How to clean lenses?

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by gabrielh, Nov 24, 2008.

  1. gabrielh

    gabrielh TPF Noob!

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    Hello all,
    I wanted to know how you cleaned your lenses if you accidently have some fingerprint or other thing on the front? Is it ok to use a soft tissue and a very little water for this? Or is it that absolutely forbidden...?
    Thanks for any answer!!
    G.
     
  2. Battou

    Battou No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Get a lens cloth, you can find them everywhere from Rite Aid to Walmart just about. For the rest, water, glass cleaner, whatever. As long as you are not using comet on it you will be fine.

    Start in the middle and rub in a circular patern woriking yor way out to the outer ring, repete if necessary.
     
  3. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    You should have a UV filter on the front of your lens. That way if you accidentally scratch it, it is cheap and easy to replace. Not so if you scratch the front element of a lens, which is a LOT easier than most people think.

    If you have no choice, a specific lens (or glasses) cleaner, a microfibre cloth and GENTLE wiping motions are key. Do not just make circles, but change directions. Again, don't be pressing too hard!
     
  4. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    I breath on my lenses, and wipe with a clean micro-fibre or 100% cotton cloth. I buy bulk bags of cotton darkroom gloves, and use them.
     
  5. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    UV filters - here starts and endless debate the upshot of which is this::

    Some people use UV filters all the time, some occasionally and others never.

    One the whole the use of a UV filter for daily shooting is debatable, some people consider the added protection against finger smudges and such to be a greater gain than the slight loss of quality as a result of adding more glass into the lens assembly. Of course the loss of quality is determined greatly by what quality filter you stick on the end which is where we get to one certainly in this debate:

    "IF your going to use a UV filter use the best you can afford"

    There are a lot of budget line filters on the market (loads in ebay) and they are simply not worth using - they can cause lens flares and be made of poor quality glass leading to more degradation of image quality.

    In general its also accepted that if your shooting in conditions where debris or saltwater might get onto the front of the lens then again, its better to use a filter where you can wipe midshoot and not have to worry about scratches forming on the lens.
    Chips in the glass are also something that can be helped against, but these are rarer and any hit which is likely to break the front glass will chip/scratch the glass behind - small chips though it can protect for (thick close shooting to off-road rally driving).

    In general some people love them and others never use them - just remember no matter what have your lenshood on!
     
  6. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I personally don't think that it's easy to scratch a lens. Modern lenses have coatings that are made to be hard and durable. A lot of things that people might think are scratches, might be marks that just need a little elbow grease to rub off. Of course, the can be scratched, so don't go crazy with it.

    I usually use lens clothes to wipe my lenses, but I'll use a clean bit of cotton (shirt) if the need arises.
    Every once in a while, I'll use cleaning fluid if they need a good cleaning.
    I also have a 'lens pen' which has a little brush that is infused with cleaning fluid.

    Either way, don't use regular tissue if you can help it. They say you shouldn't even wipe your glasses with it.
     
  7. andrew99

    andrew99 TPF Noob!

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    I use a lens pen. One end has a brush for wiping away large dust particles, and the other end has a little pad which you rub on the lens to clean it.
     
  8. christm

    christm TPF Noob!

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    I use a soft cloth (lens cloth)

    However I also use 2 UV filters and one indoor light filter covering my 3 lenses (always stay on) this means its cheap to replace. - As JerryPH also mentioned.
     
  9. Dao

    Dao No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Don't forget the lens paper.
     
  10. Ptyler22

    Ptyler22 TPF Noob!

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    Ya I use a shirt or whatever, as long as I am sure it is clean. I did, stupidly try to use a tissue, DON'T DO IT tisses have a little bit of lotion in them, and the lotion will smear across the lens and make a big mess, and it's hard to get it off gently. for a finger print, I would try to just carefully wipe it off with a micro fiber cloth or a soft shirt or something.
     
  11. gabrielh

    gabrielh TPF Noob!

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    Thank you all for your nice answers! I am still debating myself for use or use not a UV filter; I don't have one right now and one local store sell really cheap UV filters from Cokin, while another sell four or five times more expensive Nikon UV filter... If a higher price necessarily means better quality, I understand I shoot go for the Nikon UV filter. But Perhaps Cokin or Hoya or BW are as good (or maybe little better?)...
    And I will get a lens tissue soon! :)
     
  12. Battou

    Battou No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    If you are going to take that road, don't go UV, get a clear filter (AKA window glass filters or optical flats), that is what they are made for unlike the 1A UV filter.
     

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