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06-29-2012, 06:17 PM   #1
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Cleaning water droplets on lens

How and what do you use to clean off the water drops your lens?
What do you use to wipe it off without scratching the lens?

06-29-2012, 06:25 PM   #2
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a cloth, what else will you use?
Besides why would you scratch a lens by wiping it?
06-29-2012, 06:33 PM   #3
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story

when i first started shooting, i used one of those special microfiber cleaning cloths.
then i bought a cheap 50mm f2 manual lens specifically to **** with, to take apart and whatnot...
well, i put the smc coating to the test out of curiosity, and honestly, anything short of sandpaper is fine on those lenses, they are incredibly durable.

having said that, you should buy a cheap 5 dollar UV filter an leave it on 24/7 to protect the glass, it doesnt affect image quality and is priceless for peace of mind.
06-29-2012, 07:08 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by dominikkolendo Quote
having said that, you should buy a cheap 5 dollar UV filter an leave it on 24/7 to protect the glass, it doesnt affect image quality and is priceless for peace of mind.
It does, certainly the 5 dollars ones.
Look up what the SMC coating actually does and you know what the problems are... well it are flares and ghosting. Not even the expensive B+w and top of the line Hoya filters are 100% resistant to that.

So basically the better the lens is and the coatings the more you dont want to put a filter on it, also lenses with more then 7 elements (if i remember the number correctly) a filter is often not recommended.

06-29-2012, 07:17 PM   #5
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Cloth is about the worst to use unless it is surgically dust free, and there is no dust on the lens.
Most of my lenses have not been touched at all except by blower because I use the dreaded filters.
Sometime I had to clean the rear element on old purchased lenses, then I blew it off hard with a blower then lens fluid sprayed on, touching with a "q-tip" or "cotton bud" very lightly. However that can damage the coating on old lenses too.
I have a "dust hutch" for lense changes and sensor cleaning.
As for water droplets on the front, I have a cleaning job to do on a dirty /water dropletted Hoya 52mm uv(0). However a good filter like this when dirty is much better than a new off brand filter, in my experience with flare tests etc.
I wash the filters in running water with soap when dirty but i have some experience that deteriorates them for flare, also some experience they degrade with age anyway.
Next time I wash the hoya filters I am thinking to get some distilled water in a pump spray with few drops of kitchen detergent something like a film final wash, and just spray rather than wipe, and let dry in dust free air.
06-29-2012, 07:44 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Anvh Quote
It does, certainly the 5 dollars ones.
Look up what the SMC coating actually does and you know what the problems are... well it are flares and ghosting. Not even the expensive B+w and top of the line Hoya filters are 100% resistant to that.

So basically the better the lens is and the coatings the more you dont want to put a filter on it, also lenses with more then 7 elements (if i remember the number correctly) a filter is often not recommended.
i have never noticed any flare/ghosting from using a piece of glass over my lens versus not, but i am not an expert on this, so maybe i should keep this info in mind.
06-29-2012, 08:34 PM   #7
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you can use cotton balls or cotton buds to absorb water droplets (no need to wipe, it will absorb water instanly).
06-29-2012, 10:41 PM   #8
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I use lens tissue. there is some pretty expensive lens tissue out there for cinema lenses, and that is what I use. Technique can also help; if you "parachute" the lens tissue, you are not applying much pressure to the lens element.

06-29-2012, 11:15 PM   #9
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Cheap 1$ Micro-Fibre cloth for drying dishes to absorb water. LensPen to remove the streaks.(Yay for Pencil Led on your camera lenses, it's illogical success time!)
06-29-2012, 11:24 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by dominikkolendo Quote
when i first started shooting, i used one of those special microfiber cleaning cloths.
then i bought a cheap 50mm f2 manual lens specifically to **** with, to take apart and whatnot...
well, i put the smc coating to the test out of curiosity, and honestly, anything short of sandpaper is fine on those lenses, they are incredibly durable.

having said that, you should buy a cheap 5 dollar UV filter an leave it on 24/7 to protect the glass, it doesnt affect image quality and is priceless for peace of mind.
Sorry. Well intentioned comment I know, but a cheap UV will do nothing but a) destroy your lens' IQ and b) be a major potential hazard in actually really damaging your lens !

There are lots of people out there who have broken (even very expensive) UV or Skylight filters whilst attached to their lenses (filters are nowhere near as tough as your front element) leading to either a scratched lens or a filter that can not be removed from the lens without damaging it. Just yesterday I read about a guy on one of these forums that dropped his lens from 7" (yes just 7" - it roiled off the top of his camera bag onto thick carpet - his words) and the filter smashed - badly scratching the lens. No filter and there would have been zero damage. One of many.

My advice is the only filters you need to put on your lens are in specific circumstances and when looking for specific effects, such as polarisers or ND filters or a UV when shooting in windy conditions on the beach, for example. For the other 99.9% of the time the hood should be on your lens and it will act as major protection and improve IQ.

Last edited by Frogfish; 06-29-2012 at 11:37 PM.
06-29-2012, 11:32 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by wombat2go Quote
Cloth is about the worst to use unless it is surgically dust free, and there is no dust on the lens.
Most of my lenses have not been touched at all except by blower because I use the dreaded filters.
Sometime I had to clean the rear element on old purchased lenses, then I blew it off hard with a blower then lens fluid sprayed on, touching with a "q-tip" or "cotton bud" very lightly. However that can damage the coating on old lenses too.
I have a "dust hutch" for lense changes and sensor cleaning.
As for water droplets on the front, I have a cleaning job to do on a dirty /water dropletted Hoya 52mm uv(0). However a good filter like this when dirty is much better than a new off brand filter, in my experience with flare tests etc.
I wash the filters in running water with soap when dirty but i have some experience that deteriorates them for flare, also some experience they degrade with age anyway.
Next time I wash the hoya filters I am thinking to get some distilled water in a pump spray with few drops of kitchen detergent something like a film final wash, and just spray rather than wipe, and let dry in dust free air.
Whilst I admire your dedication I think this is waaaay over the top (and see the greater danger you are exposing your lenses to in my post above) ! Not for old lenses without coatings or with single coatings but for modern multi-layered coatings that are as hard as nails. Take due care, as we all should, but no need to be excessive. Hey they are your lenses though so we all do what we think is best. I'd buy a lens from you any day
06-30-2012, 04:33 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Frogfish Quote
Whilst I admire your dedication I think this is waaaay over the top (and see the greater danger you are exposing your lenses to in my post above) ! Not for old lenses without coatings or with single coatings but for modern multi-layered coatings that are as hard as nails. Take due care, as we all should, but no need to be excessive. Hey they are your lenses though so we all do what we think is best. I'd buy a lens from you any day
This how pentax representatives clean the lens.

06-30-2012, 05:27 AM   #13
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Haha - excellent Stefan.

You can actually hear him say 'SMC coating' if you listen carefully (I'm used to doing that over here) - it's Ko Ting. Many words in Chinese and Japanese are English phonetic transliterations.
06-30-2012, 07:59 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by dominikkolendo Quote
i have never noticed any flare/ghosting from using a piece of glass over my lens versus not, but i am not an expert on this, so maybe i should keep this info in mind.
I have, and on numerous occasions. That's why I no longer use them.
07-05-2012, 04:52 PM   #15
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Original Poster
Thanks for all the advice guys. And thanks to Anvh for posting the video above.
I have this question because I notice that if I have water drops on the surface on my prescribed glasses and I do not clean them up right the way, they will leave some watermark behind on the surface. So I worry the same thing will happen to my camera lens if there is water on it.
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