I have read several questions here regarding dust in a camera lens: should I be worried about getting dust, will it affect the image, and is it a problem. One answer suggested that "zoom lenses are prone to 'inhale' dust, simply by the act of zooming."

While the answers suggest that dust isn't a problem with regards to image quality, I am concerned about how to remove dust that is already in the lens, and how to reduce the amount of dust getting in. In my case I have a Tamron 18-270 zoom lens and recently while cleaning the lens I noticed a particularly noticable white spec on the inside of the outmost piece of glass. On closer examination I found a dozen specs of dust on the outside of the next to outermost surface, and four (including the most noticable spec) on the inside of the outermost. If zoom lenses can inhale dust so easily, is there a way to get them to exhale it? Is there some way I can get the dust out myself? I'm interested less from the perspective that my images will be compromised (although I would be interested in seeing a difference frame between dust and no-dust before I believe it truly has 0 effect) and more from a bit of OCD and not wanting to let the problem escalate.

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    You don't, at least not without risking a LOT more than you would gain.
    – Michael C
    Dec 25 '14 at 19:26

Unfortunately dust in our lenses is something photographers have to live with. By using the equipment and zooming in/out and focusing dust will find it's way into even the most weathers sealed and expensive lenses. Fortunately getting dust inside the lens doesn't matter much in regards to image quality (read this article and find out yourself).

Even though you might think that a noticeable spec on the outer element of the lens would show up on the image, it most likely won't (unless you're using a very small aperture and the spec is close to the center). By trying to clean the lens from dust chances are that you'll actually damage the lenses and cause a problem when there where none to begin with.

If you really want to get rid of the dust you should have it serviced. I would strongly object to that however since the "problem" is a non-issue and your lens is a rather cheap zoom lens and it would be a huge waste of money.


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