Digital Cameras: Caring for the Camera Lens

The popularity of a digital camera is due in part to the vivid, life like photographs that it can produce. The lens of a camera is the key to creating these clear, sharp images. However, dust, fingerprints, scratches, and other dirt and smudges can destroy contrast, produce pictures that appear out of focus, and eventually can result in the expense of having to replace the lens, or camera, altogether.

Obviously, proper care can help extend the life of the lens and assure better quality images. Following just a few basic tips can go a long way in assuring a digital camera lens does not fail.

* Avoid contact with the camera lens when possible. Keeping the lens cover on and placing the camera in the bag when not in use can shield it from dust and other potential damage. Basically, anything that comes in contact with the lens of a digital camera can damage the special coatings that allow the lens to function properly. Extra care should be taken when shooting pictures to assure that the lens is not touched as it is grasped in the hands.

* Keep lenses away from excessive heat which can breakdown the greases used within the barrel of the lens.

* Add a UV filter over the camera lens as an extra layer of protection.

* Keep the lens dry. Moisture whether from your breath, condensation, a cleaner or another source can create fogging and, in some case, can warp the lens housing. Because of the potential damage from moisture, care must be taken in exposing your camera to cold as condensation may form when it is returned to a warmer environment.

* Remove visible particles from the lens without touching it when possible. Using an ear syringe or special dust blower is the preferred method. Soft bristled brushes are available as well but care must be taken to assure that the brushes are clean and do not scratch the surface of the camera lens.

* Remove fingerprints and smudges with a dry microfiber cloth. Lens cleaning fluids are available and can also be applied to the microfiber cloth as needed. The fluid should not be applied directly to the lens. Only cleaners made specifically for camera lenses should be used; do not use cleaners made for eyeglasses.

* Use extra care in harsher environments. As described above heat and cold extremes can cause damage to lenses as well as the camera itself. Because cameras travel with us however, they are sometimes exposed to environments that are somewhat “hostile”. Thus, extra precautions are sometimes necessary. For instance, in extremely cold weather it is generally nikon mirrorless cheap lens best to carry the camera close to the body, perhaps covered by a coat to keep it warmer. On rainy days wrapping the camera in a plastic bag can help shield it from the moisture. The beach can also be hostile due to the potential exposure to wind, sand, moisture, and heat. Again, covering the camera with a plastic bag and shading it from the sun are good preventative measures.

Reducing contact and exposure to contaminants, proper cleaning, and protecting the lens from extreme environments are key to assuring the longevity of a camera lens. These basic precautions entail minimal expense and time commitment and can become second nature very quickly to beginning photographers.