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Thread: cleaning lens, smears?

  1. #21

    Default Re: cleaning lens, smears?

    Not that I'm saying Nikon is wrong (manufacturers always err on the over-conservative side to cover themselves), but by that reckoning, millions of lenses or filters would have their coatings eroded by now.

    Anyway, all too often, we clean much more than necessary and possibly do more harm than good.

    The residual smears I remove is NOT because it affects the photo in any manner that's detectable even at pixel peeping magnifications, but because I don't like the idea of a cleaning chemical residue being left on the coating's surface for too long.

    I use cleaning solutions only when strictly necessary and with the Zeiss microfiber, and natural chamois I use, well, that's like once or twice a year (I still have bottles of the stuff in the fridge from a decade ago if that is any indication of how little cleaning solutions I use in general).
    Last edited by Dream Merchant; 17th October 2009 at 09:17 PM.

  2. #22
    Senior Member limwhow's Avatar
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    Default Re: cleaning lens, smears?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dream Merchant View Post
    Not that I'm saying Nikon is wrong (manufacturers always err on the over-conservative side to cover themselves), but by that reckoning, millions of lenses or filters would have their coatings eroded by now.

    Anyway, all too often, we clean much more than necessary and possibly do more harm than good.

    The residual smears I remove is NOT because it affects the photo in any manner that's detectable even at pixel peeping magnifications, but because I don't like the idea of a cleaning chemical residue being left on the coating's surface for too long.

    I use cleaning solutions only when strictly necessary and with the Zeiss microfiber, and natural chamois I use, well, that's like once or twice a year (I still have bottles of the stuff in the fridge from a decade ago if that is any indication of how little cleaning solutions I use in general).
    Hi, since we are on the subject of micofibre, TS if you do not mind me OT a little bit here, I have bought several types of 'microfibre' cloths and a few of these actually have lint that are left on the lens and all that.
    Quite frustrating for me. That is why I have stopped using microfibre cloths althought they are supposed to be good.
    Again, apologise for not doing a Search, I noticed you saying that you use 'Zeiss' microfbire. Where do you get it from? Expensive? And what other brands have you come across that you have been happy with?
    Thanks for your reply, and also for any other CSers here who can share with me.
    Thanks again.

  3. #23

    Default Re: cleaning lens, smears?

    There are a gazillion types and grades of microfiber from the best of the best to those which are no better than tablecloth. In fact, microfiber is probably more widely made for general, domestic and automotive cleaning than for lens cleaning (square area).

    Even so called 'lens cleaning MF' - some of them are quite bad.

    The one that is said to be the best quality is Leica. Not readily available locally, but usually available overseas. Usually goes for around US$12-$15 per piece including shipping. I might get one just to try.

    The Zeiss one I am personally very impressed with, and currently use. It looks and feels as fine as silk! Slightly thicker than the usual lens cleaning MF. The first time I tried it, I actually wondered if it was capable of picking up gunk since it was so fine! A complete set of MF and Zeiss cleaning solution M-controlled-RP is S$18+. You can check with Carl Zeiss SEA* for an authorized dealer (optician) near you. There are larger sets sold in the US which includes additional pre-moistened sealed swabs, and can go for anywhere from US$13 - US$20 per set.

    'Value' or the term 'expensive' is relative. The sheer quality of the Zeiss (and I assume Leica MF) is so good that it makes cleaning so much easier and less frustrating, so in the longer run, the higher initial price seems little to me.

    Another one which is good is the one by American Optical, but I've not seen these in awhile. Used to go for $3 a piece at optical shops.

    If you choose the correct one by 3M (3M makes so MANY types it's easy to get confused), that's also good. It's also really, really fine, but a bit thin compared to the Zeiss and Leica ones.

    Another really good option (and my first choice usually) is natural chamois selected for lens cleaning. Chamois is actually leather taken from the belly-side - very soft and smooth. The one I use is the stock sold by Kodak in the past. To my reckoning, chamois is the best choice, requires no cleaning solutions to lift off light grease in fingerprints and smudges, but requires a bit more care. With proper maintenance and storage, these things can last almost a life-time. If you think MF is good, wait till you try wiping off a fingerprint or some facial oil from the glass surface with a good quality chamois and no cleaning solution!

    BTW, a bit of fluff or fibers left behind on a lens or filter surface won't harm photos or the glass so generally, I don't bother these days unless I'm cleaning the lens for someone.

    Hope this helps.


    * Carl Zeiss South East Asia
    50 Kaki Bukit Place
    #05-01
    Singapore 415926

    Phone: +65 6741 9600
    Fax: +65 6842 7117
    Email: info@zeiss.com.sg
    Last edited by Dream Merchant; 18th October 2009 at 12:20 AM.

  4. #24
    Senior Member limwhow's Avatar
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    Default Re: cleaning lens, smears?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dream Merchant View Post
    ......

    Another really good option (and my first choice usually) is natural chamois selected for lens cleaning. Chamois is actually leather taken from the belly-side - very soft and smooth. The one I use is the stock sold by Kodak in the past. To my reckoning, chamois is the best choice, requires no cleaning solutions to lift off light grease in fingerprints and smudges, but requires a bit more care. With proper maintenance and storage, these things can last almost a life-time. If you think MF is good, wait till you try wiping off a fingerprint or some facial oil from the glass surface with a good quality chamois and no cleaning solution!

    BTW, a bit of fluff or fibers left behind on a lens or filter surface won't harm photos or the glass so generally, I don't bother these days unless I'm cleaning the lens for someone.

    Hope this helps.


    * Carl Zeiss South East Asia
    50 Kaki Bukit Place
    #05-01
    Singapore 415926

    Phone: +65 6741 9600
    Fax: +65 6842 7117
    Email: info@zeiss.com.sg
    Hello, Dream Merchant. You gone to such an extent to give me a run down of the MF available and their quality, and even including the chamois that I have been wondering about... really really appreciate it.
    Thank you so much!

  5. #25

    Default Re: cleaning lens, smears?

    I use natural sheepskin chamois leather (not those artificial) to give filter a final wipe to get rid of any smudges.

  6. #26

    Default Re: cleaning lens, smears?

    Quote Originally Posted by limwhow View Post
    Hello, Dream Merchant. You gone to such an extent to give me a run down of the MF available and their quality, and even including the chamois that I have been wondering about... really really appreciate it.
    Thank you so much!
    You're most welcome Lim, and it was a pleasure sharing with you. Hope other CSers find the info useful.

    CHEERS!

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