I am packing today for my trip to Airventure. Usually, when I go for a trip like that, whit a lot of photography involved, I pack a lot of photo gear. I also do check ups on this gear. For example, this is the time to clean the lenses (rather than after the trip, like many pros do, see this post by Nevada Wier on her unpacking habits).
When I was cleaning the glass elements on all my lenses yesterday, I noticed how dirty the connections were. Just look at the close up of one of my lessen used lenses. I felt something needs to be done. After all, those tiny specs of dust or metal shaving can very easily find their way into the sensor! And I had a chance to experience what the dirty sensor makes to photographs! I had to clean close to hundred of specs from my favorite image of Arch in St Louis.
I looked around and just used the cotton swabs to clean around the connections, twice if necessary, and made sure I removed all visible debris. Now I am confident my lenses are good to go!
And the swabs? Just look how dirty they are!