What's in my camera bag: Keep it clean

I'm continually messing with my camera gear and accessories and have slowly come up with the set of stuff I like (for now, anyway.) It turns out I carry a lot of stuff depending on what I'm doing, so I thought I'd break this into a few posts.

In addition to the camera and no matter how light I'm travelling, I always have some way to clean the lens. Expensive lenses and cameras and great photo training are meaningless if your lens is filthy. Sometimes, I just have a handkerchief, but usually I have one or both of the following:

  • A LensPen : This is the best little gadget. Easy to carry, cheap, and useful. One end has a little chamois tip, the other is a retractable brush. I use the MiniPRO Everyone should have one (or more).

  • Lens cleaning cloth. My favorite is a big chamois one I found in Japan, but I can't recall the brand (got it at Yodobashi, if that helps...) I also have half-a-dozen little microfiber cloths I've picked up at various times and have them stuck in pretty much every pocket of my bags.

I don't carry spray cleaner, but I keep some at home. Before my trips and big shoots, I clean all my glass thoroughly, and I usually do it again afterwards. I haven't really tried a lot of different brands. I'm currently using V-Vax Products Residual Oil Remover. I can't find a website for them, but I understand it's pretty widely available. It works well for me. I use old undershirts to clean the glass. (I read somewhere once that you should never use wood based fibers on lenses. Dunno if that's true, but it seems reasonable.)

Anyway, enough on lens cleaning. Stay tuned for more photo gear rants...

Addendum: The brand of my favorite cleaning cloth is "MicroDear". You can get them from Adorama.

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