Other than your camera, lens, SD card, and battery there isn’t a whole lot you absolutely need to spend the day with your camera. Sure, a tripod may be clutch at some point but you can certainly find acceptable ways to steady your camera if you don’t have your three legged friend with you (rest it on a rock, a wall, or use Scientology to make it levitate). There is one tool, however, that you can’t really replicate in the field… One tool that, if you visited my home or asked my wife, you’d find 6 of laying around my house and in my car (sometimes in my shorts when the laundry is done). The LensPen.
I’m amazed that I don’t read more about these wondrous little tools. I’m not sure if it’s becasue everyone assumes you already have one or if it’s just such a normal thing to have you wouldn’t really think to write about it. I mean, it’s like saying “don’t forget your shoes” when you go on a photo walk… I assume you already know that your precious hooves need some protection from the rough ground.
If you’ve never used a LensPen before it will blow your mind. Assuming you know wiping your lens clean with your shirt is stupid I’m going to also assume you usually carry some sort of lens cleaner solution and cloth with you or perhaps some lens wipes. If you shoot often enough you probably realize that all of that is a burden to carry and can get expensive over time. The LensPen is cheap, good for about 500 cleanings, and won’t harm your lenses.
One side has a retractable brush that gets rid of pesky dust and debris in seconds. There are other LensPen units out there that look similar but don’t have a protective cap to cover the brush side, I’d recommend getting the pen with the cap to keep dust and debris from entering the brush area while it’s in your pocket or bag.
The other side of the LensPen is a magic little cloth like pad that’s covered with a carbon material that specializes in removing fingerprint grease from your grubby little paws (their words not mine, I think your paws are just fine). You use this in circular motions on your lens glass to get rid of any smudges caused by your nubs, water drops, etc..
The links on this page take you to the Amazon page where I purchased my LensPen (all 6 of them), I only review the products that I use. By clicking through you help this website and it doesn’t cost you any more than normal. Please support PhotolisticLife and DecisiveShot.com by using the affiliate links. Thank you!
Not all LensPen products are created equally… The cheaper all black ones (usually without a cap for the brush side) begin to come apart after a few months of use. I’ve tried lots of them and the one you see on this page has held up the best.
What’s your favorite piece of equipment? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.