Over time, our images turn out to be cloudy or have various ugly spots. Why is that? Dust, dirt, moisture and other all kinds of debris have a detrimental effect on expensive photographic equipment. Therefore, in this article I will talk about a very important point in the life of a photographer – how to clean DSLR camera body correctly. It is easier to spend a little time cleaning than changing the camera later.
Cleaning Tool Kit
It is necessary to remember that you cannot clean the camera with improvised tools, in the form of brushes, pieces of cloth, and the like. You need to get special tools.
What Should Be Included in A Cleaning Kit?
The dust blower is one of the most delicate tools for cleaning dust, because you cannot damage the optics and you cannot smudge the dirt. A special pear costs an average of $25. But I took one on Amazon for $10, here.
Lens cleaning pencil. After pear treatment, use a pencil brush and then a second soft felt tip. The most popular Lens pencil costs from $10 and more. I didn’t bother and bought it for $11.89 in the same store as the pear. I bought my pencil here.
Cleaning wipes or microfiber cloth. I advise you to use disposable wipes to avoid smearing the dust with the dirty side of the cloth. Such rags, I took here, for $7.99 for 80 pieces.
A special treating fluid made of alcohol and distilled water will help remove more difficult stains. In place of the liquid, I bought mops, already moistened with a special cleaning liquid. I also bought them on Amazon here, and they cost me $8.99, for 6 pieces.
Do not use monitor cleaner instead of special liquid, as this may damage the camera.
A small note! As soon as the felt on the tip of the pencil is worn out, stop using it, as the rubber underneath can damage the camera. Depending on the brand of pencil, the average number of uses can vary from 100 to 150 times.
I do not use wipes as they do not remove dirt well. A microfiber cloth, with or without special fluid, is the best way to replace wipes.
We’ve looked at the most essential set of every self-respecting photographer. All other accessories, such as special brushes and brushes, are already optional accessories.
Cleansing Therapy for Your Camera
Let's consider the correct algorithm for cleaning each part of the camera separately.
1. Camera Body
Dirt accumulated on the outside of the camera can get into the inside of the camera, such as the sensor and other electrical parts.
Treat once every 2 months, or once a month if shooting in poor conditions.
Begin processing with the lens to prevent dust from getting inside. Difficult spots can be handled in three ways:
- By blowing;
- A brush (special pencil);
- Cotton swabs (outside only);
- Napkins or a special cloth.
Use a soft tissue or cotton swab dipped in distilled water to remove more serious stains on the camera body and display.
Remove the lens and clean the inside of the camera with the opening facing down to prevent dust from settling again. Use a blower in the mirror section.
2. Lens and Filters
Any dirty spots on the lenses and filters will make your images look ugly and blurry.
Processing should be done regularly, especially if you are filming in dirty areas.
When cleaning the lens, be careful not to scratch the optics.
How can you easily view all the dust on your optics? Position the camera so that you can see the reflection of light from a similar light source, such as a window on its surface.
First, brush off or blow off any debris from the glass, and then finish off with a microfiber cloth or tissue.
How to deal with stubborn stains? This is how I do it. I take a detergent (a special cleaning liquid) and drip it onto a napkin, and then I wipe the glass.
Remember! Never drip detergent onto the glass. Finish cleaning with a dry cloth.
Filters can be cleaned in the same way, but be extremely careful, as they may contain resins on their surface that are several times easier to scratch than glass.
Dust will make your photos faulty. This will be especially noticeable with wide-angle lenses.
This is the most critical part of cleaning, as using the wrong tools can harm and even severely damage your camera.
Cleaning begins with blocking the mirror. In Nikon, Canon and Sony cameras this function can be found along this path: “Menu” - “Raise the mirror for cleaning”.
- Remove the lens.
- While holding the camera down with the opening, blow off dust and dirt with a blower. Do not use an aerosol can, as its use can lead to minor damage.
- Use a mop for stubborn stains.
More details on how to properly clean the camera matrix without damaging it can be found in my article.
How to Clean Up Splashing Water or Condensation?
For these purposes, it is best to use the same mop. This is the safest way. First, walk wet, and sit behind it dry, so that there are no stains.
Do not wipe again with collected dirt particles, as they appear on the matrix again. Take a new swab to clean again.Warning
How to Determine If the Matrix is Dirty? I Need to Take A Test Photo!
Find a perfectly white background and take a photo using a low aperture value so that the entire frame is filled with a white background. The finest dust will be clearly visible on it, which will be easy to view on a computer screen.
4. Camera Accessories
Camera accessories: bag, tripod and others should also not be left without regular cleaning. Since dirt can then get on the camera itself and inside it.
If you frequently use your tripod on the seashore or other difficult conditions, remember to tidy it up.
How Do I Tidy Up My Tripod?
Wash the entire structure in water;
Apply very little special grease to the tripod to reduce the risk of corrosion.
The operating system (firmware) of the camera needs to be kept up to date and updated from time to time in order to install and apply new functions.
Check the firmware version of your camera. To do this, go to the menu and find the firmware menu. What does the firmware look like: is it a number or an alphabetic expression? It can be like a number, for example 1.02, or combinations of letters and numbers are possible.
Check your manufacturer's website (Canon, Nikon, Sony, and others) to find the latest operating system for your camera.
If a version is available, how do I download it?
- Download the firmware to your computer;
- Copy it to a formatted memory card;
- Insert a memory card with firmware into the camera;
- Go to the firmware menu and follow the instructions to update it.
After the update, you must turn off the camera, remove the memory card and make sure that the version of the firmware you supplied matches the one downloaded on the website.
- Grease stains or fingerprints are removed only with a pencil or napkin with a special liquid;
- Do not use a cloth moistened with water;
- The fungus on the lens cannot be removed by yourself. Contact service centers;
- I recommend not to clean the inside of the lens yourself, i.e. it should not be disassembled, since its complex structure is easily disturbed. Do not save on taking your camera to a service center to a trusted specialist.
That’s all for today. Do not forget to keep your photography equipment clean and tidy. Share my cleaning tips with your friends on social networks and subscribe to further articles on my blog, and we will reveal all the secrets of photography. Until next time.