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Old July 18th, 2002, 02:39 PM   #1
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UV filters and Lens cleaning

2 Questions: First of all, I've bought three UV filters in my time with my camera. The first came in a kit with two others, and the other two I bought by themselves later. I recently noticed that I have three completely different filters. One is simply calle a UV filter, the other is a sky-1, and the other is a Haze-1. Am I screwing myself by not sticking with the plain old UV filter? I can't tell much of a difference myself.

Also, I am paranoid and fanatical about cleaning my lens and filter. I don't really know what to use. I have compressed air, an anti-static cloth, and lens paper. No matter what I use, there's always some little streak that you can only see when look at the lens from a certain angle under a certain light, or speck of doody on the lens. Am I being overly paranoid? I'm never sure what will show up on camera. Should I use some kind of fluid? Yes I know to be very careful with the compressed air, as the fluid that sometimes comes out can erode the anti-reflective coating.
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Old July 18th, 2002, 04:25 PM   #2
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These various flavors of filters (haze, uv, sky) are, to a great degree, really variations whose distinctions are important only to film photographers. You might notice that the sky filter warms an image just a bit (until you white balance, that is). So, yes, you really don't need them for video. Just stick the UV filter on and donate the others to a local photo club. Remember that the principal function of the thing is to protect your lens, not to alter the image.

Re: cleaning, don't used compressed air. It can blow particles into the lens' enclosure. Get a LensPen for dry cleaning. Also good to have lens tissues and lens cleaner around, but the LensPen will do a good job on all but the worst smears.
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Old July 18th, 2002, 04:37 PM   #3
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Thanks for the tips. My UV filter however, has some sort of spot on it that refuses to come off. . .kind of looks like a discoloration. That's why I bought the others
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Old July 18th, 2002, 06:08 PM   #4
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Do not use anti-static cloths. They are usually impregnated with a substance that is very difficult to remove from optical surfaces. Tiny flecks and dust on the front surface of the lens or filter normally won't show on the recorded image. Greasy smudges and smears can soften the image and cause flare. Shooting into or towards the sun can make the affects of a dirty filter more pronounced. It is very important that the rear element of the lens be kept as clean as possible. The closer to the CCD, the closer the dirt is to being in focus.

I use a micro fiber cleaning cloth made for cleaning optical surfaces. Better camera stores carry them, even Ritz Camera sells them. They can be used wet or dry. When they become dirty, wash them in a washer, just don't dry them. They shrink up to nothing.

Jeff
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Old July 19th, 2002, 06:15 AM   #5
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Josh, check out www.2filter.com for good lens cleaning supplies. I use their Formula MC Cleaner and a Schneider MicroFiber cloth (that I got from them) and the results are great.
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Old July 19th, 2002, 04:46 PM   #6
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Think that stuff'll take care of the crap that's already on my filters? None of them have scratches, but they have weird things that I swear won't come off
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Old July 19th, 2002, 05:07 PM   #7
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If you get really stubborn or greasy spot I use Isoprophyl Alcohol. The optical surfaces, single and multi coatings used are very hard (at least on high quality optics). Most people don't rub hard enough to remove the smudges. I make a little tool for removing the difficult spots. Take 2 Q-Tips and wrap a couple of pieces of lens tissue around the ends. Moisten in alcohol and squeeze any excess liquid out. Make sure the surface of the filter is free of anything that might scratch (this is big here in FL, sand is everywhere). Rub the surface of the filter with some force. Your not going to hurt it. Use a micro fiber cloth to remove the the cleaning marks (swirls from the alcohol drying). If needed breath on the filter surface to apply moisture and continue with the micro fiber cloth. Filter should now look like new. If not, it's time for a new one.

Jeff
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Old July 20th, 2002, 01:11 AM   #8
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Thanks, sirs. Where can I find this this lenspen dealy that I heard about?
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Old July 20th, 2002, 01:55 AM   #9
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You'll probably find them at any good photo shop. You can also order them from B&H and other online shops.
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Old July 20th, 2002, 05:04 PM   #10
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Alright guys, thanks. So microfiber cloth, lenspen, and the above mentioned alcohol.
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Old July 21st, 2002, 03:42 AM   #11
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A haze filter is just another name for a UV filter. The Skylight is slightly different, but also good as a protective filter, though it is primarily used with an abundance of natural light---but then I'd rather use a circular polarizer for this. The UV/Haze can be used indoors and out---and you will notice its effects best at high elevations and when the UV index is high.
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