Why you can trust ZDNET : ZDNET independently tests and researches products to bring you our best recommendations and advice. When you buy through our links, we may earn a commission. Our process

'ZDNET Recommends': What exactly does it mean?

ZDNET's recommendations are based on many hours of testing, research, and comparison shopping. We gather data from the best available sources, including vendor and retailer listings as well as other relevant and independent reviews sites. And we pore over customer reviews to find out what matters to real people who already own and use the products and services we’re assessing.

When you click through from our site to a retailer and buy a product or service, we may earn affiliate commissions. This helps support our work, but does not affect what we cover or how, and it does not affect the price you pay. Neither ZDNET nor the author are compensated for these independent reviews. Indeed, we follow strict guidelines that ensure our editorial content is never influenced by advertisers.

ZDNET's editorial team writes on behalf of you, our reader. Our goal is to deliver the most accurate information and the most knowledgeable advice possible in order to help you make smarter buying decisions on tech gear and a wide array of products and services. Our editors thoroughly review and fact-check every article to ensure that our content meets the highest standards. If we have made an error or published misleading information, we will correct or clarify the article. If you see inaccuracies in our content, please report the mistake via this form.


The one super simple but overlooked way to improve your iPhone photos

Are your iPhone photos looking dull? Check this.
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Senior Contributing Editor

It's so weird. People are obsessed with getting the best possible photos from their iPhone, researching all sorts of tips and tricks, and trying out the myriad of different photography apps that are available.

But there's one thing that's so easily overlooked.

Something that as a photographer using a mirrorless camera I do all the time.

That's clean my lens.

Yup, it's that simple.

I noticed the other day that my iPhone photos looked washed out and had a weird, ugly streak of light going across the photos.

I started to wonder if this was a bug with the iOS update.

Or maybe something I'd done to the settings.

Then it struck me what I'd do if my Sony mirrorless started to do this -- I'd clean the lens!

Yes, I'd clean the lens.

And it's worth noting that my Sony lenses live with lens caps on until they are used, and I clean them regularly, and I don't put my fingers on them on or store them for days on end in my pocket.

So, I flipped my iPhone on and oh my…

Smudges, fingerprints, dirt, hairs, and other random schmoo.

Really dirty iPhone lenses

Really dirty iPhone lenses


How to clean your iPhone lenses

Now, it's easy to take a t-shirt to the lenses and use that to clean them, but I wouldn't dream of doing that to my other camera lenses.

So I did the right thing and used a proper lens wipe. My lens cleaners of choice are the Zeiss lens wipes. They're high-quality wipes that I can buy in bulk and deliver good results.

Zeiss lens wipes have been my wipes of choice for years

Zeiss lens wipes have been my wipes of choice for years

And it made a big difference. The photos were more vivid and the awful streak of light across the image was gone.

All clean!

All clean!

Smartphone camera lenses are designed to put up with a lot of abuse and still deliver awesome photos. But they can't change the laws of physics, and dirt and muck on the lens will have quite an adverse effect on the quality of the output.

Editorial standards