As for cleaning lenses and sensors, you have to figure out what works best for you. Watching Youtube videos is a great way to start. I HIGHLY recommend watching at least five, but closer to ten or more GOOD Youtube or Vimeo videos on how people clean each piece of equipment. You want something that works well for YOU.
Do keep in mind, you should never use cotton swabs nor canned air to clean either. Cotton swabs fall apart and leave lint on and in your gear. Canned air has a propellant in it that will cause anything it touches to become sticky. Over time the challenging sensor to clean will become impossible.
As for me, here are the highlights of what I do. Do keep in mind that I do not apply a lot of pressure. I use more repetition to get smudges or dust lifted. (Note: the links listed are meant to only better show you what I am talking about. You may like these or want to use something else.)
- Blow off the lens with a Rocket air blaster to knock off large dirt.
- Gently wipe lens from outer to center with a clean microfiber cloth.
- I do not breath on the glass. Breathing on the glass can produce spit on the coating, plus is adds bacteria to your glass. This bacteria can grow into something that eats at your non-glare coating.
- If a smudge will not lift, I do put some lens cleaning solution on my cloth and start wiping gently again from edge to center.
- I have used the Lens Pen to clean off fingerprints. I do start with the brush end first and then carefully start by cleaning the outer edges of my lens and move towards center of len.
- I make sure my battery is fully charged and that I am not in a hurry at all. Cleaning a sensor will take time. I go in when I don’t have anything else to do and am not in a hurry at all.
- I clean my sensor in a clean bathroom. I choose the bathroom because I run some water for a short while to bring the humidity level up a touch (NOT steamy) and thus help to bring down any dust.
- I set my sensor cleaning solution and sensor swabs so that they are ready to go and can be used with one hand. I will use at least three sensor swabs. These prepped swabs will lay on the side of the sensor box with the end that is going into my camera hanging off the edge of the box so that they are not touching any surface.
- Once I a ready, I will get the first sensor pad moist with the sensor cleaning solution. Less moisture the better.
- I then put my camera in sensor cleaning mode under the Menu options.
- Keeping the camera body so that the opening is facing down, I take the lens off the camera. I then inspect the lens to make sure it is clean and cover it with the proper cap.
- Next, I pick up my camera so that the hole is still facing down and then I take the moist swab and place it on one edge of my sensor. I then gently swipe the swab left to right.
- The camera is still facing down. I am raising it above my head.
- When I reach the other side, I gently move the swab down the sensor edge without lifting it off and then gently swipe back.
- Again, I am not in a hurry.
- I do this until I think the sensor is sufficiently moist.
- I then place this moist swab down and pick up a new dry one.
- I then do the same edge to edge swipe and then move down on the edge to swipe back to the first edge.
- This is done until I see streaks.
- When this happens, I move to the next dry swab and repeat until the sensor no longer show streaks.
- At this point, I put the clean lens back on the camera and retest to make sure the dust is gone.
- If it is, then I go on with my life.
- Often it is not, so I repeat the process until the sensor is clean.