Lens Care Don’ts

by Oracle on

Post image for Lens Care Don’ts

Beyond the usual advice of keeping your SLR lenses away from sand, liquids, and small children, the list of what not to do could quite literally go on forever. Fortunately for you there are a few things people commonly seem to enjoy doing that I would like to take some time to point out.


• Use paper towels or any other coarse material (that includes your T-shirt!) when cleaning the lens elements. They will scratch the heck out of those elements. Use a cloth or tissue that is designed for cleaning glass with coatings (like a microfiber cloth).

• Use just any old household cleaning solutions to clean the elements. Some of those cleaners will damage or even remove the lens coatings that are so vital for clear sharp images. Stick to the cleaners that are designed for cleaning glass.

• Ship or transport the lens attached to the camera body. This is especially true for lenses with a plastic mount. Doing so puts excess stress on the mount which can cause damage to both the lens and the body. Sometimes the pieces that break off end up in your shutter; this destroys the shutter and can scratch the sensor. The best thing to do is use your lens caps (front and rear) and your camera’s body cap.

• Allow your camera with lens to swing freely around your neck. Try to always keep one hand on it, to guide it away from any dangers. While this may seem inconvenient this is one of the most common practices that lead to impacts.

• Ignore the tripod collar from a lens that has one. Not using it can put a lot of stress on your mounts. Failure to remove it or position it correctly when storing can have a similar effect. Basically, just remember that it is a big honking lens the most vulnerable point is where it connects with your camera so take mindful care of that.

• Force the zoom when it locks up. This will cause more internal damage to barrels and rollers. On top of that you may have just doubled the cost to repair too. Take a deep breath, put it away and take it to a professional as soon as you can.

• Keep using your lens once you’ve identified an issue. This almost always causes more damage.

• TRY AND FIX IT YOURSELF. Whether you fancy yourself handy with electronics or in general, lenses are a whole other ball game. Even if it may seem simple enough you can start something that will not end well for you, your lens, or your bank account. Special tools and disassembly procedures are required for pretty much all lens repairs. And please, pleeeeease don’t use superglue (post image) or epoxy to attempt to fix a lens, it never works and gives me a headache.

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