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Old May 5, 2009, 4:20 PM   #1
Lazy Lens's Avatar
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This inquiry is regarding the bare lens (no protective filter).

I've ordered an FZ28K, my first digital camera, which hasn't yet arrived. I'm planning ahead and am wondering what you Panasonic owners use to clean your lenses.

I'm a former film SLR user who has no experience with Leica/Panasonic lenses. Do they require special consideration or should I clean it using "standard" methods?
The manual says:

• When there is dirt (water, oil, and fingerprints, etc.) on the surface of the lens, the picture may be affected. Lightly wipe the surface of the lens with a soft, dry cloth before and after taking pictures.
That may work for very mild cases, but for more stubborn deposits, do you prefer liquid solutions with swabs, lens tissues, microfiber cloth, dry type (LensPen) or what? And how about a blower brush (or regular brush) instead of a cloth for dust? Any special bristle type required?

What have you been using on your Pany lenses, particularly the FZ28 if you have one, and have you seen any adverse effects from your method of choice?
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Old May 5, 2009, 7:34 PM   #2
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I've cleaned mine exactly once, with a damp Zeiss lens tissue. No macroscopic harm was done as near as I can tell.

The best strategy is to keep your lens clean. You can blow off dust, but not fingerprints, so keep your fingers off the lens. That's not all that hard to do if you pay attention.

The Panny/Leica multicoating is not much different than anyone else's. But do you think the manufacturer is going to give you license, right in the user manual, to abuse the lens in any way you want?

Use common sense. Your lens will last a long time.
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Old May 16, 2009, 8:56 AM   #3
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I totally understand what you are asking. Although I cannot recommend the use of lens cleaners, I can share what I did to remedy the situation for me.

I too was extremely concerned about my lens for my new FZ30 (back in the day) and ordered a clear lense to go over the main lens. As soon as I pulled my new camera out of the box, I examined the main lense to be sure it was clean, used my little blow-brush to elemenate any dust and attached the clear lens right away. That is now the lens I clean. I never worry about the damage as good lens is always protected.

I have not experienced any change in picture quality. I've tried taking pics with and without to see any difference. None was observed so I continue to use the protective lens.

On occasion, I have done a cleaning job on my camera and used nothing more than an eyeglasses cloth on the lense with no chemicals and no adverse affects.

Congratulations on your new camera! I here it is a good one. Also, good luck on the care of your lenses.

Thanks for sharing your dilemma with us. I'll be looking forward to seeing some pics from the new camera soon.


Last edited by gotta.learn; May 16, 2009 at 9:01 AM.
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Old May 16, 2009, 2:19 PM   #4
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I've always dusted the lens off very well before dampening a cleaning cloth just enough to clean the lens of anything I got on it. I don't like using a protective lens and no matter how hard I try I get something on the lens. I wasn't aware that lens cleaning fluid would hurt the glass.

I always use the hood, so that helps quite a bit.
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Old May 17, 2009, 9:27 AM   #5
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It was always my understanding that some lens cleaner fluids could harm the lens coatings and that, in general, quality fluids do no harm. That said, I virtually never use them because they're not needed. My favorite, most convenient, and most effective method over the decades remains lens tissue and a huff of breath condensed on the lens. Of course that follows a good brushing to get the grit off. Surprisingly to me, lens tissue has been hard to find in my area...even in the camera/photography stores but once found I don't have to buy any for a long time.

I've found the lens pens to be effective and have detected no harm from their use. They're very good against very stubborn spots and are likewise very convenient. What is often called miracle fiber or micro fiber cloths are good too, again when used with a lens fogged by a huff of breath. But you must be very, very certain that the cloth is clean and free of grit.

But I rarely clean my lens..the most important part of lens hygiene is always in use and negates the need -- a skylight/uv filter. And cleaning such a filter has always struck me as being easier and less risky then doing the same with a lens.

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Old May 18, 2009, 2:55 AM   #6
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I bought a LensPen about a week ago at Fry's Electronics. I've seen this tool sold under a number of brands with varying slider/cylinder colors -- Carson (red), Eagle (grey), Hakuba (blue), Kodak (white), Nikon (yellow), Sima (red) and original Parkside (red). The one Fry's sells is the Hakuba. I suppose the color options can help one keep his/her bag/kit color-coordinated.

I had always used Kodak tissues with my film SLR lenses (protective filters, actually), but it seemed to me this might be too harsh for a bare lens. And I wanted to see if the LensPen lived up to the hype. I found that it does work wonders with fingerprints and inadvertent saliva droplets (from blowing on the glass a bit too enthusiastically and not pre-drying my lips).
Don't laugh, you know you've done it.

Unfortunately, the LensPen leaves behind carbon powder from the chamois tip. The tip can be used to push the powder to the periphery of the lens, but it doesn't pick it up off the lens well. I guess one shouldn't expect it to, since it is dry powder, afterall. I had to use the brush a second time to get rid of the powder.
Which brings me to point #2: I wish this tool came with a brush cap. Tossing this tool around, even into a supposedly clean bag, seems to be asking for it to get contaminants in the brush. Ok, so you can scrape the brush clean (maybe) before using on the lens, but what do you scrape it on? Fingers? Kinda defeats the purpose of keeping finger oils away. Some other object which could get grit/debris on it? No, it would have been better if it came with a fitted brush cap as well. I haven't found an item I can borrow a good-fitting cap from yet. I suppose a proper size vacuum line cap (auto parts store) might work, but I dunno how well it would stay on.
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Old May 18, 2009, 7:07 PM   #7
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I always use a UV Filter to protect my lenses, but Ive read that if you must clean a lens then the new PUROSOL molecular optical lens cleaner is miraculous. It is a new technology and it works so well that this product has gotten special note from Tomshardware.
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