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How to clean the Back element of a Lens?

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Thread started 24 Mar 2011 (Thursday) 07:20   
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fotoworx
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How do I go about cleaning the back element of a lens?

I don't want to mar the black non reflective coating.

Post #1, Mar 24, 2011 07:20:20


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John_B
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For me, unless I got my finger print on the glass I would just use a rocket blower. ;)

Post #2, Mar 24, 2011 08:04:44


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bsmotril
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Rocket blower for dust. IF smudged, after blowing, then fog with breath and use a micro fiber lens cloth.

Post #3, Mar 24, 2011 08:57:09


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mr. ­ bates
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If its a weathersealed lens use rocketblower otherwise I dont because Ill just be forcibg the dust to go inside the lens. For smudges then I breath on it then use pecpads, for dust, I tend to use arctic butterfly, yes the one for sensor.

Post #4, Mar 24, 2011 10:31:29




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fotoworx
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Am I being to anal?

Can you ever look through a lens aimed at say a desklamp and expect to see NO dust whatsoever?

Post #5, Mar 24, 2011 18:55:32


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MGW172
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Sounds like dust on the rear element? Either way, I'd use a rocket blower first, then a lenspen for both dust and fingerprints if necessary.

Post #6, Mar 24, 2011 18:59:38 as a reply to fotoworx's post 4 minutes earlier.


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Bokehlicious
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Rocket blower, lenspen and blower again.

Post #7, Mar 24, 2011 19:11:48




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SkipD
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This works for the glass on either end of a camera lens:

A squeeze-bulb blower such as a Rocket Blower by Giottos, quality lens tissue (such as that sold by Kodak and now Tiffen), a good lens cleaning fluid, and PROPER TECHNIQUE is the way that I have cleaned my lenses for decades.

What is "proper technique"?

First - the goal is to clean the lens (or filter - I would use the very same process) without grinding any dirt/debris into the lens. To me, this absolutely dictates single-use surfaces for anything that touches the lens. That's why I use lens tissues instead of a washable cloth or - particularly - something like a lens pen.

Here are the steps that I use to clean a lens:

1. Use a squeeze-bulb blower to blow any loose dust off the lens. 90% of the time, step 1 is all that is necessary.

2. Take a lens tissue out of the pack. Fold it once, holding only what was the ends of the tissue. You want to be extremely careful to NEVER TOUCH the areas of the lens tissue that will be touching the lens. This will avoid transferring oils from your fingers to the lens.

3. Moisten the folded portion of the lens tissue with a little lens cleaner. You don't want the tissue dripping wet, but it must be damp.

CAUTION: NEVER apply lens cleaner directly to the lens (though it won’t hurt a filter, you don’t want liquid leaking into the lens’ innards).

4. Wipe LIGHTLY across the lens ONCE with the damp tissue. Then either turn it over or fold it so that you can wipe again, but with an unused surface. You can do this as often as needed, as long as you never wipe the lens twice with any surface of the tissue. This prevents scratches. Again, make sure you never touch an area of the tissue that will touch the lens.

5. Ensuring that the lens is actually clean, use a dry tissue, handled the same way as above, to wipe the lens dry. Since you have already removed the dirt, there's no risk of scratching the lens with the dry tissue.

6. Dispose of the used lens tissues in a proper trash receptacle.

That's it in a nutshell. Simple and effective. I've been cleaning my lenses this way for over 40 years, and all of them have pristine glass (and none have ever worn "protective" filters).

Post #8, Mar 24, 2011 19:14:22


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MGW172
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I respect your advice Skip and with your method, I'm sure you have never damaged a lens surface.

But I'm not sure about the value of insisting on a single surface use of a cleaning device in most cases. What I don't understand is that if there is something on the lens that the blower didn't get, then what prevents it from creating the scratch during that first wipe? The dirt on the lens is there even though the tissue is pristine, no matter how many tissues you use. I agree you shouldn't try to grind any particles into your optics, but it seems to me it's more important to use light pressure more than one swipe and no more with a individual tissue.

I've used a rocket blower then a lenspen, microfiber cloths and cleaning fluid in that order as needed, and never seen any damage to my optical surfaces, both camera lenses/filters and telescopes/eyepieces.

Have I just been lucky and do I need to change my methods? Skip, I'd like to hear your thoughts.

Post #9, Mar 24, 2011 19:31:14 as a reply to SkipD's post 16 minutes earlier.


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mr. ­ bates
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^ this is why I use arctic butterfly

Post #10, Mar 24, 2011 19:56:02




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MGW172
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mr. bates wrote in post #12086692external link
^ this is why I use arctic butterfly

For cleaning lenses?

Post #11, Mar 24, 2011 19:59:31


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SkipD
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MGW172 wrote in post #12086568external link
What I don't understand is that if there is something on the lens that the blower didn't get, then what prevents it from creating the scratch during that first wipe? The dirt on the lens is there even though the tissue is pristine, no matter how many tissues you use.

The first wipe is with a WETTED tissue (using lens cleaner) and almost no pressure. That takes all the particulates off the lens without risk of scratching the surface.

Post #12, Mar 24, 2011 23:53:01


Skip Douglas
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MGW172
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SkipD wrote in post #12088125external link
The first wipe is with a WETTED tissue (using lens cleaner) and almost no pressure. That takes all the particulates off the lens without risk of scratching the surface.

Okay, gotcha. Thanks!

Post #13, Mar 25, 2011 01:30:34


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JustinJi
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The hell is a rocket blower? Compressed air??

Post #14, Mar 25, 2011 01:31:36




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MGW172
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JustinJi wrote in post #12088450external link
The hell is a rocket blower? Compressed air??

No need to swear! Just kidding......no compressed air (dont ever use that on precision optics), a rocket blower is a special bulb type blower Here: http://www.giottos.com​/Rocket-air.htmexternal link

Works great for blowing dust off and away.

Post #15, Mar 25, 2011 01:34:08


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