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Cleaning really filthy lenses

 
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woodplane



Joined: 20 Sep 2005
Posts: 33
Location: Chicago

PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2008 6:47 am    Post subject: Cleaning really filthy lenses Reply with quote

Hi all,
It's been a while since last I posted as I have been busy remodeling and life in general has kept me away. I recently acquired a few lenses from an estate sale. They were not well stored and show it. I cleaned a couple with Zeiss microscope lens cleaning tissues. The isopropyl alcohol evaporates too fast. I would like to use one of those tissues (not too) wet with a mild detergent solution. I don't want to get water where is should not be, but I also think I need to be very careful not to drag the grunge across the surface. Any better ideas?
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45PSS



Joined: 28 Sep 2001
Posts: 3160
Location: Mid Peninsula, Ca.

PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2008 9:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Start with a very soft brush and remove the loose dust and sand from the surface.
Next use the best lens cleaning cloth and your breath and wipe the lens spotless.
The best lens cleaning cloth, small.
The best lens cleaning cloth, large.

After using one of these all other microfiber cloths are just cloths.
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Henry



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 1427
Location: Allentown, Pennsylvania

PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2008 4:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What 45PSS said. Kodak (remember them?) used to market a lens cleaning solution (frightfully expensive!), which works well. Otherwise I use a drop of Windex® on the ragged end of a sheet of lens cleaning tissue rolled up and torn in two, and *lightly* go over the lens surfaces with the ragged end, finishing with the dry end. I once read (in a photo mag?) how to make your own lens cleaning solution; I think the formula was distilled water, with *tiny* amounts of liquid dish detergent and Photo-Flo. But if your breath vapors will do it, forget this other stuff is my advice.

I myself wouldn't use anything with alcohol in it, because I don't know what it will do to coatings or lens element cement.

You can blow the big lumps (dust specks, sand, boulders, etc.) off the lens surface with one of those combination lens brush/squeeze bulb thingys, but don't use the brush! I've found that they tend to scratch; a high-quality camel's hair artist brush is OK. Or use canned air. I used to have an ear syringe handy for the purpose. If there is something stuck to the surface, use the tip of a wooden toothpick very very very carefully to dislodge it.
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