Best Lens Cleaner - How to clean lens at

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Old October 14th, 2007, 11:52 PM   #1
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Best Lens Cleaner - How to clean lens

Am i using the wrong Lens cleaner? MY lens never seems to get clean enough. When Shooting brightly lit scenes, like outside stuff - or when light is coming towards the lens, I always see spots and streaks.

So The lens cleaner i use is not making it perfectly clean. It leaves streaks and such. What do i need?
Tyson X
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Old October 15th, 2007, 11:12 AM   #2
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Remember, you are not "rubbing away" the lens cleaner. Definitely don't use any force. Get real lens tissue, and lightly polish in a circular motion. Again, DON'T USE ANY FORCE. What happens is the fibers in the tissue gently wipe off the cleanser with each pass. This requires a lot of repetition, but eventually the glass will be pristine. Go to a camera store and get genuine lens tissue. It can be pricey. Also, you shouldn't be cleaning the lens very often. About the only time you should have to do it is when there are thumb prints on the lens and the like. The rest of the time blow it off, either with compressed air or one of those squeeze bulb thingeys. Never, ever, touch the lens, and don't blow on it with your mouth. Bits of gunk, some of them microscopic, will stick to the lens and attract dirt and other crap.
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Old October 15th, 2007, 11:33 AM   #3
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OK, tom's take on lens cleaning.

Now, because of the massive depth of field that Mini DV camera generally give us, I’m more and more convinced that ‘protective’ filters are no longer necessary and what’s more, they do more harm than good. If your front element isn’t spotless and you add a less-than-perfect UV filter, you’ve added two more glass surfaces into the equation, tripling the dust that you’ll see on your finished film. You’ve all seen the effect. Camera pans across the sun and when light hits the front element the image is beset with spots, freckles and nasties. Often these can seem to be in sharper focus than the picturesque gardens in the background, and I find such effects obnoxious and highly intrusive. But then again, there’s always a then again. If I was asked to photograph down at the seaside, or to record a boisterous sticky-fingered children’s party, a protective filter might seem a very good idea indeed. In instances such as this protection can well win out over picture quality.

Lens cleaning aids

Let’s start with the cleaning cloth. I use a typical ‘micro-fibre’ cleaning cloth, and over the last few years this remarkable technology has filtered down from the esoteric laboratory to the everyday kitchen. I’ve been using them for many years, and I have cloths badged Olympus and Kodak. They go wherever my camera kit goes, and they’re very effective at removing stubbon oily fingermarks along with anything else that shouldn’t be there. I really don’t believe in those little blower brushes that Dixons want to sell you. They’re simply sucking the air out of the room and blowing it onto your lens. When the bristles become contaminated they’re carefully telescoped back into the handle only to be exposed again at the next ‘cleaning’ operation and they then wipe their contamination back onto the glass. I also don’t believe in lens cleaning paper tissues, though these do seem to have died out now the micro-fibre cloth has arrived. I also don’t believe in lens cleaning fluid; especially so after the Kodak embarrassment of a few years back when litres of the stuff had to be withdrawn when it was noticed that lens coatings were being washed away by the chemical.


Let’s go through the lens cleaning process. Like camcorder head cleaning, only do it when it becomes necessary. Always better to check the lens and not touch it rather than clean it regularly whether it needs it or not, because some things in life are better left alone if all’s working well. It’s comforting to remember that modern coatings are tough, and you’ll find you’ll have to go out of your way to permanently damage them. Right, take the micro-fibre cloth out of its protective bag. You’ll find that one side is marked with the maker’s logo or some other identification – make this the only side you touch with your greasy fingers. I’m not being rude about your fingers – we’re greasy from cradle to grave; it keeps us alive.

In good strong light (you can’t beat direct sunlight) hold your camera with the lens pointing downwards and use the cloth to whisk off the obvious dust. Gravity will ensure that the dust falls downwards. With the solids removed you can now turn the lens towards you and ‘huff’ on the glass. Condensation will form and you’ll immediately see if there are any fingerprints or foreign spots that shouldn’t be there. This is where the micro-fibre cloth really comes into its own, and you can ‘dry’ the condensation using the cloth in circular sweeps across the lens. Keep breathing on the lens and keep using a new area of the cloth. If you find a particularly stubborn stain don’t be afraid to apply finger pressure as you rub gently, the micro fibres will be latching onto the foreign particles and holding onto them. Once clean, reattach the lens hood and fit the lens cap.

Cleaning the cloth

Every time you use the micro fibre cloth you contaminate it; that’s the way it’s designed to work. So after every lens cleaning operation you should wash out the cloth. I use mains water that has been through the filter in our kitchen. I use pure soap, devoid of added smellies and detergents. I wash my hands, then I wash the little cloth and rinse it out under the same filtered water. I then hang the cloth up to dry in a little used room (where there’s less dust flying about) using my Tandy Helping Hands. When dry I fold it (only touching the labelled side, remember) and put it back in its protective case for next time. It may seem a palarva, but I’ve been cleaning lenses for a long time, never suffered damage and always had spotless optics. I’ve also been washing out these little cloths for years, and they continue to be just as effective as when they were new.

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Old October 16th, 2007, 03:49 AM   #4
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First, get a decent microfibre coth, and also get an air blower 'rocket'.

Blow any dust off the lens with the air blower (note that I am NOT talking about compressed air cannisters here). That should get 99.9999% of the lens clean 99.9999% of the time. Only when you have blown away the dust should you use the microfibre cloth to clean any other marks or smudges off the lens.

Always shake the cloth first too to shake any dust that is on it off. Always keep the cloth in a dust protected bag.
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