How to properly clean your lenses

Lenspen_1In the forums Benjamin Trevor asked for an article on how to properly clean your lens so thanks for the suggestion and here we go. First off, the best thing to do is keep your lenses clean in the first place, always keep your front and rear caps on when not in use. Secondly, you should have UV filters on all your lenses, this will help protect your lenses from damage as well as keeping any cleaning limited to the filter instead of actually touching the lens glass itself. But, if you have to clean, lets look at some ways how.

Goodbye Dust Bunnies

There are three things that I keep handy in order to keep my lenses clean. A good microfiber cloth, a Giottos Rocket Blower, and a LensPen. I do not use any cleaning process that uses chemicals since even the best will leave some residue. Preferably I don’t want to touch the glass at all so the first step is going to be to use the Rocket Blower to get as much off the glass as possible. If something isn’t coming off easily I turn to the brush side of the Lenspen. If the issue is something different like fingerprints (my personal biggest issue) then the best way to clean that is with the felt tip of the Lenspen. The carbon dust will clean and polish the lens to perfection.

The following video will walk through my cleaning process that I go through before any shoot.

Equipment Used


Kerry Garrison lives in Castle Rock, Colorado with his wife and two dogs. With 10 years of experience shooting products and 5 years of experience in the wedding industry, Kerry brings a good deal of technical know-how and can explain topics in easy-to-understand terms.

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14 Responses

  1. Ben says:

    Sweet! Thanks for the video and thanks for the shout out too!

    If you did have a particularly stubborn substance on your lens, something sticky like tree sap or… duck snot? If you had to use liquid to clean your lens, what would be the cleaning solution you reccomend?


  2. kgarrison says:

    I dont have a favorite liquid, but I would guess any good lens cleaner would do. I just try to avoid the liquids if possible since the best ones still leave some residue, but I would bet the lenspen would remove the residue from the liquid.

  3. mirbird says:

    This was great! Wonderful of you to post a video.

  4. HokiePerogi says:

    I always take my rocket blower and try to blow out the dust and particles on the lens caps too. It stinks to have your clean lens get pocket lint or other particles on it from the lens cap that many people keep in their dirty pockets while shooting.

  5. Toni says:

    I realize I'm coming into this post kind of late, but I just found you through Jules Cafe. I live in a really dusty area and even though I keep both ends of the lens covered when not in use, I end up with dust inside the lens, between the glass (or maybe it's on the back of the glass) of the front element. Is the only way to clean the lens to send it in for cleaning or can the lens be safely taken apart and cleaned? Thank you!!

  6. maureenk2 says:

    Thanks for that video, I ordered the lensPen immediatley.

    What's the best way to clean filters? I live in the desert and when on a shoot I try not to change lens, but the filters get very dusty. It's just in the air and I have real trouble trying to keep them clean. I have many cleaning cloths and special liquid ( that I would clean my glasses with), but can you recommend anything else?

    Thank you.

  7. JohnTBall says:

    They also provide travel information and acting as translators for the influx of foreign visitors. Hotel Reservations best snow blower festival should be at least six months in advance.

  8. Thanks for the video – I've always wondered whether I was using the lens pen correctly.

  9. Amos says:

    Great! I always do the simple way, by breathing on the lens and then wiping with a cloth as I've heard is a safer method for cleaning it rather than cleaning with harsh fluids..

  10. When you're shooting live events you have no time to be replacing lens caps. You can also use an alcohol solution to remove grease, sparingly.

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