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  1. #1

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    Lens cleaning solution recipes

    What kind of solutions do you use for lens cleaning?

    I have found that pure isopropanol commonly suggested easily leaves some spots or stains after wiping with it.
    I have now tried a following recipe which is also suggested for cleaning stains from negatives:

    90 ml isopropanol
    0.5 ml 25% ammonia
    9.5 ml water

    Works better than pure isopropanol and I hope the dilute ammonia is safe for lens coatings.
    Anyway, it still easily leaves drying spots and the surface seems to gather dust very easily. My chemicals and water were pure.
    I think some of the commercial lens cleaners have quite a lot of detergent in them, which helps to avoid visible drying spots and also leave a thic coat which prevents fogging.
    Prehaps I should add some surface tension lowering chemical like Ilfosol into my cleaning solution?

    Anyone with ideas or good recipes?

  2. #2
    donbga's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ekjt
    What kind of solutions do you use for lens cleaning?

    I have found that pure isopropanol commonly suggested easily leaves some spots or stains after wiping with it.
    I have now tried a following recipe which is also suggested for cleaning stains from negatives:

    90 ml isopropanol
    0.5 ml 25% ammonia
    9.5 ml water

    Works better than pure isopropanol and I hope the dilute ammonia is safe for lens coatings.
    Anyway, it still easily leaves drying spots and the surface seems to gather dust very easily. My chemicals and water were pure.
    I think some of the commercial lens cleaners have quite a lot of detergent in them, which helps to avoid visible drying spots and also leave a thic coat which prevents fogging.
    Prehaps I should add some surface tension lowering chemical like Ilfosol into my cleaning solution?

    Anyone with ideas or good recipes?
    Here's an old fashioned formula.

    1) Dust the lens surface throughly.
    2) Fog the surface of the lens with your breath.
    3) Lightly clean the moisture with a Kodak lens cleaning tissue.

    Works every time.

    Don Bryant

  3. #3
    edz
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    Quote Originally Posted by ekjt
    What kind of solutions do you use for lens cleaning?

    I have found that pure isopropanol commonly suggested easily leaves some spots or stains after wiping with it.
    I might suggest that you don't have a good enough quality. You want "pure" IPA.
    I have now tried a following recipe which is also suggested for cleaning stains from negatives:

    90 ml isopropanol
    0.5 ml 25% ammonia
    9.5 ml water
    I use a mix of IPA, Aqua Dest. and a very tiny bit of Agfa Agepon (1:1000). The mix of IPA and Agepon (can also use Kodak's wetting agent or even Triton-X) is "superwetting" and do to the high amount of IPA also quick drying. I use a combination of it, sometimes pure IPA and breath.
    With front surface mirrors I'll sometimes pull out the acetone but rarely (and NEVER for anything mounted)....

    Works better than pure isopropanol and I hope the dilute ammonia is safe for lens coatings.
    Might and might not be but that's pretty much what the Kodak lens cleaner is (well, Ammonium carbonate, water and some wetting agent)..
    Edward C. Zimmermann
    BSn R&D // http://www.nonmonotonic.net

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by edz
    I might suggest that you don't have a good enough quality. You want "pure" IPA.
    Thanks, it seems that I am on the right track. My IPA is 99,7% analytical grade from BDH. Water and ammonia are also of similar quality. I think that my stains are just excess dirt which didn't wash away. I started experimenting because pure IPA wasn't the optimal solvent. I am somethimes guilty of wiping fogged binoculars and UV filters of camera lenses with wet fingers or not so clean fabrics. So it is dirt.

    Quote Originally Posted by edz
    I use a mix of IPA, Aqua Dest. and a very tiny bit of Agfa Agepon (1:1000). The mix of IPA and Agepon (can also use Kodak's wetting agent or even Triton-X)
    Do you happen to know what agepon exactly is? I was actually planning to try SDS or Triton-x 100 next, but maybe I just add a drop or two of agepon or ilfosol.

  5. #5
    edz
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    Quote Originally Posted by ekjt
    Do you happen to know what agepon exactly is? I was actually planning to try SDS or Triton-x 100 next, but maybe I just add a drop or two of agepon or ilfosol.
    Exactly? Of course not.. but according to Agfa's MSDS its a mix of wetting agent with sulfonic acid [probably something like 2-phenylbenzimidazole-5-sulfonic acid to block UV], sodium salts and sodium benzoate (1-5%) [this is typically a preservative].
    Edward C. Zimmermann
    BSn R&D // http://www.nonmonotonic.net

  6. #6

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    Use eyeglass cleaning wipes.

    While cooking up your own recepies might be fun, I just use those glasses cleaners that come in little foil packets. As most eyeglasses now have plastic lenses with some sort of coatings (UV, anti-scratch) they're very gentle and won't hurt any photogaphic lens coatings. In my case, I get all I want from my office supply as we also use them for cleaning computer screens. Skip

  7. #7

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    I dust my lenses with a sable hair brush,fog it with my breath then polish with a micro fiber cloth. The MF cloth doesn't leave any microscopic cleaning marks (like lens tissue) and can be purchased on the cheap at your local "friendly" optometrist. I get mine for $1.00 per sheet as compared to $12.00 from certain large photo supply shops.
    Less is best when it comes to cleaning lenses.

    Mike

  8. #8

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    cleaning

    After recieving some lenses back from Schneider and being truly amazed at how clean the lenses were I called the repair department. They told me to use 99%
    isopropyl alcohol. Just put on with a Kimwipe and blow on it.Keep wiping with a second cloth to really get it sparkling. I still have the remainder of a gallon after about 5 years. Obviously if there is huge dirt you need to get rid of it first.
    Best,Peter

  9. #9
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    I have no doubt that many of these recipies are as good or better than the store-bought stuff... but I just wonder why someone would skimp here. No matter how much it costs, the lens cleaning solution is a drop in the bucket - and you are using it to clean your multi-hundred (sometimes thousand) dollar lenses... I just tend to err on the side of caution. I have used the Canon "kit", and it works very well for me. I do have to admit, the stuf smells and looks like something I could mix up with what I already have in the kitchen cupboard... but I am chicken!

  10. #10

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    I like diy stuff as well and have mixed my own lens cleaner in the past with good results. Well, until I found Rexton Optyl-7 lens cleaner. It is the best stuff i've ever used. I believe NASA even uses it on the shuttle. I use it to clean my tv and monitor screens, dvds/cds, photographs and yes, lenses too. It leaves no residue behind and is extremely safe to use (no harsh detergents, etc.)



 

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