I kept stressing on how-to-geek: the lens is just as important, if not more important, than the camera to which it's attached. If your photos are blurry because there are stains on the lens, you can not do anything to repair them by mail. Even removing dust spots is painful. Let's take a look at how to keep your camera lenses clean.
Keep the lens cap
If you are not using your camera, release the lens cap. If the lens is not in the camera, make sure both lens caps are attached. It's really that simple: holding the lens caps on the lenses will not expose them to any dust particles in the air, and you can handle them without fear of your greasy fingers leaving stains.
However, that does not mean that you should protect your lenses jealously. Only remove the lens cap when you have the perfect shot. Lenses are surprisingly durable – as long as you do not practice your field targeting technique – and, as we'll see, are easy to clean. If you're wandering in a city with a few photos, the camera should be on and the lens cap should be off. It's just that you leave the caps on the camera while you're at home or in your pocket.
Think about shooting
Dust and stains will come from two sources: the outside environment and you. If you think a little bit about where to take photographs and how to handle your lenses, it is much easier to keep them clean.
Seaspray is notorious among landscape photographers for its ability to blur a lens. A small drop lands on the front element and even if you wipe it off or the water evaporates, it leaves the salt behind. It's a matter of seconds to clean it, just think about it.
If you work in a dusty, wet, or otherwise particle-filled environment, ignore my above-mentioned lens cap tips and leave them on. Avoid pointing your lens directly into the wind / mist before you start shooting.
Do not touch the front panel when changing the lens or otherwise handling your camera. Keep your dirty paws away from the glass and it stays clean! You should also show no exposed lens up: dust particles in the air settle on it.
Wear a microfiber cloth
Most landscape photographers have more microfiber clothing than underwear. They are really cheap and super handy. If there is dirt or stains on your lens, simply remove a cloth from the bag and wipe it off. If a cloth gets dirty, just grab another one. After setting up my camera for a landscape shot, I usually wipe the lens off quickly just in case.
As good as any microfibre cloth. I would suggest buying a bunch of them – like this 30-pack at Amazon for $ 19 – and treat them as almost disposable. Drop a few in your pockets, leave one in the car (it's also good for that Cleaning your sunglasses) and otherwise keep them ready. Occasionally they all run through your washing machine.
Clean thoroughly occasionally
No matter what you do, your lenses occasionally need a decent cleaning. The good news is that it's really easy, and you only need a few things: an air blower, a soft brush, a microfiber cloth and a lens wiper or a lens pen.
The process is simple:
Use the air blower, a microfibre cloth, and a soft brush to remove particles sticking to the lens.
Take the lens wiper or lens pen and rub the circles out from the center of the lens element and remove any stains.
The last step is to take the air blower and brush and also clean the inside of the lens caps. It makes no sense to clean the lens when the lens cap only casts dust directly onto the lens once you're done.
Keeping your lenses clean requires very little effort and your photos will look better. You should also clean the sensor of the camera. However, this is a bit more complicated.