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01-27-2016, 07:54 PM   #1
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ND Filter Light Smudge

I have a new Hoya NDX400 9 stop filter. I unpackaged it today. I noticed some smudging on the front which came off alright. On the back it seemed to have sort of a not very obvious smudge like film that light wiping with a microfiber cloth did not remove. I took some images with it today and I did not see any obvious smearing in them. Should I consider returning the filter, or is this sort of a common experience?

I did not use the viewfinder cover today when I took the shots, so I did notice the red line effect that I have read about in some of the forum threads. Otherwise, when I took pictures of the plain sky and clouds, I did not notice any smudge or blur distortion. When I did some direct sunlight shots, I did notice a purple spot that seemed to be casted by the sun, and a couple other spots, but like I mentioned I did not see that in plain sky/clouds shots that did not have the sun directly coming into the lens.

Opinions on whether the light smudge like film on the back of the filter is commonplace or not are welcome. I have noticed similar circumstances on lenses that I could not seem to get totally clean but it did not affect my images. I am hoping this is similar. Thanks ahead for any advice.

01-27-2016, 08:02 PM   #2
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Try cleaning it with something moist; lens solution or a lens wipe. If that doesn't get rid of the problem, then return it.
01-27-2016, 08:05 PM   #3
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I have found nd filters and polarisers quite difficult to clean. Wet cleaning works best in those cases for me.
01-27-2016, 08:15 PM   #4
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It says on the front of the lens filter case "DO NOT USE ANY CHEMICAL CLEANSER FOR CLEANING. ONLY A SOFT COTTON CLOTH ALLOWED."

So I used a dry, soft, microfiber cloth. Maybe it is alright to use a slightly water dampened cloth on it. That is not a chemical cleanser. I am curious as to if that would be alright.

Please note I did not see the post by "sergysergy" before I wrote the above in this post.


Last edited by C_Jones; 01-27-2016 at 08:21 PM.
01-27-2016, 08:25 PM   #5
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Not sure what constitutes a "chemical" these days. H2O sure used to!☺ I would return it if it can't be cleaned with alcohol.
01-27-2016, 08:46 PM - 1 Like   #6
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It actually says "Do Not Use Any Chemical Cleanser" (in all caps) on the case. I may try some light dampening with water to see what results I get.

---------- Post added 01-27-16 at 11:02 PM ----------

A lightly dampened microfiber cloth (cool tap water) was a success. It really looks good. Thank you to "sergysergy" and "Quartermaster James" for your opinions/advice on related techniques and experience.

I am so glad!

Have a good night.
01-28-2016, 05:20 PM   #7
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Agree those 10 stop NDs are hard to get perfectly clean.

Get a lens pen for filters and some breath moisture with the rubber tip will do the trick.

And as a veteran field photog...I always wash my ND filters in hot tap water with a dot of Palmolive rubbed in with a clean finger. Have never experienced a worn coating. But, I wouldnt suggest that to you since those instructions were in all caps, lol..

01-28-2016, 07:08 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by mikeSF Quote
Agree those 10 stop NDs are hard to get perfectly clean.

Get a lens pen for filters and some breath moisture with the rubber tip will do the trick.

And as a veteran field photog...I always wash my ND filters in hot tap water with a dot of Palmolive rubbed in with a clean finger. Have never experienced a worn coating. But, I wouldnt suggest that to you since those instructions were in all caps, lol..
I appreciate the comment. I seemed to get the filter fairly clean using some tap water and a soft microfiber cloth, but I noticed that there was still just a faint film that did not seem to come off. I was not able to get it perfectly clean like you mentioned. I sort of doubt that it would have a very noticeable impact on images, but on the other hand I want to have a clean filter for the best images I can get. Your method of the hot tap water/Palmolive seems like the one thing that would take off any smudge, since the smudge is similar to something that can be cleaned off of a glass, like a fingerprint. I really don't want to go against the directions but at the same time want to have a really clean lens filter. I am curious as to if you have used the tap water/Palmolive method on an HMC (multi-coated) Hoya ND. If what you are doing is safe for my lens filter, and does not effect the lens filter coating, that would be really handy. I would not do it often if I got it clean, I handle my equipment carefully. It is good to know alternatives, and your having the actual experience and conveying the information is helpful. Thank you.

Last edited by C_Jones; 01-28-2016 at 07:27 PM.
01-28-2016, 08:15 PM   #9
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I read a post in another forum elsewhere on the internet that recommended ROR and also mentioned using a little Dawn cleaning liquid. So the cleaning liquid seems to be used by some. A person mentioned using a drop of Dawn (supposedly with distilled or tap water) has been used to clean telescope lenses. I am learning alternatives. The dot of Palmolive and some tap water mentioned by MikeSF may be a real effective method, being that it supposedly is not a harsh chemical, is immersed in the water solution, and removed without prolonged contact. I do not recommend anything outright for anyone else, this is just information I have come across.

---------- Post added 01-28-16 at 10:21 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by mikeSF Quote
Have never experienced a worn coating. But, I wouldnt suggest that to you since those instructions were in all caps, lol..
The fact that you have not experienced a worn coating is reassuring. Like I said, I would not be doing it all of the time. I usually just use my blower after I have something substantially clean. I know the warning states not to use "chemicals", but if something is not harsh it is sort of difficult to expect harm. Again I am not recommending anything, just weighing possible alternatives.

Thank you.
01-29-2016, 07:06 AM - 1 Like   #10
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it's like the difference between first time parents and repeat offenders. You want to be super careful and adhere to all instructions for the first one, but then you realize you take other small risks every day wiping them, dropping them, seawater, etc, and embrace a new acceptable level of caution. My next step may be loading all my filters in the dishwasher with an auto dry cycle, lol

I discovered the palmolive solution (shared in a past thread somewhere) when I dropped a Hoya 9-stop ND in the pacific ocean near the port of San Diego/naval base, and found it covered in a layer of petroleum residue that would not clean off any other way. Detergent is famous for breaking oil up and it worked beautifully

---------- Post added 01-29-2016 at 06:12 AM ----------

here is the link from 2011. I was using Dawn then. Since switched brands, but still working just fine.

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/22-pentax-camera-field-accessories/161943...how-clean.html
01-29-2016, 09:07 AM   #11
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Dawn is the the detergent of choice for rescuing seabirds from oil spills:

Why Dawn Is The Bird Cleanser Of Choice For Oil Spills : NPR
01-29-2016, 10:44 AM - 1 Like   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by mikeSF Quote
it's like the difference between first time parents and repeat offenders. You want to be super careful and adhere to all instructions for the first one, but then you realize you take other small risks every day wiping them, dropping them, seawater, etc, and embrace a new acceptable level of caution. My next step may be loading all my filters in the dishwasher with an auto dry cycle, lol

I discovered the palmolive solution (shared in a past thread somewhere) when I dropped a Hoya 9-stop ND in the pacific ocean near the port of San Diego/naval base, and found it covered in a layer of petroleum residue that would not clean off any other way. Detergent is famous for breaking oil up and it worked beautifully

---------- Post added 01-29-2016 at 06:12 AM ----------

here is the link from 2011. I was using Dawn then. Since switched brands, but still working just fine.

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/22-pentax-camera-field-accessories/161943...how-clean.html

I read at other sites that the detergent/warm water solution is effective/safe also, on coated and non-coated lenses/filters.
I know that not cleaning them too much is the wise direction also. Thank you for iterating your experience with the Hoya 9 stop nd filter, that is exactly the filter I am referring to. I am curious as to if the "warm" water is acceptable with the palmolive for cleaning/rinsing or if it has to be "hot". I was thinking possibly very warm would clean/rinse it (with the Palmolive). I know the information you have given me is something that is up to me to try or not try, and see the results myself. I figure getting the filter clean using the Palmolive method would most likely be better and less harmful than spending my time wiping my filter with a cloth endlessly and not achieving a clean surface. I have not gone to the link yet, but thank you for it. I actually returned the first filter I received and have received a refund, but am planning on possibly reordering the same model. It had smudge on it. If I receive another one with any type smudging and no defect, I will clean it, and if it looks alright keep it. Thanks, you have been so helpful.

Update: I looked at the thread the shortcut led to. Thanks.



---------- Post added 01-29-16 at 01:01 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Quartermaster James Quote
Dawn is the the detergent of choice for rescuing seabirds from oil spills:

Why Dawn Is The Bird Cleanser Of Choice For Oil Spills : NPR
I also thought of that, due to its cleaning capability without causing harm. I have seen it mentioned on another site also as used for lens cleaning.

Per your mention of using isopropyl alcohol. I saw elsewhere that 91 or 99 percent isopropyl alcohol along with distilled water is effective/safe. Using the alcohol by itself or using it with the distilled water (half and half solution combined) were different alternatives I have read (on the internet).

So, I have been given some alternatives. Of course I would not clean unnecessarily or too much in the first place to avoid abuse.

Thanks.

Last edited by C_Jones; 01-29-2016 at 11:16 AM.
01-29-2016, 12:01 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by C_Jones Quote
I read at other sites that the detergent/warm water solution is effective/safe also, on coated and non-coated lenses/filters.
I know that not cleaning them too much is the wise direction also. Thank you for iterating your experience with the Hoya 9 stop nd filter, that is exactly the filter I am referring to. I am curious as to if the "warm" water is acceptable with the palmolive for cleaning/rinsing or if it has to be "hot". I was thinking possibly very warm would clean/rinse it (with the Palmolive). I know the information you have given me is something that is up to me to try or not try, and see the results myself. I figure getting the filter clean using the Palmolive method would most likely be better and less harmful than spending my time wiping my filter with a cloth endlessly and not achieving a clean surface. I have not gone to the link yet, but thank you for it. I actually returned the first filter I received and have received a refund, but am planning on possibly reordering the same model. It had smudge on it. If I receive another one with any type smudging and no defect, I will clean it, and if it looks alright keep it. Thanks, you ...

Thanks.
i use as hot as my bare hands can tolerate and it makes light work of any residue then i shake them off and use a rocket blower or cold hair dryer to dry them without leaving spots.

have fun
01-29-2016, 04:23 PM   #14
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mikeSF,

The technical advice on the water temperature is one thing I really wanted to know, I was thinking the same thing in reference to it rinsing away the residue better than a cooler temperature. The drying technique is another factor I was curious about. That really helps. I wanted to ask you if you use the green "regular Palmolive" version, just to make sure I know which one to get if I need it.

Thanks.
01-29-2016, 11:08 PM   #15
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yes, just standard formula Palmolive...you're soaking in it.
[if you get that joke, you must be at least 45 years old]
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