lens cleaning

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hi all. i think this has been asked before, but could not find the thread in the archives. how do you go about cleaning your lenses and filters? what lens cleaning solution is the safest for multicoated lenses and filters? i heard ROR is BAD. thanks for the help.


-- dave s. (dws69880@cmsu2.cmsu.edu), March 22, 2002


The best bar none is Clearsight

http://www.clearsightusa.com/csb.html http://www.clearsightusa.com

Does what ROR claims to do but doesn't leave you trying to clean up the ROR residue...! I alsways seem to end up giving away my spare bottles people like it so much...

-- Tim Atherton (tim@kairosphoto.com), March 22, 2002.

The best way to handle your lenses is not to get them dirty in the first place. However, if you have to clean an optical surface here is a safe way to proceed:

Get an envelope of Kodak (or similar) lens tissue. Take out 4 sheets of tissue. Tear them in half. Take half of the tissue and fold it together such that the torn ends are in one end. Apply a drop of lens cleaner to this end. Gently clean the lens in a small circular motion. (After blowing off dust from the lens!!!) Immediately, before the lens dries take the other half of the torn dry lens tissue. Dry the lens gently using a circular motion.

The lens should be spotless now.

-- Per Volquartz (volquartz@volquartz.com), March 22, 2002.

I do similar to what Per says, except that I lightly *drag* the tissue across the lens in one direction without applying any pressure, and I do this once only. Then I use a fresh wad and repeat until the entire surface is cleaned. This helps ensure that any grit you pick up doesnt cause scratching.

-- Wayne (wsteffen@skypoint.com), March 22, 2002.

I used to use the method that Per uses. Now I just use Formula MC and a microfiber cloth. Works at least as well, and I don't run around tearing up tissues anymore. As far as ROR being bad, I never had any problems with it, MC is just better. Whatever you do stay away from Kodak lens cleaner - it smears like crazy on multicoated filters.

-- Wayne DeWitt (wdewitt@snip.net), March 22, 2002.

I'm going to cast a vote for the LensPen. Just about everything else I've tried (microfiber cloths, lens tissue, etc) has been unsatisfactory due to smears and *gulp* scratches and the dreaded "cleaning marks".

Use the built-in brush to remove loose particles, and then genltly swirl the pad end around on the lens to remove fingerprints, etc.

-- Scott Whitford (swhitford@msn.com), March 22, 2002.

My goodness, clean water on a soft real cotton ball or very soft cotton cloth works just fine if dust has been blown off first and only very gentle pressure applied. Chemicals are not really needed most of the time in my experience. . . .


-- Scott Jones (scottsdesk@attbi.com), March 22, 2002.

While we`re on the subject, does anyone know what the lens manufacturers{Rodenstock, Zeiss etc...} use to clean lenses? Bob, are you out there?

-- Steve Clark (agno3@eesc.com), March 23, 2002.

Have steered clear of the tissues and the cleaning liquids because of the human error factor and how costly lenses are. I got a suggestion for a cleaning polymer that does not require rubbing and after simple liquid application it dries and gently pulls off and takes all of the smudges and debris with it. It is called Opti-Clean. While it is not cheap, it works like a champ. They have a web site I believe at opticlean.com Good Luck

-- Michael Kadillak (m.kadillak@attbi.com), March 23, 2002.

The factories use alcohol. And carefully. They use a white micro fiber cloth with no hem so they can see if there is dirt on the cloth and so there is no hem which could scratch.

-- Bob Salomon (bob@hpmarketingcorp.com), March 23, 2002.

Doesn't anyone here ever take their lenses outside? Most of the methods suggested don't seem to be meant for very dirty lenses...? I get sea-spray on mine, blown dust and sand, rainsplaters (with the odd bit of mud) and all sorts.

It can take more than a bit ofwater fkuffed up lens tissue to do the job....

tim a

-- Tim Atherton (tim@kairosphoto.com), March 23, 2002.

I just tried Rexton "Optyl-7" liquid cleaner on my multicoated lenses, putting the liquid spray on lens tissues first (Kodak and Hoya)then wiping the lenses (after blowing off as much dust as possible). There was no residue left and it seemed to clean easier than other fluids I've tried. I'm sticking with it. I think I got it at B&H or Adorama.

-- Dan (photoart88@att.net), March 24, 2002.

What type of alcohol?

-- Steve Clark (agno3@eesc.com), March 24, 2002.


I have hauled my large format camera to a great many parts of the earth. Regardless of the environment, rain, sleet, snow, smoke etc. I do not let them get dirty. They are my life blod! I need them to perform at their max at all times!

On the rare occasion when the lens needs cleaning I do use the above method. Although I did drop a Schneider 210 Symmar-S in a river in the Philippines once. A swimmer brought it up for me. I removed the shutter, blew it dry, baked it in a regular oven at 250 degrees for about ten minutes...The lens elements were unharmed (fresh water in the river...) Used the lens for several years after this event...

-- Per Volquartz (volquartz@volquartz.com), March 24, 2002.

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