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07-13-2009, 07:14 PM   #1
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How do you clean your lenses / filters - LensPen?

When the blower and brush can't quite get it all off, such as fingerprints or dirty, dried-up droplets of water, how do you clean your lenses and/or filters? Lens tissue or microfiber cloth with lens cleaning fluid seems to take a bit of scrubbing and I'm a little uncomfortable with that as it just seems to smear. What about lens pens? What are your experiences with this product? I see that it's a dry product, yet is somehow effective and safe? Thanks.

07-13-2009, 07:34 PM   #2
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For dust, the brush of the lenspen works like a charm. For grease, the lenspen itself is magic.

For spots (like sprayed water), the best solution I have is :

1-brush first

2-try the lenspen, and if it doesn't work, then

3-use "the world's most advanced lens tissue" that I got at an optics conference. It's really a high quality lens cleaning cloth, and I would not use anything cheaper. But it has always worked so far.

Camera shops often sell some specific liquids that can be used, together with lint-free tissues, to clean lenses. That's another option.
07-13-2009, 07:52 PM   #3
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Hmm if you use a lens hood often, surprisingly, you dramatically lower the occurrence of finger prints, water marks etc, not to mention flare!

But in any case, I also use a variety of methods to clean my glass.

1) My shirt, with and w/o my breath XD
Laziness pays off most of the time. Any clean spot of your shirt will often do. (100% cotton works well)

2) McDonalds Tissue

Works wonders, removes the oil/grease smudges. There's a bit of lint as the tissue rubs against the lens thread and spanner notches (if using a filter). Don't worry, it blows off easily.

3) "Pentax" Microfibre Cloth
Or any microfibre cloth. They work just as well as any other method. The reason why you get smudges is because the natural oils/dirt on your fingers gets on the cloth with use and eventually makes its way onto the lens glass. Just wash your microfibre cloth every once in a while with warm water + soap.

4) Blower blub
Use blower bulb to blow off dislodged dust bits, lint and other debris from front element / filter.

All done!
07-13-2009, 07:59 PM   #4
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Rocket blower, followed by LensPen brush, then the LensPen "wiper." And although it is a dry media, the wiper is coated with really fine, fluffy powdered carbon. It absorbs the impurities it wipes off. Just like activated charcoal absorbs impurities in the air and water. Pop its cap back on, twist it back and forth a couple times, and wiper is re-coated with carbon. Works well. I just used one on a used lens I received that had a fingerprint on the rear element. No telling how long it had been there. Cleaned it right up.

Last edited by Duck Dodgers; 07-14-2009 at 04:58 PM. Reason: speeling
07-13-2009, 08:04 PM - 1 Like   #5
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If as much as a speck of dust falls on any of my lenses, I just throw it away & buy another one.
07-13-2009, 08:30 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by raymeedc Quote
If as much as a speck of dust falls on any of my lenses, I just throw it away & buy another one.
Must be nice to have all that money! Oh, I guess you don't have any left due to the above policy.
07-13-2009, 10:05 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by raymeedc Quote
If as much as a speck of dust falls on any of my lenses, I just throw it away & buy another one.
My favorite answer.

Never start wiping a lens with anything until you have somehow removed dirt, grit, or salt without pushing it across the coatings. Those abrasives are what scratch the coatings. That's why a cotton T-shirt can be better than an expensive microfiber cloth. The T-shirt might have been recently washed and the microfiber cloth could have trapped grit from its last use.

07-14-2009, 11:34 AM   #8
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I have tried many methods of cleaning optical glassware and what ever t shirt I was wearing was the most used and considered the most effective for a long time. However I recently invested in a rocket blower and a couple of lens pens and these are invaluable. Nothing I have tried including an ultrasonic bath with acetone / methanol / isopropanol / ultra pure water, a plasma cleaner (none of these should EVER be tried on a complete lens assembly!) has proved to be as good for getting smudges, fingerprints etc off optcal glass as a lens pen ( plus they are a lot less portable). I would consider the Lens Pen to be one of the best additions to the photographers arsenal since the invention of the CCD.
In case you are wondering, NO I am not being sponsored by Lens Pen (Although this would be most welcome
07-14-2009, 03:47 PM   #9
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This helps alot

I was wondering how well the lens pen would do because it's a dry cleaning system, which would make me think that it's a little "scratchy" on glass. Glad to hear it works as advertised, and is easy on the glass.
07-14-2009, 04:03 PM   #10
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The lens pen itself is not scratchy at all - that carbon whateveritis stuff is quite awesome.

HOWEVER - if you get any bit of "crap" embedded into that applicator tip you might as well have used sandpaper. So be smart, be careful.
07-14-2009, 04:24 PM   #11
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rocket blower !
07-14-2009, 05:02 PM   #12
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canned air and the microfiber cloth that came with my iPhone...

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