Using a Compressed Gas Duster

Using a compressed gas duster is a popular cleaning method among photographers.  However, these gas dusters should not be used carelessly, because they can cause a lot of damage.

Use with a camera

Compressed gas is highly pressurized.  This is what makes it so effective, but it can also be too abrasive for the more fragile parts of your camera.  Do not spray into the lens mount of your camera.  Inside, there are many precision parts that need to be handled gently; the compressed gas would damage them. 

Also note that when you are blowing dust off a surface, you are simply dispersing it to another location.  Spraying into a box will only move the dust to elsewhere in the box, or into the machinery.  Reserve the use of canned air for the external parts of the camera only.

Use with lenses

The same pressure can become hazardous with lenses as well.  Keep a safe distance, and use a horizontal angle when blowing air onto the glass.  Also beware of the freezing effect that can come from these cans.  To avoid this, spray in bursts rather than continuously, and keep the can upright rather than tilted.  The refrigerant can seriously damage your lenses if allowed to make contact.

Some photographers rarely use compressed gas dusters due to the dangers associated with them.  But if used with caution, they can be quite handy.  

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