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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 01 Nov 2012 (Thursday) 21:07
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Best way to clean lenses?

 
SkipD
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Nov 02, 2012 18:35 |  #16

I've published this once or twice....

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
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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Skip Douglas
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..... but still learning all the time.

  
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MolonLabe
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Nov 02, 2012 20:43 |  #17

Seems like with the rocket blower I have, I could get some disposable wipes and be all set.

I have only had to clean one of my lenses thus far, the 18-55 kit lens when the puppy put her nose on the lens... My first experience with "oh, I didn't realize I was that close" and 'boy she moves fast', lol.

Given I'm not cleaning my lenses that often (aside from the air blower) I'm thinking it just makes more sense to buy some wipes and at $14 delivered for 200 wipes from Zeiss, it seems like they would last me for very, very long time. Seems easy and convenient to keep some in my two bags as well.

link to the zeiss wipes: http://www.amazon.com …0030E4UIQ/ref=c​m_cmu_pg_t (external link)

I checked out the other links and they guy from DSLR video likes Zeiss for their lens cleaning products.

The link I have above to amazon, would be the right ones for my lenses correct?

One more question, I just picked up a new pair of sunglasses, does anyone know if those wipes would harm the 'irridium' coating on my new oakleys?

THANKS!


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Bianchi
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Nov 02, 2012 21:29 |  #18

Zeiss wipes for me, then micro cloth to finish...

At the optical store where I buy my glasses, they use in a small mist bottle water and alcohol to clean the glass in glasses. I use it to clean my glasses and I even used it to clean my lens without any issue.

You can buy Zeiss wipes @ walmart


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hollis_f
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Nov 03, 2012 05:18 |  #19

JAbberwocky wrote in post #15199625 (external link)
Alcohol is a strong solvent and while i've not had any problems with it, i'm very wary to use a solvent.

I use pec pads and eclipse cleaner.

Er, you do realise that eclipse fluid is 100% methanol, which is a much stronger solvent than either ethanol (vodka) or propan-2-ol (isopropanol, traditional lens-cleaning fluid).


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iazybandit
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Nov 03, 2012 06:39 as a reply to  @ hollis_f's post |  #20

MolonLabe wrote in post #15199710 (external link)
Thank you everyone, I appreciate the responses!

I've been debating using a filter for protection but I don't want to lose image quality.

Nothing a little post processing can't fix


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billythek
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Nov 03, 2012 09:32 |  #21

My advice is to avoid cleaning your lens as much as possible. A little dust on the lens, or a fingerprint has no effect on picture quality except possibly in rare cases where you have the sun in the frame.

The more you clean, the more likely you are to damage the coatings, or to create micro-scratches. So clean rarely and very carefully when you do. I blow first, then use a new microfiber cloth each time (cheap, disposable, about $1 each), and I use Rexton professional lens cleaner (best I've found - leaves no streaks, and non-damaging).




  
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Wilt
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Nov 03, 2012 11:41 |  #22

AbPho wrote in post #15196823 (external link)
Last year on my trip to the Galapagos I found that paper napkins and moist breath was the best. Using a fresh napkin did a better job than my microfibre cloths and small solution of lens cleaner (not from Edmond Optical). That combination only smeared the lens up worse..

NOT good to use paper made from wood pulp fibers!

I generally use a huff of breath and a wipe. Maybe once a year, or when greasy smudges don't seem to go away, I employ a solution...my choice is R-O-R.


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hollis_f
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Nov 03, 2012 13:34 |  #23

Wilt wrote in post #15202268 (external link)
my choice is R-O-R.

Ah, yes. More expensive soap with a bit of isopropanol added. Make you own and it'll cost around £5 per litre.

Ammonia 0.775%
Sodium Chloride 0.830%
Isopropyl Alcohol 4.266%
Liquid Soap 9.011%
Distilled Water 85.118%

And I'm not sure how keen I'd be using salty soap to clean lenses.


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Wilt
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Nov 03, 2012 14:11 |  #24

hollis_f wrote in post #15202561 (external link)
Ah, yes. More expensive soap with a bit of isopropanol added. Make you own and it'll cost around £5 per litre.

Ammonia 0.775%
Sodium Chloride 0.830%
Isopropyl Alcohol 4.266%
Liquid Soap 9.011%
Distilled Water 85.118%

And I'm not sure how keen I'd be using salty soap to clean lenses.

Well, it does work, and a 2 oz. spray bottle has lasted me for decades, so why make up a liter that has to be stored (or poured down the drain, further straining the environment with chemicals)?!


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6-string59
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Dec 21, 2013 10:37 as a reply to  @ Wilt's post |  #25

Hi. Hopefully I didn't miss a page here if they've been covered thoroughly, but want to know your thoughts on Zeiss premoistened lens cloths? I picked up a pack recently as my usual brand stopped being carried at my favorite shop, but given they are a Zeiss product, thought I'd give them a spin.
Well, my thoughts: They do take stubborn water spots off, and with no ammonia, or other harsh chemicals, that made me feel a little more comfortable using them on expensive lenses and their delicate coatings.
On the downside, I find they tend to leave a residual film behind, no matter how carefully I try to follow it with a fresh section of cloth.
Now I know on the intructions, they recommend to continue wiping the lens until the cloth is dry.....This goes a bit against the grain for me. My old stuff, you'd wipe, and it would evaporate quickly, then a quick flick with a dry portion of the cloth, and dust and contaminate were gone.I actually let the cloth airdry before finishing. I don't like wiping a lens any more than I absolutely have to with any cloth, weather it be a wipe, or a microfiber, but maybe I'm just being overly cautious. Have any of you had experience with these wipes, or use them regularily? I just ask because I was cleaning a lens this morning for a day of shooting, and I'm seeing circular streaks that I never got with Kodak cloths or solutions.
I actually used three cloths because I thought I was just spreading around some contaminate I didn't notice around the lens edge, but the result is the same. Should I really continue cleaning till the cloth is dry? Seems that takes a very long time, and lots of continuous contact against the lens coating.
Thoughts?
Thanks.
Shane




  
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Wilt
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Dec 21, 2013 11:05 |  #26

6-string59 wrote in post #16544769 (external link)
Hi. Hopefully I didn't miss a page here if they've been covered thoroughly, but want to know your thoughts on Zeiss premoistened lens cloths?

There was a thread at one time, which revealed that Zeiss photographic group had not been aware of the cloths being offered by the Zeiss optometric/optical group, and they did not endorse the use on camera lenses. A number of photographic users had complained about streaking, like you, prompting this.

https://photography-on-the.net …p?p=16309834&po​stcount=21

I have not seen any threads with updates.


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6-string59
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Dec 21, 2013 11:20 |  #27

Wilt wrote in post #16544827 (external link)
There was a thread at one time, which revealed that Zeiss photographic group had not been aware of the cloths being offered by the Zeiss optometric/optical group, and they did not endorse the use on camera lenses. A number of photographic users had complained about streaking, prompting this.

https://photography-on-the.net …p?p=16309834&po​stcount=21

I have not seen any threads with updates.

Wow! That's interesting. so the streaking is a known issue? That's real surprising. I got a big thumbs up from the counter guy which really ticks me off. Y'know...I'm finding this kind of "service" more and more these days it seems, especially from younger employees. (No offence against all younger photo enthusiasts intended).
Great example....Walked into a well known camera store in Western Canada on another occasion asking for some lens cleaner, and the girl at the counter who sounded very professional with another customer, directed me to a rack where she pointed out a box. She said "These are a bit expensive, but we sell a lot of them because they do a wonderful job of removing oils from fingerprints, rain spots, etc...." She noticed I had a bit of a cheeky smile through her spiel, and asked why. I told her "Because they are sensor swabs.":p
I thanked for her time and walked out.
Well....Dunno what to use right now as there's enough residue to cause flare where I'm shooting, but thanks for your reply...BTW... What is your favorite cleaner/cloth at the moment Wilt? I'll try to hit Kerrisdale Camera today en route. They're a good shop.
Thanks again!
Shane




  
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Wilt
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Dec 21, 2013 12:28 |  #28

6-string59 wrote in post #16544862 (external link)
Wow! That's interesting. so the streaking is a known issue? That's real surprising. I got a big thumbs up from the counter guy which really ticks me off. Y'know...I'm finding this kind of "service" more and more these days it seems, especially from younger employees. (No offence against all younger photo enthusiasts intended).
Great example....Walked into a well known camera store in Western Canada on another occasion asking for some lens cleaner, and the girl at the counter who sounded very professional with another customer, directed me to a rack where she pointed out a box. She said "These are a bit expensive, but we sell a lot of them because they do a wonderful job of removing oils from fingerprints, rain spots, etc...." She noticed I had a bit of a cheeky smile through her spiel, and asked why. I told her "Because they are sensor swabs.":p
I thanked for her time and walked out.
Well....Dunno what to use right now as there's enough residue to cause flare where I'm shooting, but thanks for your reply...BTW... What is your favorite cleaner/cloth at the moment Wilt? I'll try to hit Kerrisdale Camera today en route. They're a good shop.
Thanks again!
Shane

Unfortunately a lot of knowledge is best gained through experience, and that often only comes with many years. Or the verbal lore passed from 'old guy' to 'new guy', but I think a lot of that continuity is lost now that so much stuff is purchased on internet. I think also that the 'convenience' and 'automation' factors both go to dumb down the knowledge base...I just read a policeman's remark that a manual transmission is the now the greatest deterrent to auto theft, as too many car thieves have no idea how to drive a stick and work the clutch!

I have a bottle (probably now 10 years old!) of ROR, Resiual Oil Remover, which I use only once a year (if that often). http://www.ror.net/ (external link)
I usually just use a clean microfiber cloth (PhotoClear) and fog the lens with my breath, and that works well enough even for finger oils.

There have been debates about ROR on POTN regarding one of the ingredients, but I haven't ever found reason not to use it.


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joeburke
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Dec 21, 2013 13:18 |  #29

I've always had good luck with the plain old lenspens....


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mayt444
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Dec 21, 2013 13:21 as a reply to  @ Wilt's post |  #30

I just use Wipe n Clear from Walmart and microfibre cloth. Brush end of lens pen for dust. An 8oz bottle costs a couple bucks and the last one lasted 5 years, but I use it on my glasses mostly. Ingredients, water, Iso alcohol, & detergent. They also have disposable wipes which are handy to throw in a day pack.
Clay


Clay
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