How to Clean Camera Lens Contacts

by Candace Horgan

In electronic auto focus systems in SLR cameras, the lenses are made with metal contacts that connect with similar contacts in the camera body. They look like metal pins, and they are located at the base of the lens and on the inside of the lens mount on the camera, near the 12 o'clock position. When the contacts get dirty, it can interfere with the focus system and create an error message. Cleaning the contacts can fix this problem, and it is a simple process.

Step 1

Remove the lens from the SLR. Put the body cap on the SLR, and put the rear lens cap on the back of the lens. Make sure you are in a clean environment.

Step 2

Take the rear cap off the lens and use the blower to blow large pieces of dust off the lens. Go around the entire rear part of the lens with the blower.

Step 3

Dip the swab in the isopropyl alcohol or cleaning solution. You should use only a light amount; the best way to ensure this is to wear light vinyl gloves, like those used by health care providers, and squeeze the swab with your fingers after dipping it in the solution. Gently clean the contacts on the lens with the swab. After you have done so, use the blower on the lens contacts again.

Step 4

Repeat the procedure on the contacts on the camera body.

Reattach the lens to the camera and test it to see if the error or focusing problems still exist. If they do, try cleaning the contacts again.


  • Do not try the old trick of using an eraser on the contacts. This worked with old circuit boards, but the eraser can be abrasive and wear off the plating on the contacts.


  • Use a light nylon brush to go over the contacts after the blower and before the swab. You can pick up in a camera store or an art supply store.


About the Author

Candace Horgan has worked as a freelance journalist for more than 12 years. Her work has appeared in various print and online publications, including the "Denver Post" and "Mix." Horgan holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and history.

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