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01-08-2010, 05:37 AM   #1
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How long do lens pens last in general usage?

This is one of those petty little issues that can sometimes confuzzle my poor old brain. I'm a firm believer in lens pens, have been using them for years. But I don't know when to replace them. I changes lenses a fair bit and use the pen pretty much on 90-95% of my changes. I have been replacing them every 6 months or so, but I have no idea if that is necessary, or if it should be 3 months, or 1 year or.....
Does anyone know? And since we are on the subject of lens pens, does anyone know if the Carson brand is inferior/superior/equal to the Nikon one? It frequently is a bit less expensive in the stores.

NaCl(nope not as glamorous as a carbon fiber tripod, but I use one a lot more)H2O

01-08-2010, 07:06 AM   #2
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The "real lensPEN" is the one copyrighted as such, I'm not sure if we're talking about the same thing? If so, the lensPEN has a brush on one side and a black surface on the other side to remove spots and marks. This black surface is a carbon powder that you recharge by swiveling the "pen" cap over the black surface. It should work for about 500 recharges, and you will know when it's not working anymore because it won't clean anything
01-08-2010, 08:11 AM   #3
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Well I'm not sure of the exact naming of the Carson or Nikon products, I think each is called a "lens pen" which probably doesn't violate anybody's copyrights. But yeah, same deal, retractable brush at one end, black flexible surface at the other that looks sorta like an inverted funnel and is "recharged" with the carbon imbedded inside the cap.
Thanks for the info. I've never used them until they stop working, actually I probably lose them sooner than that!

NaCl(but I always keep a few spares)H2O
01-08-2010, 08:22 AM   #4
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Good information. I use those as well and didn't have any idea how to know when they are "done"

01-08-2010, 09:48 AM   #5
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The only lens I've ever really scratched was with a lens pen with a grain of sand on the felt pad - since that day, I will only use 'em as a brush (or on a filter in a pinch).
01-09-2010, 05:26 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by heliphoto Quote
The only lens I've ever really scratched was with a lens pen with a grain of sand on the felt pad - since that day, I will only use 'em as a brush (or on a filter in a pinch).
You're supposed to use the brush end first, to brush off any dust and hard particles that could scratch the glass. Then, switch to the pad end to clean the glass and remove smudges and fingerprints, etc.

If you don't do that first step, then there's a chance the pad end can rub on a hard particle that will scratch the glass.
01-09-2010, 05:51 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by pop4 Quote
You're supposed to use the brush end first, to brush off any dust and hard particles that could scratch the glass. Then, switch to the pad end to clean the glass and remove smudges and fingerprints, etc.

If you don't do that first step, then there's a chance the pad end can rub on a hard particle that will scratch the glass.
Gee golly! Really? ...

Either I missed it with the brush, or the pad was contaminated at some other time and I didn't notice - sure, either way it was pilot error (it always is ), but the experience put me off those things. Now days I use a Rocket blower, then escalate to a brush (the one from a lens pen with the pesky felt end removed ), then my breath w/ a microfiber cloth, or possibly - the nuclear option (a CZ pre-wet cleaning pad followed by a microfiber cloth).
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