The weather is getting warmer. The nights are less chilly, and the skies are clearer. Summer is fast-approaching, and that means it's time to pull your AV equipment out of storage and start getting ready for some fun outdoor cinema events this summer. Of course you'll have to wipe the dust off of everything, make sure that all of your equipment is in tip-top shape. You'll want to give your screen a good cleaning. You want to get all the excess dust out of your projector's filters. And, of course, you'll need to give your lenses a wipedown. But what about the internal parts of the lens? Don't they need an occasional cleaning as well?
The answer is yes, but not from you. Often, we'll find ourselves in an overzealous mood when it comes to cleaning our equipment. After all, you don't want to deal with any snags in your outdoor cinema events that could have been easily prevented with a little bit of cleaning solution and five minutes of elbow grease. But there's being thorough and then there's being counterproductive - and when it comes to cleaning the internal part of your lens, it's definitely more trouble than it's worth. In this post, we're going to explain exactly why that's true.
You Don't Have the Tools
Even something as simple as the zoom lens in a projector console can feature some mechanical complexities. The internal parts of a lens need to be calibrated to a very specific point in order to work properly. You might be able to disassemble your lens with a small enough screwdriver. But, unless you are a consummate professional in the field of optics, you're going to be hard-pressed to put everything back together in its proper place and with the right calibration. You need special tools and special software a lot of times in order to get it right. In fact, most people will tell you that only the manufacturer or a specialty service can properly calibrate your lenses to give you the sharpest image possible.
The Cleaning Will Not Be Worth the Trouble
Most lenses are built to be pretty durable and that includes a generous amount of rubber sealing to make sure that the internal mechanisms of the lens are protected from any dust or dirt that might be flying around. Yes, the occasional particle can slip past and get inside your lens. But, those few particles that get by will have a very negligible effect on your lenses, if any at all. Getting past that rubber sealing - and then making sure it's properly placed around the lens once you're done - is going to give you more trouble than any dust mites would.
Take it to a Tech Lab
If the internal portion of your lens truly does need a cleaning - or if you just won't be able to let go of the idea - there are plenty of photography labs in your town that can help you. They'll typically have small instruments that can send blasts of clean air through the lens in order to flush out any unwanted dust or dirt inside.