In this first installation of our multi-part series on Lens Care Maintenance, we’ll discuss the appropriate materials and methods to properly clean your lens.
Whether you’re a weekend shooter or a seasoned photographer, you no doubt have experienced this common scenario: you shoot your best work only to find that the pictures are useless because there was dirt on the lens.
When you see the same spot on a set of pictures you take, you must clean the camera lens as soon as possible. In some cases, small spots can be eliminated, but more often than not you will have to shoot the pictures again or take a loss on once-in-a-lifetime photo opportunities gone forever. Here are a few key elements to ensure your lens is cleaned properly.
Use an air gun and lens brush to wipe off any loose dust. If you’re on location and don’t have either of those, you can gently blow on the lens, but this should be your last resort!
Choose the right cloth, and give it a good shake to loosen any lingering fibers before wiping the lens. At Fujifilm, we suggest using a micro-fiber cloth for a number of reasons:
1. They will not scratch or smear the surface
2. They are chemical free
3. They are anti-static
4. They lift dust and oil from the lens
If you don’t have a micro-fiber cloth, choose a cloth made from soft, silky material—preferably one made for optical lens cleaning. Never use a hard material, like your t-shirt, or you can transfer debris and even scratch the lens. Always wipe the lens in a gentle, circular motion, beginning in the center and working your way outward, and use a lifting motion rather than rubbing the cloth against the lens to avoid causing any damage.
Use the right cleaning agent. For normal smears and smudges, it is not necessary to use a lens cleaning fluid—just a cloth will do. If you do need to use liquid, place one or two drops of a lens cleaning liquid or isopropyl alcohol on a cleaning cloth. Never, ever apply liquid directly on the lens. If you use too much cleaning fluid or place drops directly on the lens, the fluid may seep into the lens, which can result in internal fog or something worse, causing permanent damage.
It may seem simple, but the type of cleaning materials you choose and how you use them greatly contribute to the lifetime of your lens. For more information on Fujifilm Optical Devices, go to FujifilmUSA.com.