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View Poll Results: how do you clean your lenses?
lens tissue only 23 5.96%
lens tissue and lens cleaner (liquid) 76 19.69%
lens brush and/or air 58 15.03%
microfiber or similiar "new fangled" cloth 121 31.35%
whatever shirt you happen to have on 71 18.39%
i don't clean my lenses 37 9.59%
Voters: 386. You may not vote on this poll

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how do you clean your lenses?
Old 02-02-2008   #1
chris91387
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how do you clean your lenses?

after decades of photography, i'm still not sure what the best way is to clean my lenses is.

anyone have any thoughts or advice?

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Old 02-02-2008   #2
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hi there, Im sure somebody will correct me as wrong here, but i always use Rizla (cigarette) papers, thinner the better. Dead cheap and always easy to get!!!
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Old 02-02-2008   #3
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Well-washed worn out girlfriend's panties.

The clean ones from her drawer, and put 'em back neat after.
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Old 02-02-2008   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ClaremontPhoto
Well-washed worn out girlfriend's panties.

The clean ones from her drawer, and put 'em back neat after.
Cotton, or synthetic?
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Old 02-02-2008   #5
BillP
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I have them breathed on by virgins and wiped clean with their gossamer hair.

These days I have a lot of grubby lenses...

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Old 02-02-2008   #6
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in the sink with my dishes...
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Old 02-02-2008   #7
Leighgion
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Lenses are dishwasher safe, right?
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Old 02-02-2008   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leighgion
Lenses are dishwasher safe, right?
Only in the top rack.
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Old 02-02-2008   #9
nobbylon
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I try to keep them clean rather than clean them. When I really have to I use a spectacle cloth and if really necessary some fluid from the opticians. A couple of my lenses have never been cleaned as they've had UV's on since new.
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Old 02-02-2008   #10
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Where's the "Cilit Bang" option?
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Old 02-02-2008   #11
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Sawdust, white spirit and elbow grease?

;-))

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Old 02-02-2008   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ClaremontPhoto
...worn out girlfriend...


I wouldn't be caught dead saying anything like this.
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Old 02-02-2008   #13
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Now to qualify my vote since "Clean with an Old clean 100% cotton T-Shirt" was not really listed...

I have NEVER had any problems with this method......Breath on lens, Wipe clean and dry with shirt part that is wrapped around my finger...

Remember....THE front lens is light gathering and directing the light to the next set of elements...You could scratch it lightly (don't want to) without seeing any effects on film or D-File.

I would say on older than 1970 lens...use a lens cloth and cleaning fluid...because the coating may not be as scratch proof as the newer coatings...With FSU's Lens cloth only. Lens's that are for keeping their perceived value with no scratches....lens cloth and cleaning fluid.

For the Rear: lens cloth and cleaning fluid only....Scratches here WILL make a difference in IQ on the Neg/D-File. If big or deep enough,.

If that does not work...I set them on a bench while it is raining...and let the sun dry it off.

Last edited by arbib : 02-02-2008 at 13:32.
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Old 02-02-2008   #14
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Microfibre cloth, simply because it's the cloth I use to clean my specs.
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Old 02-02-2008   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oscroft
Where's the "Cilit Bang" option?
...I thought for a moment I had opened the censorship thread by mistake...

Regards,

Bill
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Old 02-02-2008   #16
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From the American Cinematographer Manual, seventh edition; The ASC Press; 1993: "1. Blow off loose dust with 'canned air'. (If 'Air' is not available, a clean, very soft, camel hair brush may be used; to remove all residual oil from the brush, first wash it in ether or pure grain alcohol and shake it out so that it is thoughly dry. Keep the brush in a airtight container. Under no circumstances should the brush ever toush skin. If it does so inadvertantly, wash it again with ether or alcohol.) Do not blow dust off with the mouth. Next to dried fingerprints, saliva is the hardest thing to remove from a lens surface without scratching it.

"2. If necessary to remove smears from the lens surface, fold a lens tissue and dampen the folded edge with lens cleaning fluid. Carefully wipe the lens surface with a circular motion, starting at the center and working toward the edges. If this will not remove the smear, take a new, clean, piece of lens tissue and and epeat the procedure using pure xylene or pure grain alcohol (not rubbing alcohol). Be careful not to touch the lens mount with the xylene or alcohol. If you do, discard the lens tissue and start over. Xylene is particularly useful in removing oil or oily fingerprints from lenses. If it leaves a slight smear after removing an oily spot, repat the action using alcohol.

"Fingerprints, or any contact with skin, may leave a residue which may permanently etch the lens surface. Never clean camera lenses with silicone-coated lens tissue or cloth." (page 144)

So there you have it, from the folks who take care of lenses even more expensive than ours. I use a blower--an ear syringe--rather than canned air. I use a lens brush after that. And I use lens microfiber cloth, which I launder periodically. If I see some dust on the lens I ignore it until I can clean it safely--never when in a hurry.
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Last edited by Rob-F : 02-02-2008 at 14:00.
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Old 02-02-2008   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob-F
...Do not blow dust off with the mouth. Next to dried fingerprints, saliva is the hardest thing to remove from a lens...
I'll vouch for this.
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Old 02-02-2008   #18
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Ideal: never ever touch the lens. Second best: brush off loose dust with camel hair brush, then very very gently touch a lens tissue soaked with cleaner fluid to the surface, then, without any pressure, and very quickly, wipe the fluid off with an immaculately clean micro fiber cloth.

If you wipe your lens with an old t-shirt you may scratch it(but you won't know until you shine a light thru it). I speak from experience. I scratched up my favorite summilux from overcleaning.

I would not recommend taking a casual attitude toward cleaning a good lens.
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Old 02-02-2008   #19
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I breath mist on my lens then lightly rub off with a microfiber cloth. No wonder my photos look ****ty.
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Old 02-02-2008   #20
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a dab of cheap vodka and whatever shirt i'm wearing, (everything has skylights on them, so it's reallly just to clean marks off of the skylights which are all hoya and cheap btw)
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Old 02-03-2008   #21
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I wear glasses so I use my glasses cloth or sometimes a blower brush.

If they're really ditry I pop them in the washing machine; you have to be careful though I once left a 90mm in too long and it came out a 28mm.

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Old 02-03-2008   #22
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Rob F has it right. Air first, then brush, and stop unless there is stuff that will not come off like finger prints or something else.
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Old 02-03-2008   #23
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I use a combination of methods.
Firstly, I always use a UV filter. I know that some will decry this, but it once saved my summilux from a beer bath on a 2 week camping trip. (but that's another story)
Before that goes on the lens, air followed by (damp) cleaning tissue- if needed.
Then the filter goes on, and after that any old T-shirt will do, with the following caveat:

All of my shirts are 100% cotton and well laundered, no fabric softener.
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Old 02-03-2008   #24
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the virgins work great when i can find them, especially on good hair days. but they won't even look at my dSLR lenses ... what's with that?
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Old 02-03-2008   #25
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ether and microfiber when I home.. mist (guess from where) and microfiber when I'm out.
But I'll try Jon method when possible!
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Old 02-03-2008   #26
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blower and microfiber if needed. Very safe with modern glass and coatings.
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Old 02-03-2008   #27
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Blower brush followed by newspaper wetted with glass cleaner, followed by dry newspaper. I use a light touch. Seems to work well.
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Old 02-03-2008   #28
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Zeiss makes pre-moistened lens cloths that come in sachets. Given who they are, shouldn't one assume that method is, both, 'the best', and safe ?
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Old 02-03-2008   #29
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I like those Zeiss 'wet wipes', but they are a bit pricey and do dry out in the package.
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Old 02-03-2008   #30
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Nothing fancy as panties; I use a microfiber cloth after blowing air on the front of the lens. If I see fingerprints on the lens, I use a lens cleaner for caoted lenses.
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Old 02-03-2008   #31
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I try not to let my lenses get dirty.

When they have dust on them, I just blow it off - trying not to spit of course.

I do not obsessively clean my lenses - more lenses are ruined by cleaning than by dirt.

When I think they need it, I use the gentlest method that works.

From lightest touch to hardest:

1) my blowing on the lens.
2) light brush with lens brush.
3) microfiber cloth ('tiger cloth' from Kinetronics)
4) q-tip with a drop of ROR.

http://www.kinetronics.com/cgi-local...5cb+1219947484

http://www.ror.net/

I also clean my digital sensor with q-tip and ROR, which makes everyone around me insane with anger. I do not understand why. I refuse to pay a couple hundred dollars to get a speck of dust off a piece of glass. I'm just really careful.
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Old 02-10-2008   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ClaremontPhoto
Well-washed worn out girlfriend's panties.

The clean ones from her drawer, and put 'em back neat after.
Your GF wears cotton panties... and you're bragging it up on the internet. I'm sure she will be pleased with that -- NOT. Why don't you be a nice guy and treat her right -- buy her some silk undies. You'll both probably enjoy them.
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Old 02-10-2008   #33
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Permanet hoods have eliminate the need to clean my lenses. At most I use a manual blower if I see vissible particles. If there are spray marks or such, then I use a blower, brush, microfiber with cleaning fluid (or my breath) routine.
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Old 03-17-2008   #34
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The top compartment of the dishwasher has a rack for small glasses cups etc which is ideal for lenses. On a fairly short cycle with a good quality streak free powder they come out looking a treat!
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Old 03-21-2008   #35
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I usually grab a box of Kimwipes from the school science labs and a bottle of their microscope lens cleaning solution. I dont really like reusable cloths because after a while they accumulate all the dust, dirt, and oil that you wipe off your lenses and soon you're smearing oil all over your lenses instead of cleaning them!
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Old 03-24-2008   #36
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I can't remember when I last cleaned any lens. Was quite a long time ago. But when I cleaned a lens, I did the same thing as I did for the sensor of my R-D1: I used alcohol ketonatus and Q-tips.
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Old 03-24-2008   #37
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A big loogey and a napkin from Jack-in-the-box
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Old 03-24-2008   #38
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I was told by Schneider Service they use and recommend Windex and newspaper. Go figure...
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Old 03-24-2008   #39
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cheap vodka and a whatever shirt I'm wearing.......just my 2cents.....
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Old 03-24-2008   #40
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I've been using this new "Lenspen" thing. It has a special compound on one end and a brush on the other. Works well. Like others here, I used to never touch the lensl, except when absolutely necessary and then would use optical fluid and lens paper. I like this new lenspen thing, and have had good results with it.
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