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02-26-2013, 04:14 PM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by excanonfd Quote
Zippo lighter fluid, Coleman camping stove fuel. Probably the least hottest solvent that leaves no residue.
Ah, so if we re-label Naptha as White Gas we can sell it in 1 gallon red cans at Walmart, then. Spill it all over the place when we fill up those little aluminum MSR backpacking fuel bottles with the tiny narrow neck and the plastic plug. Burn it out in the woods next to rivers and lakes without any issues.

Got it. Gallons of that in my garage every spring- gone by fall.

02-26-2013, 06:39 PM   #17
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Some real smart and otherwise advice here.
Q-tips are not cotton and have the capability to scratch a lens.
Kleenex is made from wood pulp and has the capability to scratch a lens.
Supermarket Isopropyl alcohol is far from pure and can leave a residue. Pricey stuff like Eclipse is a pure product and will work.
Blower>clean microfiber cloth>lens pen has always worked for me.

Reducing dust in the home is a tough one. Ultimately an inline HVAC electrostatic filter works for the whole house. Works great for us. But it is pricey and requires 4x hosing off yearly. You can try a room-sized HEPA filter; the noise may be unwelcome, but for temporary use (like for framing photos for art shows) it can reduce dust. Also use a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter, but on non carpet try to kill the beater as it distributes dust more. Avoid cooking greasy foods as it gives surfaces more teeth for dust to hang onto--especially after your HVAC distributes it through the house. Make sure your HVAC system is tuned well for each room. There should be an intentional placement for all intake and output vents; sometimes a deflector can help throw dust elsewhere. . .

Hope this helps.

M
02-27-2013, 03:39 AM   #18
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Awesome advice everyone! Thank you so much for your contributions!

I must admit that I am a bit surprised with some of the rather cavalier attitudes about cleaning lens from one or two of you. My opinion is that if I am going to spend $600 (or more) on a lens, no product is too good to clean that lens when it becomes necessary.

I am also surprised about using Naptha/White Gas (I think that is the same/similar to the fuel I use for my MSR camping stoves). I would have thought that such fuel would be harmful to the coatings or any plastic parts. Besides, this fuel is not only highly combustible, it is toxic if in continuous contact. I would not want this fuel in with my gear.

I am intrigued by the Solution 30... but it looks like this is a European product (although available from one U.K. vendor on eBay).
02-27-2013, 04:20 AM   #19
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“PANCRO Professional Lens Cleaner Non-Streaking Non-Residue Non-Toxic Fast-Drying” - 4 oz bottle for $15. I bought it from Filmtools.com but evsonline.com sells it also. It works great - as advertised. Bottle has a good locking spray top.

02-27-2013, 05:20 AM   #20
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Just to be clear on cleaning and scratching lenses.

Anything you use to rub the surface has the possibility of scratching a lens, because of two points.

First, no matter how soft something appears, the fibres may be quite hard, just small and any rubbing motion causes friction, which is the real cause of lens (or more appropriately coating) damage, especially if used aggressively and dry. Cleaning solutions do more than dissolve oils, they lubricate the surface, end therefore protect it.

As for using a cloth etc, as some have pointed out, cloths over time accumulate dirt. The easiest way I know to damage a lens is to reuse anything when cleaning. I have found with both camera lenses, and eye glasses(which I clean a lot more) that the largest risk of damage is grit picked up by the cleaning cloth, not anything else.

I find micro fibre cloths, when impregnated with cleaning solution work well, but on their own, and dry, simply push the oily smears around.

Another point to consider when cleaning lenses is to clean the entire lens, not just the optical surface, and when doing so, do two things, clean the outer housings first, using a cloth(perhaps damp) to better hold dirt or a brush, to remove the dirt, but never compressed air or blower because that can drove loose dirt further in. Only after the exterior is clean, do you clean the optical surfaces. For this, use a different cloth and brush or blower. Cross contamination is a big risk


From cleaning solutions themselves, I use them infrequently, as many do not dry without residue, which only causes even more rubbing with a dry cloth. I would agree that drugstore alcohol is not a good idea as it simply does not dry residue free. I have not tried naphtha, (white gas) although it is generally considered quite contaminant free , (it has to be, it is used for cooking) but I have not bought any in 30years and share others concerns about the coatings. Methyl alcohol is safe, because that is what lens makers themselves use. If I need a solution, I use the same one for my eye glasses (Nikon lenses at this point in time) but again, generally I don't need to clean my lenses frequently, and I don't clean them for example after every use

Last edited by Lowell Goudge; 02-27-2013 at 05:29 AM.
02-27-2013, 07:08 AM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
From cleaning solutions themselves, I use them infrequently, as many do not dry without residue, which only causes even more rubbing with a dry cloth
This is very true. Lots of sub-par/ineffective products out there. Same applies for sensor cleaner solutions. The following products are what I use - There are other choices so use what works for you.

1. Pancro - Designed to clean camera lens - non-streak/no residue/effective etc. - right tool for the job - Number one product for professionals who have to use it way more frequently then me.
2. Visible Dust products - solutions & swabs - designed to clean camera sensors - non-streak/no residue/effective etc - Lots of happy customers including me.

DIY guys are happy with their methods and that's all that matters but I am not a chemist. Cost is minimal considering I don't have a need to clean lenses or sensor very often.When I do I want the the best product I can get for the job.

Safe/non-streaking/no residue/ effective which results in minimal rubbing of the lens and minimal contact with a camera sensor. My 2 cents.
02-27-2013, 08:03 AM - 1 Like   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by pentaxmz Quote
I must admit that I am a bit surprised with some of the rather cavalier attitudes about cleaning lens from one or two of you. My opinion is that if I am going to spend $600 (or more) on a lens, no product is too good to clean that lens when it becomes necessary.
There is nothing wrong with babying your equipment, it's your stuff! I assure you I am properly anal and take care of my equipment but if I am shooting and notice a fingerprint on the lens, more than likely I will just wipe it off with a shirt or whatever. The point of me mentioning this is that I know I am not the only one and modern lenses (can't stress that enough) are really tough... They will be just fine. None of the cleaning methods mentioned will scratch the coating much less the glass. Although, I wouldn't put any solvent on my lens. The only things that will scratch the glass should be protected by the lens cap.
02-27-2013, 08:32 AM   #23
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JimJohnson's method is much like mine. Here's what I do:

Dust: Giottos rocket blower.
Stubborn dust particle, Knock it off with a blower brush, then use the rocket blower.
Smear: lens pen, (always blow the dust off first to you don't scratch the lens with the pen.)
Stubborn oily smear like a fingerprint (rare): Blow dust off with rocket blower, Then lens cleaning solution on a tissue (gently!) followed by lens pen, followed by rocket blower again.

I also keep a cap on at all times when I'm not shooting with the lens, and a UV filter on the front, in most cases. the best way to have a clean lens is to simply keep it capped, give it a puff from the rocket blower on occasion, and don't stick your fingers on it or lick it. :-P


Last edited by GibbyTheMole; 02-27-2013 at 08:40 AM.
02-27-2013, 08:51 AM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by pentaxmz Quote
I am intrigued by the Solution 30
I'm no chemist, but on the tin says it contains "Alcohol Denat, Iso-butane, Isopropyl alcohol, n-butane, propane, fragrance (contains (L) 6-octen-1-ol, 3.7 dimethyl).

All sounds pretty volatile to me, but hey, does a cracking cleaning job.
02-27-2013, 03:00 PM   #25
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As to whether care in cleaning matters, and whether you notice or not, here's a Canon (rangefinder) lens I got off an auction site. (I bought the camera, not caring about the lens.) The lens looked good in their photos, that were front-lit; but looking closely shows the cleaning damage. It also shows up much better with light through the lens.
You can still get very nice pictures with the lens, but there is more "veil" if light is shining on it from the front.
I have lenses from the same period that I've had since the early 1960s that I've cleaned with tissue and cotton swabs (after blowing and brushing) for 50 years that still look pristine. Care does matter.
I also don't clean if it isn't really needed. I've seen people automatically wipe a lens as they take a camera out to use, without even looking at it first.
I know recent coatings are harder. I saw a demo where they used a "scotchbrite" pad on a lens and then showed pictures taken with it. (But an insider said they intentionally didn't use lighting situations that would show scratches.)
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02-28-2013, 02:34 PM   #26
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Mention has been made of isopropyl and methyl alcohols for cleaning lenses. Be aware that both are toxic, especially methyl alcohol, which is absorbed through the skin. See this informative article: Methanol - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Isopropyl alcohol is a little safer. Denatured alcohol is ethyl alcohol made poisonous by the addition of methyl alcohol, among other additives. Denatured alcohol - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Not knowing what else is in this brew I'd hesitate to use on lenses.

I suppose that if a sample of denatured alcohol placed on a glass plate evaporated without leaving a residue it might be safe on lenses. YMMV

Grain alcohol, pure ethanol, would be safe to handle, after all diluted with water its vodka! I'll stick with the Zeiss cleaner, and pour myself some diluted ethanol with herbal flavors, touched with vermouth, on the rocks with a twist of lemon after the successful cleaning. Yes, a Martini!
02-28-2013, 02:42 PM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by grhazelton Quote
I'll stick with the Zeiss cleaner, and pour myself some diluted ethanol with herbal flavors, touched with vermouth, on the rocks with a twist of lemon after the successful cleaning. Yes, a Martini!
That tends to clean my lenses quite sufficiently

M
02-28-2013, 03:02 PM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by grhazelton Quote
Mention has been made of isopropyl and methyl alcohols for cleaning lenses. Be aware that both are toxic, especially methyl alcohol, which is absorbed through the skin. See this informative article: Methanol - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Isopropyl alcohol is a little safer. Denatured alcohol is ethyl alcohol made poisonous by the addition of methyl alcohol, among other additives. Denatured alcohol - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Not knowing what else is in this brew I'd hesitate to use on lenses.

I suppose that if a sample of denatured alcohol placed on a glass plate evaporated without leaving a residue it might be safe on lenses. YMMV

Grain alcohol, pure ethanol, would be safe to handle, after all diluted with water its vodka! I'll stick with the Zeiss cleaner, and pour myself some diluted ethanol with herbal flavors, touched with vermouth, on the rocks with a twist of lemon after the successful cleaning. Yes, a Martini!

In my previous career as a "pseudo" chemist, I routinely handled numerous chemicals on a daily basis, such as the alcohols listed above, and I did not experience any adverse effects...except for my hair falling out, but that was probably sniffing the toluene! Seriously though, I have also been a Safety Mgr for over 10 years and looked at enough MSDSs (and I also authored a few) to know that many manufacturers go way overboard on their hazard warnings and precautions because of liability and other reasons. Go to Home Depot and buy a bag of dry sand, and you will find a warning on the bag that the sand could cause lung cancer if inhaled. Anyway, as long as you are not bathing in the Methanol and/or drinking it (which could kill you), you shouldn't exhibit any adverse health effects from briefly cleaning your lenses with it. Of course, you can wear rubber gloves when handling it.
Now then, that grain alcohol can be very dangerous though...lol. I have some funny stories of me in my 20s and Everclear (95%)!

To add to the list, I use Zeiss Pre-Moistened Lens Cloths Wipes to clean my lenses after I blow them off well. The wipes are supposed to be nonabrasive and are handy to throw in the camera bag.

Mike
03-01-2013, 12:57 AM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by bullitt_60 Quote
There is nothing wrong with babying your equipment, it's your stuff! I assure you I am properly anal and take care of my equipment but if I am shooting and notice a fingerprint on the lens, more than likely I will just wipe it off with a shirt or whatever. The point of me mentioning this is that I know I am not the only one and modern lenses (can't stress that enough) are really tough... They will be just fine. None of the cleaning methods mentioned will scratch the coating much less the glass. Although, I wouldn't put any solvent on my lens. The only things that will scratch the glass should be protected by the lens cap.
You reminded me of a engineer that convinced me to stop using lens UV filters for protecting my lenses. He figured that first, a good quality lens is extremely durable and hardened to withstand abuses, the coatings are nearly impossible to damage, and putting a UV filter can only reduce the image quality.

Well, I stuck this this no-filter rule for many years... that is, until a particular harsh nature gig on Vancouver island. My microfibre lens cleaners (about 7 of them quickly became useless - saturated with dampness and fine sand) so I began to resort to using my shirt or dry toilet paper. The result of this was some very fine scratches in a $500 lens. Still seems to work perfectly but I would much rather have put 10 years of wear on a far more disposable $25 (or cheaper) glass filter.

From that day forward, I have purchased Hoya UV haze filters for all my lenses (except my Pentax Fish-Eye 10-17 - no way to attach a filter).

What about the rest of you... UV filters to protect your investment or not?
03-01-2013, 01:11 AM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by Brazeal Quote
...

To add to the list, I use Zeiss Pre-Moistened Lens Cloths Wipes to clean my lenses after I blow them off well. The wipes are supposed to be nonabrasive and are handy to throw in the camera bag.

Mike
Zeiss pre-moistened lens wipes (box of 100) are on sale at Walmart (in Washington state) for $5.00. Picked up a box today.
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