Cleaning Your Camera Lens: Here’s Why Cleaning Tools Are A Video Essential
Now we come to the item I am most OCD about – cleaning tools. The other essentials I’ve covered in this series include needing a plan, a script, stabilization equipment, a microphone (or decent audio recorder), lighting equipment, and a reflector.
Cleaning your camera lens is VITAL when shooting your videos. Your lens is your camera’s eyes and even the tiniest smudge will show up on your final footage and there isn’t one darn thing you can do about it once it’s there.
Here’s why I’m so picky about this issue. I admit that I have a hard time seeing a bit of dust or smutz on my lens when looking through the viewfinder or LCD screen, so I visually inspect my lens often. There’s nothing worse than sitting in your editing suite and seeing a smear or spec of dirt on an otherwise great shot. It can ruin your whole day.
Always, always, ALWAYS keep a small lens cleaning cloth handy in the pocket of your gear bag. I’m in the habit of putting one in my pants pocket first thing every morning. You also want to launder them once in a while. Many camera places give these away for free, and you can get them from an eye-glasses retailer, too. I prefer the microfiber cloths myself and usually buy them in bulk. One of my favorites is the MagicFiber Microfiber Cleaning Cloths you can find on Amazon.
The other item I keep close at hand is a lens brush.
There are many affordable and good lens cleaning kits – here’s one from Goja for less than $10 on Amazon. Many kits come with spray but don’t use anything that has alcohol as an ingredient. While the alcohol might not hurt the glass of your lens, it will help corrode the rubber linings and some plastic parts of the camera body if you’re cleaning those.
Always be very gentle when cleaning your lens. Don’t rub hard or you run the risk of grinding grit into your lens and scratching it.
Do not EVER use a wet paper towel, cotton ball or facial tissue – on your lens OR on any other part of your camera. These items have particles on them that can work into your gear mechanism.
What cleaning tool is your favorite? Have you used the new lens pens and how do they work for you? Put your answers in the comments below!
Next week I’ll be talking about why having – and USING – a good pair of headphones is another essential!
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