Picture this. You’ve spent several months saving up for a high-quality camera when you start to notice that all your photographs have some weird blemishes or marks in the same place. If you’ve seen this happening regularly, the chances are that it’s time to clean your camera’s mirror.
Thankfully, there isn’t much you need to do to clean your camera’s mirror, but we’d recommend that you are thorough with your actions as cleaning the camera lens/mirror frequently is not recommended.
Here’s a list of everything you need:
- Lens tissue or microfiber cloth.
- Lens cleaner.
- An air blower.
- A lens brush/sensor brush.
- Optional: Sensor cleaning swabs.
First, begin by taking a few test shots to try and identify the problem.
For example, if your photographs come out looking normal, there’s a chance that you need to clean the viewfinder. Then, all you need to do is gently brush the dust away using a cotton swab/sensor brush or two or a soft piece of cotton cloth.
This will let you get into the crevices and remove dust. Next, take a few more photos to see what the image quality is like. This will help you make sure that you’ve removed all dust.
You should also clean the camera body in the process and wipe the dust from the lens mount gap. It’s the same process for both, i.e., use a soft microfiber cloth.
On the other hand, you might want to clean your camera lens/camera sensor as well. Don’t worry; I have a cleaning solution.
To begin, take off the lens cap and carefully examine it to try and identify areas that are dusty or smudged. The lens cap is extremely fragile and delicate, so we’d recommend that you try and work as gently as possible.
Use a piece of lens tissue or a small amount of dry cloth.
Wipe the lens using a circular motion to eliminate any dust or visible spots. If you find that there are still some marks or dust, use more lens cleaning papers with a couple of drops of lens cleaner, cleaning the lens gently as you wipe it.
Now, here’s how to clean a camera mirror surface:
- The first thing you need to do is remove the lens from your DSLR’s camera body.
- Once you’ve removed the lens, you’ll be able to see the camera’s mirror inside. This is the image sensor, so you have to be careful.
- Next, pick the camera up very gently.
- Now that you’ve picked it up, you need to hold the camera upside down. This will help dust fall down from the glass surfaces, i.e., the camera’s sensor.
- With one hand, use the air blower and squeeze air inside the camera. The compressed air inside the blower helps remove any trapped dirt or dust that somehow wrangled its way inside the camera’s body.
- After using a blower, you have now loosened the trapped dirt and dust, so it’s time to get rid of all that dust. To remove the dust, use a cotton bud, some microfiber cloth, or a camera brush. If you haven’t been able to find any of those, you could also try using a piece of lens tissue.
- To remove dust on the mirror, all you need to do is gently brush the dust from the back of the mirror to its front. By doing this, you’re making sure that you’re not sending dust back inside the camera but outside its body.
- If you want to take this cleaning process further, you could also use your camera brush to clean the focusing screen. Use the same cleaning process for the image sensor as listed above, and you’re done.
Why clean the camera body and lens mount?
It is important to clean the camera body because dust can get stuck inside important moving mechanisms like the buttons.
Similarly, dust being stuck inside the lens mount can cause damage to the camera or the lens when you try to fit them together.
Is a lens cap and sensor brush important?
A sensor brush can be one of the safest and most effective ways of cleaning your image sensor. This is why it is a worthy investment. On the other hand, a lens cap is essential and is generally provided by all lens kits.
To test whether or not you’ve done a thorough cleaning job, take a quick peek through the viewfinder and check whether your photographs are clean.
You can also wipe the LCD screen using a microfiber cloth lint-free cloth. If they are, you can pop your lens back on, take a few more test photographs, and you’re all set!
In this article, I took you through the quick process of how to clean a camera mirror. With only a few simple tools and steps, you’ve made sure that your camera mirror is clean and all set for your next picture-taking session.
Mathew Daly, is a 32-year old photographer from Boston. Mathew has been intrigued by photography from an early age ever since he was given his first camera. He started wandering his neighborhood to capture the beauty in the most mundane of things. He loves to write about cameras and helps buyers make an informed choice.