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November 7, 2013
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Taking care of your camera doesn't have to be complicated or expensive. Since I spent some time cleaning mine this weekend, I thought I'd share the equipment I use and how effective it can be. Feel free to add your own tips and experiences in the comments of this article! For general camera protection at all times - the following are great tools:

1) UV Filters - a lifesaver - really and truly it's not worth not having one!
2) LCD Screen Protector - great for putting on the display on your camera to protect it from scratches.
3) Lens Hood - Useful in the sunshine but also as added protection for your lens!
4) Lens caps - I don't take my own advice, but really lens caps are great, use them!



Source: Ephotozine

I work with a Sony D-SLR A57. It has lots of bits and pieces that require the odd bit of upkeep here and there (don't we all!) but nothing too complicated. The biggest concern for most is cleaning those dust specks out of the camera sensor. Firstly, check the in-camera cleaning function. Lots have them and it often solves the problem. Anything a bit more complicated that involves digging around inside the camera and touching lots of shiny reflective bits..should be left to the professionals unless you're really confident. 

Lens Pen




This lens pen is pretty nifty, it's only a few pounds (in the UK) and has two functions. One end is marketed as a specialist non-liquid type cleaning element..basically it's a non-magnetic magnet type thing! You can use the brush to...brush, and the other end to pick up the fine dust specks. I use this for both the lens on my camera, and for the visual parts of the sensor. Gently!


Be careful when using a brush type cleaner - if you go too cheap or too rough, the bristles tend to fall off in the most awkward places. You want something sturdy that's not going to let you down!

Non-abrasive Wipes



These non-abrasive wipes are fantastic. They are lint free and ultra soft! It says so on the packet! But truly they are great, and they work really well with the lens cleaner listed below too. You can use the wipes on their own or with the liquid to get a better result. Ridiculously, the wipes only seem to be available at the moment as part of a really-expensive-set but it's worth keeping an eye out, they last a while too.



Lens Cleaner




You can generally find a good lens cleaner on amazon, this particular one though I found by fluke. It was given to me for cleaning discs and actually it works really well, if not better, on camera lens's. It's not as good on UV filters, for some reason, so it's worth avoiding it or polishing it off them very well afterwards.

Cleaning Cloths




I've had the same cleaning cloths for years. I've not even properly 'cleaned' them. It sounds awful but actually they are really substantial and don't need much care. These are both for micro-fibre lens and work fantastically for rubbing off finger prints, small bits of dust and fluff and drying raindrops!

It doesn't take much to keep your camera up to scratch, if you're noticing specks that just won't go away then pop to your local camera shop and see if they offer a cleaning service. As a rule, I generally get mine cleaned once a year in order to ensure everything's working okay but sometimes you might find you come away with more specks than you arrived with - always check the cleaning system they have in place. If it's cheap, it's not worth it!




Hopefully this article will give you some fairly cheap yet easy ways of caring for your D-SLR without breaking the bank! Please don't forget to :+fav: it if you enjoyed it!
:heart:
Add a Comment:
 
:iconenricksanpedro:
EnrickSanPedro Featured By Owner Dec 15, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Is lens pen the only tool out there to remove dust specs in the sensor?

I've had the dust in my sensor forever and the only way I get to remove it is by photo shopping it out.. I'm embarrassed.
Reply
:iconkaz-d:
Kaz-D Featured By Owner Dec 15, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Eh, it's a tough one. I end up photo shopping a lot of it out too. The lens pen works best for me. Some people brave it and use compressed air - but it's not recommended and you have to carefully research for a certain type that won't damage the camera. Your best bet is to get it professionally cleaned, I give my camera a birthday each year :nod:
Reply
:iconmiguel-santos:
Miguel-Santos Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2013   Photographer
Sensor Dust is Evil, But is it Art? :lol:
Reply
:iconkaz-d:
Kaz-D Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
:lol:
Reply
:iconcsp-media:
csp-media Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2013  Professional Photographer
If you can change a light bulb, you can clean a camera sensor.  I lock the mirror up on my Canon EOS, and use an ear bulb syringe (available at any drug store or family store such as Wal-Mart) to blow the dust off, never touching the sensor.  Specs of dust show up on my photos as tiny, white dots.
Reply
:iconkaz-d:
Kaz-D Featured By Owner Nov 18, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
:w00t: well said :D
Reply
:iconyeliriley:
yeliriley Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
On a comical note, I accidentally washed and dried one of my lens caps in the pocket of a pair of pants. I thought I had lost it but there it was in the bottom of the dryer of doing the week's laundry. Still works just fine. I wouldn't try in with a lens.
Reply
:iconkaz-d:
Kaz-D Featured By Owner Nov 18, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
:giggle: great tip ;)
Reply
:iconyeliriley:
yeliriley Featured By Owner Nov 18, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
:)
Reply
:iconawesome43:
awesome43 Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2013
Very informative :heart: Kaz. Thank you for sharing.
Reply
:iconkaz-d:
Kaz-D Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Thank you!
Reply
:iconawesome43:
awesome43 Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2013
:iconrbyw: my pleasure. 
Reply
:iconcanankk:
Canankk Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2013
Thank you! :blowkiss:
Reply
:iconkaz-d:
Kaz-D Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Welcome!
Reply
:iconjumparoundjon:
jumparoundjon Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2013   Photographer
Thanks
Reply
:iconkaz-d:
Kaz-D Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
:)
Reply
:iconshakilovneel:
ShakilovNeel Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Thanks!
Reply
:iconkaz-d:
Kaz-D Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
:)
Reply
:iconorchideacae:
Orchideacae Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you ,thank you, thank you so much!!!Here's a kiss for you, my love!

Now I won't have trouble cleaning lens.Hug
Reply
:iconkaz-d:
Kaz-D Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
:)
Reply
:iconeintoern:
EintoeRn Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
:iconthumbsupplz:
Reply
:iconkaz-d:
Kaz-D Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
:)
Reply
:iconclaremanson:
claremanson Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2013  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
I am forever putting my lens cap down somewhere and ending up losing it for a week or two at a time! XD
Reply
:iconkaz-d:
Kaz-D Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
:lol: Me too :no: we're terrible people!
Reply
:iconclaremanson:
claremanson Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2013  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
I even bought a spare cap on eBay when I thought I wouldn't find the original, two days later I found it!
Reply
:icondelahkel:
Delahkel Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2013  Professional Photographer
An often overlooked, yet important aspect.

One thing though, the lens pen is amazing for cleaning oily spots such as fingerprints, much better than a micro fibre.
Reply
:iconkaz-d:
Kaz-D Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Oh yes! Definitely is :)
Reply
:iconavarenity:
avarenity Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
My fav tool is the blower. Use it occasionally to get rid of whatever dust is around. More often if I've been shooting in dirty places. My camera has the dust removal function so that helps as well.

Anything more serious than minor dust and I hand my camera over to my boyfriend to clean it. He has more experience in stuff like that.
Reply
:iconkaz-d:
Kaz-D Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Definitely a useful one :)
Reply
:iconmiontre:
miontre Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
I'm too scared to do anything to clean my camera :fear:

I've had my DSLR for almost 3 months now (wow, time goes fast), and after about a month and a half of having it, I discovered dust on my sensor :( :( I tried the inbuilt function but it didn't really do anything! And I'm definitely not confident enough to clean it myself :lol: I was really upset at first because I've never changed the lens so I thought there must've been something wrong with it :noes: I emailed the guy from the shop and I found I didn't really need to worry, because he told dust can also get in through zooming and focusing the lens :phew: :phew: I'm going to wait a bit longer and then get it professionally done :XD:
Reply
:iconftsarts:
FTSArts Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I actually have gotten dust inside my camera body (I've had mine for about 5 years now) and that happened very early on. However mine does a cleaning sweep of the sensor everytime I turn it on. So the dust is just around my viewing glass. And I found that I see the black spots when I look through the camera, yet I took a picture of a white piece of paper, and the dust is just on the viewing glass, so it doesn't affect my pictures at all. Olympus helped me figure that out, and the guy told me that for them to clean it, they would have to actually break open the camera body along the split lines and reattach it, so basically, it would have cost as much to do that as get a new one. Either way it doesnt affect my pictures, and I've never had to manually clean my sensor (thank god) because of the self cleaning option. 

However if you know for sure that it is on the sensor, then there is a very cheap, "green" system, I believe it is called Green Clean or something like that, comes with all the stuff to clean the sensor safely and costs about $25. I forgot I did have to use that one time, in the very beginning when I did a beach wedding and sand got all inside the body. 
Reply
:iconmiontre:
miontre Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Ohh, thank you for the tips! :) :hug: I also had a black speck in my viewfinder, and I though it was probably just on the outside too. I checked for it again yesterday and I think it's gone :D :D
Reply
:iconkaz-d:
Kaz-D Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Don't be scared! Just cautious. It is quite daunting though I admit :D

It's good to get it professionally done once in a while too, mine gets a birthday every year :D although take some test shots of white backgrounds before you go - and ensure the spots are not increased when you get it back :D
Reply
:iconmiontre:
miontre Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
I think I'll leave it get professionally done, I know it costs but it would cost even more if I accidentally damaged my camera which is certainly on the cards :fear: :fear:

Birthday cleaning is a good idea :D Maybe I'll get it birthday and Easter cleaning. :P
Reply
:iconastralseed:
Astralseed Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2013  Professional General Artist
This is really great, I always feel iffy about trying to clean my lenses because I don't want to get smudges and or extra dust etc on them, or scratch them.  
Reply
:iconkaz-d:
Kaz-D Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
It always feels to me like an epic surgical experience :D i get so worried about it!
Reply
:iconastralseed:
Astralseed Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2013  Professional General Artist
OMG, the other week I was checking out Mykel's sensor and it looked like there may have been some dust on it so I blew into it.. not thinking that  my breath has moisture and it would create some condensation etc... and so, sure enough the mirror got a bunch of moisture on it and it wouldn't go away, wouldn't go away and I was like OMG I KILLED HIS CAMERA :faint: .. thankfully it went away within a few minutes, but before it did it definitely felt like forever and I was like OMG NUUU.  
Reply
:iconkaz-d:
Kaz-D Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
lolololololol :D
Reply
:iconrhynwilliams:
RhynWilliams Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2013   Traditional Artist
i just use my t-shirt to clean my camera :lo:
Reply
:iconjasonswint:
jasonswint Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2013  Professional Photographer
Cleaning with t-shirt = tiny scratches all over the lens.. you may not see them at first, but gradually the sharpness of your photos will decline. Lens cloths are cheap. Lenses are not.
Reply
:iconrhynwilliams:
RhynWilliams Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2013   Traditional Artist
I know, I have a cheap lens on top of my expensive lens and its the cheap lens that i clean with a shirt :hug:
Reply
:iconjasonswint:
jasonswint Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2013  Professional Photographer
Aha. Just checking. I always die a little on the inside when I see people wipe expensive lenses on their shirts. The other day I watched a guy walk under a waterfall, spray everywhere, and didn't even bother to cover his brand new looking Canon 5D Mark III sans waterproof case. I would kill for a camera like that, and he just treated it like it was a disposable. LOL.
Reply
:iconrhynwilliams:
RhynWilliams Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2013   Traditional Artist
mine is a second hand camera, a 2007 model but I keep it so safe 
because i might not be able to buy another one for a very long time,
it does the job and its so much better that a travel digital camera.
but i was 24 before i could afford an my first ever slr
Reply
:iconkaz-d:
Kaz-D Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
:lol: well if that works for you ;)
Reply
:iconrhynwilliams:
RhynWilliams Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2013   Traditional Artist
:o i am interested in that pen though, i might buy it!
Reply
:iconkaz-d:
Kaz-D Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
It's a great pen! :D
Reply
:iconrhynwilliams:
RhynWilliams Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2013   Traditional Artist
looks it :)
Reply
:iconrhynwilliams:
RhynWilliams Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2013   Traditional Artist
:lol:
Reply
:icon3wyl:
3wyl Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Some good stuff! It is important to care for one's DSLR. :nod:
Reply
:iconkaz-d:
Kaz-D Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Yus! :la:
Reply
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