A dirty lens can cause unwanted blur and softness or lead to dark spots on the resulting image. It's therefore important to equip yourself with the best camera lens cleaner to prevent such scenarios. In this review, we will help you identify the right lens cleaner for your camera.
Cleaning your lens regularly using the best camera lens cleaner will ensure the lens performs as expected during your real estate photography shoots. Let us dive into our best picks of lens cleaners.
The LensPen SKLK-1 is a reliable and safe camera lens cleaner that works in all types of optical lenses, removing dust and oily fingerprints.
The cleaning tip features a unique carbon compound, with the molecules of the infused compound having the ability to absorb a considerable quantity of contaminants and oil. It weighs 11.2 ounces which is more than twice heavier than Nikon 7072, making it unsuitable to carry in your pocket.
The LensPen cap features a unique design to protect the tip from collecting dirt when carrying or storing it. Unlike the UES DSLR Lens Cleaner, it doesn't use liquids which eliminates accidental spillage and drying out.
Also, the lack of liquids means it can't be affected by temperatures, which makes it ideal for harsh conditions such as arctic cold or desert heat.
The Nikon 8228 is a cleaning kit designed with portability in mind, with the inclusion of a carrying case with a zip and belt loop. The cleaning gear includes a LensPen micro and a LensPen standard.
However, with a weight of 3 ounces, the portability is less impressive compared to the Nikon 7072. It comes with an anti-fog cloth that helps prevent your camera lens from fogging, giving you peace of mind when shooting even in misty conditions.
The LensPen micro is a great tool for removing dust, debris, and fingerprints from corners and tight spaces. This cleaner doesn't require a power supply or batteries to operate, making it suitable for use even in remote places such as jungles.
However, it lacks a cap ring, which makes it impossible to attach it to a keychain like the Carson C6, reducing the carrying flexibility many photographers enjoy.
The Bower SAD 14 comes with an anti-static microfiber cloth that will help you clean all types of lenses. It uses streak-free cleaning fluid, which effectively removes smudges, debris, and light scratches from the camera lens.
Unlike the Carson C6, it includes a blower brush that helps remove dust even in the corners and hard-to-reach places. The kit also consists of cotton swabs that help to remove light scratches.
Although it's a 6-in-1 kit, it's lighter than LensPen SKLK-1 as it weighs 2.56 ounces, which allows you to carry it in your bag with ease.
It's compact than the AmScope CK-I, with dimensions of 8 x 1.5 x 4.75 inches, which makes it suitable for carrying in a pocket. However, the liquid-based cleaner can be affected by temperature changes, making it unsuitable for use in trying environments.
The LensPen NDSLRK-1 lens cleaner comes as a kit containing three pen-shaped cleaners that are lightweight and small. These tools feature a unique design that is geared towards the safe and fast removal of fingerprints, oil, and dust from the camera lens.
Apart from the standard LensPen, the kit consists of a MicroPro that is designed for use in corners and tight spaces. Unlike the Carson C6, it also comes with a FilterKlear pen that is uniquely designed to clean the glass filters.
Like the Carson C6, the pens come with a retractable brush that helps in wiping off the dirt and dust before cleaning. However, you can't attach it to a keychain to enhance the carrying convenience.
The Carson C6 is an easy-to-use lens cleaner that will help you maintain your camera lens free from grime, fingerprints, dirt, and dust. Unlike the LensPen NDSLRK-1, the tip features the Nano-particle cleaning formula from Carson Dry, which is specifically designed for eliminating contaminants from the lens.
It features an in-built cap ring for attaching the carabiner or keychain with the cleaner, allowing you to carry it with ease without inconveniencing your camera bag. Like the LensPen NDSLRK-1, it features a soft brush that you can retract when you are not using it.
The cleaner doesn't need power or batteries to use it, making it ideal for traveling, especially when going to shoot in harsh conditions in remote areas. However; it doesn't include a filter cleaner.
The UES DSLR Lens Cleaner uses a non-aggressive formula that is free from alcohol. Typically, it uses ultrapure water-based cleaning liquid that is safe for use in all kinds of lenses and coatings.
Without leaving any streak behind, it effectively removes smudges, dust, stains, and fingerprints, making it ideal for use in muddy situations. Unlike the LensPen NDSLRK-1, it comes with an air blower that is made of good-quality natural rubber.
Also, the blower nozzle is soft, ensuring no scratches even on the most delicate lens in case you accidentally touch them with the nozzle during blowing.
The blower is compact and fits in your hand well, allowing you to squeeze it easily or carry it in a camera bag with ease. However, unlike the Carson C6, you can't attach it to a carabiner to enhance portability.
The Nikon 7072 is a versatile camera lens cleaning tool that features a distinguished design that allows you to clean even the most delicate lens. Unlike the Carson C6, one end comes with a non-liquid natural chamois tip, eliminating the drying out or spillage scenarios.
The chamois tip is ideal for wiping away fingerprints and smudges. If you turn around the pen, you can clean using a brush that looks similar to that of the LensPen NDSLRK-1. The brush is retractable, enhancing protection from damage when carrying it around in a camera bag.
Also, the chamois tip features a cap, enhancing the cleanliness of the tip. With a weight of 0.5 ounces, it's suitable for carrying in a backpack, camera bag, purse, or shirt pocket. However, unlike the LensPen NDSLRK-1, you can't use it for cleaning lens filters.
The AmScope CK-I is a non-aerosol cleaner that will help you get rid of the messy stains, dust, and fingerprints from your camera lens. It comes as a cleaning kit that consists of a special cloth, unique cleaning liquid, and soft brush.
Typically, the cloth is for wiping the dirt and dust, and the brush is for cleaning the hard-to-reach corners and tight places. Unlike the LensPen SKLK-1, the package weighs 0.35 ounces, which is impressively lightweight for carrying in a backpack, camera bag, or purse.
The bush features a high-grade construction to ensure no scratches on the lens's coatings as you clean. The cleaning liquid is non-corruptive and leaves no watermarks, ensuring the lens is perfectly clear.
However, unlike the LensPen SKLK-1, the liquid can dry out or spill, which may inconvenience you or damage other camera gear if it spills in a camera bag.
Camera lens cleaners come in varying qualities and cleaning methods, making it difficult to choose the most suitable one. Below, we detail the various features you should consider in a camera lens cleaner. Besides, the table gives you a summarized view of these attributes.
|Product||Cleaning Method||Weight (Ounces)||Dimensions (Inches)|
|LensPen NDSLRK-1||Non-liquid||1.6||1.25 x 5 x 8|
|Carson C6||Liquid||0.3||7.75 x 3.75 x 0.75|
|UES DSLR Lens Cleaner||Liquid||12.7||6.54 x 4.65 x 2.48|
|Nikon 7072||Non-liquid||0.5||6 x 3 x 1|
|Nikon 8228||Non-liquid||3||6.3 x 3.5 x 1.8|
|LensPen SKLK-1||Non-liquid||11.2||8.25 x 7.5 x 8.25|
|AmScope CK-I||Liquid||0.35||8.7 x 5.6 x 0.1|
|Bower SAD 14||Liquid||2.56||8 x 1.5 x 4.75|
Most camera lens cleaners are either water-based or alcohol-based. Some feature solvents and surfactants, which helps in cleaning. Such formulas may include isopropanolamine, lauryl dimethyl amine oxide, sodium Laureth sulfate, and hexoxyethanol.
Moreover, some lens cleaners use ammonia formulas that have surfactant which may irritate your eyes and nose. To avoid such a formula completely, avoid any lens cleaner that uses ammonia. However, there are some water-based lens cleaners with formulas that are not aggressive such as UES DSLR Lens Cleaner.
Some camera lens cleaners are liquid-based, while others are non-liquid. For instance, the Bower SAD 14 uses a cleaning liquid to remove dust, smudges, and fingerprints from the lens.
On the other hand, cleaners such as LensPen SKLK-1 use a carbon compound at the tip of the cleaning pen, which absorbs the grime, fingerprints, smudges, and dust. The non-liquid cleaners have a limitation on the number of times you can use them, with many around 500 times of use.
However, this time may vary depending on the level of smudges on the lens, and the quantity of dirt the tip is absorbing in one cleaning time. On the other hand, the liquid-based method has the risk of accidental spillages or drying out.
Besides, as a liquid, it can be affected by the temperatures, making it inappropriate for use in extreme temperatures such as arctic cold or desert heat.
If you are planning to purchase a camera lens cleaner that you can travel with, then you should consider weight and size that will enhance portability.
Some lens cleaners, such as the Nikon 8228, and although relatively heavier than the others, have been designed with carrying in mind, as it comes with a zipped carrying bag to facilitate carrying.
Some are impressively lightweight and compact, allowing you to carry them in a backpack, camera bag, purse, or pocket. Besides, some like the Carson C6 feature a built-in ring that allows you to attach them in a carabiner or keychain to enhance portability.
When purchasing a lens cleaner, the package may not come as a single lens cleaning tool but as a cleaning kit that includes additional tools for improving the cleaning performance.
For instance, the LensPen NDSLRK-1 comes as a kit with three LensPen cleaning tools, with each tool featuring a unique design for its purpose. This inclusion enhances versatility as you will have tools specifically designed for cleaning the lens filters.
All the lens cleaners are not equal, and some will be easier to use than others. For instance, the LensPen SKLK-1 doesn't use any cleaning formula, and you can carry it and use it virtually in any location.
You won't need any explanations on how to use the soft brush to wipe off the dirt and dust.
However, many liquid-based lens cleaners are not straightforward to use, especially if you don't know the situations that require the use of the formula, cotton swabs, or wiping with the microfiber cloth dry. Also, using an air blower may be challenging to some.
Yes, it's possible to remove light scratches from the camera lens using the proper cleaning formula and microfiber cloth to wipe off. For instance, the Bower SAD 14 comes with a streak-free formula, anti-static microfiber cloth, and cotton swabs which you can use to effectively remove scratches from the lens.
However, the effectiveness depends on the lens's quality and the extent of the scratch. Before removing the scratch, make sure the lens is well cleaned.
It's possible to use liquid-based and non-liquid lens cleaners interchangeably without any issues. However, using them at the same time will reduce their effectiveness. For instance, if you apply the Bower SAD 14 formula and instead of using its microfiber cloth or cotton swabs for wiping, you use the LensPen NDSLRK-1 for drying.
The result will be the same, but you will have wasted the resources. Depending on the condition of your lens, you should be able to decide which cleaner to use and at which time and situation.
With many glass cleaning options in the market, identifying the right cleaner for a camera lens may be confusing. However, any pick from the cleaners above will suit your wiping and cleaning goals.