What Do You Use To Clean Camera Lenses?

Besides the standard hot breath steaming and shirttail polishing that is...

  • Alcohol, windex, or photographic lens cleaner?
  • Microfiber cloth, lint free pads, Bounty or chammois cloth?
  • On removable lenses, do you clean both ends?
  • What if the mechanical IR cut filter has some specks on it?
  • What if the sensor has some specks on it?

Can you (accidentally) affect the lens coating by cleaning too often? Does it have to be perfect or is some streaking ok?

Does it really make a difference anyway?


Microfiber cloth is usually enough, but if needed, a bit of hot breath / spit will work as well.

We use the premoistened alcohol-based hand wipes. They're free at our restaurants...

And yes, we clean both ends of C/CS-mount lenses. For the sensor area of cameras, we just blow off any dust.

Microfiber cloth with a couple sprays of isopropyl alcohol.

For optical elements inside, start with blowing dust off the lens. Never touch the silicon chip image sensor as that will probably damage it.

An inside lens cleaning device I have used is a simple 'Q-tip/cotton swap' with a bit of alcohol on it. This works on the outside as well.

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