Clean Your Camera Lens
May 2014 – by Per Christensson
When taking digital photos, we sometimes forget that our pictures are only as clear as our camera's lens. This is especially true in regards to smartphones, which have uncovered lenses that have been in our pockets, purses, greasy hands, and who knows where else.
Periodically cleaning your camera's lens can drastically improve the quality of your photos. If you're taking an important photo, it's a good idea to check your lens first to make sure it's not smudged.
Below are two photos from my iPhone. The first is with a smudged lens and the second photo is after I wiped the lens clean with a hand towel.
Photo with a smudged lens
Photo with a clean lens
Notice how the first photo looks hazy and the colors are not true. This is typical of photos taken with lenses that have grease or lotion on them. All it takes is a quick tap from your finger to smudge the lens and ruin your photos. That's why checking your lens and cleaning it is so important.
To clean your lens, you can of course use one of those fancy lens cleaning kits that some camera shops and electronics stores sell. However, it's not necessary to use specialized cleaning materials. I've found that a cotton t-shirt usually does the job. If you have a cotton towel available, such as a terry cloth, that's even better. Just avoid paper towels and disposable napkins as the wood particles could potentially scratch the lens if you rub hard enough.