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Chapter 3. Camera Care > Cleaning your camera's lens

Cleaning your camera's lens

Fingerprints, smudges, dirt, dust, water drops, and scratches—they all plot against you! When trying to take the best possible quality images with your digital camera, any of these contaminants can mess up your lens and prevent you from getting the crystal-clear pictures it was designed to capture. Having a strategy for avoiding a dirty lens is just as important as knowing how to properly clean it. Not only will caring for your lens produce better, more consistently sharp images, but it will also extend the life of your optics and allow you to get more from your digital dollar.

The importance of a clean lens

Your lens is designed to produce clear, sharp images using precision optics and high-tech lens coatings. When the lens gets dirty, your image quality degrades. Smudges, fingerprints, dirt, and haze on your lens reduce image contrast, introduce lens flare, and can cause hazy, out-of-focus pictures. Not cleaning a dirty lens can also hit you in the pocketbook—if you don't take care of your optics, there will come a point where your image quality suffers so much you might have to replace the lens. And with only a few digital cameras with removable lenses on the market, it's more likely you'll have to replace the entire digital camera. Taking the time to care for your camera's lens will not only help produce the best quality images, but it will also ensure that your investment in a digital camera continues to pay off.


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