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Old June 10th, 2015, 08:13 PM   #1
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BEST lens cleaning cloth?

I have a new Sony PXW-X180 that I cannot for the life of me get the lens clean. I bought some Zeiss micro-fiber cloths for $3 from B&H, but after hours and hours (maybe 15 minutes) I have a hazzy lens. Wipe one way, shine a light across it, streaks. Wipe across the streaks, looks fine, shine a light across it 90 degrees, still has those streaks. Worst part is, the lens looks fogged. As if you breathed on it and it has a film on the coating. I shoot night ENG, so any light hitting the lens, even from the side, fogs the image, like I am shooting one of those romance scenes from Star Trek with Captain Kirk.

I started off with a brand new lens, brand new cloth. Used my breath to wipe it clean, then a second brand new cloth to polish it, so it's not greasy residue? I thought the Zeiss name meant something special, but apparently not.

What is the best cloth and method for getting a pristine optical lens clean? I am really getting tired of my entire frame fogging the color of the police and fire department LEDs blinking into the lens!


Paul
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Old June 10th, 2015, 11:36 PM   #2
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Re: BEST lens cleaning cloth?

Paul - I watched a youtube video awhile back titled "The RIGHT WAY to clean a used/dirty LENS!" and saved the link. The presenter has a bit of an attitude (tough to listen to), is long winded, but says he worked for several years grading lenses. Take it for what it's worth. He did have some good info - every few minutes....

Anyway, he recommended using an air blower (small rubbery thingy) to blow the dust off. For liquid, the recommendation is for distilled water and for something to wipe the water off a Q-tip was recommended, and he had some important technique in that regard.

Myself, I grew up with the blower and tissue. Roll the lens cleaning tissue up then tear it in half creating a fuzzy "tip".

He mentioned to not touch the Q-tip with fingers because they are oily and I've heard about oily fingers before.

Because placing the url here will cause the video to be shown here I'll just leave it with the title above that can be used for a search.

By the way, the first search I used "how to clean your lens", the first one had a lot of views, but the guy used his finger on a cloth to clean the lens surface. That wouldn't be my recommendation because it puts too much pressure on the really thin coating.
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Old June 11th, 2015, 01:14 PM   #3
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Re: BEST lens cleaning cloth?

LOL. Yeah, that guy.

Andrew
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Old June 12th, 2015, 01:07 PM   #4
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Re: BEST lens cleaning cloth?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Anderegg View Post

What is the best cloth and method for getting a pristine optical lens clean? I am really getting tired of my entire frame fogging the color of the police and fire department LEDs blinking into the lens!


Paul
Paul, here is the best solution I've found:

Amazon.com : Eclipse Optic Cleaner & Pec Pad 4x4 100PK Kit : Camera Cleaning Kits : Camera & Photo

The Pec-Pads are 4x4 squares of soft lint free cloth, the package has 100 of them and I'm still using the first bunch I bought several years ago. Eclipse cleaning fluid is the purest form of alcohol you and I can buy, leaves NO RESIDUE behind.

First blow off the entire lens with something like the Giottos Rocket Blower. Then brush off the lens surface gently with the folded edge of that microfiber cloth you have. Follow that with a folded Pec-Pad moistened with about 3 drops (no more) of Eclipse cleaning fluid and start wiping VERY GENTLY in one direction at a time. Don't use a circular motion because it's too easy to start "scouring" the surface.

That should do the trick. My son brought me one of his lenses his kid had managed to get some really greasy hand prints all over the objective frontal surface. I had it clean in less than two minutes using two Pec-Pads and a few drops of Eclipse.

People tired of paying $35-$40 for a dozen sensor swabs are using Pec-Pads and Eclipse with one of these:

Amazon.com : SensorWand 14mm for cleaning DigiCameras : Camera Cleaning Brushes : Camera & Photo

If the materials are good enough for sensors, they darn sure are OK for lens cleaning.
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Old June 12th, 2015, 01:14 PM   #5
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Re: BEST lens cleaning cloth?

At times like this, methinks the best thing would be to have a UV filter in front of the lens, and chuck it away if you can't easily clean it. Perhaps not the cheapest solution, but one that would work for sure if getting it clean was critical.

Andrew
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Old June 12th, 2015, 06:33 PM   #6
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Re: BEST lens cleaning cloth?

I always avoid alcohol. It's too good at taking off things that should stay on. I'm not one of those people that never cleans a lens. Maybe I do it every few years.
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