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Sony HVR-Z5 / HDR-FX1000
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Old April 21st, 2009, 02:30 AM   #1
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Is Canned Air Bad?

Sorry... Did not know where to post so here it goes:

Is canned air bad to use to blow the dust off of lenses and filters?

Seems like it would be fine. Could it harm the coatings?

I am talking about not getting the propelent all of the lens, just the air.

Thanks Guys/Girls,

Sam
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Old April 21st, 2009, 12:29 PM   #2
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Its what was used to clean the film mags and lenses when I worked in TV in the 80's so it should be OK.
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Old April 21st, 2009, 01:23 PM   #3
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Canned air in and of itself is not a bad thing. I've been using it for many years. But... each time you use it you run the risk that some propellant may discharge. If the propellant gets on the lens coatings it typically leaves permanent marks. I find the larger cans of air like those available at Costco are less prone to propellant discharge. I use canned air a lot with still cameras and once had one of the smaller cans discharge some propellant onto the front element of a telephoto lens. It left a permanent "patch" of something that no amount of cleaning or solvent was ever able to remove. Fortunately it did not impact image quality.
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Old April 21st, 2009, 03:55 PM   #4
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What John says is correct...don't get propellant on your lens.
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Old April 21st, 2009, 08:58 PM   #5
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NOT WORTH THE RISK! I wouldn't allow any propellant powered canned air near my lenses. Soft lens cloth only.
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Old April 21st, 2009, 09:22 PM   #6
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It seems like high pressure air could blow dust and dirt into the inner parts of the lens where you would not be able to clean them. I prefer using microclean cloths or specifically made lens paper.
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Old April 22nd, 2009, 01:08 AM   #7
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I don't know why anyone would want to use canned air on their lense when it is so easy to carry a lense cloth around. I would only contemplate using canned air for those seemingly impossible places to get at. But if you do need to use it on your lense you should have a uv filter fitted so if anything drastic should happen at least it 's only the filter that will get damaged which is reasonably cheap to replace.

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Old April 22nd, 2009, 01:18 AM   #8
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Blasts of compressed air are for removing particles that can scratch the lens or UV filter even when using a soft cloth.

If you have a very dusty lens or filter, compressed air is an accepted and recommended method of removing the dust particles. When used properly there is no danger with compressed air. You simply make sure to release some air from the canister first before blowing on the lens or filter, and you do it at a distance, not up close.

After an all day shoot in dusty conditions I would never use a cloth initially. That is an almost guaranteed way to scratch your filter or lens.
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Old April 22nd, 2009, 01:34 AM   #9
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Thanks for that jeff I have always just blown on the lense.

Alan
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Old April 22nd, 2009, 01:55 AM   #10
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Blowing on the lenses with your breath may work in the short term. However many folks recommend never blowing on a camera lens. You risk getting saliva on the lens, and saliva can lead to mold. It is unlikely, but possible. When researching this issue recently I read accounts of mold ruining cameras, so it didn't seem like a good idea to me.

You can buy a blower and brush kit for under $5 at any camera store. It is what I use. A blower is not as strong as compressed air, but does the job pretty well, and a camera lens brush used gently will take care of the rest of the debris. Then you can clean with your cloth safely.

It is also true that there are plenty of people who won't use compressed air, as has been mentioned, but if used properly, it will work safely.

Last edited by Jeff Harper; April 22nd, 2009 at 03:03 AM.
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Old April 22nd, 2009, 06:46 AM   #11
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[QUOTE=Jeff Harper;1123011]

You can buy a blower and brush kit for under $5 at any camera store. It is what I use. A blower is not as strong as compressed air, but does the job pretty well, and a camera lens brush used gently will take care of the rest of the debris. Then you can clean with your cloth safely.QUOTE]


That's what I use too Jeff.
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Old April 22nd, 2009, 09:42 AM   #12
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Have a lipstick brush but no blower on it I shall invest in one as soon as I visit town thanks Jeff and Tim.

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Old April 22nd, 2009, 05:00 PM   #13
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Lens pens are great too, although not a replacement for lens cloths, etc. Here's a typical one at B&H:

Sima | Lens Pen | PLE | B&H Photo Video

I always stick one in my back pocket when shooting and keep one in each of my gear cases. The retractable brush is cool since it doesn't gather lint and the soft tip is really good for getting rid of fingerprints & other smallish smudges without smearing. For grittier stuff, I usually go canned air/blower brush-->soft brush-->soft cloth (w/fluid if necessary).

Yrs,

Hoi
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Old April 22nd, 2009, 06:27 PM   #14
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What I can't figure out is why the compressed air needs a propellent. The pressure of the compressed air itself does the job!?!
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Old April 23rd, 2009, 06:20 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Renouf View Post
What I can't figure out is why the compressed air needs a propellent. The pressure of the compressed air itself does the job!?!
the propellent has the effect of sustaining the overall pressure within the can....

without it the air coming out of the can is slowed down very rapidly... the air still comes
out but at a much lower pressure.... or the pressure is not sustained as long

what I'd be concerned with is... if we are worried about the propellent coming out in
a burst, and that propellent damaging the equipment, why do we not realize that the
propellent is actually coming out of the can when its working correctly and the fact
that the propellent is just coming out of the can in minute sizes... but it could be
coating the equipment but in very small amounts... or the propellent is so small now
that it just gets dilluted even more so... ????
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