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Using distilled water and microfiber glasses cloth to clean lens.

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by colbycheese, Jun 26, 2013.

  1. colbycheese

    colbycheese Mu-43 Veteran

    378
    May 1, 2012
    Way up there.
    I was going to buy a lens cleaning kit but i have been busy and don't have the time. I do however have distilled water and a microfiber cloth. Is it safe to use these to clean a lens? About using water, is distilled water better to use then tap water? Also how would i go about wiping the lens surface. I think i will wet the cloth with distilled water and then gently rub the lens surface. What do you guys think?
     
  2. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Well, I guess it wasn't that long ago when microfiber cloths were the best thing to clean lenses with. I've got one in the shelf beside my desk here which I use to clean my glasses and stuff, which was originally from an old SLR maintenance kit. It's been SO long though since I've touched my glass with anything but a Lenspen. I highly suggest shelling out the $12 for a Lenspen and never have to bother with dirty glass cleaners again. :) I carry different sizes of them for different tasks, as well as a sensor type.
     
  3. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 19, 2010
    Boston
    I would not use any kind of water on my lens except in an absolute pinch. Get a proper cleaning kit.

    What are you trying to clean? Dust? Use a rocket blower or brush. Finger prints? Don't touch your lens, lol. Random accidental smudges. Proper kit.
     
  4. colbycheese

    colbycheese Mu-43 Veteran

    378
    May 1, 2012
    Way up there.
    All right. I guess i will just go get the lenspen. The closest camera store is quite far from my house so i guess i will just ignore the smudges because i suppose they don't effect image quality?
     
  5. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    The front element will take an awful lot before anything shows up in the image. ;) The rear element on the other hand, is a different story.
     
  6. colbycheese

    colbycheese Mu-43 Veteran

    378
    May 1, 2012
    Way up there.
    Ok. That is reassuring. I do have some specs of dust on my sensor. But my lens still seems clean on the back. I have another question about sensor dust. The Panasonic G3 has a dust reduction feature but when i use it nothing happens. What gives?
     
  7. GFFPhoto

    GFFPhoto Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 24, 2013
    :2thumbs:
     
  8. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 19, 2010
    Boston
    Lens pens are not magic. They can catch large particles, and then you grind your coatings. Wet cleaning with the right chemicals is always the best choice. Lens pen in a pinch, and make sure there's no hard particle involved.
     
  9. lenshoarder

    lenshoarder Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 7, 2010
    You should be absolutely fine with distilled water and a microfiber cloth. Water is far more benign than any of the solvents in lens cleaning fluid. The only time I would use a solvent is if it's a very greasy mark that needs it. That's rare since microfiber clothes are great at soaking up oily/greasy residue. Just don't use a supersoaker to spray the water. I would just lightly dampen the microfiber cloth with it.
     
  10. owczi

    owczi nareteV 34-uM

    I usually use good quality (UV) protection filters on my lenses - with a decent one like B+W you get no ghosting even in low light, they are quite tough so I normally wipe them with nothing but a cloth - if it's water or salt water especially, before it dries. I would normally use isopropyl based (most of the lens cleaning fluids) solutions on bare glass - but coatings are quite durable these days, so as long as it's not paint thinner and a brillo pad, you'll be OK.
     
  11. b_rubenstein

    b_rubenstein Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 20, 2012
    Melbourne, FL
    You folks are absolutely neurotic. Modern lens coatings are a lot tougher than you think they are.

    To clean a lens, first remove the particulates (so they don't get ground into the lens) with a blower or a clean brush. For a somewhat dirty lens, fogging it with your breath and wiping it clean with a clean microfiber cloth. For greasy, harder to remove crud, a little Windex on a lens tissue or microfiber cloth to remove the crud and then the microfiber to dry.

    I use filter for filtering and not as prophylactics. I haven't damaged a lens coating in over 40 years of using cameras.
     
  12. lenshoarder

    lenshoarder Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 7, 2010
    I mostly agree with you. I would change it to say that lens coatings are a lot tougher than you think they are. It has nothing to do with modern. Actually it has not much to do with the coating. It's the fact that's it's hard glass and not soft plastic under the coating.
     
  13. b_rubenstein

    b_rubenstein Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 20, 2012
    Melbourne, FL
    Old coatings on the same hard glass were easy to wear off. Coating technology has vastly changed since the 50's
     
  14. colbycheese

    colbycheese Mu-43 Veteran

    378
    May 1, 2012
    Way up there.
    so i am guessing that it would take a lot to scratch the lens. It is still bothering me a lot. Is it really difficult to scratch this lens? If i did, is it possible to repair it? How can i be sure they are scratches?
     
  15. b_rubenstein

    b_rubenstein Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 20, 2012
    Melbourne, FL
    You need a different hobby, or a therapist for your OCD.
     
  16. stratokaster

    stratokaster Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 4, 2011
    Kyiv, Ukraine
    Pavel
    I clean my lenses with microfiber cloth and screen cleaning liquid.

    For those who are concerned about scratching your lenses, please read this article: Dirty lens article It will literally open your eyes.
     
  17. Ross the fiddler

    Ross the fiddler Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    That sounds sensible. I use dishwashing liquid on my glasses, rinse them under warm water & then dry with a soft tissue with a beautifully clean result. They are plastic & that works well for that, so I think a little Windex applied with a tissue should be fine on the lenses, followed with a microfibre cloth. The only thing with a microfibre cloth is that it will eventually get greasy too & probably should be replaced because my attempts at cleaning them have not been as successful as I would have hoped.
     
  18. twalker294

    twalker294 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    543
    Aug 18, 2010
    You got that right. A couple of weeks ago I took some pics at my son's tae kwon do belt testing and when I looked at them on the computer I noticed that the white uniforms looked like they were glowing and the pics just weren't as sharp as they should be. I checked the lens (45/1.8) and there was a huge fingerprint covering almost the whole rear element. I cleaned them up as much as possible in OV3 but it took a lot of work and they aren't perfect by any means. Here is an example -- look at the instructor's uniform in the background:



    And that was after a lot of post processing.

    Moral of the story is check your lenses for cleanliness before you use them!
     
  19. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    I just wash mine when they get dirty. :/

    Yes, they do get greasy quick and are terrible when they're not clean. Wash 'em up though, and they work like new again. I usually just wash them by hand with soap. You'll see just how dirty the water gets when you wash 'em...

    PS, both microfiber cloths and lenspens are most effective when wet. Some will tell you to always wet a microfiber cloth before using it (though many still use them dry, including me - for glasses and stuff, since I use lenspens on lenses), and Lenspen suggests fogging up your lens before use if there's anything hard to get off. Damp usage is not only more effective, but also safer.
     
  20. b_rubenstein

    b_rubenstein Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 20, 2012
    Melbourne, FL
    Micro fiber cloths can be cleaned in the washing machine; just don't use fabric softener.