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12-17-2020, 06:58 PM - 1 Like   #1
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Beware of lens pens!

Be sure that all the dust and grit is removed from the lens surface with the brush, and check with a magnifier. Than check the lens-pen with the magnifier too. Even an almost microscopic bit of dust can scratch the hell out of a lens if it is rubbed around a bit. It's*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, and older lens.

12-17-2020, 07:10 PM - 1 Like   #2
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I've never used a lens pen. I've had the chance, but I still stick to the old air brush with the horse hair, lens cleaning fluid and lens cleaning tissue. It has worked for me, for 52 years...so why change ? Unfortunately the old way of doing stuff is getting harder...as it is harder to find.
12-17-2020, 07:33 PM   #3
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there is an article that might be of interest:

QuoteQuote:
How to Clean Camera Lenses
Removing dust, dirt, and stains
By K David in Tutorial Videos on Jun 23, 2014

Read more at: How to Clean Camera Lenses - Tutorial Videos | PentaxForums.com
12-17-2020, 07:46 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by lesmore49 Quote
I've never used a lens pen. I've had the chance, but I still stick to the old air brush with the horse hair, lens cleaning fluid and lens cleaning tissue. It has worked for me, for 52 years...so why change ? Unfortunately the old way of doing stuff is getting harder...as it is harder to find.
Air brush with horse hair? I've used Zeiss wipes, but sometimes it leaves residue. Even the lens pen leaves residue. Best way to test it out is after cleaning with either one turn on the flashlight on your phone, and shine it underneath the rear element of your lens. I've used a lens brush as well. I find that a large rocket dust blower works better for dust related issues. Microfiber cloths tend to add more dust from my experience with various brands.
Thinking about setting up a hepa air purifier in my display case to absorb any dust in the air. I also like keeping a few silica packets around to prevent any potential fungus investations.

12-18-2020, 05:57 AM - 1 Like   #5
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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...
12-18-2020, 06:39 AM - 2 Likes   #6
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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.
12-18-2020, 07:17 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by lesmore49 Quote
I've never used a lens pen. I've had the chance, but I still stick to the old air brush with the horse hair, lens cleaning fluid and lens cleaning tissue. It has worked for me, for 52 years...so why change ? Unfortunately the old way of doing stuff is getting harder...as it is harder to find.

I agree. The lens pen is not mighter than the sword, but gritty buildup seems inevitable after a few swipes down the road.
12-18-2020, 07:56 AM   #8
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"It's a poor craftsman that blames his tools."

12-18-2020, 09:03 AM - 1 Like   #9
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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...
12-18-2020, 10:45 AM - 1 Like   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Prince Harbinger Quote
Be sure that all the dust and grit is removed from the lens surface with the brush, and check with a magnifier. Than check the lens-pen with the magnifier too. Even an almost microscopic bit of dust can scratch the hell out of a lens if it is rubbed around a bit. It's*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, and older lens.
The funny thing about lens pens is that by design they damage the very thing they are supposed to clean.
They are simply bad news for lenses.
Why people buy them is beyond me.

---------- Post added Dec 18th, 2020 at 11:47 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by luftfluss Quote
"It's a poor craftsman that blames his tools."
Is there a point to this post?
12-18-2020, 12:57 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
Is there a point to this post?
Yes..
12-18-2020, 06:37 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by lesmore49 Quote
I've never used a lens pen. I've had the chance, but I still stick to the old air brush with the horse hair, lens cleaning fluid and lens cleaning tissue. It has worked for me, for 52 years...so why change ? Unfortunately the old way of doing stuff is getting harder...as it is harder to find.
Which part is harder to find?
12-18-2020, 09:38 PM - 1 Like   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
The funny thing about lens pens is that by design they damage the very thing they are supposed to clean.
They are simply bad news for lenses.
Why people buy them is beyond me.

---------- Post added Dec 18th, 2020 at 11:47 AM ----------



Is there a point to this post?
I agree, I was wondering what the point was also.
12-18-2020, 09:46 PM - 2 Likes   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Breakfastographer Quote
Which part is harder to find?
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
12-19-2020, 07:48 AM - 2 Likes   #15
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I suppose the bottom of my shirt is a no-no right? LOL Since I wear glasses, 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".
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