2. A Clean Lens Is Crucial For Getting Sharp Images
This isn’t just about developing a good practice or being fussy. An unclean lens can have far-reaching implications for your images. Marks, prints, and blemishes translate into soft blurry images, cause color and light distortion, and can generally result in not capturing the true scene in front of you. Invest in a lens cleaning kit. It doesn’t have to be an expensive one. I recommend removing as much dust as possible with a blower and a brush. Next, take a soft cloth of the kind you clean a pair of glasses with combined with a tiny amount of cleaning fluid, then use gentle circular motions on the glass.
3. Perform Microcalibrations on Your Lens
Did you know all lenses aren’t created equal in the factory? Two Canon 24-105 f4 L lenses look identical, but they might come off the production line with tiny differences in focal calibration. One may front focus (i.e., focus in front of your intended focus point by a few centimeters or more) while the other could back focus (i.e., focus behind your intended focus point). Small front or back focusing issues can result in big losses in image sharpness. Find your camera’s microcalibrations menu and follow a Youtube tutorial, such as this one by photographer Matt Granger. Something to note is Sigma Art lens has an optional USB dock accessory and software to help you with the process. I’ve microcalibrated a few lenses from different manufacturers, and can confirm it’s worth it for image sharpness!