Most DSLR and mirrorless camera users know, that dust is a common issue for camera lenses. In fact, it’s a normal occurrence for cameras, and even point-and-shoot cameras so don’t get too frustrated when you see tiny specks inside. Let’s just say that cleaning the lens should be part of your camera care routine — it’s something you need to deal with every so often.
No idea how to get rid of dust inside a camera lens? Here’s what you can do to solve the issue.
1. Do some test shots
It’s ideal to do a test shot of a white surface where it’s easier to spot dirt; make sure there’s enough light as well. Others prefer to do test shots that are blurred out, so you might want to disable your Auto-Focus. You can also test your lens for dust by using the longest focal length set to infinity. It’s best to check your photos on a computer, but sometimes zooming the image on your camera LCD is enough to see if there is dirt.
2. Find out where dust is located
You have to be sure about the location of dirt before you tinker with your lens. For instance, if dust is located in the front and back elements of your lens, you can do the cleaning yourself as long as you have the right tools. Microfiber cloth, lens brush, air blower, and carbonized lens pens are just some of the things that you can use to remove dust.
3. Bring your lens in for cleaning
When dust is located in between glasses, you might want to call on your lens manufacturer and let them do the cleaning. Check your warranty if it covers cleaning; otherwise, you can simply go to camera shops to have your lens cleaned. You might want to look out for photography fairs as well; there are manufacturers who offer free lens cleaning in these events. This will definitely save you some bucks.
Remember that it’s inevitable for your lens to attract dust over time. Even some expensive lenses that are sealed against dust aren’t 100% capable of stopping the entry of dirt. Also, dust inside your lens shouldn’t alarm you so much as long as it doesn’t affect the way you’re composing your images and the quality of your photos.
Of course, there are measures that you can take to prevent so much dust from gathering inside your lens. Regular cleaning and maintenance is one way to ensure that your camera and gear are all in top condition. You should also keep a clean, dry storage for your equipment. This is especially important if you’re not using your camera and gear all day every day. Don’t just leave your camera and lens lying on a table or shelf.
It might also help to know that your lens isn’t the only component where dust can settle. Your sensor, viewfinder, and mirror can be prone to dust, too. Make sure that you have everything covered when you check your camera for its upkeep.
George Finlayson is an educator and professional writer with a BA in Creative Writing. With so many technical details in digital photography, George likes to keep things simple so that everyone can understand and feel a part of the ever-growing global photography community.