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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre General Photography Talk 
Thread started 26 May 2015 (Tuesday) 00:34
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Alcohol wipes for cleaning lenses

 
HuskyKMA
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May 26, 2015 00:34 |  #1

Any long-term drawbacks to using isopropyl alcohol wipes for cleaning the front element of your lenses? They aren't going to remove any coating over time, are they?


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armis
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May 26, 2015 03:24 |  #2

I've always used them. Maybe 20 years down the line, or maybe if you clean your lenses obsessively every week, you'll see some damage. Practically speaking and only using them when a lens got dirty, I'm going on 4 years on some lenses with no visible effects.


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Shake ­ N ­ Vac
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May 26, 2015 04:03 |  #3

I've used these for years without issue. I personally thinks it's just as likely the friction from a dry cloth would cause damage and I don't believe thats at all likely :)


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alan_potter
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May 26, 2015 04:23 |  #4

Is there no risk to the lens coating?


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FerozeK
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May 26, 2015 04:24 |  #5

Are you talking about those swabs they use before an injection? The pads arent made for this and will probably leave behind lint. Lens coatings are pretty tough and wont really dissolve. I use the spray that came with my glasses and a microfibre cloth, been doing it like that for 25 years with no problems.

What you looking for is methanol, try a bottle of Eclipse, works wonders with finger prints

This might help http://www.lensrentals​.com …als-lens-cleaning-methods (external link)




  
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Aswald
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May 26, 2015 04:33 |  #6

HuskyKMA wrote in post #17571406 (external link)
Any long-term drawbacks to using isopropyl alcohol wipes for cleaning the front element of your lenses? They aren't going to remove any coating over time, are they?

No, none at all.

Pure isopropyl alcohol is great for cleaning lenses.

Just make sure there aren't any hard debris and don't be tempted to rub too hard....and rubbing alcohol swipes are mixed with distilled water.




  
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Shake ­ N ­ Vac
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May 26, 2015 05:19 |  #7

Also make sure the packet of kids wet wipes does not look too similar to the packet of alcohol wipes - once cleaned the TV with some slightly soapy wet wipes then spent far longer trying to get rid of the soapy smears. The TV did have a lovely hint of aloe vera about it afterwards though:)


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hollis_f
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May 29, 2015 07:25 |  #8

FerozeK wrote in post #17571513 (external link)
What you looking for is methanol

I'd stick with propanol, rather than use methanol. Methanol is slightly more acidic than propanol. It's also more expensive (especially if the bottle has 'Eclipse' written on it).

But the most important thing is to ensure that you're not grinding super-hard bits of silica (in the form of sand, grit or broken glass) into your front element. That's why it's a good idea to always use a rocket blower before touching the lens surface with anything.


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drmaxx
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May 29, 2015 08:06 |  #9

Just to add: From a toxicity point of view methanol is just way nastier then isopropanol - and also much more aggressive on many surfaces and materials. I would suggest to avoid methanol if not absolutely needed. It is easily absorbed by skin and the low evaporation temp makes inhaling the stuff just too easy.


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Nighthound
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May 29, 2015 11:27 |  #10

I've cleaned optics of all kinds ver the years and have always taken the utmost care to avoid damaging optical coatings whether it's a telescope (refractive or reflector) or camera lens.

Here's a recipe I've used for many years now, haven't found a better one so I keep it premixed and ready. I also try to clean only when humidity is low(below 50%) to avoid streaking but I realize that's not always possible. The alcohol I use is ordered special from a pharmacy, almost 99% pure.

Here's what I use for wipes when apply the cleaning solution below (I use the white):
http://optoalignment.c​om …s-maintenance/opto-wipes/ (external link)

The below info is cut and pasted from this link:
http://www.jatobservat​ory.org/OpticsCleaning​System.html (external link)

This may seem like a lot of extra work but if you want pure you have to filter and once you've mixed a batch it'll last a long time.

You are making TWO solutions:
1) Solution 1 - Cleaning Solution: This is the active part of the cleaning
and should be mixed very precisely in the quantities provided.
2) Solution 2 - Rinse Solution: This is ABSOLUTELY necessary for most
cleaning session; however, you MAY find that you do NOT NEED the final
solution if your optics dry streak-free (which likely they will!).
SOLUTION ONE: Cleaning Solution.
You are going to have much more solution of each component than need for one
quart of final SuperPlus Cleaning Solution. Keep all left-over unused and
unmixed components well sealed and marked for future use.
Step 1: FILTER THE WINDEX VIA THE COFFEE FILTER into a thoroughly washed and
dried container; go ahead and filter the entire bottle as this is much
simpler and more effective than attempting to filter one ounce.
Step 2: FILTER THE DISTILLED WATER using a second clean coffee filter into
another jar. Yes, I know that distilled water is supposedly inclusion free,
but trust me on this one.
Step 3: MIX...... In another quart jar, add the following (do NOT substitute
nor change amounts!)
a) the filtered and purified WINDEX - 1 ounce
b) ALCOHOL - 1.5 ounce
c) PHOTO-FLO - two drops...that's RIGHT, I said "two drops"....any more and
you will be sorry. And I mean SMALL drops!! (about 1/16th ounce is pushing
the limit)
Step 4: MIX together gently but do NOT shake.
Step 5: ADD 12 OUNCES OF Distilled water. I chose to mix my solution in empty
quart plastic alcohol bottles; if doing so, merely fill the bottle to within
1" of the top.
Step 6: Pour liquid into your MARKED squirt bottle for use.
SOLUTION TWO: Rinse Solution.
In 12 ounces of filtered distilled water add TWO drops (only!!) of Photo-Flo
solution. No more no less. Transfer liquid into SECOND MARKED squirt bottle.
You are now ready to CLEAN your optics.


Steve
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Aswald
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May 29, 2015 11:28 |  #11

drmaxx wrote in post #17575754 (external link)
Just to add: From a toxicity point of view methanol is just way nastier then isopropanol - and also much more aggressive on many surfaces and materials. I would suggest to avoid methanol if not absolutely needed. It is easily absorbed by skin and the low evaporation temp makes inhaling the stuff just too easy.

Yup...... In some countries, methanol poisoning in home brewery can cause accidental death.




  
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CyberDyneSystems
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Post edited over 4 years ago by CyberDyneSystems. (3 edits in all)
     
May 29, 2015 11:57 |  #12

Zeiss makes packages of these that are SUPER AFFORDABLE ( in the US anyways,)


IMAGE: http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51eUBaWSY3L._SX425_.jpg


they can be found at Walmart $5.00 for 100, or Sam's club $8.00 for 200.
Because they are made by Zeiss for lenses, there is no lint or debris to worry about, No worries about stripping coatings.

I use them All the time.
They are also super convenient to have stowed in all your camera bags etc.

F.Y.I. I gave up using "Eclipse" and "pec pads" for lenses ages ago. They are really a pain to use, and you just have to spend a LOT more time working with that combination.

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CyberDyneSystems
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May 29, 2015 12:06 |  #13

Nighthound wrote in post #17575981 (external link)
Here's a recipe I've used for many years now, ..

...

I bet it works great. Ammonia is corrosive, Great for cleaning glass, scary on aluminum and other metals, though I guess in the amounts here it likely is not a concern?


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Nighthound
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May 29, 2015 14:46 |  #14

CyberDyneSystems wrote in post #17576035 (external link)
I bet it works great. Ammonia is corrosive, Great for cleaning glass, scary on aluminum and other metals, though I guess in the amounts here it likely is not a concern?

True, but carefully applying the solution to the wipe keeps it on the glass only. Windex does make non-ammonia cleaners however I don't suggest substitution since the author of the recipe doesn't make mention. To state the obvious, I wouldn't recommend applying/spraying liquid cleaner directly to any optical surface. Moisture seep behind the objective(s) is not good.


Steve
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FerozeK
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May 29, 2015 15:16 |  #15

That Zeiss wipes looks convienant but the closest thing Ive seen here is made by baush+lomb for glasses. Cant be much different. I'll get my Canadian buds to bring a box when they come through this year....




  
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Alcohol wipes for cleaning lenses
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