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Old June 28th, 2007, 11:20 PM   #1
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Cleaning the lens...

Ok, I'm not a newbie at all, but one thing I've struggled with is getting my lens really clean. I have a B+W clear UV filter on the front of my Canon XL2. I've tried cleaning it with Kodak lens cleaning fluid and paper. I just put a drop of fluid on the paper, work my way in a circular motion from the center out, and then dry with a fresh tissue.

The fluid causes all kinds of smearing. The only way I could "degrease" the lens was to run it under hot water. That gave me way better results than using the lens fluid and paper.

Any advice would be muchly appreciated, I've always struggled with getting my lens really clean.
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Old June 28th, 2007, 11:41 PM   #2
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Hello Bert.

I have wondered the same thing.. I have dropped my Hoya UV filter in the sand before -- boy was it dirty. I did not have anything to clean it with at the time, so I just had to go without. Just a couple days ago I got it out and cleaned it off with a glasses cloth. it worked pretty well... Just took it and tryed to dab it more then wipe it. But it worked rather well...

I see you live up in my area.
If you head up to Janson Beach(?), there is a Ritz camera shop. You might be able to talk to the guys there and have them clean it for you. And ask what to use and how to get the best results.

Best of luck! Let me know how it turns out for ya!
~Gabriel
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Old June 29th, 2007, 12:07 AM   #3
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I've just bought some Hama wet/dry wipes. Haven't actually tried them yet though...
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Old June 29th, 2007, 02:00 AM   #4
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I've used the pre-dampened lens cleaning tissues as well, don't remember what brand. Same thing, hold the UV filter up to the light, all kinds of smearing.
Its odd, because I've been through film school and was taught how to clean the lens, but at least with the products I'm using now, the results are not satisfactory. I'll probably drop in at somewhere like Pro Video & Tape and ask them what's up. There should be a way to reliably clean a lens in the field. Good to know I'm not the only one concerned about this!
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Old June 29th, 2007, 02:09 AM   #5
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When I first started out as a photographer in London, this was the reason we wore a tie..LOL!!

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Old June 29th, 2007, 07:17 AM   #6
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bert Smyth View Post
Ok, I'm not a newbie at all, but one thing I've struggled with is getting my lens really clean. I have a B+W clear UV filter on the front of my Canon XL2. I've tried cleaning it with Kodak lens cleaning fluid and paper. I just put a drop of fluid on the paper, work my way in a circular motion from the center out, and then dry with a fresh tissue.

The fluid causes all kinds of smearing. The only way I could "degrease" the lens was to run it under hot water. That gave me way better results than using the lens fluid and paper.

Any advice would be muchly appreciated, I've always struggled with getting my lens really clean.
Okay, are we talking about the "lens" or the "filter"?

If you're talking about the filter, which I think you are, there comes a time when it has to be replaced.

Even "clean" dustless surfaces can gather, as you have seen, grease and grime from the air. After so long, it builds up to the point that cleanings are only rearranging it on the surface.

Toss the dirty filter and buy a new one. Problem solved!
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Old June 29th, 2007, 11:56 AM   #7
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Jay, I'm talking about the filter. My filter hasn't seen all that many hours of service, and costs near $100 bucks. So really, just a few shoots and you're tossing away your UV protective filter? I've never heard that before. As a matter of fact, I've heard the opposite; take good care of the filter, don't scratch it, and it'll last you a lifetime. This is the first I've heard of the glass filter being disposable. What on earth do they do with prime 35mm lens that don't use a UV filter?

I was really hoping that someone might have some insight into what's going wrong with my cleaning procedure. I can make the lens perfectly clean by using hot water, so Jay, I dubious of your "toss and replace" advice. I'm just saying that in the field, if the lens gets a smudge on it, the Kodak cleaning fluid and paper just seem to smear it around, not remove it.

One thing I would suggest is that everyone who's posted and has a protective UV filter in front of their camera lens remove the filter and hold it up to a bright light source. If you see smudges or spots, perform a cleaning like you normally do and see if you get smudging or smearing on the filter. Make sure you hold the glass up to a bright light source, my filter looked fine until I held it up to a flourescent light bank. I'd really like to know how people make out. It really bothers me that my cleaning procedure isn't working.
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Old June 29th, 2007, 01:51 PM   #8
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I use a microfiber cloth that you can buy at any decent camera store. For lens or filter cleaning just use the cloth. If you have a tough area, just breath on the filter to give it a light coat of condensation, clean it in a circulate motion from center to edge and then use a dry part of the cloth to remove any smears. The cloth can be washed and reused, just toss it in with your clothes when doing laundry.

I have used the microstar version
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...ing_Cloth.html
and there is the Kodak version
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...ing_Cloth.html


Duane

Last edited by Duane Burleson; June 29th, 2007 at 01:53 PM. Reason: fix sentence structure
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Old June 29th, 2007, 02:49 PM   #9
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Hi Bert,
I've never had a problem with using drops and lens tissues. Its just that it takes alot of effort and some time. The first time I used it, I had the same issue - thinking it was clean and then held it up to the light and noticed lots of smearing.

The trick is to take your time. Wiping the lens until the liquid only 'appears' to be gone will still likely leave smearing, unless you are wiping it while you are holding it up to a light and can guage it more effectively.

You'll have to slowly and lightly wipe it for a while, even after it initially appears to have wiped up all the liquid. Often it may require a second tissue to eradicate a few of the smears. Then, I usually follow it up with a few light brushes with a microfiber brush to kick off any stray particles of dust.

Works for me.

Hope this helps.


-Jon
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Old June 29th, 2007, 04:20 PM   #10
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For years, I cleaned all kinds lenses, prisms and mirrors used in laboratory light scattering equipment. I found the most reliable way was to put the drop of fluid on the lense and then drag a tissue across the lens - no circular wiping and no flooding the lens with fluid. For excessive contamination, I would use the circular wiping but then finish with dragging a tissue across (with a fresh drop of fluid). The dragging leaves behind a very thin film of fluid which evaporates quickly. To closely inspect the lens, I (still) use an inverted microscope objective. A jeweller's loupe works just as well, too.

Another trick I've used is to put a small drop of washing-up liquid on the lens, move it around gently (e.g., with a lint-free swab) and then thoroughly rinse the lens with distilled water. Be very cautious of any grit-like contamination of the lens though! This also works well for cleaning CDs.
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Old June 30th, 2007, 02:13 AM   #11
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Thanks so much guys for your responses. I'm going to try all of your suggestions tomorrow, and I'll let you know how it works out.

Jonathan wrote: "Wiping the lens until the liquid only 'appears' to be gone will still likely leave smearing".

That might be part of my problem, because it accurately describes how I've been cleaning the lens before. I'll take more time and see if that cures it.

Thanks again, everyone.
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Old June 30th, 2007, 09:26 AM   #12
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My approach has always been from 'least' to 'most' aggressive. That is, I first try a bit of air, or soft brush. Then I try 'breathing' on the lens to moisten it, and do the circular wipe bit with a soft micro-cloth. Then I try the lens tissue and fluid dance that's been described. And yes, if you get to that point... patient circular wipes, 'polishing' until the fluid is gone.
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