Keeping your camera clean

Frank Posch's Nautilus won an AB Grade Honour - the camera lens must have been very clean for this shot

Frank Posch’s Nautilus won an AB Grade Honour – the camera lens must have been very clean for this shot

By Julie Hartwig, Tin Can Bay Camera Club

Digital cameras (including phones and tablets) need to be kept clean to function at their best. The type of camera device will determine the ease with which this can be accomplished. Most digital cameras have at least two elements that result in “grubby” photos if these surfaces are not kept clean: the lens and the viewing screen. Some cameras have a third element, the viewfinder. Keeping these parts clean is easy.

After focus issues, the number one cause of photos looking “soft” and fuzzy is a dirty lens. The lenses in phones, tablets and to a lesser degree, compact cameras are especially prone to finger-marking. The easy way to fix this is to gently clean the lens element with a soft micro-fibre cloth (the ones you get for cleaning glasses are ideal).

You can also use the same cloth for cleaning the viewing screen and viewfinder. In fact, it’s a good idea to keep a few of these cloths in your camera bag.

For more sophisticated cameras, LensPens are a great way to keep lenses, filters, viewfinders and LCD screens clean. The pens feature a soft brush and charcoal pad which is wiped over the glass elements. They are inexpensive and are available from camera stores.

Unlike compact and bridge cameras which have fixed lenses and aren’t affected by the accumulation of internal dust and dirt, DSLR and mirrorless cameras with interchangeable lenses provide opportunity for dust and dirt to enter the camera’s internal cavity. DIY cleaning of internal parts should be done with extreme caution.

Puff blowers can be useful for this, but for removal of stubborn dirt, dust, scratches or mould from mirrors, focusing screens and sensors, it’s recommended that a professional camera cleaner be consulted. Happy snapping!

The Tin Can Bay Camera Club’s next meeting: Wednesday October 18 at TCB Library, commencing at 7pm. For more information about club activities and to view members’ images, visit www.tincanbaycameraclub.wix.com/tcb-camera-club.