.

Step 1. Huff and puff

Grab your ergonomic blower and squeeze its belly. Direct the nozzle towards the offending debris and do your best to send it back to nature.

Step 2. Brushy, brushy

Grab your ultra-fine brush and start sweeping. Rolling the brush between your thumb and forefinger to create a twirling motion, move your brush over any stubborn detritus that remains on your lens filter.

Step 3. Spritz your cloth

Now that all hard debris has been dislodged and lovingly returned to nature, grab your cleaning solution and microfibre cloth. It’s important to spritz your cloth rather than spraying your lens. This will avoid any excess liquid drying and building up around the rim of your lens filter, or working its way into the cavity between layers of glass in CPL or Variable ND filters. One spritz is good for one clean, don’t go overboard – less is more here.

Step 4. Circle work it

Take your freshly spritzed cloth to the centre of your lens filter. Applying gentle pressure, move the cloth in a circular motion working your way towards the rim. The microfibre cloth will pick up any marks and move any persistent grime towards the rim. Once you’re happy with the cleanliness of the glass, run your cleaning cloth around the inside of the rim to pick up any stubborn grime.

Step 5. Cap it all off

Now that your lens is sparkling clean and dry, grab your lens cap and lock away the cleanliness for your next photographic adventure.

NB. Who will clean the cleaners?

It’s a good idea to use the ergonomic blower to clean the ultrafine brush. And you can keep the nozzle of the cleaning solution clear with a corner of the cleaning cloth. And we suggest you wash your cleaning cloths regularly on a delicates cycle to avoid any old debris wreaking any havoc in future cleans.

To purchase each of the cleaning items mentioned in this article, take a look at our cleaning kit. In it, you’ll find an ergonomic blower, ultra-fine brush, chemical-free glass cleaner and oversized microfibre cloths, all bundled into one travel-ready reusable pouch that will keep your cleaning kit safe and clean.

Available for purchase online now. 

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