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  1. #21
    nsurit's Avatar
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    Everybody gasp at once. I use a retractable make up brush I bought at a beauty supply store to knock any dust off. I then take a cotton ball (real 100% cotton ratheer than the synthetic stuff) tear it in half. Dampen one half with denatured alcohol (not rubbing alcohol) that I get at the local home store in the paint department. It is also use as fuel for gas stoves on boats. I clean the lens with the dampened piece and then use the dry piece to dry it with. For both operations I use a circular motion starting in the center and not much pressure. Bill Barber

  2. #22
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    I sometimes use Scotch tape, the magic type. Just stick it to the lens and when you pull it off it is left very clean and clear. No residue and it will even take off some oils. Don't believe me then try it on some old lens you don't care about. It won't take off coating.

    Otherwise I use breath and q-tips.
    Dennis

  3. #23

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    Wouldn't alcohol attack the metal oxide coatings?

  4. #24

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    has anyone tried the polymer cleaner OPTI-CLEAN? I've read you brush it on like nail polish & after it cures you pull the film off leaving an ultra clean lens.

  5. #25
    DaveOttawa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike1234 View Post
    Wouldn't alcohol attack the metal oxide coatings?
    No.

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by jime11 View Post
    has anyone tried the polymer cleaner OPTI-CLEAN? I've read you brush it on like nail polish & after it cures you pull the film off leaving an ultra clean lens.
    I've tried a similar product on precision optical surfaces, IMO while it might work for camera lenses it would be far too fiddly for most people. It is a way to absolutely avoid scratches but the scratch risk is low using most of the techniques people have already described in this thread.

  7. #27
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    No: Canned air Isopropyl alcohol Many other things Yes: Naphtha Denatured alcohol Distilled water Canned air, besides having a risk of blowing propellant on the lens, cools and creates condensation. It also moves very fast and any minute particles in the way will be rushing by your lens at breakneck speeds. Do you really want that? Isopropyl alcohol is not pure. 99% pure is still not pure. It's also rather harsh and can do damage to the lens. Naphtha is found in Zippo lighter fluid. http://www.zippocasemuseum.com//inde...productdetails Anyway, this is a far more comprehensive guide to lens cleaning. Most of what I've already said is pulled from here - http://fallisphoto.deviantart.com/journal/6659543/

  8. #28
    DaveOttawa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Qoph View Post
    Most of what I've already said is pulled from here - http://fallisphoto.deviantart.com/journal/6659543/
    There is a certain amount of nonsense in the link (particularly: "The haze is oil and grease that has been hydrolized (made water soluable). ") but some sense as well in the actual recommended technique. Another point made in the comments is that older cameras may have coatings on the lenses that are much softer and more prone to damge than modern coatings, in the case of an old(probably pre-1970s) camera you would want to proceed very carefully indeed and ideally stay with just brushing or blowing off dust to avoid removing the coating.

  9. #29
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    Sorry about the poor formatting on my last post. I was stuck using the "wap" site theme which is very much inoperable. Anyhow, naphtha does that to fingerprints (hydrolyses them). That's what he's talking about. I don't know if you thought he meant something else, but I've been assured by multiple sources that this is what it does.

    Incidentally, I do have very old lenses (and cameras). Fujica ST801 and Mamiya/Sekor 500 DTL. However, I would expect people to be careful regardless of the age of the lens. No sense in marring the elements with "too much love" just because it's made to be more durable.

    By the way, Charles (the person in my previously provided link) is a vintage and antique camera restorer. He has over 100 pieces in his collection. In case anyone is interested in his qualifications.

  10. #30
    DaveOttawa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Qoph View Post
    ...Anyhow, naphtha does that to fingerprints (hydrolyses them). That's what he's talking about. I don't know if you thought he meant something else, but I've been assured by multiple sources that this is what it does.

    "Hydrolysis is a chemical reaction during which one or more water molecules are split into hydrogen and hydroxide ions, which may go on to participate in further reactions."

    Source: Wikipedia, citing the Compendium of Chemical Terminology (IUPAC).

    Saying naptha causes hydrolysis is therefore nonsense since naptha isn't water. But it doesnt matter that his explanation is bogus if the method works despite that, I just wouldn't go to him for chemical advice! What in fact he is seeing after the napha cleaning step is possibly the more polar fraction of an orginal mixed soil (such as a fingermark) that is left undissolved by the non-polar naptha. This more polar fraction might well be soluble in a polar solvent such as water. If I see evidence of a fingermark on an optical surface my preference is to just use Windex or similar near-neutral, water based glass cleaner that contains a surfactant in aqueous solution that makes it effective on mixed soils in one step.

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