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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre General Photography Talk 
Thread started 12 Feb 2013 (Tuesday) 00:23
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cleaning a lens

 
calypsob
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Feb 12, 2013 00:23 |  #1

I have been using zeiss wipes, the pre-moistened kind, to clean my coated lenses and I notice that when it dries there are little spots all over my lens. How do I get rid of these spots? Is there a better cleaning solution than zeiss wipes or am I doing something wrong?!


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mike_d
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Feb 12, 2013 00:32 |  #2

I use those wipes mostly on my eyeglasses, but some times on lenses. I find a get a lot less residue if I keep wiping as the wipe dries out. If you stop while the wipe is still wet, it leaves stuff that has to evaporate. Any residual solution wipes off nicely with a soft cloth after it dries. The eyeglass cleaning cloths Costco gives out with a new pair of glasses work great for this since they're soft and absorbent as opposed to the more smooth and silk-like texture of most microfiber cloths.




  
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calypsob
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Feb 12, 2013 00:49 |  #3

Well problem solved, I have a lens pen and I had never used it before. I didn't realize that it has some magical black tip which erases any speck off of your lens without a trace of anything whatsoever, I always thought it was just a brush in a pen. I was wrong, this thing just made my day. Optics are perfect now, no smearing or dots or streaks.


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nathancarter
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Feb 12, 2013 10:57 |  #4

I'm another fan of the lens pen.


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Invertalon
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Feb 12, 2013 11:39 |  #5

Lens pens are great when new... But after so many wipes their effectiveness goes away quickly. I usually go through one every few months. Not bad though.

I get the spotting/smears with the Zeiss wipes as well. I generally will blow off the lens/filter, then use the wet wipe and right after I stop wiping with that, go right to a clean microfiber to remove the residual fluid left behind. After that, it usually is good to go or may require a breath-fogging, depending.


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calypsob
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Feb 13, 2013 17:45 |  #6

Invertalon, I have a theory that suggests the alcohol in the zeiss wipes evaporates before the other chemicals inside the cleaning solution and these remaining chemicals are what cause the spots which kind of look like water spots from tap water. Theoretically of course. I guess I could test by cleaning my lens next to a warm hair drier blast to see if everything dries in a more uniform order.


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Feb 13, 2013 17:49 as a reply to  @ calypsob's post |  #7

I had the same problem with the ziess wipes, but then i reread the directions and it actually says keep up the circular motion untill the wipe is dry, when I started doing that I didn't get anymore residue


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SkipD
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Feb 13, 2013 18:12 |  #8

It looks like this is worth publishing again....

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
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 45 years, and all of them have pristine glass (and none have ever worn "protective" filters).
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


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Numenorean
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Feb 13, 2013 18:19 |  #9

I use Eclipse and PecPads an don't have any issues.


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Feb 14, 2013 05:33 |  #10

Numenorean wrote in post #15607283 (external link)
I use Eclipse and PecPads an don't have any issues.

You use Eclipse for cleaning lenses? Isn't that a little expensive?

I use a micture of isoPropyl Alcohol (external link) and water - about 20x cheaper than eclipse. Plus, IPA is a lot more gentle than methanol (which is what Eclipse is).


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Feb 20, 2013 17:29 as a reply to  @ hollis_f's post |  #11

On recs from POTN, I had bought a lens pen when I bought my first lens. But I keep my lens caps on when not in use, so I never had occasion to use mine until recently. I use my 85/1.8 a lot - and I had recently noticed a slight degradation of quality. When I examined the glass, darned if I didn't find all sorts of dust on them.

I used the pen, and now everything is hunky-dory!


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Mar 04, 2013 14:30 |  #12

Wait until you get a bad lens pen. I had used one on my 500mm without any problems, then bought another one to use on my binoculars. The binos didn't have anything but dust on them, but the pen smeared something all over the eyepieces. I had bought 2 pens that day and both of them did it. I forgot what I used to clean it up now, but I'm just glad it wasn't on any of my lenses.

I haven't used a pen since and probably won't ever use one again.


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Mar 04, 2013 14:43 |  #13

hollis_f wrote in post #15608794 (external link)
You use Eclipse for cleaning lenses? Isn't that a little expensive?

I use a micture of isoPropyl Alcohol (external link) and water - about 20x cheaper than eclipse. Plus, IPA is a lot more gentle than methanol (which is what Eclipse is).

Xylol is the best solvent for cleaning any form of glass specially when got hand oil or likewise. This is the secret industry doesn't want you to know!


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hollis_f
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Mar 04, 2013 15:01 |  #14

samsen wrote in post #15676095 (external link)
Xylol is the best solvent for cleaning any form of glass specially when got hand oil or likewise. This is the secret industry doesn't want you to know!

WARNING

Do not be tempted to use Xylol. It is poisonous. LINK (external link)


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Luxornv
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Mar 05, 2013 00:08 |  #15

hollis_f wrote in post #15676189 (external link)
WARNING

Do not be tempted to use Xylol. It is poisonous. LINK (external link)

I'm not saying that a person shouldn't be careful with chemicals, but MSDS sheets tend to take the worst case scenario when it comes to exposure. While I'm not advocating chugging an aqueous solution of this stuff, it's probably safer to work with than you think when it's in low concentrations.


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cleaning a lens
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