How to Clean Your Camera Lens Properly (VIDEO) (Updated)


Cleaning a camera lens is definitely something that every photographer is going to need to do at some point. Doing it properly is imperative if you're to take perfectly clear images. This great little video from the folks at the unofficial Nikon Help Hotline on Youtube have put together this great video on how to clean your camera lens properly.

As you can see, it is a little more involved than you might think if you are to do the job properly and it may even take more than one attempt. With a little patience though, you might get away without having to get it professionally done.

Thanks for Petapixel and Lifehacker for bringing this one to our attention.

UPDATE: As you can see from a few of the comments, the above video is causing a bit of a stir, here and elsewhere.

Well, Jared Abrams from over at Wide Open Camera (great site you should check out) has made his own video explaining how they clean lenses in Hollywood. He should know – he's been a film and still photographer all of his career.

Check it out at his site or below.

Quick Take: How To Clean Your Lenses Wide Open Camera Style. from jared abrams on Vimeo.

About Author

Rob is the founder of Light Stalking. His love for photography started as a child with a Kodak Instamatic and pushed him into building this fantastic place all these years later, and you can get to know him better here.
Rob's Gear
Camera: Nikon D810
Lenses: Nikkor 14-24 f/2.8, Nikkor 50mm f/1.8

This is absurd. Almost everything wrong here. Please do not use Isopropyl alcohol to clean the front element. Also a brush will just move dirt and dust around the lens. Gloves are just silly.
Thanks ‘
Jared Abrams
Wide Open Camera

You need to do some research. You are absolutely incorrect in your statement. Isopropyl alcohol (Reagent Grade) is safe and excellent for cleaning fine optics, camera lenses and sensors.

“use the synthetic brush and peacefully wipe the front glass surface in curvy and straight directions” – don’t you just love it!
Nothing new here and way OTT. At one point the blower was peacefully blowing dust onto the lens and the music’s terrible. Thank heavens I’ve got Canon!

Like painting the harbour bridge. By the time I get around to the last one the first has collected the dust and I have to start again.
No alcohol on my lenses either.
And the gloves!! Come on guys, leave those to the proctologist.

I agree with some of the comments… but the gloves are important for those who have oily hands like I do.
@Nick, you don’t clean the canon lenses?

I am not a professional photographer myself but alcohol seem a bit too much, and the introductory part about using sunglasses if your eyes are sensitive to strong light which you have to specifically use to see all the imperfections, it seems a bit illogical. Doesn’t it!

I clean vintage lenses with a lot more than a bit of dust on them. There’s nothing wrong with Isopropyl on the glass, I use neat Acetone. Both of these can damage plastics and take off lens markings so I wouldn’t use them near lens bodies. Also you should avoid using a circular motion on the lens, if you were to mark the lens, a circumferential scratch will impact far more than straight scratch.

Ok, aside from this being a info-mercial the basic instructions are fairly accurate. My background is in optical instrument repair, air bulb is good, canned air is ok as well used sparingly, a good lens brush is helpfull, just clean them or replace them regularly, and alcohol is generally acceptable. A professional lens coating will withstand alcohol easily. In my work we used acetone, this is Mil-Spec coatings. The acetone cleaned fingerprints, oil droplets etc and it dries quickly and leave little residue. The micro-fiber cloth use is great. The video shows a reversal of directions in the cleaning which is a no-no. Start in the center go in circular direction and continue out to the edge and lift up. DO not reverse directions. The key is treat the lens a fragile commodity which it is.

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