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Cleaning modern lenses
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Feb 22, 2021 14:32:46   #
Urnst Loc: texas
 
I was wondering what the current thinking among you is how and how often to clean modern (within the last 30 years) lenses. I remember when some experienced photographers advised against cleaning lenses unless they were smeared or covered with fingerprints because of the risk of damaging the lens. I assume that philosophy is pretty much outdated; what are the current ones? Are eyeglass cleaners ok? Rubbing alcohol? Cotton cloth of microfibers? Paper lens cleaning material? I would be grateful to read what you believe. Thanks

Feb 22, 2021 14:38:27   #
PixelStan77 Loc: Vermont/Chicago
 
Urnst wrote:
I was wondering what the current thinking among you is how and how often to clean modern (within the last 30 years) lenses. I remember when some experienced photographers advised against cleaning lenses unless they were smeared or covered with fingerprints because of the risk of damaging the lens. I assume that philosophy is pretty much outdated; what are the current ones? Are eyeglass cleaners ok? Rubbing alcohol? Cotton cloth of microfibers? Paper lens cleaning material? I would be grateful to read what you believe. Thanks
I was wondering what the current thinking among yo... (show quote)


I am old fashioned. I use first a camels hair brush to remove dirt. I hold the lens upside down as I brush. I use Kodak Lens cleaner wet on Kodak lens tissue. Then repeat with dry lens tissue to dry. However most of my lenses have a quality UV filter and that is what gets cleaned.The glass is virgin from new.

Feb 22, 2021 14:38:41   #
rmalarz Loc: Tempe, Arizona
 
Since my lenses are all protected with UV filters, I clean the filters far more often than lens surfaces. When I do clean a lens's surface, I use photographic lens cleaner and tissues made by Promaster.
--Bob
Urnst wrote:
I was wondering what the current thinking among you is how and how often to clean modern (within the last 30 years) lenses. I remember when some experienced photographers advised against cleaning lenses unless they were smeared or covered with fingerprints because of the risk of damaging the lens. I assume that philosophy is pretty much outdated; what are the current ones? Are eyeglass cleaners ok? Rubbing alcohol? Cotton cloth of microfibers? Paper lens cleaning material? I would be grateful to read what you believe. Thanks
I was wondering what the current thinking among yo... (show quote)

 
 
Feb 22, 2021 15:02:51   #
Moondoggie Loc: Southern California
 
This is how I clean mine:
1. Blow off any dust with a gas duster. Keep can upright as to not get any liquid refrigerate expelling from the can (use one short blast to start)
2. Brush off and contaminate, if needed, holding the lens glass downward.
3. Look at the lens in the light to see if additional cleaning is necessary.
4. Blow off one more time if needed.
5. If there is other contaminate on the lens, use a lens cleaning solution. I have some Kodak cleaning from years ago that works well. Then use either a microfiber clean cloth or lens tissue. Do not use facial tissue.
6. Reinspect the lens to see if you are satisfied.

You never want to take a microfiber cloth first, as any contamination can be abraded into the lens, scratching the surface.

Feb 22, 2021 17:14:11   #
CHG_CANON Loc: the Windy City
 
Some people like to use a a mild soup like Dawn. Results may vary.



Feb 22, 2021 17:22:57   #
Urnst Loc: texas
 
CHG_CANON wrote:
Some people like to use a mild soap like Dawn. Results may vary.


I already tried that on my Canon mirrorless and lenses. Take my advice; it doesn't work that well.

Feb 22, 2021 17:24:05   #
UTMike Loc: South Jordan, UT
 
CHG_CANON wrote:
Some people like to use a a mild soup like Dawn. Results may vary.


And here I thought that you were a serious, all-business photographer, Paul. A sense of humor!! Love it!

 
 
Feb 23, 2021 04:38:41   #
petrochemist Loc: UK
 
I clean my lenses just the way I always have. Not on a timescale but when they have noticeable dirt.
Sometimes a puff of air is enough, sometimes I need to add a wipe and in a few severe cases I've had to dismantle & soak in propanol & other such solvents.
The last has only been for freshly brought lenses that had fungus on arrival - working in a chemistry lab means access to suitable solvents is both free & easy :).

Feb 23, 2021 06:46:06   #
Wanderer2 Loc: Colorado Rocky Mountains
 
For dust and fingerprints I use Zeiss Lens Wipes, the thought being that if anyone knows how to clean lenses Zeiss would. Zeiss also sells just liquid cleaner. I haven't had anything worse than that on a lens for so long I can't remember it, if ever.

Feb 23, 2021 07:06:46   #
bleirer
 
Zeiss or Nikon lens cleaning packets. Blow off with rocket blower, use the edge of the folded up pad to gently knock off any possible grit, open up pad and wipe from outside in, don't let any moisture get near the edges, wish for a $12,000 lens.

Feb 23, 2021 07:29:38   #
billnikon Loc: Pennsylvania/Ohio/Florida/Maui/Oregon/Vermont
 
Urnst wrote:
I was wondering what the current thinking among you is how and how often to clean modern (within the last 30 years) lenses. I remember when some experienced photographers advised against cleaning lenses unless they were smeared or covered with fingerprints because of the risk of damaging the lens. I assume that philosophy is pretty much outdated; what are the current ones? Are eyeglass cleaners ok? Rubbing alcohol? Cotton cloth of microfibers? Paper lens cleaning material? I would be grateful to read what you believe. Thanks
I was wondering what the current thinking among yo... (show quote)


I mostly use a Giottos pocket rocket for day to day use
https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/541904-REG/Giottos_AA1903_Rocket_Air_Blower.html?sts=pi&pim=Y

I also like to use an old staticmaster brush I used to use to take dust off my negitives.
https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=p2380057.m570.l2632&_nkw=static+master+brush&_sacat=15200

I also use Zeiss lens cleaning tissues when the needed
https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1100350-REG/zeiss_2127721_60_count_box_lens.html?sts=pi&pim=Y

or just get the kit
https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1097470-REG/zeiss_2127990_lens_care_kit_2oz.html?sts=pi&pim=Y

 
 
Feb 23, 2021 08:30:24   #
tcthome Loc: Keansburg , NJ
 
Clean when they are dirty enough for you to be dissatisfied with the image.

Feb 23, 2021 09:14:16   #
Farm Boy Loc: Mendota Illinois
 
talking about lens Zeiss makes a anti fogger for glasses my eye doctor sells it, works good if you are wearing mask this time of year

Feb 23, 2021 09:28:39   #
wetreed
 
The best thing is never let them get dirty. Put a filter on it as soon as you get it. Then all you have to do is unscrew the filter clean it put it back and you are all set. The filter will not affect your image quality.

Feb 23, 2021 09:32:45   #
lamontcranston
 
CHG_CANON wrote:
Some people like to use a a mild soup like Dawn. Results may vary.


I prefer to use my dishwasher for my fine optics. It cleans them and dries them without handling them.

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