* Prices may differ from that shown
Taking good care of your camera is very important when you spend hundreds of pounds on it. The lens do get dusty and to make sure your photographs are impeccable every time it is worthwhile investing in something to clean the lens with.
The spudz micro fibre cloth provides the answer to this, it is simple to use without the use of any chemicals or liquids. It keeps hold of the dust particles rather than just displacing them and it is gentle on the lens to prevent scratches.
*Price and availability*
The cloths are stocked by Amazon or you can buy them directly from the spudz website. The large size is £7.99, medium is £5.49 and small is 4.99.
Out of the three sizes I have the largest one. The cloth is attached inside a small neoprene pouch. The pouch protects the cloth and stores it away neatly. Due to the size of the pouch I thought it would be hard to get it back in; however it is never a problem and tucks neatly back inside. At the top of the pouch is a black plastic snap hook so you can attach the pouch to your camera or belt loop so that you always know where it is. The Spudz logo is written on the side of the bag. The colour of the bag varies and you can get it in some funky patterns such as candy stripe; however I have the plain black version.
*Sizes and specification*
Spudz Classic Mini 1.25" x 1.25" pouch :: 1.75" x 5.75" cloth
Spudz Classic Regular 1.50" x 2.00" pouch :: 5.50" x 5.50" cloth
Spudz Classic Large 2.00" x 3.00" pouch :: 10.00" x 10.00" cloth
*The benefits of microfiber*
The degree of fineness of microfiber cloth is one tenth of silk, so it can catch the small dust particles easily but it is gentle enough not to scratch or damage delicate material. It is different from cotton towels and tissues, microfiber cloth is tied by fine weave, so it microfiber doesn't ladder or lose the line. Therefore, it lasts longer than cotton cloths. I do find this to be quite true as my cloth is six months old and is in very good condition.
The cloth is easily cleaned and I throw the whole thing in a cool wash cycle in the washing machine. You can rince it with a bit of warm water and detergent but I prefer to do it the lazy way! To dry I simply hang on the line or the radiator.
I'm really happy with the cloth; it cleans my lens and keeps them free from dust. I'm always careful to make sure the cloth is clean before use so I'm not transferring any particles onto my camera and the fact it stores away neatly is such a great bonus.
I use the cloth to wipe down my iPod and other electronics as it is multi-functional and not just for cameras or camcorders. Well worth the money; a great investment!
KEEPING YOUR KIT CLEAN
There seems little point in investing in an expensive DSLR camera kit if your photos are spoiled because you can't keep your lenses and filters clean. DSLR lenses by themselves can run into several hundred pounds, so you can't risk ruining them by scratching the lens coating either. The clever move is to get a decent UV filter which doubles as a lens guard, but like the lens itself, it needs to be kept particle and smudge free to get the best from your camera. While scouring the internet for lens cleaning options, I came across an innovative solution that combines portability, security, and, above all performance into one neat and tiny little package called the Spudz MicroFibre Lens Cloth (www.alpineproducts.com)
FIBRE IN SMALL DOSES
The unusually named Spudz is essentially a six inch by six inch grey microfibre cloth that is permanently attached to the inside of a small, compact, elasticated black neoprene pouch. The pouch is a convenient way to store and protect the cloth when not in use and features a rugged and handy black plastic snap hook at the other end which allows you to attach it securely to your camera bag or belt loop. This gives you quick access to it (saving you the time it takes to rummage around your pockets or camera bag) and ensures the cloth stays clean. The little stretchy bag, which measures a minute 1.5 by 1.5 inches, is well put together and allows the cloth to be easily pulled in and out with the minimum of fuss.
SIZES & DESIGNS
Spudz make the product in a couple of sizes (6x6 and 10x10) and a number of funky designs (including Union Jack, Chopper Flames, Desert Camo and Polka Dots). Given my camera bag is dark grey, I opted for the plain black version which has the brand name relatively discreetly emblazoned on either side of the pouch. The smaller size retails for around £5, with the larger size a little dearer at around £7. Both are currently available on-line at Amazon.co.uk. There are a number of other similar products on the market from well known brands such as Nikon and Canon, however, these retail in excess of £10, so the Spudz represents excellent value for money.
USES & CLEANING
The cloth itself is extremely effective and does an excellent job of cleaning my lens filters, as well as my eyeglasses, iPod and Blackberry LCD screens. In fact, they are ideal for any scratch-sensitive surface. The advantage of microfibre is that by using some nifty science and manufacturing processes, it lifts oil and debris off of smooth and sensitive surfaces without smearing, and without the need for any chemicals (see the web-site quoted above for more details). However, no cloth, no matter how sophisticated is going to save your lens from terminal scratches if you don't make sure there isn't any sand or grit on it before wiping. The product can be hand washed with mild detergent and air dried (with the cloth hanging out of the bag obviously) when it gets grubby. I have done this five or six times now and it has not reduced its cleaning ability at all.
The Spudz lens cloth is an excellent little solution for keeping your camera kit and/or eyeglasses clean at an excellent price point. The only minor criticism is that it is a little difficult to stuff the cloth back into the neoprene bag neatly after it is pulled out, but if you don't mind a creased cloth (there is no impact on its cleaning properties) then this is a purely cosmetic issue.
© Hishyeness 2010