Gear skills Clean your D-SL R
Before you head off on your travels, let Matt Tuffin show you how to clean your camera and lenses, preventing issues when you’re shooting
If you’re planning a long trip abroad, chances are you’re looking to ensure your kit is completely dust-free and ready to go the minute you step off the plane. There are a few simple jobs to perform before you pack.
The external areas of your camera are simple enough to manage, as they’re tough and you can be rougher and less careful with them than you need to be with the inside of your camera. As long as you’re careful enough with sticky substances and food on fingers, it’s also extremely unlikely that the body of the camera and lens will pick up too much that will affect your usage. That said, it’s still worth wiping the camera over and checking the contacts for any obvious problems. Any particles removed from the camera body will, clearly, be unable to get into more important areas.
Cleaning the sensor of the camera fills many photographers with dread; sticking something inside the camera, hoping nothing will be damaged in the process, and then adding liquid into the equation will make any cautious photographer recoil and want to pay a professional. It’s worth bearing in
Cleaning the sensor fills many photographers with dread… keeping your camera clean isn’t just about improving your images, but about prolonging the life of your kit
mind, though, that you aren’t cleaning the sensor itself, but the glass filter which sits on top. There’s just as much potential for damage if the cleaning is performed incorrectly, but you needn’t be so concerned about the affect your cleaning might have.
For this, you’ll need a sensor cleaning kit from Visible Dust or similar, containing sensor cleaning fluid and swabs. These are doubleended cleaning tools, consisting of a plastic stick with a papery material on either end. Cleaning the sensor involves wiping the swab across the sensor (see right). Just be sure to get the right size swabs for your sensor, as they come in different sizes.
Keeping your camera clean isn’t just about improving your images, but about prolonging the life of your kit.