View Full Version : Sea salt on lens

08-20-2003, 08:34 AM
Can anyone tell me or suggest a way to remove the salt from my camera lens safely.

08-20-2003, 07:56 PM
Try using a blower instead of a brush. Some people use those cans of compressed air, and that might work well. A brush is a no-no because you'll potentially scratch your lens.

I got sand INSIDE the lens of my Olympus on a trip to Death Valley - it made very very bad grating noises when I switched it on or off ;( A good rule in general is to always use a filter to protect the lens, as it's much cheaper to replace a scratched filter than a scratched lens.

I also collect those bags of silica gel and put them in sealable bags with my lenses and camera body when they're not in use.



08-20-2003, 09:43 PM
When you say lens, do you mean the glass, the metal, or both?

The glass part is easy, several wipes with a wet soft cloth, rinse well in between wipes. Then clean as usual.

The exterior metal, treat it the same way. The idea is to dilute the salt to the level at which it won't attack the metal.

If you dunked your lens, got salt water inside it, I suspect you should send it in for a good cleaning. Be very specific about what happened to it.

08-21-2003, 05:08 AM

I have to reiterate that you shouldn't rub anything like salt off a lens - blow it off instead. Rubbing, no matter how lightly, on glass will mean you risk scratching it.


08-21-2003, 06:27 AM
So what are you supposed to do with lense cleaning paper then? I always assumed you needed to touch the lense.

08-21-2003, 07:47 AM
I'm going to be bold here and presume that you everyone is missing the point.
I'd say we are not talking about actual salt granuals, rather than the nasty smearing that is left on a lens after being sprayed with salt water.

- As suggested by the others, first blow off all an particles of dust etc. that may be left on the lens.
- Then use a commercial lens cleaning fluid on some lens cleaning paper. Use plenty of fluid as you need to dilute the salt. If you have already wiped the lens, as I suspect you probably have, all I can suggest is trying to wet the effected area enough to dilute and lift the smears you'll have.
- Be careful to wet the lens cleaning paper and not the lens directly, as this could result in the fluid getting into the lens.
- Keep trying until you either remove the smears or decide they won't budge. In which case you'll need to take the lens to the manufacturer to be either cleaned or have the outer lens replaced.

As suggested by another members, you should keep a protector lens or a UV lens on your lens at all times. I always do, and once had the same problem as you and just about removed the smears by doing what I said above. However, I could not completely remove them, so ended up buying another protector lens.

I hope this helps some.
Martin (Bayleaf)

08-25-2003, 01:09 AM
To be specific, the problem I'm having is that the salt in ocean spray gets deposited on my lens so quickly, that in a matter of minutes all seaside photos are a blur. I'd like to clean the lens in the field, but want to do so safely - i.e. not scratch my lens. I don't have any filters at the moment, because the camera is a digital camera.

Thanks for all the hints.

08-25-2003, 01:30 AM
I'd carry a wet cloth in a plastic bag and a couple of micro-fiber cloths to dry and clean.

Rinse the cloth after a few uses. You're trying to dilute and remove most of the salt. Wet/dissolved salt is not going to scratch your lens. You need to pay attention to the presence of any sand, that most likely will scratch the lens coating.

The salt will eat your camera eventually. Take it from someone who lived on a sailboat for a few years.

08-25-2003, 01:52 AM
After cleaning your lenses you can protect them with an UV filter.

08-25-2003, 07:41 AM
You might be able to buy an adapter for your camera to allow you to keep a filter over the lens. One of my cameras, a Canon PowerShot G3 is a compact digital, but I bought a 58mm filter adapter and ensure that I have a UV filter over the lens in any worrisome situations.
One other thing you could consider, and it sounds like this might be the better option if your camera is being sprayed every few minutes, is a waterproof cover. I've seen a number of these available for compact digitals recently. Some of them are as simple as a zip-bag. The type you use to keep food in the fridge.