Lens Buying Guide – Lens Maintenance – Love Your Lenses

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Lens Maintenance – Love Your Lens… How do you clean and maintain it?

If you’ve invested lots of time, energy, and money on your lenses, it is absolutely essential that you take care of them. Here are some very simple every day steps you can take to ensure your lens last and a few careful maintenance routines you can adopt.

Protection

The first and simplest step is to always ensure the lens cap and rear lens cap are on the lens when it’s not in use. Protecting the lens with a hard plastic covering will ensure it won’t be scratched and minimizes the amount of dust that can gather. Buy replacement caps immediately if you lose one or if one breaks!
Lens Caps »

An inexpensive accessory you can add to your lens is a UV filter. These filters are designed to block out the ultraviolet light which can cause a bluish cast on your photos on film cameras. As an important added benefit, the UV filter also protects the lens from dirt and finger marks. Since the UV filter does not affect the brightness or colour of your image, you should leave it on permanently to avoid physical damage to your lens.
UV Filters »
UV Haze Filters »

Changing Lenses

This should be done very quickly! To avoid getting dust in the body, angle your lens slightly down when removing it. Ensure that your camera’s power is turned off to avoid the static charges that attract dust. And replace rear lens caps immediately to avoid scratches.

Cleaning

Fingerprints are a lens’ worst enemy! Finger marks can lead to a loss in sharpness and reduces image quality but, luckily, these can be removed. Use lint-free photographic tissues and corresponding lens cleaning fluid. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions. You may well be instructed to wipe only once and then flip over your tissue/cloth and use a clean side to re-wipe if necessary.

You should carry a lens cleaning kit with you to every shoot. To remove loose dirt prior to cleaning, use a blower brush first. Tiny little particles can scratch your lens, so blowing them off gently – prior to using a lens cloth – is ideal.
Cleaning Products »

Storage

Besides keeping the front and rear caps on when not in use, invest in a sturdy case to hold your lenses and equipment. There are many readily available that feature padded inserts and plenty of pockets to store accessories like batteries, memory cards, and extra filters. Choose from a soft case with ballistic nylon or a hard case that is waterproof with rubber seals. Consider the conditions you shoot in as you make your decision. Will it be outdoors in the snow or rain? Or indoors in a high traffic area? You’ll find that several cases on the market are equipped with casters to allow you to wheel your equipment from place to place.

During your shoot, there are special sleeves and covers you can purchase to protect your lens and body from the elements. Some of these products are form-fitting. For example, Camera Armor is a silicon-based product that fits over your camera allowing full functionality of your controls but provides waterproof protection.
Bags and Cases »
Camera Armor »

Happy shooting!

Lens Buying Guide Page 6 - Lens Maintenance - 1

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About Author

Woodrow Walden is a Toronto-based photographer and the Social Media Community Specialist for Vistek.