You ever wonder how photographers take the most pristine photographs? Is it just the camera, high quality lenses, or a keen photographic eye? It’s a definitely a combination of all three. But if you don’t properly care for and clean your equipment, all of the aforementioned will be wasted efforts. Sensor dust is every photographer’s worst nightmare. Regularly maintaining your equipment will ensure the highest quality photographs. Below are a few tips on how to maintain your camera and its equipment.
Rule #1. Avoid Amplified Dirt And Dust
When shooting with SLR photography, lens and sensor dust is a huge problem, despite dirty lenses being a problem for every shoot. Dust is a natural occurrence, so cleaning frequently is a must. Using a blower without a brush is a good way to clean your lens. Non-abrasive lint-free wipes should be used to gently and carefully clean your lenses. A blower without a brush and a lens cleaner when cleaning, not soaps or alcohol, is highly recommended. Always apply the lens cleaner to your lens cleaning cloth, not directly to your lens. Having dust and other particles on your lens is similar to noise appearing on your image when shooting at the wrong ISO, this kills the detail of the image. This is also true for the dust and dirt that appears on camera lenses and sensors when images are stacked. It may not be noticeable in one image, but the dust will be amplified in your final image, especially in HDR images. Significantly decreasing the quality of your HDR images.
Rule #2: Avoid unnecessary Lens Cleanings
When other chemicals and advanced coatings are added to lenses, the surface can become more vulnerable to damage and scratches. Despite glass being relatively hard and durable. Because of this issue it’s best to try to keep our lenses and filters free of dirt and fingerprints, and avoid repeated physical interaction. This includes touching the lenses and cleaning too often.
Storing your camera in a camera bag or on a shelf, while utilizing the front and rear cap lenses, in a room that does not have extreme temperatures will help keep your lens clean. Of course, when you use your gear it's going to get dirty; this can’t be avoided. It will be beneficial to your lenses to occasionally clean your camera bag thoroughly. Dust and dirt will definitely find a home inside your bag and attach to your lenses.
Rule #3: Smudges
Smudges and oily fingerprints on the lens will have a negative effect that dramatically affects image quality. Because of the way that the light is narrowly focused through the back of the lens, smudges are a nuance. The rear element of the lens is less susceptible to dirt and oils because it isn't subject to environmental dangers. But you should always handle with care and be mindful of the oils and products on your hands when handling equipment.
The moral of the story… Take good care of your equipment. Always do your research on how to care for whatever equipment you own.