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Canon GL Series DV Camcorders
Canon GL2, GL1 and PAL versions XM2, XM1.


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Old March 31st, 2002, 12:05 AM   #1
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Cleaning Lens on GL-1

Last week I recorded an extreme amount of footage. I tried to prepare as much as possible before the week started. Anyway, I'm just now sorting through all the footage I've taken and I came up with one thing that I missed. Occasionally, when the footage includes too much sun coming from an angle, you can clearly see spots in the footage. At first, I thought it was just lens flare. But it seems like there are spots directly on the lens and the brighter light just makes them come out more so that they are actually seen while watching the footage.

What's a good way/safe way to clean the lens and get rid of this?
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Old March 31st, 2002, 01:42 AM   #2
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Frustrating, eh? I've encountered the same problem, particularly in the late afternoon. Suddenly every spec on the lens seems to bloom.

Basically, the procedure is the same as with any camera lens. Blow (with canned air or a hand bulb) & brush the hard and dusty debris from the lens while tilting the lens downward (to avoid driving and micro-debris into the lens). Then use lens cleaner solution and lens tissues to clean other spots and film from the lens.

Alternatively, if the lens is not in too bad of shape, you can use a LensPen to clean the lens instead of cleaner and tissue. This is a handy gadget that has a brush at one end and a special dry cleaner pad at the other. You can find them at most good photo shops. Just be sure that all grit is completely off of the lens before using the pad.
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Old March 31st, 2002, 03:19 AM   #3
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In the absence of brand name lens cleaning fluid, Isopropal Alcohol(not to sure of the correct spelling)is what you need. Best to get pure stuff from a pharmacy.
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Old May 22nd, 2002, 01:51 PM   #4
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newbie comment...

I'm assuming you guys are using UV filters, right? If so, then it'd be the UV filter getting specs/dust on it. Since those filters are so cheap, i'd recommend keeping an extra or 2 for quick swapping. That way you don't have to worry about damaging the lens by cleaning it, you can pop off the filter and give it a quick clean.

I used to work in a high-optics environment in clean rooms, and I'm a big fan of canned air, as well as Isopropyl Alcohol and swabs...

Just my 2 cents, I wouldn't say my way is the "right" way...

-Tim
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Old May 27th, 2002, 04:51 PM   #5
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I use a LensPen, tissues ++...but I could really need some filters for my fisheye. I have a Century .3x fisheye which I use very often, but how do I get a uv-filter on that thing?
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Old August 8th, 2002, 10:28 AM   #6
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you have to use a glass bowl.

my experience with century optics is that they aren't exactly acomodating to easy-to-use accessories, and if you need a filter its usually a bayonette style setup, which doesn't do you much good if you are looking for a uv filter for basic protection.
which by the way is the only way to go.
also, with such an extreme fish eye I doubt you could hardly put anything around the lens- filter, matte box or other without it showing up in the corners of your video.
best solution would be to ask century optics in my opinion,
provided you have a few hundred dollars to spend.
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Old August 12th, 2002, 11:28 AM   #7
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As far as cleaning solutions go, I try to avoid products with alcohol and/or ammonia in them. For my SLR lenses I use ROR (Residual Oil Remover) which does a great job of lifting off micro-thin films of oil, atmospheric pollutants, etc. It's recommended that one use a lens cleaning paper with it (do not use a treated cloth as the chemicals on the cloth will interact adversely with the ROR)--the paper emulsifies as you use it, helping to remove the oils on the lens. Plain micro-fibre cloths work OK with ROR as well as a follow-up after the primary cleaning.

I also use the Zeiss cleaning fluid--especially good for multi-coated lenses, which I'm sure the GL series employs.
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Old August 13th, 2002, 12:27 AM   #8
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Lens-Pens ROCK!! I always have mine in my pocket ready for my lenses cleaning needs.
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Old August 15th, 2002, 04:40 AM   #9
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I've heard of microfiber lens cloths for several years. An article in a photo magazine made them out to be the last word in lens cleaning---said you don't even have to use fluid in most cases. But, I've never found a photo store or a mailorder dealer who carried any or even knew what they were. Maybe someone has a good recommendation for a brand and a source of them?

The best cleaning cloth I've found, has been from polypropylene/cotton blend long underwear with a thermal web weave. I use this daily and I haven't damaged any glass yet.

No matter how hard you work at it, you'll never get every last bit of crud off your lens and if you angle it close to a low, evening Sun, there will be sundogs showing.

Steve McDonald
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Old August 15th, 2002, 06:45 AM   #10
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Where do you live, Steve, and I'll point you in the right direction. If it's in the US any Ritz or Wolf Camera would have micro fiber cleaning cloths. If you want to order one (I don't see many dealers stocking them) Pentax has one that is very large and the size comes in handy. Here is a thread that covers lens cleaning http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?s=&threadid=2742

Jeff
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Old August 16th, 2002, 02:19 AM   #11
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An Alternative

As I've noted, I think that Lens Pens are terrific. Micro-fiber cloths are also good but, at least in my experience, they're not absorbant. If you have a nasty print or goop on the lens a micro-fiber cloth will probably leave "sun dogs" behind (which can haze your image if the sun hits the lens obliquely).

Here's a new one. 3M makes a (relatively) new cleaning cloth known as the Scotch Brite dust cloth. The primary market is for household dusting/cleaning. But 3M also sells the same cloth as an eyeglass cleaner. I've used it on glasses and lenses and, frankly, it works great! Leaves no residue behind and is soft enough not to damage lens coatings. You can use it either wet (lens cleaner) or dry. They're washable/reusable. (Just be sure it's not used for any other cleaning task.)

You can find them at grocery stores, WalMart's, almost anywhere. Try one out!
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