LensPen Lens Cleaner
Let me start by apologizing if I appear to be hocking goods. In these unknown times and an unknown return to assignments, I was contacted about doing a review for LENSPEN and I figured why not. Maybe this is part of my next chapter. What else am I doing? Oh right, being a full-time parent to an infant.
I should add, while the pen was sent to me without charge for the purpose of review, I am not receiving compensation for the review, nor was I obligated to post a review. I am including links to amazon in this article and may receive a small commission should you (would you, please) order from my links. You can always visit my affiliate page for up-to-date info about any sponsorships or affiliate programs I am involved in. Anyway, here goes:
Many photographers are gentle with their gear and can keep it pristine. I am not one of those photographers. I typically have one camera in hand, and the other is hanging off my body bumping around. This is why it's so important that I have sturdy, not to mention weather sealed, equipment like Olympus. As sturdy as construction can be, the front element will always be the achilles heel of any camera system. I can maintain the front element of my long glass by extending the lens hood, but my wide I somehow always ended up smudging. And since wide angle is the one I tend to use smaller apertures with and try to get starburst photos, those spots only become more noticeable.
I previously owned a knock-off LENSPEN that came as a package with something else I had ordered, but it was as good as useless because I couldn't quite trust that it was safe and not going to actually scratch my lens. I have used combos of blowers (great for sensor spots and removing dust) and a cloth (for removing fingerprints, rain spots) but LensPen seems to be that perfect tool that can do it all.
Lens cloths are great, I always keep one in my bag, but the problem is, if it's just dust (or more likely, warning track dirt) on my lens, a lens cloth is going to just scrape those tiny particles on the lens. So I could use a blower, but blowers are awkwardly sized and while easy to toss into a bag, not so easy to keep in a pocket.
LensPen isn't a replacement for having your lenses professionally serviced and cleaned but it is a great tool to bring along to maintain your gear in the field.
I'm not looking to create produced content because there are already plenty of people doing that at a quality that I can't feasibly replicate with my given bandwidth, but manfrotto has a great video that shows you how to use the LensPen. What I can share, is some before/after to show you it works, and a voice to say, "I use this" and "I trust this".
LensPen has a range of products, whether you want smaller size in your hand, want to work on a smaller sized lens (like the body cap fisheye I love so much), want to work on a screen (difference is the Cleaning Tip isn't curved like it is for optical lens) or one specific to filters, or a bundle, they have you covered.
When we talk about photography gear, it's hard to stay under $100, but at $9.95 here's a <$10 gadget to add to your kit, if you are so inclined.
My only con: based on how the lettering is printed, it was clearly designed for right-handed people :P
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