What’s the best way to change lenses? What happens if I get dust on my lens? What about on my sensor?
The best way to change your lens is as fast as you can without damaging your gear. Minimizing the amount of time the camera and back element of the lenses are exposed to the elements minimizes the potential for dirt and other particulates to get into your camera body. Don’t change your lenses in a rainstorm, while cleaning out a dusty attic, or on the sand at the beach if at all avoidable. Those environments can wreak havoc on the internal workings of your camera.
Here is my typical lens change procedure, step by step:
Step 1: Turn off your camera. When your camera is on there is an electrical current flowing through it. That electricity has a charge which can attract dust and pollen particles from the air. Turning the camera off neutralizes it so it won’t actively pull anything in.
Step 2: Using a blower bulb, blow away any dust, dirt, grass, hair, or anything else you don’t want in your camera off the front of your camera, focusing on the ring surrounding where the lens and camera meet.
Step 3: Prep your lenses for the big switch by putting the front lens caps on. This provides a flat solid surface to set your lenses upright. This is also a good time to loosen the back end cap on the lens you will be putting on your camera.
Step 4: Turn the camera upside down, so the lens is facing down. This allows any debris left on your camera to fall off onto the ground and not into the camera.
Step 5: Remove the lens and replace it with your other lens.
Step 6: Put the back end cap on the lens you took off your camera.
If you do get dust on the back element of your lens, you can use a bulb blower to blow the dust off and then replace the back-end cap. Believe it or not there is probably some dust inside of your camera, no matter how meticulous you are about keeping it clean; but it’s probably not enough to cause any issues. If you aren’t careful, there will come a point where that dust will negatively affect your photographs or gum up the works like the sensor or the mirror. If that happens, you have two options: You can either clean the inside of your camera body out yourself (a simple Google search will bring up thousands of tutorials) or you can have it professionally cleaned which is my recommendation.
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