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Cleaning water spots off lenses

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I have a number of lenses for my a550 but I get a number of water spots when shooting with my el cheapo Sony SAL1855. I think I have narrowed it down to that lens but have tried cleaning the front of the lens and both sides of the clear filter and the spots seem to continue. I'm afraid to clean the inner part of the lens and wouldn't know how to clean inside the camera on the mirror or whatever. Any suggestions.

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Guest Jaf-Photo

So, the spots show in the pictures? The it's most likely dust (or specks) on the sensor or rear element of the lens. Try a rubber blower first but if that doesn't help, wet cleaning is the next step. There are good sensor cleaning kits with swabs and liquid available in camera stores or online.

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I've got a bit of a sensor cleaning problem.

I've used a wet cleaning kit several times aready but there are some areas of dirt clearly encrusted on the surface of the sensor. They always show up in images with apertures of around f11 or smaller.

Do you have any thoughts on getting rid of them?

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Guest Jaf-Photo

Sensor cleaning in camera stores differs depending on who does it. Sometimes, they are no better than you and take less care.


It's not difficult to do as long as you think through the process before you start.


It's true hat the better advice is to avoid dirtying the sensor but accidents do happen. If you have a set of swabs and liquid, you can fix the problem in five minutes.


Do check the back of your lens OP. Spots on the rear element are more visible in the pictures than spots on the front element.

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I would not like to clean the mirror myself other than with air. It has

a risk to scratch or other problems. You would better sent it to Nikon.


I doubt that Nikon would clean a Sony, but ... fear not !  

The a550 is not only not a Nikon, it is also not an SLT.

It has some weird live view features, but it is basically

just a regular flip-mirror SLR.   


The mirror is the SAFEST thing you can clean in your 

SLR body. Lenses are fairly safe but, like sensors, they 

are involved in forming your images. The mirror in an 

SLR does NOT form your images, and sometimes has

a few "scratches" engineered right into it. Not actually 

careless scratches, but mirrors have historically had a 

variety of grooves, grids, etc built into them that would 

really mess up your images if the mirror were involved  

in forming your images. 


If you put a minor scratch on a mirror it's diddley squat.   


The REAL danger in cleaning a mirror is that if you use 

too much force, you may misalign it, and your focus will

be inaccurate.   


OTOH, just as scratches on the mirror are meaningless 

so also is any minor dirt, so there's seldom any reason  

to clean an SLR mirror.   




OTOOH if you have a Sony SLT mirror, that is a waaay 

different kettle of fish. Verrrry risky ! An SLT mirror IS

in the image forming path. 







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