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how to safely clean lens
Greetings! I apologize that this is a duplicate post, but I received only one answer to my original query. Many thanks to the poster who responded, but I want to be able to compare some answers to be sure I'm doing the right thing..

Help! While I was trying to take close-up picture of my dog, he decided to get chummy and "nosed" my lens. Now I have a mess to clean off, and I'm not sure how to do this so that I don't damage the lens of my digital SLR. Thanks for any help!..

Comments (12)

Don't tell me you don't have a UV or IR filter on it?? If you have, you can just use a cloth, or a "Lens Pen", but if you haven't got a filter, do yourself a favour and get one..

You'll need to use lens cleaning tissue and cleaning fluid (alcohol). Every time you clean the lens proper you will damage the important coating on it. That, and protection in the first place, is why a filter is a wise choice..

Some people think it affects image quality. I laugh when I hear that as it is a load of rubbish...

Comment #1

Microfiber lens cleaner,tiny bit of fluid on microfiber,do not put fluid directlyon lens..

Charli..

Comment #2

So alcohol is safe? Nearest camera store is about 40 miles away, and I'm looking for an alternative to the cleaning fluid I know I could get there. My only options are a Walmart or a Staples...

Comment #3

I use denatured alcohol and a special q-tip (not sure what they are made out of, but fibbers don't come off them), it's the same stuff we use in shop for cleaning the optics on survey instruments ...

Comment #4

Microfiber cloth, and good old huff of your own moist breath. Repeat a sweeping motion without strong pressure until all swirls and smears are gone..

Today's lens coatings are not impervious to damage but they're not particularly fragile either. On a scale of harm, it's water, breath, ... big gap ..., dog slobber, alcohol. I don't use solvents unless it's clear that's what is required to break a stubborn stain..

[ e d @ h a l l e yc c ] http://www.halley.cc/pix/..

Comment #5

Don't breathe on your lens; you'll just encourage fungi which will be a major problem and impossible to rid...

Comment #6

Steam from my breath and soft cotton cloth (my t-shirt or a cotton cloth in my camera bag). Lens cleaning is not rocket science. Coatings are tough, fungus won't grow on the outside of a lens, even if it does, it's glass, it'll wipe off. I'm not sure where all this paranoia about lens cleaning came from?! If it's a cheap camera with a plastic lens, that's different. A little caution and some common sense. Way too much thinking and analizing with this younger generation.Steve..

Comment #7

Martin Caie wrote:.

Don't tell me you don't have a UV or IR filter on it??.

A UV _OR_ an IR?!?! just for the sake of it?.

If you have,you can just use a cloth, or a "Lens Pen", but if you haven't got afilter, do yourself a favour and get one..

And do yourself a favour and don't use it unless you need to..

You'll need to use lens cleaning tissue and cleaning fluid (alcohol)..

Don't use regular alcohol on the lens!!!.

Every time you clean the lens proper you will damage the importantcoating on it..

That's exactly like saying living damages your heart... or washing your your car will damage the paint..

I have a 30 years lens that has been cleaned with EVERYTHING, from cotton tshirts to silk ties. It's impecable. And keep in mind 30 years ago the coatings were much less resistant..

That, and protection in the first place, is why afilter is a wise choice..

Some people think it affects image quality. I laugh when I hear thatas it is a load of rubbish..

Lots of people believe that. Some know better. Here, just an example:http://forums.dpreview.com/...forums/read.asp?forum=1002&message=26930211.

I won't comment on the "don't breath on the lens". It's priceless..

/d/n..

Comment #8

Sarah22458 wrote:.

So alcohol is safe? Nearest camera store is about 40 miles away, andI'm looking for an alternative to the cleaning fluid I know I couldget there. My only options are a Walmart or a Staples..

Walmart sells Zeiss brand disposable lens cloths in the optical department. $2.97 for 50..

Use them very gently. First, use one with almost no pressure to get any dust or grit off without scratching the lens. Then, use another to actually get it clean. Do not use pressure...

Comment #9

For most purposes, a microfiber cloth will work fine, but for something like dog snot, you may need to use cleaning fluid. lol First use a blower to get any loose dust off the lens. Then, if there's any stubborn particles, use a soft brush to get rid of those. Put one drop of lens cleaning fluid on a lint-less tissue and make one circular wipe around the surface of the lens. Then take a dry lint-less tissue and dry the lens, using as few wipes as possible. Hold the lens near your mouth and give it a huff of air.

If the huff dries evenly across the surface, you've got the lens about as clean as you can get it...

Comment #10

Devnull wrote:.

Martin Caie wrote:.

Don't tell me you don't have a UV or IR filter on it??.

A UV _OR_ an IR?!?! just for the sake of it?.

What? We've already identified one reason as protection. Another is image quality; film images benefit from UV filters, while digital images benefit from IR filters. Ever wondered why certain people in a photo look like they're alcoholics or are breaking out?.

And do yourself a favour and don't use it unless you need to..

That's the worst advice I've seen so far this month..

You'll need to use lens cleaning tissue and cleaning fluid (alcohol)..

Don't use regular alcohol on the lens!!!.

Use cleaning fluid..

Every time you clean the lens proper you will damage the importantcoating on it..

That's exactly like saying living damages your heart... or washingyour your car will damage the paint..

Er, no. It's like saying eating saturated fats damages your heart, little by little while you don't notice until you get it checked..

I have a 30 years lens that has been cleaned with EVERYTHING, fromcotton tshirts to silk ties. It's impecable. And keep in mind 30years ago the coatings were much less resistant..

And less effective..

Some people think it affects image quality. I laugh when I hear thatas it is a load of rubbish..

Lots of people believe that. Some know better. Here, just an example:http://forums.dpreview.com/...forums/read.asp?forum=1002&message=26930211.

What? "Lots of people" is not a couple of ill-informed forum posters who stumbled upon someone using a polarising filter in the middle of the night..

I won't comment on the "don't breath on the lens". It's priceless..

You just did, dope...

Comment #11

Martin Caie wrote:.

Devnull wrote:.

Martin Caie wrote:.

Don't tell me you don't have a UV or IR filter on it??.

A UV _OR_ an IR?!?! just for the sake of it?.

What? We've already identified one reason as protection..

You did. I'll agree with you in certain circumstances..

Another is image quality; film images benefit from UV filters,.

True in most cases; true enough to be worth to keep a UV filter on most of the times on a film camera..

While digital images benefit from IR filters. Ever wondered why certain people in aphoto look like they're alcoholics or are breaking out?.

Because "certain" persons have a certain kind of skin. That's aggravated by unflattering light, unflattering light temperature and noise in the blue channel. Now that I answered that, I'll return with two questions: i. ever wondered why certain people in real life look like they're alcoholics or are breaking out? ii. ever wondered why certain people pay hefty amounts of money to have the IR filter removed from the camera?.

And do yourself a favour and don't use it unless you need to..

That's the worst advice I've seen so far this month..

I guess you are saying one should wear a full helmet all day long, who knows when a flower pot might fall....

You'll need to use lens cleaning tissue and cleaning fluid (alcohol)..

Don't use regular alcohol on the lens!!!.

Use cleaning fluid..

Dude, this is the BEGINNER forum. You just told not one, but hundreds of beginners to use cleaning fluid OR alcohol to clean the lens. Try and paint the word in parantheses in other colors - it won't work. Alcohol, which is ethanol, is especially bad for cleaning lenses. It contains about 30 percent water, 1 percent blue colorant and another percent of different, strange organic compounds. Water dries out slowly, colorant is blue, and there's no telling what's in the remaining 1%..

I've seen a label on one or two cleaining fluids, and it said anhydrous isopropylic alcohol. Huge difference..

Every time you clean the lens proper you will damage the importantcoating on it..

That's exactly like saying living damages your heart... or washingyour your car will damage the paint..

Er, no. It's like saying eating saturated fats damages your heart,little by little while you don't notice until you get it checked..

1. Care to ellaborate on the lens damaging mechanism?2. I noticed you left away the car cleaning analogy..

3. Eating saturated fat does NOT directly damage your heart. It damages your blood circulation, which will affect your heart i. by no giveing it enough oxygen (coronary disease); ii. by increasing the pumping resistance..

I have a 30 years lens that has been cleaned with EVERYTHING, fromcotton tshirts to silk ties. It's impecable. And keep in mind 30years ago the coatings were much less resistant..

And less effective..

Care to ellaborate?.

As far as I can see, the images taken 30 years ago look pretty much the same with the one taken last summer. But maybe you know something I don't know..

Some people think it affects image quality. I laugh when I hear thatas it is a load of rubbish..

Lots of people believe that. Some know better. Here, just an example:http://forums.dpreview.com/...forums/read.asp?forum=1002&message=26930211.

What? "Lots of people" is not a couple of ill-informed forum posterswho stumbled upon someone using a polarising filter in the middle ofthe night..

The problem was not the polariser; it was the ghosting due adding ANY filter in front of the lens. I've got some, from pretty expensive filters. In addition, you increase the flaring..

I won't comment on the "don't breath on the lens". It's priceless..

You just did, dope..

People should read more carefully and understand the words. I did "mention" it. Commenting would be more in the line of:.

The normal exhaled air is a bit warmer, a bit more humid and a bit richer in CO2 than the air around you at that moment. Of course, the description of the atmosferic air might and will change the moment you leave your home, or when the season changes, etc..

So I'd guess your specific breath has some very interesting properties. When applied to the front element it will avoid it shrudely, go around the lens, find any opening available, go inside the lens, between the elements, create serious humidity AND contaminate the lens with fungi/molds that are living inside your lungs. Those specific fungi are able to live inside your lungs happily, without creating any problems, but have developped glue and coat-eating capabilities, in order to colonize any lens you breath around. AND have modified your DNA so your breath has a persisting quality that makes it more significant to the lens than the normal atmospheric changes. You should allow the science to study you, you're one of a kind..

THAT's a comment..

Are you sure your account has not been compromised? I took the liberty of looking at your recent history, and you have lots of usefull, meaningfull posts...Again, I'd suggest against giving interpretable advice to beginners..

Now I'll go and put my flame suit on....

/d/n..

Comment #12

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