Keep that Camera Spic and Span

You know what’s thrilling? Nailing that once-in-a-blue-moon, absolutely beautiful shot with your camera. You know what’s not thrilling? Getting your camera cleaned. But cleaning is important if you want to take great photographs. It’s sort of the yin side in the yin-yang of photography.

Dust and your Camera Cleaning Lawrence Camera

“Honey, we’re gonna need to clean the camera.”

Dust travels on air and can find its way into even the most sheltered places. Just look around your home for proof. Unless you’ve recently done some good housecleaning, you’ll find a coating of dust inside closed china cabinets, on the underside of plant foliage, on the vertical surfaces inside bookshelves, and all sorts of other hard-to-reach places. So, while the inside of a camera may seem impervious to dust, it isn’t. In fact, the inside of a camera carries an electrostatic charge that pretty much attracts dust like a magnet.

Tiny black specks on some of your images are a telltale sign that you need to get your camera cleaned. But just because you haven’t noticed any yet, that doesn’t mean your sensor isn’t due for a scrub. (Don’t worry. We don’t actually scrub them.) Keep in mind that the specks won’t necessarily be obvious to you at first. In fact, they’re most likely to show only when you’re shooting a bright subject at a small aperture.

Sometimes you can check for those telltale specks by lowering the exposure and increasing the contrast on a given image. A better way to see if your camera is due for a cleaning is to take a photograph of something very bright—such as a white sheet of paper or a clear afternoon sky—at f22. Zoom in on the image to get a good look. If you see specks, bring her in and we’ll clean her up for you.

If you’ve worked in dusty conditions or do frequent lens changes, you’re a prime candidate for a camera cleaning. There’s no specific guideline as to how frequently you should get your camera cleaned, because it all depends on the way you use your camera. We can’t emphasize enough what a bad idea it is for a novice to try the do-it-yourself approach to camera cleaning. The inside of your camera is delicate, and the cost of a professional cleaning won’t make you wince. No need to ship your camera off for a cleaning, though. We do them right here in our store!

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