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Lens cleaning

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Viewing 13 posts - 1 through 13 (of 13 total)
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  • #1366
    Teffy
    Participant

    I’ve just gotten my first camera that is not a point and shoot and I’m really excited about it.. but I’ve already managed to get a fingerprint on the lens and I feel really stupid about it. but anyway, I was wondering if anyone has any suggestions for cleaning lenses without scratching them or leaving, say, watermarks behind? I just don’t want to ruin my brand new shiny new camera and lens.

    #18021
    Claff
    Participant

    I just breathe on em and wipe em with my shirt.

    It’s pretty liberating when you buy cheap stuff, you don’t get hung up on stuff like this.

    For lens protection and maybe even some photo enhancement, consider picking up a filter to screw onto the front of the lens. If you scuff one of those up, it’s cheap money and 60 seconds to replace compared to having to replace the whole lens.

    #18022
    linguine
    Participant

    Theres all sorts of cloths blowers and brushes that are usually pretty cheap that you can get to keep your lens clean. But like Claff said, just getting a uv filter is a cheap way to protect your lens.

    #18023
    caradoc
    Participant

    I find lens hoods help protect the front element better than a UV filter.

    If the filter breaks, you now have shards of glass scratching the hell out of your lens coating. And cheap filters do Bad Things to images – poor coatings lead to weird flares and reflections.

    Why spend $1000 on a solid piece of awesome glass only to screw up your images with a cheap filter?

    And good filters are expensive…

    So, with a lens hood, I generally do not use any filters at all unless I need them for the shot – like a CPL or GND.

    #18024
    Teffy
    Participant

    Ok, thanks for the advice everyone!

    #18025
    soosh
    Participant

    I totally agree with caradoc with regard to filters. I don’t use them for protection at all.

    Get some microfiber cloths, some lens paper, and some Eclipse cleaning fluid. Eventually you’re going to need to give your lenses a good cleaning.

    My other suggestion is to get neoprene lens pouches for each of your lenses. They pad them nicely and keep them protected when not in use. There’s a brand called Zing that makes good ones, as does OpTech.

    And don’t stress too much over the surface of your lenses. Use the hell out of them. If you ever have to replace a front element, you’ll feel much better about doing so if you’ve gotten a lot of use out of the lens than if you’ve kept it hidden and pristine.

    #18026
    Analogy
    Participant

    Why spend $1000 on a solid piece of awesome glass only to screw up your images with a cheap filter?

    And good filters are expensive…

    If you can afford the $1k for awesome glass, you can afford a good quality filter. =D I personally consider things like carrying cases, filters, etc part of the cost of the gear rather than considering them add-ons. It’s not “This lens will cost $1k, the filter will cost $50, etc” it’s “this lens will cost me $1100.”

    As for getting a fingerprint off your front element… Some lens cleaning fluid and a microfiber cloth should do you good. Make sure it’s actual lens cleaning fluid, as anything else may take your lens’ anti-reflective coating with it.

    #18027
    caradoc
    Participant

    If you can afford the $1k for awesome glass, you can afford a good quality filter.

    Exactly. A good quality filter isn’t a piece of glass designed as a disposable protection system.

    Lens tissue, a good cleaning solution (typically pure methanol), a microfiber cloth, and a decent blower will work wonders in most cases.

    Blower first. Get the loose crap off so you’re not grinding it into the lens or coating.

    Then follow up with gentle cleaning with the tissue and solution.

    Then a final wipe with the clean microfiber.

    #18028
    DeaconBlues
    Participant

    My vote is for a UV filter. Since the lens is brand new, take it to a photo shop this once to get them to clean it, just to ensure that it is spotless. Then screw on a good quality UV filter on and NEVER take it off. Neither my father or I have ever broken a filter, so unless you are INCREDIBLY rough with your gear, that is not a concern. A UV filter is a useful filter to have on your lens in nearly all situations, as well as the fact that it protects your investment. It also creates a seal that keeps dust off of your front element. Also, if you were to somehow screw up while cleaning, a filter is a lot easier and cheaper to replace than a lens. If you need another filter, just screw the second filter straight on to the UV filter. Unless you are shooting with a fisheye, you won’t have any vignetting from having two filters stacked. I have a couple of lenses that have UV filters on them that have not been removed since the mid eighties, and the lenses are still perfect. I have never regretted having a UV filter on a lens, and it even saved one of my lenses once while i was out in the middle of nowhere and had a bit of an encounter with a tree. The filter got scratched to hell, but the lens was not affected.

    #18029
    caradoc
    Participant

    I have never regretted having a UV filter on a lens, and it even saved one of my lenses once while i was out in the middle of nowhere and had a bit of an encounter with a tree.

    I’ve regretted filters on many occasions – until I quit using them.

    Internal reflections suck, and with as much night and lightning photography as I do, there’s no coating in the world that’ll absolutely prevent them.

    #18030
    Analogy
    Participant

    It also creates a seal that keeps dust off of your front element.

    Just a note about this… I’ve noticed dust ending up on my front element occasionally despite having a filter. I have no idea how it got there.

    #18031
    Teffy
    Participant

    dust gets everywhere. It’s like sand when you come back from the beach.. you’ve NO idea how it got into some places, but somehow you’ve carried the beach home on your person 😉

    #18032
    FutherMucker
    Participant

    I have always disliked UV filters…A blower, and a quality microfiber cloth is all that I currently use…If your smudge is an oily one, and the above mentioned only smears the blemish, a quality solution is often the only cure….Rub in a circular motion from center to rim…Hold at an angle to light so that you can see any residue/streaks left behind, and spot-treat with the point of your finger, under the cloth, to finish the job…..I used a UV filter for one outing….The haze it caused was not acceptable, and required extra adjustments in PhotoShop…Careful handling of your expensive gear is priority #1…Personally, the use of a UV filter is about as silly as wearing a hockey helmet while playing a round of golf.

    /*Of course, this statement only applies to shooting under “normal” conditions….If you find yourself in extreme conditions, a UV filter might be a wise decision.*

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