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Thread: Lens cleaner

  1. #1

    Lens cleaner

    I'm a new SLR user and I was wondering what is the best product to use to clean a lens, or should I not do it myself?

  2. #2
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Lens cleaner

    That depends if you're just talking about a few dust spots or finger marks on the UV filter, or front element, or if you mean it got dropped bodily in something dusty, wet or worse and its completely covered?

  3. #3
    PopsPhotos's Avatar
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    Re: Lens cleaner

    For simple lens cleaning, I use alcohol and a microfiber cloth. Just DON'T spray the lens with any solution. Moisten the cloth and then gently wipe the lens. Use the dry part of the cloth to dry it GENTLY.

    Some say only industrial alcohol should be used, but I know that any of the over-the-counter alcohols work fine, so long as they don't have other chemicals mixed in to make them attractive to use for muscle aches and such. If the Isopropol Alcohol is clear, uncolored and has an ingredient list of only alcohol, it's fine. I buy the 98% Isopropol Alcohol and thin it with 1/3 distilled water.

    The alternative is to buy cloths and solutions intended for fine optics in laboratory use. Again, DON'T spray the lens.

    One thing I was taught many years ago, "Don't ever clean your lens with anything which used to be a tree."

    Pops

  4. #4
    David's Avatar
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    Re: Lens cleaner

    Peppy - I echo Pops's comments but would add, as Dave has noted, that exactly what you need to do depends on circumstances. If the lens is dirty with dust (i.e. particulate matter) you would normally brush or blow the dust off before applying any cleaning fluid. The point being that particles may scratch the lens if you try to wipe them away. Glass is pretty resistant to most household dust but not to sands and the like (sand contains silica which is a hard material from which glass is made). I use an artist's broad flat sable brush (cost a bomb) that has very fine bristles that do not come out. I used to have a camel hair brush manufactured especially for optical components (it was my Dad's), but very regrettably I lost it this year somewhere in New Zealand. You can buy little bulb blowers and some people swear by them; I usually swear at them, preferring the brush.

    Hope this helps.

    Cheers

    David

    PS Forgot to say that once you've used the brush you need to clean it! Do so by carefully flicking it or smoothing it with your fingers (purists will say you should be wearing gloves, but I don't).

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    Ollokot's Avatar
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    Re: Lens cleaner

    Thanks for the tips,I was about to ask a question along the same lines.
    I use a Lens protect filter and am loath to put any solution on it,also a brush that sometimes tends to leave a hair behind.

    Best Wishes Pat

  6. #6
    PopsPhotos's Avatar
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    Re: Lens cleaner

    With filters, I usually remove them and then I can spray directly on the filter, if it is particularly grungy.

    Yes, I should have mentioned using a fine brush or blower to first remove any sand, dust, bugs and such before wiping the surface of the lens/filter.

    If you are looking at cleaning the sensor cover, that is an entirely different matter. There are special kits for this that run in the $80 - $150 range. I've not purchased one yet, but have taken my camera down to the local shop and had a pro perform the cleaning. At $35 per cleaning, I'll soon surpass the cost of a kit, but I prefer the insurance of having it done for me. Jay does a very careful, thorough job and his shop insurance will replace/repair the camera if he messes up.

    Pops

  7. #7

    Re: Lens cleaner

    Thank you everybody for the great feedback! This is forum is awsome!

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