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Thread: lens cleaning

  1. #1
    Nicola's Avatar
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    lens cleaning

    dear all,
    I'm a new DSLR user, I would like to know how most of you usually cleans their lenses. In case of dust or other particles, a lens-brush or blower have to be used (if I'm right), but in case of finger prints or salt sea water drops or other dirty events, how do you clean the lens? In the last 3 months (that is the age of my lenses) I used a microfiber cloth with some warm&wet breath. Can this procedure damage the lens' exterior treatement? I have seen a lot of lens cleaning kit, and usually not expensive, like the Zeiss one, containing microfiber cloth, brush, blower and cleaning liquids. Are these kits useful or not? I've mounted an UV filter on my most used lenses (Hoya HMC slim for EF 17-40mm L, and a cheaper Hama's one for EF 70-300mm ). Are the UV filter treatements on glass more or less strong (I mean more difficult to damage/remove during cleaning) than the treatements on lenses?
    many thanks for your help!

    Nicola

  2. #2

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    Re: lens cleaning

    Hi Nicola,

    Go through this thread. Almost all of your queries are answered here.
    If some query stays unanswered feel free to ask.

  3. #3

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    Re: lens cleaning

    If you tend to abuse your lenses like I do, Nicola, then some form of emergency 'deep cleaning' will be required 'in the field'. Mud, salt spray, etc won't simply brush away.

    I carry some spectacle cleaning moistened paper swabs which come packed individually in small sealed foil sachets. These will carefully remove the type of grime that brushes won't touch.

    Some people won't use any sort of chemical or wipes on their lenses; but they obviously don't take photos under the same conditions as me.

    Using a protective filter is always a good idea for rough use photography. I recently dropped my Canon 24-105 L lens about 3 ft onto carpet and the UV filter smashed; but the lens survived.

  4. #4
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: lens cleaning

    Hi Nicola,

    For lens/camera body spring clean, I'd probably do as you do (huff and microfibre cloth).

    For the optics, I dust off with a decent sized rocket blower (don't get a small one).
    Sometimes I do brush too if it won't budge (never touch the brush on anything but the lens/filter though).

    For an odd splash, then I have a lens pen which is useful (the retractable brush is on the other end).

    For larger areas and finger/knuckle/palm prints, I have the same sort of sealed lens wipes Geoff uses, but with these, depending on the brand, they may come out of the packet too wet, and smear too much - but waiting literally 10 - 20 seconds evaporates the excess, so then I use quick (it'll be dry as heck in about 90 seconds).

    Cheers,

  5. #5
    inkista's Avatar
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    Re: lens cleaning

    Lenspen for me. Dry cleaning. Given that Canon Service is rumored to be using lenspens for sensor cleanings, I'd say they're pretty safe. I've never had an issue with one damaging a lens/filter or its coatings. I know some people prefer not to use them, though, since the pen tip could, theoretically pick up crap. But the dry graphite compound is very safe.

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    Re: lens cleaning

    Easiest solution is to fit a UV filter to the lens (I see that Peter has also suggested this). To clean, simply clean the filter with a microfiber cloth - or in the case of the likes of dried salt spray, simply remove the filter and wash under warm running water.

    Re: "Can breath + microfiber damage the lens coating" - short answer, no.

  7. #7

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    Re: lens cleaning

    Quote Originally Posted by Sahil View Post
    Hi Nicola,

    Go through this thread. Almost all of your queries are answered here.
    If some query stays unanswered feel free to ask.
    I feel like such a bummer now....

  8. #8
    Nicola's Avatar
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    Re: lens cleaning

    many thanks to all!
    your explainations are very usefull!
    I've already got a lens pen and UV filter, but after reading your words I'm going to buy (for 19,5 eur) Zeiss cleaning kit that contain
    30ml lens cleaning fluid
    dust brush
    1 special microfibre cloth
    10 pre-moistened lens cloths

    and also a blower as soon as I found one

    as often I shoot in severe condition...

    Nicola

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    Klickit's Avatar
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    Re: lens cleaning

    Quote Originally Posted by Sahil View Post
    I feel like such a bummer now....
    Ah, Sahil - not to worry. T'was just the quickness of the eye deceiving the brain.

  10. #10

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    Re: lens cleaning

    May be the career turmoils

  11. #11
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    Re: lens cleaning

    dear all
    thanks again for your feedback,
    I've just seen an important notice about filter cleanig coming from Hoya web site:
    CLEANING YOUR FILTERS:
    Due to their high precision, filters should always be handled with care and kept clean whenever possible. Filters should be cleaned gently with just a lens tissue or soft cotton cloth.

    Never use any chemicals, such as lens cleaning fluid, on your filters, as these can damage the coatings. If any stubborn stains occur, these can usually be washed off with some clean water and a soft cotton cloth.


    I just don't know if it is true also for other filter brand
    hope that help
    bye
    N

  12. #12
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    Re: lens cleaning

    That is basically true of any of the brands of coated filters.

    I use a solution of alcohol and water, about 20 alcohol to 80 water in a small spritzer bottle. I dampen a corner of the cloth and wipe the lens surface gently with that part of the cloth. The trick is to hold the cloth so that a nubbin sticks out and use it as if it were a brush. Sticking your finget into the cloth and rubbing the surface is not the preferred method.

    If all else fails, then running water will solve most, if not all cleaning. The trick is to not rub the surface, but just gently wipe with the cloth.

    As for the lens cleaning tissues, they might be alright, today. However, back in the 40s and 50s I was cautioned to never wipe my lenses with anything which used to be a tree.

    Pops

  13. #13
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    Re: lens cleaning

    Quote Originally Posted by PopsPhotos View Post
    That is basically true of any of the brands of coated filters.

    I use a solution of alcohol and water, about 20 alcohol to 80 water in a small spritzer bottle. I dampen a corner of the cloth and wipe the lens surface gently with that part of the cloth. The trick is to hold the cloth so that a nubbin sticks out and use it as if it were a brush. Sticking your finget into the cloth and rubbing the surface is not the preferred method.

    If all else fails, then running water will solve most, if not all cleaning. The trick is to not rub the surface, but just gently wipe with the cloth.

    As for the lens cleaning tissues, they might be alright, today. However, back in the 40s and 50s I was cautioned to never wipe my lenses with anything which used to be a tree.

    Pops
    Pops,
    it's a very interesting cleaning procedure! I'm going to try it in next few minutes...!
    many thanks!
    N

  14. #14

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    Re: lens cleaning

    If it's just smudges and the like (ie no grit / salt spray) then a microfibre cloth and a little "L-Breath" always works for me. In reality the coatings are pretty hard, and I don't think one could damage on with a soft cloth if they tried.

  15. #15
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: lens cleaning

    I would also be wary of "water", in some areas (of UK, at least), tap water is quite 'hard' - full of dissolved limescale, so I wouldn't want to put that on a filter or lens.

    De-ionised water would be best.

    I think I'll stick to my methods (post #4 above) for now

    Cheers,

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