How many times have you gone out to shoot, removed the lens cover, looked through the eye piece and wondered why things look weird? Correct settings? Check! Lens set to Auto Focus? Check! Hmmm…could it be the massive greasy thumb print on the lens? Ding, ding, ding, ding! We have a winner!
We all know the old adage of cleanliness being next to… you know. And we practice it the best we can. After mowing the yard, waxing the car and playing a game of tag football, we know it isn’t a wise to immediately jump into bed and give our loved ones a big snuggle prior to a proper body cleansing session. Granted, it can be fun to see their reaction, once they realize you smell like a dead armadillo that’s been baking on the road for three days. But generally, the only outcome will be a black eye for the “snuggler” as the “snugglee” attempts to clear the area in 2.4 seconds.
The same can be said for our cameras and lenses. Any crud on the lens will usually lead to crummy images, or at least some time in Photoshop trying to fix the mess. Case in point: last night, I’m in Kihei shooting the sunset, and the wind is whipping like mad. Which means, you guessed it, so was the salt spray. No worries, as I was running low on my old lens wipes, I had stopped at Costco and purchased a mammoth box of Flents Wipe’N Clear lens wipes. Cheaper than the Bausch & Lomb product I regularly use, I figured I’d save a few bucks and try something new.
Arriving at Sugar Beach, I stuffed a few of the new wipes into the camera bag and set off into the sand. Sure enough, after a few minutes of shooting, my lens was covered in salt spray. I pulled out a Flents packet, ripped it open and wiped the lens.
The lens was soon covered with a streaky, smeary mess and a ton of fibers from the cloth. I opened another packet and feverishly wiped. Now the lens looked like a used tissue factory had exploded on the glass. And yes, the light was quickly fading.
I dug deep into a pocket and came up with one of my last Bausch & Lomb Sight Saver lens wipes. With two swiped of the towlette, the lens was crystal clear again… Just in time to catch the last rays of light.
Yessireedee! One little lens wipe that cost $.01 more than the Costco product saved the day, and the shot. It’s not that often that I make a product recommendation, and I’d don’t raise my hand willy-nilly to say, “This is the BEST thing since sliced bread!” A product has to prove to me that it does the job, first time out, and always with repeatable results. Like my uncle Bubba used to say, “Son, this Sh%! works!
Today I ordered a few boxes of Bausch & Lomb’s Sight Savers. Yeah, it cost more than the cheese ball Flents okole wipes, but my images look great when I don’t use them. It just goes to show ya: Sometimes, every penny counts.