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Old May 29, 2008, 6:41 AM   #1
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Hey everybody,

I think I'm being a little to anal about keeping my lenses clean so I thought I'd ask around. If I so much as get a few specs I'm cleaning my lens. I know you don't want it filthy, but when is too much? Secondly, I have a UV filter I keep on my lens and I have found it even harder to clean than my lens. When I hold it up to the light, 99% of the time it is streaked. What am I doing wrong? I'm using a clean cloth and lens cleaner. Do the streaks even matter really and there again I'm just wasting time? On the note of filters, do most of you use a UV for protection? I've heard arguments to use and not to use and I'm still torn on what I like.

Some input on this subject would be greatly appreciated. I'm overall new to owning a DSLR again (d40) and I've heard cleaning your lens too much can damage it. I want to ensure I get great pictures, but I also don't want to damage my equipment either.

Thanks in advance for the help.

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Old May 29, 2008, 2:11 PM   #2
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You can relax the cleaning. Most small smudges and spots, and even scratches won't cause image problems. It's ok to clean your lens, but you really only need to do it occassionally. I've heard some say that overcleaning can damage coatings, but i'm not convinced of this. Just use lens cleaning fluid (not any harsh alcohols or chemicals). Apply the cleaner to a soft cloth (I use microfiber), not directly on the lens, and wipe gently.

As far as filters, there are many threads on the subject. I personally don't use them and have never had any issues.
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Old May 29, 2008, 3:51 PM   #3
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Hey mdparker,
I too abandoned protective filters a few years ago. It just didn't make sense to me to put a $50.00 filter on an expensive, highly engineered piece of glass that already has many of the same protections that the filters claim to add (coatings for flare, etc..). As for cleaning, I only clean generally if there are smudges or obvious marks that may interfere with picture quality. Otherwise I just use a big blower to deal with dust, or a fine brush for those stubborn specs.
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Old May 29, 2008, 6:24 PM   #4
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Thanks Guys for your replies. I'm going to quit obsessing over a little dirt then and I'll dump my filter too. I'd been debating about whether to keep the filter or not as I felt there might have been a couple of times that the filter affected the quality of my pictures. If it did or not, I guess I can't say for certain, but I'd rather just not worry another piece of glass.

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Old Jun 7, 2008, 7:16 AM   #5
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Hi there,
re the lens cleaning and/or lens protection via filter.
I would like to add that this question also depends on what you are doing and where you are. For instance I live close to the beach and after an hours beachwalk the lens is coated with saltspray. This is not harmful, but it is far safer to have a cheaper filter continous cleaned than a very expensive lens. Similar while bushwalking I tripped and fell - having the camera around my neck the filter hit a rock (plus camera ofcourse) - needless to say it was cheaper to replace the filter...
cheers finzie
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Old Jun 14, 2008, 3:50 PM   #6
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I like to offer this when people claim there is no need for filters.


The discussion of filter vs no filter will never end, but don't make a hasty decision either way.

The Filter Connection sells a great lens and filter cleaning solution, and they give instructions on how do use it.


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Old Jun 16, 2008, 3:35 PM   #7
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I skip the UV filter - used to have problems cleaning and also getting condensation trapped between lens and filter.
I am very careful with my equipment - so am not concerned about cracking my lenses in the manner shown in the link.
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