Maintaining your mirrorless camera is a must to get the best output. Cleaning camera lens and most especially the image sensor is delicate and needs to be done correctly. In this article, I will walk you through what are some of the best way to clean camera lens or the lens of a mirrorless camera.
Cleaning your mirrorless camera regularly will keep your gear always look refreshed. And it will make you more connected to your equipment and know more about it.
I’d like to keep my mirrorless camera clean all the time especially after shooting in some grimy area.
Let’s start cleaning, shall we!
Cleaning is Caring
When you care about your mirrorless camera you’d do everything to protect it. But one aspect that is normally neglected is how to keep it tidy.
You would not want that dust to build up on the front element of the lens before you blow it off. Or just ignore the fingerprints, after all, they are not directly on the front lens anyway.
Therefore, cleaning your mirrorless camera regularly will have its benefits. And to do that you must have the right cleaning tools or cleaning kits as I mentioned in my previous article.
Warning! 1. Before you proceed to clean your mirrorless camera make sure to visit and review the section in your instruction manual on the topic about cleaning. 2. Image sensor is a very delicate and sensitive part of the mirrorless camera and any unwanted contact could damage it. 3. Avoid touching and exposing the image sensor at all costs, unless you are ready to bear the consequences.4. In the case of the Canon Mirrorless Camera EOS M5, the image sensor is automatically cleaned every time the power is switched ON and OFF (auto cleaning enabled by default).
Types of Mirrorless Camera Lens Cleaning Tools
There are lots of different types of cleaning kits available in the market. Make sure to only get the best one. Because if not, you will end up regretting it if it damages your mirrorless camera lens instead of helping you clean it.
Here are 5 of the most useful and basic cleaning tools for your mirrorless camera lenses.
1. Air Blower
They come in different sizes and designs. Some with elongated nozzles while most portable ones are with shorter nozzles. Some will be more expensive than others, so get the air blower that fits your budget and need.
The point is, especially for beginners you must have this tool on your cleaning kit list. And the best is to get an air blower with a rubberized nozzle for one obvious reason- it won’t damage your lens if you accidentally hit it compared to a blower with a hard plastic nozzle.
Tips: 1. When dusting off the inner side of the lens (backside of the lens), turn the lens facing down and blow air gently. 2. Make sure not to insert the nozzle too deep inside and touch any part of the lens's sensor as well as the camera body's image sensor. This must be avoided at all.
2. Lens Cleaning Brush
There are many forms of cleaning brushes. There are brushes with hard bristles intended for another purpose. Don’t mistakenly buy this kind of brush and use it on cleaning the optical lens of your mirrorless camera.
A hard bristle brush can be abrasive and damage the surface coating of the lens. Therefore, only buy those brushes designed for lens cleaning with soft bristles.
One best choice is the lens pen with a soft brush at one end and a soft rounded pad on another end. It’s portable and can meet two cleaning needs- brushing and wiping of the optical lens surface.
Tips: 1. Hold the lens slightly facing down when brushing off any debris stuck on the front lens such as sand particles for example. 2. Using lens pen pad to wipe fingerprints, oil/grease, dust- apply light force and wipe the lens in a circular motion (apply the trick you learned when cleaning your CD and DVD discs - that is to clean it in a circular motion)3. Make sure that the brush or lens pen pad is cleaned by shaking to dislodge or remove any substance attached before using again.
3. Lens Cleaning Cloth
Similarly, lens cloth is also the same it also comes in many sizes and forms. Therefore, be wary of what kind of lens cloth you buy- only purchase from a camera shop or you can buy from other shops but you have to make sure it is allowed for lens cleaning.
Soft microfiber cloth is the most commonly used cleaning cloth to scrub away dirt and fingerprints on your mirrorless camera lenses.
Tips: 1. Before using your cleaning cloth make sure it is free of any substance that could harm your mirrorless camera lens. 2. First, use an air blower or lens cleaning brush to remove any debris before wiping out the remaining specks of dirt on your mirrorless camera lens.3. Apply light force when wiping or cleaning your camera lens in a circular motion.
4. Lens Cleaning solution
Beginners have to be very careful when buying liquid solution agents to remove stubborn stains on your mirrorless camera lens. Always ask for advice and only buy in camera shops.
The front element of the camera lens is rigidly designed for wear and tear but applying undesirable solutions could dampen and damage its coating as liquid solutions are corrosive by nature.
Take for example my eyeglasses, I have bought this with an anti-glare coating. By just wearing while I’m sweating the coating started to peel off because we all know that sweat is acidic by nature.
Stubborn stain is very possible especially if your mirrorless camera has not been used for a very long time and is just being kept in your closet. The worst-case scenario is for the build-up of mold on the camera lens which is a common problem.
If the mold stain is outside of the camera lens then using liquid solution could do the job of removing stain or streaks on the optical lens surface.
Tips: 1. Do not directly spray the liquid solution onto the lens. 2. Use a clean microfiber cloth- spray a small amount of the liquid solution to the cleaning cloth then wipe the lens applying small force until the stain is removed.
5. Lens Wet Wipes
Might not be the most economical but lens wet wipes are the most practical if you are traveling. Rather than bringing the spray bottle that will be more inconvenient mainly because it has to go through inspection.
You would always want to have something to clean off your mirrorless camera lens when some untoward conditions happen along your shooting journey. And wet wipes are very handy and the best practical way to go.
Tips: 1. Check the label for any harsh chemical compounds that are present such as alcohol type and % content. 2. Best is to purchase alcohol and ammonia-free lens wet wipes to avoid any adverse effect on the coating of the lens.
Keep your Mirrorless Camera Lens Protected from Dust Intrusions and Fingerprints
One way to protect your mirrorless camera lens from directly getting dust and fingerprints is by installing a UV filter.
Although many professionals are saying that installing a UV filter is not good or not advisable. For them maybe, as they are using many types of filters according to their shooting needs. But for beginners UV filter would be an added protection.
Of course, if you decide to buy a UV filter you should check first its features and only purchase those with a reputable brand. Likewise, test if there’s a big difference in the image output if you shoot with and without the UV filter.
In my case, I did not see any difference (observed by the naked eye) after taking sample shots to compare with and without a UV filter installed. Thus, I keep my UV filter attached to the lens all the time.
Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. I'm not promoting any of these product brands. These are sample images of my actual cleaning kits and the UV filter that I purchased and utilized to guard the front element of my lens aside from its main purpose as advertised.
There you have it, I have shown you 5 ways how to clean the lens of your mirrorless camera.
Also, adding a UV filter would help prevent intrusion of dust directly to the front element of the lens as well as fingerprints.
One thing to remember is to always purchase the correct cleaning kit that would help you in keeping your mirrorless camera lens neat and tidy.
So that’s all folks, once again thank you for reading. If you find this article helpful or you have some questions please leave a comment. I will try to answer them to the best of my knowledge.
About Rowe Medialdea:
Hi, I’m Rowe, a mirrorless camera and photography enthusiast. We have created this site to be of help (especially to beginners) by producing easy-to-understand content about mirrorless cameras! Welcome to our website!