This is the Lenspen. If you are a photographer it is pretty much an essential item to keep in your bag. The Lenspen is used just as the name implies, for cleaning your lens. If you own a camera inevitably the lens on the camera is going to get dirty. So unless you are willing to take pictures with a dirty lens you are probably going to need a way to clean your lens. There are a number of products on the market and I’ve tried a number of them but I always find myself coming back to the Lenspen.
When I clean my lens I always try to clean it as much as I can with out making any kind of contact with the lens. I’m paranoid about getting a scratch or some how damaging the front element. To clean the lens with out touching it I use an air blower to blow off any surface debris. I do not recommend using any form of compressed air to do this because compressed air can leave behind moisture or propellant on your lens, the latter can possibly remove or damage the coating on the lens.
Once the surface debris has been removed from the lens I then start to use the Lenspen. The Lenspen is a two step process. On one side of the pen there is a knob that you can slide which exposes a soft brush. The other side of the pen is a cap, underneath the cap as Lenspen puts it, a “special non-liquid cleaning element, designed to never dry out”. So the first step with the pen is to very gently brush the lens to remove any particles that could potentially scratch the lens.
Now that the lens has been blown with the air blower and brushed with the Lenspen the last step is to use the cleaning element to clean the lens. I typically start in the middle of the lens and slowly and gently work my way to the outside of the lens in an ever expanding circular motion. If I get to the edge and I feel like it isn’t clean I go back over it again.
That is how the Lenspen works, now here is why I’m a fan. I was walking through the woods one day exploring and taking pictures. I come across this scene that I like so I swing my camera up to take a picture and there is this blob in the middle of my view finder. I turn the camera around and right in the middle of my lens is a blob of tree sap! I took me a minute to process what I was seeing. How in the world did I get tree sap on my lens and more importantly, how was I going to get it off? Like always I was carrying a Lenspen in my pocket so I immediately got it out and started to clean. I think I was fortunate that the sap hadn’t dried yet. I used the cleaning element of the Lenspen and slowly squeegeed the sap off of the lens. It was amazing how effective the pen was at cleaning! If I hadn’t been won over already this miracle clean sold me.
As I mentioned above I always carry a Lenspen with me when I’m out taking pictures. Due to the size it travels very well. Here are some images to get an idea of the size of the Lenspen. The pictures are of the Lenspen and a standard size fine point Sharpie.
Buy one at Amazon, typically around $8.
Manufacturers site, Lenspen