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Old Feb 16, 2009, 1:29 PM   #1
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Surely there is a better way than using those small "sheets" you get for free from buying, wellanything related to a camera.By the time I'mfinished with that sheet it's the size of qtip or something!
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Old Feb 16, 2009, 3:15 PM   #2
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For light work, I use a microfiber cloth that also happens to be 18% gray so I can use it for custom white balance. Something like this: http://www.adorama.com/CPCEG.html

For intermediate work, I use a Lens Pen. See http://www.adorama.com/HAKALP1.html

For sit-down-and-spend-the-afternoon-cleaning-lenses, I use Q-Tips and distilled water, maybe with a little ethyl alcohol. See http://www.luxco.com/public/brands/b...asp?brandid=21

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Old Feb 16, 2009, 3:54 PM   #3
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Always start with the least lens contact possible. A blower (not your breath) is the first thing to try - no way can you scratch the lens that way. If you use your breath, there is a chance of getting some mucus on the lens that would glue down some dirt.

If you use one of the blower-brush combinations, *NEVER* touch the brush with your fingers. A bit of oil on the brush could hold some sand/grit and really don't want that.

Whatever you are using, do not bear down hard with it. If something isn't getting the dirt off, move up the list TCav gave.
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Old Feb 16, 2009, 4:59 PM   #4
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Of course, there are those here that will freely admit to using a shirtsleeve or T-Shirt to clean lenses in the field.

As with anything else, you should put lens cleaning in perspective. A lens has to get pretty dirty before the dirt adversely affects image quality. Dirt on or in the lens can't be in focus, and so is almost always invisible. But at some point, dirt will limit the amount of light that can get through the lens.

The only real danger is when the dirt chemically alters the lens coatings, or your attempts to remove the dirt scars the lens coatings.
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Old Feb 16, 2009, 9:59 PM   #5
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Thanks for the feedback. I guess I will have to check wolf camera and see what they have.
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Old Feb 17, 2009, 2:09 PM   #6
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TCav wrote:
Quote:
Of course, there are those here that will freely admit to using a shirtsleeve or T-Shirt to clean lenses in the field.
...
That is an especially effective technique if done in the midst of a sandstorm.

I agree with TCav: don't get carried away with cleaning your lens. A bit of a smear isn't likely to be so bad that it cannot wait until you get home to deal with it.
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Old Feb 17, 2009, 2:38 PM   #7
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One additional piece of advice - don't clean until you have to. In reality you can have a lot of specs on a lens and you'll never see it in your photos. Don't be bothered by seeing a spec on your lens if it doesn't affect the photos. Then I agree with Bill:

1. BLower first - I prefer a rocket blower, the cheap tiny blowers in those kits are not good enough. The blower works well for cleaning sensor too.

2. Lipstick style brush

3. Microfiber cloth

4. Lens solution with tissue followed by microfiber

Option 4 occurs maybe once a year for me - maybe.
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Old Feb 17, 2009, 2:49 PM   #8
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oh - I forgot - the use of lens hoods is also good in keeping the front element clean. Less on ultrawides (where the hood isn't very deep) but as the lens gets longer the hood gets deeper and does a very effective job of protecting the front element.
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Old Feb 17, 2009, 3:16 PM   #9
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TCav wrote:
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Of course, there are those here that will freely admit to using a shirtsleeve or T-Shirt to clean lenses in the field.
http://forums.steves-digicams.com/fo...amp;forum_id=2

Note the post from Steve in that thread. ;-) Sorry, I couldn't resist.

I do the same thing (especially if it's a bad smudge, and I can see the impact it's having on my photos reviewing them on the camera's LCD). That happens from time to time. For a bit of dust, I don't bother.

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Old Feb 19, 2009, 6:55 PM   #10
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I was meant to ask this question as well.

Thanks for the inputs.
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