How To Clean DSLR Camera? It’s a question that bothers all photography buffs. That’s why we have tried to provide an in-depth answer to this question. We read more than 20 expert articles to ensure that we’re able to answer your question – How To Clean DSLR Camera – comprehensively.
Many new cameras carry some adhesive, and many avoid removing it for fear of damaging the surface. However, this can be a mistake. Over time, various types of surfaces exposed to light tend to change slightly in hue, and an adhesive could leave its mark forever. In addition, these adhesives are of no use, bearing only technical characteristics or quality control certification etc. Their removal does not imply the loss of the guarantee or the resale value of the camera.
In order to carry out the correct cleaning, it is necessary first of all to determine which type of surface it is, since different surfaces require different treatments. For example, a camera body in plastic with a silver finish must be cleaned lightly and with non-aggressive solvents to avoid removing the surface finish layer.
To establish with sufficient certainty the nature of the surface to be cleaned, look inside the chamber, for example inside the battery compartment, and carefully observe the details.
If the camera has a silver finish on the outside but inside reveals a common light gray plastic, it means that the external surface of the chamber has been treated with silver paint, and therefore relatively fragile and easy to remove. The same system can be used to determine if the chamber has a metal body and what its finish is.
How To Clean DSLR Camera?
Once all this has been verified, the cleaning operations can be done safely and without excessive fears.
We will need some materials:
- Good quality glass cleaner (ammonia free)
- Cotton swabs
- Compressed air or compressed nitrogen
- Cotton fabric (handkerchief or washcloth, no gauze) not starched, not new
- Common sense and attention
Warning: The detergent containers do not always bear the chemical composition of the product contained. To check for ammonia, open the package and sniff carefully. An acrid and pungent smell is a clear sign of its presence.
Cleaning the surface of the camera body
Usually it is enough to moisten the part to be cleaned with breath and rub lightly with a clean cotton cloth. For grease stains (fingerprints or other) dilute the glass cleaner to 50% with water and clean gently. For glue residues left by an adhesive, moisten a cotton fabric with a few drops of alcohol and proceed with great caution.
Never use alcohol on surfaces with designs or with shaded colors, or plastic ones. The alcohol could dissolve the finish paint or alter the colors of the affected part.
The powder can be blown away from the cracks or joints using compressed air or gas contained in the pressure cans. Always keep the can vertical, and blow short pulses at least 10 cm away from the chamber.
Compressed gas generates very low temperatures and causes condensation or even ice, therefore excessive pressure on a joint could cause moisture to enter the chamber. Operate with short pulses at a safe distance.
On the market you can find many products and objects for cleaning lenses, which in addition to not being absolutely necessary, can sometimes also prove harmful. A simple soft, washed cotton fabric many times can do the job just as well, if not better.
Cleaning a digital camera lens can be quite difficult. Many models have very small lenses, and zoom lenses are sensitive to lateral movement. In addition, some cameras have a barrier that automatically covers the lens when the camera is turned off.
In this case, the chamber must be switched on and then the batteries removed, thus preventing the cover from being activated. Remember that the lenses are fragile, therefore do not apply any pressure and avoid any lateral movement.
The first thing to do, both for large and small lenses, is to blow on the surface to remove any particle that could scratch it. Use compressed air with short pulses, at an appropriate distance, and in an angled direction with respect to the plane of the lens.
Moisten the lens with your breath and clean it using a microfiber fabric specific for photographic lenses. If you are unable to reach all the points, you can use a cotton swab. Still, extreme care is recommended, do not exert any pressure, keep the stick in an angled position.
Recall that the lenses have a surface treatment, a multi-layer film that serves to improve its optical properties. Use the utmost delicacy so as not to risk scratching the coating.
Do not use any chemicals, do not clean the lens dry, do not use products for glasses. Halos left by drops of water or other liquids can be difficult to remove. As always, the best thing is to prevent, then dry the lens before the drops dry on the glass spontaneously. In the end, a little compressed air is enough to eliminate any residue.
Cleaning the viewfinder
Dust or spots on the viewfinder are particularly annoying due to proximity to the eye, and can reduce vision in some areas of the scene observed. In addition, the surface to be cleaned is often very small and embedded in the chamber body.
The glass or optical plastic of most sights do not have protective surface treatments, so you can use a diluted solution of glass cleaner. Moisten, do not soak, the tip of a cotton swab and pass from one side to the other without exerting any pressure. Use the dry end of the stick immediately to dry the surface. Never let the solution dry out spontaneously.
If there is dust or something else in the corners, use another wet stick and leave it on the corners for 10 to 15 seconds, then dry and blow away any residue.
Cleaning of rubber parts
The synthetic rubber used for some parts such as the handle or the edge of the viewfinder often charges with static electricity becoming a dust magnet.
These details can be cleaned with a cotton swab dipped in alcohol. Squeeze the cotton between the fingers to eliminate excess alcohol and pass it evenly over the parts to be cleaned.
Avoid touching the machine body or other painted parts to avoid damaging them with alcohol. As soon as the operation is performed, dry everything with compressed air
Cleaning the LCD monitor
LCD monitors can have different surfaces. Some have a glossy protection of glass or plastic; others are opaquer and slightly garnet. In all cases, the screen is fragile and cannot bear pressure on its surface.
The monitor should be treated like the objective lens, i.e. with a clean and dry cotton fabric. Moisten the screen with your breath and clean it gently from fingerprints left by fingers or nose.
If this is not enough, use the cloth moistened in the usual solution of glass cleaner diluted with water. The 50% dilution is only indicative, in reality if you get a good result with a greater dilution, all the better. At the end always clean and dry with a cloth.
Cleaning the memory card slot
Attention: Never insert anything into the card slot. Inside are the blades of the electrical contacts that can be easily damaged.
If cleaning of the compartment is required, for example after working in a dusty environment, the best solution is low pressure compressed air.
Always use the same precautions suggested above: Blow at least 10 cm away, do not insist with the jet but use short pulses, and above all do not insert the nozzle of the can into the opening.
Cleaning the battery compartment
Over time, battery contacts can accumulate oxide and / or dirt, greatly reducing their ability to transfer energy to the chamber.
The most commonly used method in this case is to clean the contacts with a common eraser, for example that of a pencil.
In addition to removing dirt, the rubber can also eliminate small oxidation. After cleaning, blow into the compartment to remove rubber residue and dust.
How to clean DSLR camera – Dos & Don’ts
- Clean your camera regularly.
- Maneuver all moving parts gently.
- Turn the camera off before unplugging the power cord, removing the battery, removing the memory card.
- Keep the chamber dry and free of condensation.
- If it is not used for a long time, keep the chamber in a dry place, remove the battery.
- Expose the chamber to shocks, vibrations, magnetic fields, smoke, dust, water, steam or chemicals.
- Store the camera in damp, dusty or dirty places.
- Subject the camera to extreme, high or low temperatures.
- Leave the camera in the sun or in the car for a long time.
- Bring the camera into contact with sharp or abrasive objects.
- Drop it into the water. It may no longer be possible to restore it.
- Blow out the dust with your breath or with high pressure air.
It is true that do-it-yourself cleaning kits exist on the market, and it is also true that contacting a specialized technician comes at a cost. However, do-it-yourself will not always bring you the desired results and it is not always risk-free.
If you deem it appropriate, you can contact the specialized centers, which are often the direct service centers of the manufacturers of digital SLR cameras.
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