Often times lenses are worth more than camera bodies themselves. If you’re going to be dishing out the big bucks to get some great quality glass then its important to also be investing in the little things that are going to protect those high quality lenses. Here are our top 3 picks for lens protection and maintenance.
1) A UV or clear protective filter: A filter is a piece of glass with a threaded ring around it that screws into the end of your camera lens. Back in the pre-photoshop days when film was less manipulatable than digital files, a huge range of filters existed and were highly used by photographers to adjust things like white balance and exposure in camera. Now a days, we do a lot of editing in post or with multiple images so the popularity of filters has tapered off. That being said, a UV or clear protective filter is still a must have for any digital photographer as it offers a protective layer in front of your lens’ actual glass. It will help to keep dirt and dust of of your lens as well as reduce the risk of scratches or chips. The biggest tip when purchasing a filter? Don’t cheap out and buy the BEST quality filter you can afford. If you put a $20 dollar filter in front of a $2000 lens you’ve got a $20 lens. Don’t sacrifice quality here.
2) A lens hood: A lens hood is a plastic or rubber shade that attaches to the end of your camera lens. It serves 2 purposes: the first is to cut out glare that occurs when light shines into your camera lens at an extreme angle causing images to have washed out colours and rings of light. The second function of a lens hood is to protect your lens from debris. Always use one in outdoor situations where you’re shooting around dirt or sand and also use one when walking around in crowds as the hood will protect the lens glass if it gets knocked around. You can get hard plastic hoods or soft rubber ones that can be compressed when not in use.
Photo by DPReview.com, http://deltaorange.com/2012/11/20/my-average-joe-iphone-5-review/
3.) Micro fibre cleaning cloth or lens pen: As hard as we try to keep our lenses clean, dirt will still get on them. A soft micro fibre cleaning cloth (similar to the ones you use for eye glasses) are a great and safe way to wipe off any dirt or finger prints. You can also get a very handy lens cleaning pen that has a brush on one end to remove dust and then a soft felt pad on the other for removing smudges. Both are small items that can easily be stored in your camera bag.
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