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View Full Version : Lens and Filter Cleaning Techniques



GabOrcinus
01-02-2006, 12:45 PM
This (http://buydig.com/shop/product.aspx?sku=SAKCLK) is the lens cleaner that shipped with my FZ5. Unless I'm doing something terribly wrong, this is the WORST product out there. There was a small speck on my lens, so I applied a couple of drops to the cloth, cleaned the lens in circular motion and then dried it with a dry part of the same cloth. It's now much more smudged than before. I've tried cleaning it without drying it too, but it dries in uneven patterns. The fluid contains Isopropyl alcohol and water.

These are the before and after pics, respectively:

http://img266.imageshack.us/img266/6759/00018at.jpg (http://imageshack.us)

http://img266.imageshack.us/img266/2289/00020kw.jpg (http://imageshack.us)

What can I do to remedy this? Could someone give me some cleaning tips and recommendations? Also, how can I clean a filter? I have a UV filter and I'm scared of cleaning it after what happened to my lens. I don't want to think I ruined my camera.

WildWinds
01-02-2006, 10:38 PM
For cleaning my filters I use a soft cloth (Cut up cotton shirt works for me) or a lens cleaning cloth (You can typically buy one at stores that carry photo supplies) If there is a spot that is hard to get off I use the liquid cleaner for glasses. I haven't cleaned my lens yet doing this (just my filters) but you would probably want to spray it onto the cloth beforehand then clean the lens (make sure there isn't any dust on the lens beforehand to avoid scratching it). One thing I suggest strongly you get is a Lens Pen, it's just a brush that is used to brush dust off the lens/filters without having to contact the lens with a cloth.

GabOrcinus
01-06-2006, 02:13 PM
Thanks. I used my breath and a worn out cotton shirt and got out about 80% of the grease left by the lens cleaning fluid.

The resulting image is so much better now:

http://img225.imageshack.us/img225/4886/fhghj6oc.jpg

Is there any special care I should take with filters? Should I use lens fluid on them too or will breath+cloth do the trick? What precautions should I take with protecting its coating?

Phill D
01-06-2006, 11:54 PM
I use a calotherm micro fibre cloth bought from Dixons for about 2 on my lens & it seems to work fine. I also got a lens pen from Jessops as a Christmas present (about 10 I think) it has a soft brush at one end & a soft cleaning fluid damp pad at the other. I used the pad on my LCD as a trial & was very impressed. Haven't ventured to try it on the lens yet, thought I'd keep it for desperate situations should they arrise.

Spot focus
01-10-2006, 12:32 AM
According to my local chemist or pharmacy Isopropyl alcohol is "oily" :eek: he suggested pure alcohol or methanol for lens cleaning

GabOrcinus
01-10-2006, 10:52 AM
According to my local chemist or pharmacy Isopropyl alcohol is "oily" :eek: he suggested pure alcohol or methanol for lens cleaning
That would explain A LOT! Shouldn't this product be taken out of the market then? Buydig includes it in every digital camera kit!

Ps: Is it ok to discuss specific brands and websites here or should I remove the link?

kai
01-11-2006, 08:22 PM
is it allowed to clean on teh inside of the filter?? i find its a bit rubbery like a first.. this is on my B+W uv filter... am i wipping the coating off????

erichlund
01-16-2006, 12:36 PM
I use a calotherm micro fibre cloth bought from Dixons for about 2 on my lens & it seems to work fine. I also got a lens pen from Jessops as a Christmas present (about 10 I think) it has a soft brush at one end & a soft cleaning fluid damp pad at the other.


I used the pad on my LCD as a trial & was very impressed. Haven't ventured to try it on the lens yet, thought I'd keep it for desperate situations should they arrise.

I would have thought that last part was backwards. I'd be much more inclined to use it on a lens than on the fragile sensor filters in my camera.

WildWinds
01-20-2006, 11:40 AM
I don't think there is any technique you'd use to clean filters. All I can think of is to make 100% sure there isn't any dust (especially when using a dry cloth) on the lens or filter so it doesn't leave a large scratch, other than that I would suggest using a microfiber or soft cloth and if absolutely necessary liquid. I personally only use a cloth or liquid when there is a spot on the glass I can't remove otherwise. Other than that I just use the lens pen for dust. Another thing that might help you is the aerosol cans of air used to clean keyboards and electronics, although this product wants to occassionally spray moisture instead of air :confused: so I don't use it all too often.

If you don't already have one I'd recommend a filter that you can keep on all the time to avoid getting stuff on the lens. After all it's a lot easier to clean the filter, and makes you feel a lot better ;) Plus it keeps things like pet hair from getting in the camera itself and causing problems. I use a UV filter I virtually never remove, and when I do I have another filter going on.

Haven't tried alcohol as a cleaning agent yet, anyone have tips on how to use it, does it work good?

One thing about using your breath on the lens is that it may cause condensation on the other side.

GabOrcinus
01-20-2006, 12:41 PM
I do have a UV filter that I have on the adapter all the time. But before I got it, I found a fingerprint on my lens, so I used the fluid I mentioned above and really messed up by trusting the product. The thing is, I still have my lens smudged and it's noticeable in long exposure night shots. I won't use the fluid again, that's a given. I tried breath and it helped a lot, but didn't get it all.

About filters, the reason I asked was because I didn't want to use soap (:eek: ) or anything else, before knowing if it damaged the coating. So my question would be, what can I use without ruining the filter's coating?

But even if I damage the coating, my filter's main reason to be is to protect my lens, so no problem there. I only take it off when using the flash.

WildWinds
01-20-2006, 05:14 PM
I understand what you mean. Eyeglasses cleaner worked really good for my filters, although I'm not sure if it messes with the coating or not, I don't think it does because most glasses have coatings on them for anti-scratch and no reflection etc. Sorry I can't help you more :o

kai
01-20-2006, 09:52 PM
some photography stores carry a chamois for cleaning. If you can get a real leather chamois and its pretty high quality, it does a real good job of clean lenses and filters. It even gets the grease off. Note do not use the same chamois for your car..

Phill D
01-20-2006, 09:54 PM
Ericlund no I didn't use it on the sensor as I only have a P&S camera it was the viewing LCD display on the back I tried it out on.

E-X-E
01-21-2006, 09:53 PM
This (http://buydig.com/shop/product.aspx?sku=SAKCLK) is the lens cleaner that shipped with my FZ5. Unless I'm doing something terribly wrong, this is the WORST product out there. There was a small speck on my lens, so I applied a couple of drops to the cloth, cleaned the lens in circular motion and then dried it with a dry part of the same cloth. It's now much more smudged than before. I've tried cleaning it without drying it too, but it dries in uneven patterns. The fluid contains Isopropyl alcohol and water.

These are the before and after pics, respectively:

http://img266.imageshack.us/img266/6759/00018at.jpg (http://imageshack.us)

http://img266.imageshack.us/img266/2289/00020kw.jpg (http://imageshack.us)

What can I do to remedy this? Could someone give me some cleaning tips and recommendations? Also, how can I clean a filter? I have a UV filter and I'm scared of cleaning it after what happened to my lens. I don't want to think I ruined my camera.
OH MY GOD, i used the exact same product and got the exact result
this product totally messed my lens

jnev
01-22-2006, 10:21 AM
is it bad if i breathe warm air on my lens and then wipe it off with a soft cloth? this was suggested to me by a long-time photographer (10+ years)...

WildWinds
01-24-2006, 01:01 PM
I've known spots to appear on the lens after this. I'm not sure if it was because of the condensation on the lens or some other reason. My camera manual (Panasonic) says to avoid temperature extremes as it can cause fogging/condensation on the lens but it also says below that if fog/condensation does appear on the lens to wait until it disappears before taking photos.

Your breath is humid and carries moisture so whenever you transfer your breath on to your lens it would be like putting water on the lens, no? When you don't wipe that water off it dries and makes a waterspot. But if the water is on the *inside* of the lens then how do you clean it or wipe it off?

Not sure. I'll let you judge, but I wouldn't do it to my camera.