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Sony HVR-A1 and HDR-HC Series
Sony's latest single-CMOS additions to their HDV camcorder line.


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Old May 3rd, 2006, 05:06 AM   #1
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Cleaning Sony Y Wideangle Lens

Since many people have been telling me not to get a filter because either the filter is pretty much useless and/or it decreases the light entering the camera or it causes flaring and/or vignetting, I have gone without any lens protection for some time. I want to clean my Sony Y wideangle lens, but everything I've tried doesn't seem satisfactory.

I don't want to ruin the coating on the lens, so I tried these Zeiss pre-moistened cleaning cloth that said were good for things with anti-reflective multi-Zeiss coatings especially, but also good for eye glasses, computer screens, and camera lens. However, when I use these napkins/clothes, they always leave a nasty smear/streaks that are rainbow-ish all over my lens. I tried regular water with a soft cloth next, but that left a different stain pattern. I kept alternating between Zeiss cloth and water, and finally I just used the Zeiss cloth and pressed really hard in one direction. That finally seemed to get rid of the streaking/smearing in the middle of the lens and looks very clear to me with no signs of scratching or ruining the coatings, but on the very edges (the circular edges where it meets the black metal casing), there is still smearing/streaking that I can't get rid of no matter what.

It doesn't seem to affect the video quality or picture as far as I can tell, but then again, I didn't notice that there was a red/green aberration at the edges at the widest angle either (compared to Raynox wideangle lens).

How do you guys clean your lens? Should I stop using these Zeiss clothes and get some special lens fluid and microfiber cloth?

And do you think I've damaged my lens at all?
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Old May 3rd, 2006, 10:27 AM   #2
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Go to B&H and search for a "LensPen".

Those things are awesome. I use them on all of my pro glass, and I never use a UV filter.
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Old May 3rd, 2006, 12:20 PM   #3
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I agree about the lenspen. Those things are awesome and do a great job of getting off those hard to clean streaks without damaging the coatings.
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Old May 3rd, 2006, 12:33 PM   #4
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Personally i always use a clean/new microfibre cleaning cloth, and spray onto it a small amount of Lens-cleaning fluid (the type from opticians that comes in a very small bottle). Use cloth with only light pressure in circular motion.
Has always worked fine, no streaks, no rainbow-patterns etc.
BEFORE i do this, i always use a blower-brush (available at any good photo store) to blow / brush away any fine particlaes of debris or grit that, if left on the lens when cleaning with the cloth, might have caused light scratching.
You always need patience and gentle-care with a lens. Don't get angry with it !

You REALLY do not want to press really hard or lose patience with it. That's the last thing to do.

Having said all the above, i'll now go and check out this LensPen ....
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Old May 3rd, 2006, 05:13 PM   #5
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But do you think I damaged my lens coating already by using the Zeiss clothes and water/T-shirt?

I didn't press TOO hard, but definitely not super gently either. I just applied enough force so that the Zeiss cloth would touch the entire surface of the lens simultaneously (that was how I got rid of the streaks on the majority of the lens).
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Old May 3rd, 2006, 05:38 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Thames
But do you think I damaged my lens coating already by using the Zeiss clothes and water/T-shirt?

I didn't press TOO hard, but definitely not super gently either. I just applied enough force so that the Zeiss cloth would touch the entire surface of the lens simultaneously (that was how I got rid of the streaks on the majority of the lens).
ITs not ruined if it gives you good video.
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Old May 3rd, 2006, 07:02 PM   #7
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Which it definitely still does, but maybe ruined is the wrong word. How about scratched or slightly damaged because of the Zeiss cloth solution, water, and T-shirt, plus slightly rough cleaning motions I made?

I still have the streaking around the very edges (circular edges that meet up with the round casing) though that I can't get rid of. But I don't see any difference in my video.

As far as Lens Pens, do you prefer the Celestron or the Leupold one? They're both the same price at BH.
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Old May 3rd, 2006, 07:24 PM   #8
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Itīs always possible itīs got some microscopic scratches, but i doubt it. But i definitely wouldnīt do that again - treat all lens cleaning with kid gloves. Itīs not so much the glass that is damaged first, its the multi-coatings.

Try that lenspen since two people here said itīs great, AND get yourself a microfibre cloth. Any good photo shop will have them. They are lint-free and specially made for effective and safe cleaining of lenses. Only use a cloth on a lens after youīve spent a good minute with strong use of a photographic blower-brush to remove small grit or dust / dirt particles. You donīt want to rub those into the glass.
If youīve got streaks, use a small amount of lens-cleaning fluid - buy this from a decent opticians. Itīs designed to be safe on coated lenses. Donīt squirt it on like youīre trying to put out a fire !! just a small amount from a ditance onto the microfibre cloth.

Donīt expect to clean a lens in 10seconds. BE GENTLE with it and use soft overlapping circular motion. Rubbing hard is just a no-no. With a microfibre cloth and a small amount of opticians lens fluid it WILL get really clean but just spend 2 or 3 minutes doing it slowly and gently.

2nd-thing is just donīt ever wander round with your camcorder with the Y lens attached WITHOUT the lens cap. cap off, take the shot, cap back on. Also be VERY careful in marine environments where there is sloshing water. minute salt spray (invisible to human eye) floats around and will adhere to the lens.

Final thing - never touch the brush of a blower-brush with your fingers and before you touch your microfibre cloth, wash your hands first to eliminate finger-grease.
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Old May 4th, 2006, 02:13 AM   #9
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For a very large microfiber cleaning cloth, that works as well or better than the expensive little ones from camera shops, try the 3M one in the mop and detergent dept. at grocery stores. Or, go to WalMart and in the auto dept., get a 10-pack of their big, blue microfiber cleaning cloths. Cut them up in small pieces and you have a lifetime supply for camera use. I've been using both these types for years and have noticed no damage to any lens. Usually, no cleaning solution is needed with them. If you have coated filters, you want to rub gently with them, as you would with any kind of cloth.
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