The biggest advantage of DSLR and mirrorless cameras is the ability to switch lenses and the flexible integration of various accessories. This flexibility, however, has a disadvantage: even when you are extremely careful when changing or even transferring lenses, dust from the environment will find a way to leave its mark on your images.
The presence of dust on the sensor or on the camera lens may have a negative effect on the ultimate performance of the photos, as it is usually responsible for the diffused, dark spots you may see on the bright portions of your photos. Fortunately, however, there are many ways to deal with this problem and keep your photographic equipment as new.
Ways To Protect Your DSLR Camera
Cleaning the camera
Cleaning the camera body and lenses must be done regularly after each use. This is a delicate process and the best way to keep your equipment in good condition.
The body of the machine
If dirt accumulates around the keys, their operation is affected, so make sure you clean the body of your camera with a microfiber cloth for a photo camera. Remove the camera’s rubber eyecup and clean the viewfinder and LCD screen. For the back of the viewfinder and the lens, you can use a specially designed cleaner, such as Hama’s Lens Pen.
Even if the lens is brand new, there may already be a small amount of dust inside it, but this is not a defect. Although they are manufactured with extreme caution in a very clean environment, no dust can be completely absent. However, compared to dust in the sensor, dust inside the lens does not appear in your photos.
A lens cleaning cloth is ideal to remove any traces of watermarks, fingerprints or dust from the front lens element. The general rule that you should follow is to clean the lenses with minimal contact before moving on to more drastic measures. In this way, there is much less risk of damage to the sensitive lenses of the lens.
Use a rubber blower, such as the Hama Dust Ex Blower, to first remove the dust on the surface before using a non-abrasive cloth or a Lens Pen for tricky dirt. The elastic blower is the essential part of the photographic equipment and if you have already acquired it you know it has good results. A blower will also help you to clean the contacts on the back of the lens more easily.
If you notice small dots appearing at the same spot in your different images, it is likely to have been caused by dust entering the photographic. The solution is to clean your camera’s sensor. Beware, however, because the sensor is an extremely sensitive element of the machine and can easily be damaged if you are not careful. If you find it difficult to do it yourself, you can send it to a specialist for cleaning.
If there are no dust spots in your photos, you do not have to go through the process to clean the sensor. To check if there is dust, shoot a clean white surface (eg a white wall or bright sky) and carefully examine the photo: magnify the image on a screen (rather than on the screen) so you can discern any spot in the image.
Sensor cleaning requires some preparation that varies by model or manufacturer. That’s why you should read carefully the instructions for using your camera. You can still remove most dust through the engine body using an air blower. Place the machine in such a way that the lens mount looks down and blows the blower to “push” the dust out. There are elastic blowers that have spare air filters, so they do not blow more dust into the camera chamber.
Then, clean white surface again to see if dust has been removed from the surface of the sensor. If there are persistent spots on the sensor, then you should apply a more active cleaning method.
Wet sensor cleaning
Initially, it should be noted that some manufacturers only approve the cleaning method using a manual, elastic blower. Other methods may cause damage to the sensor or to other optical parts, invalidating your device’s warranty.
Since your camera manufacturer approves wet cleaning, you’ll need to get the right cleaning kit for the size of your sensor. This can be controlled by the features of each camera cleaning kit.
The cleaning kits are usually composed of cleaning coatings and volatile cleansing liquids, such as isopropyl alcohol solution. Follow the instructions for using the cleaning kit strictly, but do not overdo it with the cleaning fluid. In any case, the best method is to apply the cleaning fluid to the coating instead of directly to the machine sensor.
After you carefully and gently clean the surface of the sensor, recheck the same way as mentioned above. While still spotting spots in the image, repeat the cleaning process until you are completely satisfied with the result.
Protect your equipment
It is not entirely impossible to prevent dust from entering the engine, but there are some tips you can follow to significantly reduce the risk.
- Turn off the camera before changing lenses. This reduces the static load on the sensor and therefore reduces the risk of dust attraction.
- Replace lenses only indoors and as fast as possible. Otherwise, if possible, it changed lenses in an environment without humidity, too much dust or sand.
- When changing the lens, always place the camera with the lens mount down. When removing a lens, place the body cap on the camera or replace the lens immediately.
- When using the camera for low-temperature photography, do not leave it exposed for a long time (eg by touching it on a frosted surface). When you return home, do not save it immediately.
- Put your camera in the warmest room of your home and leave it for a few hours there to avoid condensation (from the difference of indoor to outdoor temperature). If you think you will be experiencing a problem with temperature and moisture difference, put some sachets of silica gel in the carry bag.
- Finally, the camera bag should be kept clean. Fully indulge your bag and use a vacuum cleaner (or vacuum cleaner) to remove dust and droppings. Be sure to remove all the accessories of your camera from the bag, especially small items such as SD memory cards, covers, etc.
Keep in mind that careful use and regular cleaning of the camera ensure its seamless operation for many years, as well as the highest possible quality in your photos.