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My camera lenses are getting particles and such on them, and whenever I take very close up (Macro) Picture, I can see these particles on the image. There are also fingerprints on the LCD screen. There is also other residue and such on my camera. I haven't cleaned it in years which would probably account for it.

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Well, this might be too much to cover in one topic. We do have a question around lenses and filters already: photo.stackexchange.com/questions/1408/… and viewfinders: photo.stackexchange.com/questions/637/… and sensors: photo.stackexchange.com/questions/12/… . Maybe the most general and probably the duplicate of this is here: photo.stackexchange.com/questions/3234/… See the cleaning tag. –  dpollitt Mar 19 '12 at 23:19
    
Sorry... Should have checked other questions before posting this one. –  J. Walker Mar 20 '12 at 1:38
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Just a funny comment. I have a Kodak Playsport, an underwater video camera. The owner's manual suggests rinsing it off in the sink especially after salt water immersion! Felt odd the first time I did that... –  Paul Cezanne Mar 20 '12 at 9:56

3 Answers 3

up vote 4 down vote accepted

Cleaning should not be done in an interval rather it should be a regular practice. I follow these regularly

  1. I keep my lenses in a humidity controlling desiccator
  2. I keep a lens pen with me, and I brush away the dust from the lens surface everyday after getting back home
  3. I clean the surface of the lens with a microfiber only when there are visible dust that can't be washed away with the brush or blower
  4. I use hood, so that my front element doesn't get any scratch. I dont use UV filter because it seriously degrades the image quality
  5. And I occasionally take my body to camera service center to clean the dusts from the mirror.

That's mainly it.

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Hasin vai, +1 for not using UV filter :) –  fahad.hasan Mar 20 '12 at 5:59
    
Fantastic answer. –  Itai Mar 20 '12 at 12:39
    
One addition for me: I wipe everything down just to get any moisture/sweat/oil/etc off. It's especially necessary in the cold where my breathing covers the back of the camera body with condensation! –  Dan Wolfgang Mar 20 '12 at 13:40
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While I think this is a great answer for potentially another question. In this case the user has already accumulated dirt, dust, etc over years. Recommendation to keep a lens pen with him or use a lens hood - is kind of out of his control at this point. –  dpollitt Mar 20 '12 at 13:45
    
Thats why I had mentioned that cleaning should be a regular practice and should not be done in an interval. –  Hasin Hayder Mar 20 '12 at 13:50

This article will tell you what to do and what not to do: How To Properly Clean DSLR Camera Lenses

Here is a 'table of contents' with products you better don't use for cleaning your lens. You can find a explanation on the above mentioned website.

NEVER use the following products under any circumstance:

  • "Canned air" or compressed air spray cans
  • Bathroom tissues, kitchen towels, toilet paper, Kimwipes, lens papers, or lens tissues
  • Single use pre-moistened lens wipes for eye glasses
  • Window/Glass cleaner or ammonia based cleaners
  • Liquid cleaners that don't list their ingredients
  • Anti-fog products
  • Tap water, bottled water, saliva, soda, etc.

How to remove Dust Particles:

  • Air blower or air bulb
  • Anti-static brush.
  • Lens pen

How to remove finger prints and oil based smudges:

  • Liquid chemical cleaner
  • Non-abrasive wipes

How to remove water or rain drops

  • Lens cloth
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Thomas, thank you for the contribution. Normally we try not to just link to other content. If you could summarize the main points or the important points here that would be best. This helps in case the link dies or the website goes down, then the content will live on here. Thanks! –  dpollitt Mar 20 '12 at 13:42
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I'm sorry. I was kind of in a hurry. I've added a first summary of the article. I'll add some more content later. –  Thomas Dekiere Mar 20 '12 at 14:00

I agree with Hasin. Cleaning the camera and lenses should be done regularly. In some cases, after every shoot. That would depend on the environment and situation of the shoot, though. I recommend looking at Moose Peterson's video guide to how he cleans his gear.

In addition to cleaning the exterior surfaces of the camera and lenses, he talks about cleaning the sensor itself which is a necessary evil. Note, though, that this applies to a DSLR and not a compact camera. Even so there are many things he shows in the video that apply to cleaning a compact camera.

I don't think the particles you're seeing in your picture are coming from the lenses, though. Instead I am pretty positive that they are coming from dust/debris on the sensor itself. Contrary to popular belief, dust and scratches on lenses really do not show up in regular photography. See LensRental's blog post for a dramatic demonstration of that fact.

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