What’s in Your Camera Bag or Backpack?

Today’s Post by Joe Farace

There’s an old photographer’s saying—it’s one of Farace’s Laws—that if you take care of your equipment it will take care of you. For instance, when cleaning lenses, you shouldn’t douse the front element with cleaning fluid. That stuff is highly viscous and can find its way into all kinds of nooks and crannies and, with repeated use, can cause problems. That’s why I’ve been using a LensPens for the past 20 plus years. Lenspens have two accessible working ends and are small enough you can clip one in your pocket or toss it in your camera bag or backpack.

How I made this shot: Shooting outdoors can be a challenge especially in an environmentally challenging location like Colorado’s Barr Lake State Park. This portrait of my former muse, Tia Stoneman, was shot using my Olympus E-P3 with M. Zuiko Digital ED 14-42mm II R f/3.5-5.6 zoom lens. Exposure was 1/320 sec at f/4 and ISO 200 with a plus two stop exposure compensation. And ye, you can shoot portraits with entry-level cameras.

Which LensPen should you use? Why not start with their Photo-Pro Kit ($34.95) that includes everything digital (and film too) photographers need to keep their lenses, viewfinders and filters clean. Here’s what’s in the kit:

  1. An original LensPen that will remove grease and fingerprints from lenses for DSLRs and mirrorless cameras.
  2. The FilterKlear has a flat, round cleaning tip especially designed to clean lens filters
  3. The MicroPro has a smaller cleaning tip that’s useful for cleaning viewfinders and the tiny lenses, on smartphones.
  4. The kit includes a handy microfiber carrying pouch that doubles as a cloth for other cleaning applications.

Both the original LensPen and it’s cousins clean in a few easy steps: Slide out the natural goat hair brush and use it to remove any loose dust and dirt from the lens. Then remove the cap from the other end and use the flexible chamois tip that’s embedded with a carbon compound to remove any fingerprints. The carbon compound used in LensPen’s products is similar to one found in printer’s ink.

The twist-action cap recharges the carbon compound on the cleaning tip and also ensures the cap won’t jump off in your pocket or camera bag. There’s no expiration date and a LensPen performs well in arctic cold or desert heat. LensPen products are also safe to use, are RoHS (Restriction of Hazardous Substances) compliant and meet California’s Proposition 65 standards.


*LensPen is a long-time sponsor of my sites and blogs and I would like to thank them for their continued support. They have kindly donated a few of these kits to be used as prizes in an upcoming photo contest on my car photography website/blog. Details soon. Thanks to LensPen for their kind donation.