Did you know a scratched lens or sensor can cost thousands to repair?
Ever wanted to know how professional photographers clean their cameras?
We often get asked how to clean 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 an old bit of cloth by always keeping a dedicated lens cleaner with your camera. It is really easy to scratch your lenses (especially filters) 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). They are really handy to carry around and quickly clean off a smudge mid shoot.
Be careful: The pad on the lens will pick u dirt (which it is supposed to do!) but that means you risk scratching the lens. To solve this replace the pens frequently and use a disposable wipe when possible instead of the len pen.
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. If you want to purchase them off our site please click here.
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 mainly 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 blow off as much dirt as we can before having to touch the sensor (if you touch the sensor when it has dirt on it you risk scratching the sensor with the dirt).
The orbit ones actually have a full filter in them to ensure it's only ever blowing purified air (snazzy but quite expensive!). The only drawback to these is that they are quite expensive. The cheaper option is to use a rocket blower.
Item 2 - Eclipse lens cleaner. This outstanding cleaner is brilliant at removing dirt and leaving no residue/smudges on sensors and lenses. We normally add a few drops of this to a Pec Pad before wiping our sensors and lenses.
Warning!! These contain highly flammable liquids and are not safe for air travel. Photographic solutions make an air safe bottle for travel called the aeroclipse.
Item 3 - Pec Pads (for lenses) Pec pads are little white squares that are perfect for cleaning lenses. The pads are 99.99% lint free and are designed to pick up dirt. If used with a dedicated lens cleaning solution such as the Eclipse lens cleaner it will help dissolve any smudges/dirt and make your lenses crystal clear.
Used for - Cleaning Optics (lenses, filters, bodies etc)
Not used for - Cleaning Sensors (see below for alternatives)
Why are they so brilliant? The beauty of buying a big pack of disposable pads is that you use a new pad for each wipe so that you never scratch the lens by moving around dirt from an old bit of cloth.
How do you use them correctly? We usually use two pads per lens surface, the pads come in packs of 100 so it works out pretty cheap.... It also stops the temptation of you using your t-shirt to 'clean' the lens (which in fact will be scratching it, even if you can't see that you are). Please see our video on the top of the page for how to use the Pec Pads correctly.
For more information on PEC PADS see their website here.
Buy Pec Pads on Amazon Prime here (next day prime delivery).
Buy Pec Pads on our site here (much cheaper but we're not as fast as amazon!).
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 immediately 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:
Pro 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 are much cheaper than a scratched sensor (sadly we know this from experience shooting in Kenya with the Army)!