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Old December 10th, 2010, 01:57 PM   #1
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Lens Cleaning

Can anyone recommend me a lens cleaning kit as I have managed to to spoil my Sony G Lense?

Thanks in advance
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Old December 10th, 2010, 05:23 PM   #2
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Yannick:

It all depends on the kind of a stuff the lens got contaminated with.

If that just some common dust, any microfiber cleaning cloth will be good. Such cloth can gently wipe or clean without scratching the lens surface.

If it’s something more serious – like smudges or greasy fingerprints – I can recommend the Pearstone LP-1 Lens Pen. This pen has a built-in brush and a carbon-based rubber wiper.
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Old December 10th, 2010, 05:28 PM   #3
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Lens care is a big subject.

Here are a few of my recommendations, others may have other thoughts.

First I usually have a UV filter on the lens. A good quality coated filter will not degrade the picture or cause reflective problems. B&W filters are very good Hoya are good as well. Cheap ones are not worth it.

To clean the lens or filter. I first use air, the Rocket blowers are great, I always have them in my kit. Always blow solids off before using anything else on the lens, get the abrasives off first.

If blowing dust off does not work I use a Lens Pen, first the brush then the shammy like end in circular motion.

If the filter/lens is wet I use a micro cloth. If I need a solvent I use clean water first. Only if I have to will I use a lens cleaning fluid. I find water works really well most of the time.

If the filter gets really oily nasty stuff on it just put a new spare UV filter on the lens and clean the old one in the studio when you get back. I still have an old bottle of Kodak lens cleaning fluid I use on nasty stuff, but I almost never need to use it so the bottle is at least 10 years old.

It is a lot cheaper to replace a UV filter than a lens.

Lets not start a big debate about UV filters. The same steps I outlined above work on the front/rear element or the lens.

I do shoot a lot on boats, then I keep a couple micro cloths with me and a small spray bottle of fresh water, to clean the salt water off the filter usually a Polarizer filter.
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Old December 13th, 2010, 02:02 AM   #4
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I use a microfiber cloth and some lens cleaner solution in a spray bottle for $2.49 that I got from a local LensCrafters.
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Old December 19th, 2010, 11:06 AM   #5
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Although Olof recommends using a multi-coated UV I'm really against that, and especially so on camcorders that use such horrendously short focal lengths. Adding two more imperfectly clean surfaces in front of your front element reduces the hood's effectiveness as well.

Having said that I'd say that modern lens coatings are pretty tough, and you'd have to go on all-out intent if you wanted to damage the coating.

My spectacles are well over 2 years old and are glass, Zeiss T* coated (same as the Z1). I've cleaned them every day and dried them by rubbing them with the roll of kitchen paper, and this stuff is pulped Canadian Redwoods.

The coating on my specs is pristine perfect, and that's with over 900 cleanings now. So don't be afraid to clean your front element. Better not to of course, but no worries if you must.

tom.
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Old December 19th, 2010, 05:34 PM   #6
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Thanks Guys,

Tom, do you know what kind of coating there is on the NXCAM? Is it the same as the Z1?
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Old December 20th, 2010, 01:46 AM   #7
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It's not the same, no. Sony's spec with the Z1 was that the lens should carry the Zeiss logo, and therefore also come with Zeiss's world-beating T* multi-coating. There's none finer.

But that didn't make the lens any sharper - in fact I'm pretty sure the Sony G lens is sharper. It certainly has more zoom and is very slightly faster, but it distorts far more (pincushion distortion) than the 12x Zeiss.

When I compare the front element coatings (Z1 and NX5) they appear to reflect the same colours, but subsequent element coating colours are quite different between the two lenses. My guess is that the G lens has a coating that's every bit as good as the T* as regards the hardness aspect, so not to worry when you have to clean it.

BTW, you never did explain what you meant about 'spoiling' the G lens. What did you do? And a thumbs up to those that recommended the use of the micro-fibre cloth. Use it, wash it, use it - and so on.

tom.
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Old December 20th, 2010, 08:50 AM   #8
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I was on location shooting with a class friends and it was really cold outside - on a snowy day for around 3 hours. We then wanted to film a train scene and in their it was a lot warmer so the lens condensed up. We have a 20minute train journey and I was really worried. It didn't codense off after 5 minutes so I used a tissue cloth which left lots of fibre and smeared everything all over the place. I managed to clear it enough to film for the scene but now I want to give it a proper clean. I went to buy a microfibre cloth and started wiping. I can still see some dots when the lens looks into lights or sunny sky or when I focus really close to the lens when fully zoomed out..
But then I havent spent a great deal of time because I dont want to ruin the lense..
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Old December 20th, 2010, 09:24 AM   #9
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I've had good luck with the Zeiss lens cleaner kit. About $10 at BH.
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Old December 20th, 2010, 11:14 AM   #10
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I'm pretty sure you won't have damaged anything Yannick. Get the MF cloth and only ever touch one side (you have greasy fingers - we all have). Breathe on the lens and use the MF cloth to gently remove the condensation. Keep using a new bit of the cloth. When finished, wash the cloth in filtered (preferably) water using pure soap, rinse and leave to dry in a dust-free room. Fold up so that you only touch one side., You'll be fine, and so will the front element.

tom.
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Old February 20th, 2011, 08:31 AM   #11
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IMHO the best you can use is ROR lens cleaning fluid and Tiffen lens cleaning paper.
The problem with Microfiber cloths is they retain dust and oil. If you wash them, they are contaminated with detergent. Lens paper is disposable.
ROR is the best lens cleaner available, both Bausch & Lomb and NASA use it. Buy the dropper style.

Use this technique
First use a blower like a Giotto Rocket
place one or two drops of ROR on a piece of lens paper, not on the lens.
start at the center of the lens and work in circles to the outside
take a new piece of lens paper and dry it with the same motion, in circles starting at the center
take a third piece of lens paper and dry it again.
Never use your breath on a lens.
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