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12-19-2020, 08:06 AM   #16
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I have one. Keep it clean and use sparingly. Seems to work fine for a quick smudge removal and I noticed no issue. I probably wouldn't use it if it fell in the dirt.

12-19-2020, 08:28 AM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by reeftool Quote
I suppose the bottom of my shirt is a no-no right? LOL
That's exactly what I've used on a number of occasions in the field... but only if I've a UV protector on my lens
12-19-2020, 08:39 AM - 1 Like   #18
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Lenspen is reusable, I think that's a main problem. and it costs a lot to use it once. What I have learned so far, safest way is - air blower, then soft brush, then zeiss moistured lens wipes, done.
12-19-2020, 08:57 AM - 1 Like   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lev Quote
Lenspen is reusable, I think that's a main problem. and it costs a lot to use it once. What I have learned so far, safest way is - air blower, then soft brush, then zeiss moistured lens wipes, done.
Yep.

An alternative to Zeiss wipes would be good quality, lint-free, disposable lens tissues and couple of drops of proper lens cleaning fluid (or 70% IPA).

Whether using wipes or lens tissues after debris removal, the most important thing is not to press it hard to the glass while cleaning. Just barely enough pressure to keep it in contact with the glass is all that's required, and all that should be used. It's less of an issue with modern lenses, but some old vintage glass is particularly prone to scratching...

12-19-2020, 09:08 AM - 1 Like   #20
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I have several different LensPens that came in a kit as a gift. Despite following instructions closely and carefully, I always ended up with a small amount of powdery residue, which required another step to remove. I did find that the LensPen is effective against oily smudges, but not more so than wet cleaning.

I generally avoid using my LensPens now, except for one that I carry in my bag for its integrated brush. I don't like the residue left by the carbon head, and I distrust it for multiple uses.

- Craig
12-19-2020, 09:08 AM - 1 Like   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
Whether using wipes or lens tissues after debris removal, the most important thing is not to press it hard to the glass while cleaning. Just barely enough pressure to keep it in contact with the glass is all that's required, and all that should be used. It's less of an issue with modern lenses, but some old vintage glass is particularly prone to scratching...
Exaclty! And the main purpose of the lenspen is to press in opposite to gently wipe, because otherwise it makes no sense, you HAVE to press and "polish" the lens surface.
12-19-2020, 09:36 AM - 1 Like   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
That's exactly what I've used on a number of occasions in the field... but only if I've a UV protector on my lens
Nobody likes to admit it but most of us have done it. I had coffee splashed on a lens once and cleaned it with spit and my T shirt. No scratches and it worked.
12-19-2020, 05:03 PM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by reeftool Quote
\ I always have some liquid cleaner and microfiber wipes handy. I use the Carl Zeiss lens cleaner available in any drugstore for $4.95. I have had a couple of air bulb/brush cleaners for years. They were always a common item back in the days of camera stores. I have to admit to not being overly fussy about cleaning my lenses until I look and say "Oh crap, I got to clean this".
Kind of what I have done for years. I'm not obsessive about cleaning my lenses. I avoid , mostly successfully, getting my fingerprints on the lens glass, and keep the lens cap on, if I'm not using the camera. If I notice dust, etc., on the lens, then I clean it. But I haven't had to do too much of this over the years....so I must be doing something right as both my pics and lenses look alright.

I also have a top quality filter (B+W) on my lenses. I've done the old before and after...with/without filter test on the lens, blown up the pix to 8 X 10 and as far as my old eyes, bolstered by progressive eye glasses can tell....there is no discernible difference that I can determine.

12-19-2020, 07:38 PM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by lesmore49 Quote
Last December (2019) I was trying to get a new air bulb brush, along with lens cleaner fluid and lens cleaner tissues and I was having a heck of a time. Finally got a kit with this stuff from a large photo supply company and the clerk told me that it may well be one of the last, they had in stock in the warehouse, and they might not have anymore coming in.

I've been using these kits.....with great success over the years ...since '68 and was disappointed to see that they aren't that common anymore.

I understand the lens cleaner fluid and lens cleaner tissues are available but it is the air bulb brush that is the difficult item to get. However, just in the past month I've found another source and this one looks very good indeed.

https://www.leevalley.com/en-ca/shop/home/cleanup/76106-silicone-dust-blower
I understand using a blower, and I understand using a brush. What advantage does it give me to have them combined into one tool?
12-19-2020, 08:57 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
I don't use lens pens, and wouldn't - except, perhaps, as a final step.

At home, I use a rocket blower first to get rid of debris, then a cheap, soft make-up brush to get rid of anything remaining (especially where the front element meets the trim ring), followed by a Zeiss lens wipe. Regarding the wipes, they tend to be quite saturated straight out of the packet, so I unfold them completely and wait 20 - 30 seconds for the excess to evaporate (I like them to be moist, not wet) before using. Once they've dried out a bit more, a final wipe while they're still just damp results in zero residue.

In the field, I generally don't clean my lenses if the weather's good. I carry a couple of spare Zeiss wipes and a microfibre lens cloth just in case, but would be cautious if using them for the same reasons you mention. If I'm shooting in poor weather, at the beach, or in a sandy, dusty or gritty environment, I fit a UV filter - that way, I can wipe it clean occasionally with whatever I have to hand, safe in the knowledge the lens itself won't get scratched. There's potential for a small impact on image quality, but it's a trade-off I'm willing to make in those situations...
Thanks for the great advice. The issue I mainly have with UV filters is that they introduce flare. However I'd feel more comfortable using one for less than ideal weather conditions. Speaking of poor weather conditions. Would you ever take a rare legacy lens that you like using to less than ideal weather conditions? Or would you rather use a weather sealed lens?

---------- Post added 12-19-20 at 09:10 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by 35mmfilmfan Quote
I have two rocket blowers, one at home, one in camera bag, both inside ziplock bags. Once a month I give everything (bodies, lenses, filters, tele-convertors) a gentle clean, even if unused since the last time - dust is insidious. If changing lenses 'in the field', I also give the body I am using and the lens I am attaching a puff of air (having emptied the blower with several squeezes first, so it is hopefully dust-free itself) before I put the removed lens a puff prior to fitting the rear lens cap (the front cap is always replaced prior to removing the lens from the body. This may be OTT - but air is free, lenses are not ! Contacts also get cleaned once a month, with IPA, and all batteries are charged, just in case.
Sounds like some more great advice. Thank you for sharing that with us. What exactly is IPA? Surely you aren't cleaning it with beer. I never feel comfortable changing lenses at the beach. I normally keep a UV filter on. A o-ring for non weathered sealed lenses, and a zip lockbag with a hole through the bottom. Where I than poke the lens through to cover the body. I keep it held in place with a rubber band by the base of the mount. There's a lot of things blowing in the air at beaches like magnesium.
Which can damage the lens over time.
12-19-2020, 09:14 PM - 1 Like   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by Breakfastographer Quote
I understand using a blower, and I understand using a brush. What advantage does it give me to have them combined into one tool?

One less thing to misplace.
12-19-2020, 09:23 PM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
Just for absolute accuracy, the OP mentions that the lens pen is abrasive, but that's not the case (at least, not with the official "LensPen"). The cloth tip is treated with a carbon compound that simply absorbs oils, and on a glass element totally free of any debris and abrasive contaminents, it will not scratch. Of course, the problem is, such contaminents aren't always easily visible to the naked eye, and if they're sandwiched between glass and the moving tip of a lens pen, it's quite possible they'll scratch it...
It's sourced from China and uses the very fine graphite powder as a cleaning agent. It's the same polishing agent as the abrasive powder used by lens manufacturers, but in a finer state. Its very effective because the powdery stuff lubricates the lens surface as well, thus avoiding scratching the lens. Still the stuff is abrasive, that's how it cleans the lens surface, but the polishing is so finite, you need a magnifier to really see it. However, care should still be observed, especially using it on the soft, uncoated, older lens.

---------- Post added 12-19-20 at 09:35 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
Yep.

An alternative to Zeiss wipes would be good quality, lint-free, disposable lens tissues and couple of drops of proper lens cleaning fluid (or 70% IPA).

Whether using wipes or lens tissues after debris removal, the most important thing is not to press it hard to the glass while cleaning. Just barely enough pressure to keep it in contact with the glass is all that's required, and all that should be used. It's less of an issue with modern lenses, but some old vintage glass is particularly prone to scratching...
"It's less of an issue with modern lenses, but some old vintage glass is particularly prone to scratching."

Exactly why I'm giving a heads up. The pen gave one of my M42 lenses some scratches.

---------- Post added 12-19-20 at 09:39 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by c.a.m Quote
I have several different LensPens that came in a kit as a gift. Despite following instructions closely and carefully, I always ended up with a small amount of powdery residue, which required another step to remove. I did find that the LensPen is effective against oily smudges, but not more so than wet cleaning.

I generally avoid using my LensPens now, except for one that I carry in my bag for its integrated brush. I don't like the residue left by the carbon head, and I distrust it for multiple uses.

- Craig
Indeed it does leave a residue that some users aren't seeing.
12-19-2020, 10:48 PM - 1 Like   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by lesmore49 Quote
Last December (2019) I was trying to get a new air bulb brush, along with lens cleaner fluid and lens cleaner tissues and I was having a heck of a time. Finally got a kit with this stuff from a large photo supply company and the clerk told me that it may well be one of the last, they had in stock in the warehouse, and they might not have anymore coming in.

I've been using these kits.....with great success over the years ...since '68 and was disappointed to see that they aren't that common anymore.

I understand the lens cleaner fluid and lens cleaner tissues are available but it is the air bulb brush that is the difficult item to get. However, just in the past month I've found another source and this one looks very good indeed.

https://www.leevalley.com/en-ca/shop/home/cleanup/76106-silicone-dust-blower
Ahh, Lee Valley. That is my favourite store. Their stuff is a bit pricey, but it's all good stuff.
12-20-2020, 04:42 AM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
Ahh, Lee Valley. That is my favourite store. Their stuff is a bit pricey, but it's all good stuff.
Correct on all counts.
12-20-2020, 04:52 AM   #30
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My shirts are made from the same material as disposable lens cloths, so I am allowed to use my shirt to clean a lens. Saves time doing laundry as well.
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