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Lens cleaning, protection and storage

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by BillN, Feb 17, 2010.

  1. BillN

    BillN Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 19, 2010
    SW France
    Lens cleaning, protection and storage

    It would be good to get views on what others do and think.

    I’ll start it off

    1). I use a clear filter to protect the lens – but (always) take it off when shooting

    2). I use a “lens pen” to lightly push, (flick), dust specs off the lens

    3). If necessary, and I try to avoid it, I clean the lens with “hot breath” and one of those soft cloths used to clean glasses. I never use lens cleaning fluid

    4). I clean the lens body with a soft cloth and those lens tissues and very very occasionally, if needed, I use a little “lighter” fluid on a cotton bud to clean any dirt.

    5). Storage – I know I need to be careful here – the best I can do is to store lenses in good cardboard boxes, (new ones bought for the purpose), in my study - in groups of about 6 to 8 to a box, (I have quite a few MF lenses)
    I get them out fairly regularly – but if I did not, I would let them “see the light of day” every few months
    (fungus is the danger and I have read that if you do keep them in the dark that this will cause fungus).

    I have given up with film – the more paranoid that you are the more than you realise that from manufacturer to shop, (now-a-days – a hot supermarket), to home, that they will have been through a great temperature range.

    Appreciate your comments and tips – I like to keep my stuff in the best possible condition that I can
     
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  2. Iansky

    Iansky Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 26, 2009
    The Cotswolds, UK
    Following on from Bill.

    I still follow old habits to a degree.

    On my Leica lenses I always use a filter but admit to not using filters on the Pany lenses for the GF1.

    I do try and look after my camera/lens combination very carefully and always have a very clean & soft chamois leather in my camera bag, I use this before going on a shoot to clean front and rear elements and another piece to wipe body housing and then wipe down after shoot - I have always practiced this with my camera kit and it has served me well over the years.

    I keep my lenses in soft pouches (came with lens) and in my padded water resistant bag.

    I am probably going to invest in some UV filters for the lenses, especially as we are going to visit daughter in Dubai next month and they do have some fierce sand storms so don't want my kit/elements sand blasting!
     
    • Like Like x 1
  3. spark

    spark Mu-43 Regular

    28
    Feb 8, 2010
    Toronto
    If you always take the filter off when shooting, wouldn't a lens cap suffice? I'm fairly new to SLR photography, so I'm just wondering.

    Thanks
     
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Bill Gordon

    Bill Gordon Mu-43 Top Veteran

    that was a good observation on your part, of course, that is what a lens cap is for. I do not use filters of any kind.
     
  5. BillN

    BillN Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 19, 2010
    SW France

    (a Canadian conspiracy)

    no no no - not for me - I always get my "greasy" fingers in the way

    I always use a lens cap as well - just double protection.....as the actress said to the Bishop
     
    • Like Like x 1
  6. spark

    spark Mu-43 Regular

    28
    Feb 8, 2010
    Toronto
    I have a UV filter as a protector and don't remove it when shooting, but was wondering if I should. I also use a lens cap when not shooting.

    Good to know what others are doing. :)
     
  7. BillN

    BillN Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 19, 2010
    SW France
    psychologically you must take better images with the filter removed - when that "expensive glass" is exposed to the elements - that's what I think anyway
     
  8. Iansky

    Iansky Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 26, 2009
    The Cotswolds, UK
    There will always be an added element of diffraction when using any filter as it is another layer of glass that has not been designed specifically for the lens and is not seated as another element but as an additional layer for the light to travel through.

    Some filters are better than others but come at a price - BW have always been one of the market leaders with filters coated to reduce negative impact on the final image.

    It is a personal choice that involves an element of risk and consideration:

    1. Use filter and possibly protect front element against marks/scratches/damage.
    2. No filter sharper/clearer images but more risk from marks etc.

    It all comes down to choices and how you use, carry and store you lenses.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  9. Bill Gordon

    Bill Gordon Mu-43 Top Veteran

    I REALLY LIKE YOUR HUMOUR BILL!
     
    • Like Like x 1
  10. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    The funny thing about the filter debate is that when I bought my Olympus 90-250mm 4/3s lens, it actually came with an Olympus filter. I'd bought a B&W MRC filter to suit the lens before I got it, but decided to use the Olympus one instead.

    After the first day out shooting sport with the 90-250mm, I wasn't happy with the filter; very hard to clean and keep clean. So when I got back home, I ran a few tests comparing the Olympus filter vs the B&W. I could see no difference at all in image quality. So on went the B&W and I've been happy ever since.

    The moral of the story? If Olympus deems it OK to put a filter on a lens as expensive as the 90-250mm, then I reckon it's OK to put a filter on any other lens and not worry about image degradation. As long as the filter is high quality. :smile:

    Cheers

    Ray
     
  11. jhob

    jhob Mu-43 Veteran

    I always use a protective filter on my lenses and have settled on using kenko PRO-1D filters. They are identical to hoya filters, just cheaper. I also like that they are thin.

    When I was looking for a protective filter for my GF1 20mm pancake I found that the PRO-1D filters are not available in the 46mm filter size so I just got a 'standard' kenko digital UV filter.

    I did once have a filter designed for film cameras mounted to a 28-200 lens which put a herringbone pattern on the recorded image, this has put me off using non-digital filters, I'm not sure who the manufacturer of this filter was.

    Other than that my lens care routine is to periodically clean the filter/front element with hot breath and a lens cleaning tissue having first used a rocket blower to remove the worst of the dust. I will also visually inspect the rear element and if it looks dirty/dusty I will clean this. I only clean the elements if they look dirty as I'm of the opinion that it is best to avoid any contact where possible so if it doesn't look like it needs a clean, it doesn't get one. I will usually give it a couple of blows with the rocket just for good measure anyway.

    My lenses live either mounted to a camera or in one of my padded camera bags. All get used pretty regularly.
     
  12. squeegee

    squeegee Mu-43 Veteran

    403
    Jan 26, 2010
    hey just wondering, how did you test the filters?

    I just bought a Hoya HMC clear filter for my 17mm lens. I did a few simple tests with and without the filter and I can't see any image quality difference at all with or without the filter. I was thinking of doing a more methodical test but I haven't had time yet.

    I prefer using a filter just because I seem to end up in non-ideal conditions for fragile things. I wanted to know the cost in terms of image quality though so I'm planning my tests.

    P.S. I read your other posts about B&W filters v.s. the rest, but for the price I couldn't resist giving the hoya a try, the hoya HMC was $10 where as the B&W's are about $45. (CAD)
     
  13. squeegee

    squeegee Mu-43 Veteran

    403
    Jan 26, 2010
    isn't lighter fluid highly corrosive? (maybe corrosive isn't the right word... plastic melting, paint dissolving, rubber seal crustifying, etc).
     
  14. BillN

    BillN Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 19, 2010
    SW France
    another Canadian - that's three of them ganging up on me

    Lighter Fluid - no idea - but it burns well

    seriously - I'll have to check now that you have mentioned it - I only use a small amount - it evaporates very quickly - "poof" and it's gone
     
  15. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    What I did was take a letter that had text and other fine print on it (an electricity bill from memory) and took multiple shots of it at varying apertures and from varying distances on a tripod, with and without a filter. This was using an E3 and 35-100mm lens, so I was using the highest quality system that I could get. I compared a B&W MRC, Hoya HMC and even a HOYA skylight filter (no idea where that one came from). I didn't have any Hoya Pro filters for comparison.

    When I evaluated the RAW shots in PS, the B&W filters weren't really distinguisable from shots taken without a filter, but the Hoya shots clearly showed loss of reolution; things like the bar code started to fuse together and overall the clarity just wasn't there. I didn't do any flare tests etc, as I simply didn't see any point.

    The other thing of note was that it took significantly more time and effort to get the Hoya filters as clean as possible for the test; something that took no time or effort with the B&W. This is an additional reason why I've stuck with B&W, Hoya filters just aren't as easy to clean and keep clean in the field. I haven't tried the Hoya pro filters, so maybe these will perform a lot better, but they still don't have the MRC coating of the B&Ws.

    Cheers

    Ray