Cleaning anything in general is quite a good habit; Especially when it comes to our cameras.
Ensuring a clean camera helps not only with its longevity but also when it comes to getting the best possible output.
Camera Cleaning Kit:
This is a crucial part of any photographer’s kit. They generally consist of:
1. Air Blower (To blow out loose dust settled on any surface of the camera)
2. Brush (To brush out some of the more stubborn ones)
3. Cleaning Solution (To properly clean sensitive areas of a camera like the lens, the LCD screens and so on)
4. Micro Fibre Cloth (To efficiently clean the lens or sensor surface without leaving marks behind)
One important issue most of us photographers (professionals and hobbyists) face is the presence of dust. Be it dust on the sensor, even on our lenses! As careful as we may be, in the small time frame that we expose our sensor directly to the outside while changing lenses, for instance, a few specks of dust somehow manage to sneak in and accumulate on the sensor! We may not realize this then but at some point we begin to notice the weird looking out- offocus spots in a few of our images. Then comes the time wasted on photoshop removing these specks of dust one by one. Prevention, after all, is better than cure, isn’t it?
The sensor is perhaps the most crucial component in a camera. So cleaning it needs to be done with the utmost care and attention. An important point to note before we begin cleaning the sensor is to employ the “Mirror Lock Up” feature in your camera. DSLR cameras come with a mirror that ultimately reflects the visuals entering the lens to the view finder. This mirror is placed right in front of the sensor.
The tools most commonly used for this purpose come as part of a general camera cleaning kit. For the sensor, this becomes the brush and the air- blower.
Here’s how to use these tools to clean out your camera sensor properly:
Hold the camera face down. This is so that the dust falling off the sensor falls directly out of the camera.
Using the air blower at a safe distance from the sensor, begin to relieve the sensor of any dust.
You may notice that even after doing so there’ll still be fewer, more stubborn specks of dust sticking around. This is where the brush comes in handy. Gently use the bristles to brush against the sensor and take out any residual dust that may remain.
Note: The sensor is quite fragile and needs to be handled with a lot of care. If you find it difficult to remove certain specks of dust from the sensor, take your camera to an authorized service center to have it professionally cleaned. Do not try to forcefully clean out the sensor as you may risk damaging it.
Remember that this method is useful even when it comes to cleaning our lenses. Cleaning kits also come equipped with microfibre cloths and a solution to help keep our lenses clean. Having first employed the air- blower and the brush to take out dust, spray the solution onto a small portion of the micro fibre cloth and begin to clean the lens using a circular motion. Following this, take a dry portion of the microfibre cloth to wipe away whatever may be left of the solution on the lens.
And voila! In your hand is a clean camera ready to record some beautiful images!
(Still think there’s room for improvement with your photography despite a clean camera? LLAOnline’s Get Creative Photography Course is for you!)