How to Clean Your Camera Lenses (and How NOT to)

The comic (or is it sadistic…) minds over at DPReview TV have put together a lens cleaning guide that somehow manages to be three things at once: informative, comical, and extremely painful to watch.

In classic DPRTV fashion, Chris Niccolls and Jordan Drake recently took a bunch of broken lenses and used them to show the best, and the worst, ways to go about cleaning the front of your lens. And while we should note that there are multiple run-ins with a dremel, Niccolls and Drake actually do manage to cover some important points.

Key takeaways include:

  • The various types of microfiber cloths and cleaning solutions out there
  • Why you should never use a cloth or wipe when there’s dirt or sand on the element
  • The perils of the early formulations of ROR optical lens cleaner
  • What cleaning does to lens coatings over the long term.
  • And more…

Check out the full video above to dive into each of these points in more detail, including a lovely informercial break around 3/4 of the way through. Just be prepared to grit your teeth a little bit—there’s something physically painful about watching a dremel bit dig into the front element of a lens… even a broken one.