New To Photography:Camera and Lens Care

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This page is a chapter in the book New To Photography Book.


Moisture and dirt, especially dust are the enemies of you DSLR and lenses.
This article give you information on how to clean your equipment; please read the links provided as they give great information of how to clean your equipment.

Important: Do not use compressed air other than via a hand held rocket type blower (a rubber bulb style hand help blower)!

[top]Camera and Sensor

This is an excellent site and fully covers the sensor cleaning issues.

Generally keep you camera as clean as possible.
Use a rocket blower and/or microfibe cloth to clean non critital parts of your camera.
Do not use fluids to clean your camera.

[top]Checking for dust on your sensor

Sensor dust checking is easy using the following process, no special scope or equipment is needed...
  1. Get a uniform white or bright target (i.e. use the AP Extras menu item White or a clear sky)
    1. Mode - Aperture Priority
    2. Setting - Aperture to minimum eg. f/22
    3. Lens - Manual Focus set to closest focus setting (if shooting the blue sky, then infinity)
    4. Turn off SR/OS/VR/IS (stabilisation off, we want camera shake in this case)
    5. Features - Turn "OFF" all special function like "sharpening" (or just shoot raw)

  2. Zoom until the white screen fully fills the viewfinder
  3. Take the shot!
    Shoot with the camera facing your monitor. Depending how bright your monitor is, your exposure may be a couple seconds. During this exposure, move your camera back and fourth being careful to not to point the lens outside of your white box. Moving the camera during the exposure insures that you are not taking a picture of dirt on your monitor. You can be as close as a few inches from the monitor.
  4. Download the image and check it

You now know where the dust is! (Remember looking in from the front means things are reversed)

Or use the dust alert feature.

[top]Lens and Filters

Cleaning the lens or filters can help you improve image quality as well. After all it's the part of camera that collects and focuses light for your image.


1. Rocket type air blower
2. Lens cleaning fluid
3. Two soft microfiber cloths (never use tissues as they scratch the lens surface)

[top]Clean Your Camera's Lens or filter

1. Blow the lens with air from your blower to remove dust and particles. * Do not use compressed air.
2. Put a small amount of lens cleaning fluid on a microfiber cloth and wipe the lens. * Do not put fluid directly on the lens; doing so risks damaging the lens.
3. Use your 2nd soft cloth to wipe off any excess fluid left on the lens.

For more detailed information please read How To Properly Clean DSLR Camera Lenses

[top]Changing Lenses

DSLR owners will get some dust on your sensor (unless you never change lenses)! Here are some techniques that reduce the risk of dust:
  • Avoid changing lenses in risky environments (where there is wind, water, dust etc) - choose a lens and stick with it for the shoot.
  • Turn your camera off before changing lenses. The camera sensor has an electric charge that will actually attract dust.
  • Hold camera upside down (lens opening facing downwards) when changing lenses - it’s impossible for dust to fall into your camera if it’s upside down (assuming no wind).
  • Have your lens ready when you’re changing lenses (be prepared and have your new lens ready to attach so that your camera is open for as short a time as possible).
  • Check your lenses for dust before attaching them - use a rocket blower to remove any specs of dust from your lens.
  • Keep back caps on your lenses when not in use.
  • Store your equipment in a clean, cool, dry environment.
  • Use a good quality camera bag to carry your equipment into the field
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