How to Clean Nikon Lenses: A Complete Guide

How to Clean Nikon Lenses A Complete Guide

Expensive hobbies in general and photography, in particular, require a lot of maintenance for devices and its parts to function flawlessly over a longer timespan. Being one of the leading camera and camera accessory manufacturer, let’s dive into how to clean Nikon lenses. These are general suggestions that will apply to all DSLR and mirrorless cameras.

There are some techniques that will be discussed, as well as some general tips, dos and don’ts. The main focus will be on safe, proven methods of effectively cleaning camera lenses.

Cleaning Methods

The general consensus is that there are two main go-to ways of cleaning cameras: “wet” and “dry”. As a suggestion, if dry doesn’t do it for the particular item, then users must take the wet path.

Cleaning Materials

Basically, to clean the DSLR camera lenses, users will need to purchase some accessories: an air pump, a brush, a microfiber cloth and wet napkins. These items can often be bought in a cleaning kit, making it easier for the user, or they can be bought individually.

  • The Air Pump

With an air pump, the dust can be blown from the optic surfaces before proceeding with any other operations. Obviously, the best air pump is the one which fits the person’s budget and requirements. Although an affordable pharmacy pump is also a good choice, for those who do a lot of maintenance on the road before serious photo shoots and jobs, it’s better to invest in expensive and portable air pumps.

  • The Brush

The brush is used for more or less the same reasons as the pump. However, not every brush is recommended for cleaning cameras and optics. The best brush is the one that’s specifically designed for cleaning these types of devices.

Camera brushes are often finer, have a good and soft tip which won’t damage the optics, and are of an adequate size. They flex and reach every nook and cranny, ensuring that all of the camera parts are dust-free and ready to shoot. The most famous brands with regard to this type of cleaning and maintenance accessory are often inexpensive and high quality, making them a high-value purchase.

When using a brush, it’s important to avoid touching the tip. That is because the fingers often carry a lot of grease from sweating and touching foreign objects. You should remember that it is important to avoid contaminating the cleaning products with grease since it can find its way on the lens and can degrade the image quality.

  • Microfiber Cloths

Microfiber cloths are the most common tool for cleaning cameras and camera accessories. Since they are made of fine and soft fabric, they are the ideal tool to get rid of those annoying spots that find their way on the lenses. Also, they can be cleaned with some warm water and soap after use, making them a perfect recyclable tool.

A note to take is that it is essential to choose a microfiber that is suitable for cameras since they come in various types based on where it can be used, such as windows, glasses and more. The latter is more rough, making it a poor choice. Lenses, as enthusiasts are familiar, are coated with an anti-reflection layer, which can be easily damaged if the optics are cleaned with inadequate products.

  • Wipes

Both dry and wet wipes are obviously perfect for cleaning optics and cameras. As with the other items that have been discussed so far, camera wipes are finer, so it’s just vital to go the extra mile and purchase this designated cleaning product.

While people can get away with using a soft napkin, camera-designated wet wipes are mandatory since the manufacturers control the chemicals that go into the formula. Using standard alcohol wipes can seriously damage the lenses’ coating, affecting the image quality in a big and negative way.

Also, it’s important not to blow warm air on the lenses. The condensation that occurs during this process contains trace amounts of acid, which can corrode the lenses’ coating.

How to Clean Nikon Lenses: The Whole Process

Now that the full cleaning kit has been established, let’s see what’s the most natural process for cleaning the camera.

  • Preparation Phase

First, all of the dust must be removed, and the user must ensure that their hands are squeaky clean. After this, on a flat surface that’s been decontaminated, the kit can be laid out. Likewise, good lighting conditions are crucial for cleaning the camera, so a spot by the window or next to a good lamp is essential.

  • Cleaning Phase

The lenses will be the first to be cleaned by using the air pump. After getting the right amount of air in all of the usual hiding spots, the user can check if there is further need for cleaning. Without touching the brush hairs, the user will dust off the remaining particles if it is required. The smaller, finer brush is ideal for getting in all of the right spots. By now, the lenses must be dust-free and ready for the next step, which is cleaning the prints.

Check for fingerprints on the lenses and use the microfiber to remove them slowly. The microfiber should ideally be cleaned after each use since it will hold a lot of the grease that comes off. If the user will perform this duty with a dirty cloth, then there’s a big chance that all of the greases will be smudged.

After using the microfiber, if there are still visible grease spots, then a wet wipe will be used to finish up and get the lenses and filters nice and clean. Use a dry wipe or microfiber to remove any sort of moisture afterward since it can cause stains.

Final Thoughts

For newbies, this has hopefully been a complete guide on how to clean Nikon lenses. A good point to keep in mind is to always make sure that you clean the lenses with great care and attention to detail. You must also choose the right materials to use. However, if you are not confident enough to buy the materials individually, then, by all means, take a look at some of the most recommended brands of cleaning kits. They can be a good starting point for a quality, affordable cleaning tool. 

Don’t forget to check out our guide to the 10 Best Nikon Lenses.

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