Did you know a scratched lens or sensor can cost thousands to repair?
Ever wanted to know how the professionals clean their cameras?
We often get asked how to take care of lenses and sensors correctly so here's our handy guide on how we keep our lenses clean...
Tip 1 : Always carry a dedicated lens cleaner when out and about.
Avoid the temptation of using a t shirt or bit of cloth by always keeping a dedicated lens cleaner with your camera. It is really easy to scratch your lenses so we only ever use dedicated lens cleaning products.
Item 1: LensPen We can't recommend these enough! These 'pens' have a brush on one end and a really clever cleaning tip on the other. They are absolutely brilliant at cleaning lenses and sensors.
When to use: Cleaning dirt or smudges off your lenses and sensor (use a separate lenspen for sensors to avoid cross contamination).
Unfortunately there's a ton of copy cat lens pens on the market and (very) convincing lenspen branded fakes out there. Ebay and Amazon are really bad for it and so we now buy them direct from an official distributor.
Item 2 : Ewipe These disposable wipes have a small amount of embedded Eclipse fluid in them to help remove dirt from lenses. They are also sensor safe so you can use them on camera sensors (use a clean wipe and do not reuse the wipe when cleaning the sensor).
Tip 2 : Have a dedicated cleaning kit for professional lens cleaning.
At home or in our larger camera bags we have a dedicated cleaning kit to make sure we can clean our cameras without any damage to the lens or sensor. We only use Photographic solutions products as they really are the best in the market. They’re even used on the international space station!
Item 1: Orbit Hepa Blower. We use this to blow off dirt and dust away from sensors and lenses. At this stage we get off as much dirt as we can before touching the lens as by touching the lens we would be moving the dirt around and potentially scratching it! The orbit ones actually have a full filter in them to ensure it's only ever blowing purified air.
Item 2: Eclipse lens cleaner. This outstanding cleaner is brilliant at removing dirt and leaving no residue/smudges on the lens. We normally add a few drops of this to our sensors and lenses.
Warning, these contain highly flammable liquids and are not safe for air travel. Photogrpahic solutions make an air safe bottle for travel called the aeroclipse.
Item 3: Pec Pads (for lenses). These disposable pads can be used to remove dirt and polish lenses. As they are a disposable pad you never risk damaging your lenses with dirt from previous cleans.
Item 4: Sensor Swab (Sensors). If you damage a camera sensor you risk destroying the entire camera which can be extremely expensive to repair. These Sensor swabs are the industry standard for cleaning sensors and come in 3 different sensor swab sizes. All you need to do is add 2 drops of Eclipse lens cleaner to the swab and then paste the swab over the sensor, flip the swab and repeat. Only use the swab once to avoid any possibility of damage to the sensor.
Tip 3 : Try to stop them getting dirty in the first place!
It sounds obvious but if you keep your lenses dirt free then you don’t have to worry about cleaning them as much. We recommend:
Keep your lens cap on as much as possible and only remove when you're taking photos.
Have a dedicated camera bag for your camera and lens bags. We recommend the Tenba range as they're absolutely fantastic! (Link here to the one we use : here)
Use a protective lens filter. This is really important as it means you can keep cleaning your lens filter without ever having to touch the lens itself. We recommend the Hoya HD range as they have a good mix between cost and quality. (here). The beauty of these is if they ever get scratched or damaged they're relatively cheap to replace!
Find out more (including great video tutorials) at:
and feel free to buy any of the products mentioned in our store here:
Tip: If you're on a budget the cheapest solution is to buy 2 lens pens, one for your lenses and one for the sensor (to avoid contamination). All the other items here are aimed at professionals and due to the level of quality they're not cheap... but then again they're cheaper than a scratched sensor (sadly we know this from experience shooting in Kenya when we scratched a sensor)!