Perfect Guide to Apply Vaseline on Camera Lens for Better Photography


Maximum photographers want to pursue a master sharpness in their photography, and here we are going in the exact opposite direction of clarity with soft focus.

Plus, we are discussing applying Vaseline on the camera lens! Whereas, we all know that any liquid or sticky substance can be a serious matter of concern for our favorite camera sets. Are you surprised with today’s topic?


In the last few decades, we have seen that every industry like fashion, film, music, design, and development sector comes back with its old culture. So today, we will nurture such a topic that would have been very famous in the golden age of film and glamour photography.

70’s actress loved to take pictures with a soft-focus style. Soft focus photographs offer such a magical feeling as an angel kiss. You will feel that angles are floating around the entire magical image.

So, before you invest in new expensive soft-focus lenses and filters, you must read the article! In this article, you will learn how you can achieve that magical soft-focus style in your photographs using Vaseline without damaging your expensive camera lenses.


Before moving forward, let’s discuss more about soft-focus photography. In 1950, glowing soft-focus techniques set a benchmark in Hollywood production. They often use soft and glow effects in glamour photography, romantic or royal portrait photography, and filming actor-actress, particularly a female actress. 

This stylized softness admires their complexion, and they look extra gorgeous. Soft-focus is still in demand; many photographers wish to replicate this popular aesthetic look in their work. 


You never get much softness just focusing the lens towards the subject. The lens optics with an imperfection only can add such a softer feel into an image. Photographers use modern camera sets, some expensive diffusion vaseline filters with specialist lenses to soften the focus.

Nowadays, several tools and techniques are available for photographers. But, all of these methods are the most expensive.


So that, some experimental photographers applied the oldest and cheapest DIY soft focus techniques. They would sometimes dab a bit of petroleum jelly or other sticky substance to the lenses or between 2 filters to get an unexpected glowing effect on the subject or create a blurred effect around the edges in their photos.


Now come to the point, why you should use Vaseline on a camera lens! Let’s discuss vaseline photography pointwise – 

If you are on a budget, you must try this cheapest and easiest DIY option instead of buying expensive soft-focus lenses or filters.

These types of specialist lenses or filters require proper training for handling and maintaining their professional high quality. So, if you are a beginner, this petroleum jelly-related DIY hack is only for you.

Plus, you can create a DIY diffusion filter with Vaseline on lens easily. The process is a bit messy, but actually, this is quite simple.

Additionally, you can create blurriness from a different angle or in a different pattern, also can balance between abstract and soft-focus easily. At the same time, the professional camera set requires lots of complicated settings and additional equipment to do so.

Is it safe to apply Vaseline on the lens?

At first, let us clear up the misunderstanding about applying Vaseline on the lens. Here, we are not advising to spread Vaseline or petroleum jelly directly over the lens surface. Never apply such sticky and greasy substances directly to your camera lenses.

All you need to do is to set up a barrier between the lens and the jelly substance. You can extend a plastic wrap over the front portion of your lens. Before start applying jelly, tightly fix up the plastic wrap with a rubber band, and always double-check for leakage or holes in the wraps.

is it safe

Alternatively, you can use a removable transparent filter instead of plastic wraps in front of your camera lenses. It is the simplest and safest option in this matter. Moreover, you can remove the Vaseline easily without damaging the vaseline filter.

According to us, using plastic over the lens for applying this DIY soft-focus trick is not the best option! It is easy to stay safe than be sorry in the latter. Right? So, try to use an inexpensive UV filter to do so, plus be careful while dealing with oily substances around an expensive camera set.

How to apply Vaseline to the lens?

We repeat DO NOT apply Vaseline or other sticky substance directly on your camera lens. Hence, you need to follow these steps to produce an effective DIY soft-focus or diffusion effects using Vaseline on lens – 

  • Firstly, secure your lens by stretching a clear plastic wrap over the surface of the lens. Moreover, you can attach a UV filter to the front of the lens. The quality of this filter does not matter here. The cheapest filter also can do a great job.
  • Next, take a little Vaseline on your fingertip. A little means just a bit! There is no need to dig out the jelly; only slide your fingertip over the surface area of the Vaseline jelly mildly. The amount of jelly you will take on your fingertip is enough to create this magic.
  • Then, gently rub the Vaseline on the surface of the UV filters or lens. Ensure; the Vaseline layer is thin and evenly spread over the surface area. You can create different patterns and effects with the Vaseline layer. In that case, you need to change the amount of jelly as per your needs to produce the desired DIY soft-focus effect.
how to apply vaseline on camera  lens

For instance, if you want to create the same effect that a center spot filter provides, place a coin or other object at the center of the surface to keep the center clean and spread over the jelly at the edge portion.

Thus, you can achieve an eye-catching sharp center blurred edge effect in the easiest way. Exceptionally, when you can apply the Vaseline to the filter, you will get the same view. The center remains sharp while the edge portion becomes faded. 

  • After you apply the Vaseline, it’s time to remove the Vaseline from your finger. Don’t touch the camera before wiping out the jelly from your hand.
  • Now, you’re ready for your experiment! Start showing off your creativity and have fun. You can try this Vaseline trick to add extra softness in portraits, landscapes, products, nature, and other abstract photography.
  • Once you’ve finished, don’t forget to clean the Vaseline off from the lens or filters. When it comes to cleaning the delicate glass surface of camera lenses or filters, it’s a good idea to use a glass wipe or alcohol wipe, or wet tissue.


Enough of those crystal clear photos! Let’s add some softness to your photography. Don’t get stuck with the sharpest focus, and it’s time to try something different. Show your softer side through different types of diffusion and creative soft-focus effects and reach your photographic value to the next level. 


I'm Xavier. I am a professional writer and blogger. It all started when I fell in love with my camera, which was presented to me when I was ten as a birthday gift. Since then, I wanted to become a cinematographer and also succeeded in that. So I am here researching and reviewing the filmmaking gadgets and giving out my top gadgets from the market.I hope you find my review articles interesting and helpful.

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