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Thread: How do you clean your lens and filters?

  1. #21

    Default Re: How do you clean your lens and filters?

    Quote Originally Posted by night86mare View Post
    eh, please la

    whatever the case, microfibre cloth is not a cotton t shirt piece.
    Isn't that the exact point I made?!! Static charge makes it is technically worse!! Its a great duster... I'll agree to that... just not a great lens cleaner.

    A lens tissue is better than a micro-fiber cloth. But then again, guess what materials go into manufacturing lens tissue paper? Answer: Pulp (which includes good percentage of cotton!) Surprised, eh?!!

    So exactly what makes an old clean 100% cotton cloth bad? Why old... because the newer ones have more lint in them. The older ones don't. In any case, a little lint can easily be blown off with a blower.

    Scientific reasoning backed with accurate knowledge with a dash of practical everyday common sense... makes one's life much more easier and practical!!
    Last edited by sircam; 1st January 2010 at 02:25 AM.

  2. #22

    Default Re: How do you clean your lens and filters?

    Quote Originally Posted by sircam View Post
    Isn't that the exact point I made?!! Static charge makes it is technically worse!! Its a great duster... I'll agree to that... just not a great lens cleaner.
    it works for me..

    in any case, keeping a clean cloth, cotton t shirt or not, is definitely better than using your t shirt

  3. #23

    Default Re: How do you clean your lens and filters?

    Quote Originally Posted by night86mare View Post
    it works for me..

    in any case, keeping a clean cloth, cotton t shirt or not, is definitely better than using your t shirt
    Of course it works for you. Just as a clean cloth of cotton works for me. The point I am making is there is no real need for buying the expensive stuff when the stuff you already have at home works as well. The expensive stuff just makes you feel a lot better since the media ads/packaging do a great job of scaring you!

    Between the three... I'd use them in order of preference... top is best:

    1. Lens tissue

    2. Old clean thin 100% cotton cloth... preferably white (bed sheet, garments, etc.)

    3. Micro-fiber cloth

    All three will work in most cases... but the micro-fiber has to be of a special kind... the very very fine kind that you find in the accompanying expensive branded spectacles. Not the thicker cheaper variety sold at DAISO and some camera shops. I got one free included in a $10 cleaning kit with my camera purchased in Sg and guess what... the micro-fiber literally gave away and came off onto my lens and hands.

    That said... one should use all of the above items only with gentle pressure. Heavy pressure to wipe off a stain can damage lenses even further.

  4. #24
    Senior Member creampuff's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you clean your lens and filters?

    Quote Originally Posted by sircam View Post
    ...Even alcohol has a tendency to leave streaks and residues. Its what causes the streaks and residue that is the deciding factor here, not water and alcohol per say.
    Well that definitely flies in the face of what I know and I can testify and prove isopropyl alcohol works. So why talk about causes of streaks and residues?

    Quote Originally Posted by sircam View Post
    Water is also used a lot in optical factories. Many many times more than alcohol.
    Sure as a coolant when the glass elements are shaped, cut and polished but at final lens assembly any smudges from handling are most certainly not cleaned with water.

    Quote Originally Posted by sircam View Post
    ...Its common sense that water/alcohol won't get the oil/grease off and smearing will take place. Only cleaning liquids having detergent will get the oil off.
    If you didn't know, isopropyl alcohol is regularly used as a solvent and cleaning agent in industry. For example to clean brake discs from brake fluid (which is oil based) contamination, and in cleaning electronic parts.

    Quote Originally Posted by sircam View Post
    What can I say? These aren't industrial detergents! I advocated MAMA because it is one of the most 'gentle' cleaning liquids. pH neutrality does not really matter here. Its a minor issue.
    Didn't you just mention earlier that coatings can break down chemically... so why even use a household detergent which even in diluted form has a whole bunch of chemicals which aren't even listed on the packaging. But anyway if you believe it works for you then who in their right mind would go against good old 'common sense'.

  5. #25

    Default Re: How do you clean your lens and filters?

    Quote Originally Posted by night86mare View Post
    eh, please la

    whatever the case, microfibre cloth is not a cotton t shirt piece.
    buy microfibre t-shirt
    It is the camera, not the photographer.
    my flickr - adamloh.com

  6. #26
    Member banana0ne's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you clean your lens and filters?

    heavy battle here huh, Anyway these are the things we use in optical manufacturing before.
    high concentration HCL
    high concentration NaOH
    Demineralized Water
    A lot of Air.

    BTW, demineralized water is used for rinsing the HCL and NaOH after taking from the bath. That's before coating is applied.

    Otherwise after coating, no need to run it through cleaning as this one is made through cleanroom and standards is very clean. stray dust can be taken away by the moisture free compressed air. finger gloves are used not to give finger print to the lenses.

    Other than that those lenses whose having finger print and dirt and bubbles would be placed into crusher for disposal.
    I dunno!!!
    It's banana-zero-neh. :)

  7. #27

    Default Re: How do you clean your lens and filters?

    Quote Originally Posted by creampuff View Post
    Well that definitely flies in the face of what I know and I can testify and prove isopropyl alcohol works. So why talk about causes of streaks and residues?
    Most of the time it does... I'm not arguing that. But from 100 lenses there may be 1 or 2 lenses that have a problem being cleaned with Isopropyl Alcohol. Been there, done that... faced this problem before.



    Sure as a coolant when the glass elements are shaped, cut and polished but at final lens assembly any smudges from handling are most certainly not cleaned with water.
    banana0ne explained the routine very well. At final lens assembly stage neither water or is alcohol is actually used. All this is done is atmospherically sterile conditions and assembly technicians wear appropriate gear... so no oily smudges at all! An accidental scratch maybe... but then, once again, neither water or alcohol can come to the rescue at this stage.



    If you didn't know, isopropyl alcohol is regularly used as a solvent and cleaning agent in industry. For example to clean brake discs from brake fluid (which is oil based) contamination, and in cleaning electronic parts.
    Actually other solvents such as Petrol/Jet Fuel are more commonly used to clean brake discs from brake fluid. Isopropyl Alcohol will also do the job... but its much more expensive!

    And, BTW, did you know that Isopropyl alcohol is commercially produced by combining WATER and propene... hence its name. Don't mis-underestimate the power of good ol' water... especially distilled water for lenses. Distilled water can often be used to clean lenses effectively too (not for very oily smudges or stains though) and I can also similarly prove and testify to this.

    Give me two lenses in the same condition. I'll use Isopropyl Alcohol for to clean one and water for the other. Agreed that Isopropyl alcohol will dry off faster than water... but then again water doesn't take forever to dry too... just a little while longer.

    Now when I put both these lenses in front of the public for visible inspection at close range or mount them on a camera and click some snaps... I bet most people won't be able to tell the difference!

    And... oh yes... I'm not suggesting using so much water than it seeps into the lens unit!! So please don't bring up the topic of corrosion, etc. etc. If Isopropyl Alcohol seeps into the lens unit, it too can cause some damage... blades can become too dry... ever encountered that before? I have. Whereas water just evaporates gradually after a little time if it were to come in contact with the lubricated blades.

    Every cleaning agent or cleaning material has its pros and cons... knowing what to use, when and how, is the secret to a successful cleaning operation.



    Didn't you just mention earlier that coatings can break down chemically... so why even use a household detergent which even in diluted form has a whole bunch of chemicals which aren't even listed on the packaging. But anyway if you believe it works for you then who in their right mind would go against good old 'common sense'.
    There you go again... believing and quoting in the extremes! Sigh!!

    Be practical... and think about this...

    Chlorine is a respiratory irritant. The gas irritates the mucus membranes and the liquid burns the skin. As little as 3.5 ppm can be detected as an odor, and 1000 ppm is likely to be fatal after a few deep breaths. In fact, chlorine was used as a war gas in 1915.

    But, then again, Chlorine is used for producing safe drinking water the world over. Even the smallest water supplies are now usually chlorinated.

    Be practical... its how much you use (and also how to effectively apply it) that is the factor to be considered when cleaning lenses. Often, one doesn't really need to rush out to the shops and purchase expensive cleaning materials when you can use some DIY stuff with equally great results which you already have at lying about at home... of course one must be having common sense and some basic science knowledge while doing so.

    When I personally meet you in the near future, I'll tell you a little story about how I dealt with a some oil smudge on my lens while shooting a wedding many years ago... thanks to somebody's innocent child. I did not have the time to use any dedicated cleaning agent then... no microfiber, no clean cotton cloth, no alcohol... heck, not even water because seconds were precious and I was shooting right in the middle of the ceremony! Just common sense rapidly applied combined with knowledge of optical physics saved the day.

    There is a vast variety of lens cleaning agents and materials to use out there. A lot of consumers can really get confused.
    Last edited by sircam; 1st January 2010 at 03:20 PM.

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