For wiping away dust and occasional smudges and fingerprints on a digital camera lens and viewfinder, many photographers use a pen-like cleaning system. Lens cleaning pens are effective, easy-to-use and fit conveniently into most camera bags or a shirt pocket.
Lens pens, which are available in a few sizes and in kits, typically have a retractable brush on one end to brush away dust and particles of dirt. Removing the cap from the other end of the lens pen reveals a circular pad. The pad, made of natural chamois, is embedded with a non-liquid compound that very effectively removes smudges and smears. The cleaning element never dries out and is safe to use.
The pens also reduce statics build-up.
A lens cleaning pen should not be used if the surface of a lens is wet. Moisture should be thoroughly removed with lens tissue prior to using the pen.
Some lens pens may not be suitable to clean heavy levels of dirt. For those jobs, use a liquid lens cleaner and lens cleaning tissue or microfiber cloth. However, for most lens cleaning jobs, or when out in the field, a lens cleaning pen is ideal.
Using a lens pen
- First extend the retractable brush and gently wipe away dust and any particles of grit. If the particles are hardend, breathe lightly on the surface of the lens and brush again with the lens pen.
- Use the cleaning tip to wipe away fingerprints and smudges. Carefully wipe the lens in a smooth, circular motion.
- Turn the cap half-way when replacing it. This replenishes the cleaning compound.
Lens pens can also be used on other optical equipment such as filters, eyeglasses, telescopes, binoculars or other items with a small area of glass.