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Frequent Contributor
Posts: 57
Registered: ‎01-31-2017

Lens tissue paper or microfiber cloth?

What do you guys recommend for lens cleaning -- lens tissue or microfiber cloth?

 

I assume that it's always best to use the rocket air blower and brush whenever possible. The gal on the Canon site uses 91 isopropyl alcohol to clean smudges when necessary. Makes sense to use 91 as it has virtually no water in it and evaporates very quickly. Still, most of the guys I know use some specialty cleaner rather than 91 alcohol. Not sure why. 

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KhdJyBucqrk

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 4,002
Registered: ‎08-13-2015

Re: Lens tissue paper or microfiber cloth?

I almost never clean my lenses.  I have clear filters on the fronts of them, because I can be clumsy at times when it comes to putting the lens covers back in place.  Most of the time, my protective lens filters stay pretty much smudge free.  Quality filters tend to be static-free and do not attract dust.

 

I wear eyeglasses.  When I clean my eyeglasses and protective lens filters, I use a spray bottle of 91% isopropyl sprayed onto a lens tissue paper.  I started using this technique because it cheaper than those pre-moistened tissues, wrapped in foil.  The alcohol is very good at sanitizing my eyeglasses, too, so I suppose the same can be said for the lens filters.  I also use this technique to clean the LCD screens on my cameras, tablets, cell phones, and even laptops and computer monitors.

 

Once I get the major smudges and oils off the lens off, I will come behind that with a microfiber cloth to remove any oily residue left behind by the tissue.  The moistened tissue can remove a lot, but it isn't perfect.  It does contain some water, which can leave a slight film behind, which the cloth removes with ease.

 

So, I use both tissue and microfiber.  I use isopropyl alcohol, instead of methanol, because the latter is rather toxic.  It is my understanding that methanol is used to fuel racing cars.  It can also be used as an industrial solvent, which means that it has the potential to attack the coatings on the glass surfaces.  

 

I have heard that isopropyl can attack coatings, too.  I guess it may depend upon the type of coating, or who you talk to.  I go with the 91% isopropyl because it is cheap, and far less toxic than methanol.  Just remember, that 91% alcohol still contains some water, which can and will leave something behind once the alcohol evaporates.

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"I don't rent software. I use Photoshop CS6, ACR 9.8 and Lightroom 6.8 ."
Reputable Contributor
Posts: 587
Registered: ‎11-14-2012

Re: Lens tissue paper or microfiber cloth?

[ Edited ]

 microfiber cloth, isopropyl alcohol (99,7%) and a gentle breath. My recipe for years.

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Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 4,002
Registered: ‎08-13-2015

Re: Lens tissue paper or microfiber cloth?


Peter wrote:

 microfiber cloth, isopropyl alcohol (99,7%) and a gentle breath. My recipe for years.


I have been looking for a concentration of isopropyl higher than 91%.  But, the 91% is dirt cheap.  I can get a 10 ounce spray bottle of it at my local drugstore for less than half the cost of a Big Mac.  

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Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 2,940
Registered: ‎06-25-2014

Re: Lens tissue paper or microfiber cloth?


Waddizzle wrote:

Peter wrote:

 microfiber cloth, isopropyl alcohol (99,7%) and a gentle breath. My recipe for years.


I have been looking for a concentration of isopropyl higher than 91%.  But, the 91% is dirt cheap.  I can get a 10 ounce spray bottle of it at my local drugstore for less than half the cost of a Big Mac.  


Alcohol and water form a constant-boiling solution, which limits the concentration you can achieve through ordinary distillation. To get higher concentrations, you have to use chemical tricks, like adding small amounts of benzine, which remains at trace levels in the final distillate. You may not want such adultrants in contact with your lenses.

Bob
Boston, Massachusetts USA
Reputable Contributor
Posts: 587
Registered: ‎11-14-2012

Re: Lens tissue paper or microfiber cloth?


RobertTheFat wrote:

Waddizzle wrote:

Peter wrote:

 microfiber cloth, isopropyl alcohol (99,7%) and a gentle breath. My recipe for years.


I have been looking for a concentration of isopropyl higher than 91%.  But, the 91% is dirt cheap.  I can get a 10 ounce spray bottle of it at my local drugstore for less than half the cost of a Big Mac.  


Alcohol and water form a constant-boiling solution, which limits the concentration you can achieve through ordinary distillation. To get higher concentrations, you have to use chemical tricks, like adding small amounts of benzine, which remains at trace levels in the final distillate. You may not want such adultrants in contact with your lenses.


Good point. Never thought of it. Above 87,9% I suppose?

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My Swedish blog

M5, 7D, 6D, D30, 1000D IR, 16-35/4L IS, 16-35/4LIS, 17-40/4L, 100/2,8 Macro, 70-200/2,8L IS II, 17-55/2.8 IS, 24-105/4L, 85/1,8, 50/1,4, 24/1,4L II, 24-80/3.5-5.6, Helios 58/2

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Honored Contributor
Posts: 7,132
Registered: ‎12-07-2012

Re: Lens tissue paper or microfiber cloth?

Pete...."a gentle breath. My recipe for years."  Not no but h--- no!  Never use your breath.

 

Rocket blower

alcohol/specialty cleaner for lenses

Specialty cloth for lenses.  Not a micro fiber cloth!

 

It is better to clean the protecto filter on your lens than the lens itself, IMHO, and my practice.  Remember most stuff on the front element is OOF and will not effect the photo.

A lot of Canon stuff. Along with, a lot of other stuff.
Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 4,002
Registered: ‎08-13-2015

Re: Lens tissue paper or microfiber cloth?


ebiggs1 wrote:

Pete...."a gentle breath. My recipe for years."  Not no but h--- no!  Never use your breath.

 

Rocket blower

alcohol/specialty cleaner for lenses

Specialty cloth for lenses.  Not a micro fiber cloth!

 

It is better to clean the protecto filter on your lens than the lens itself, IMHO, and my practice.  Remember most stuff on the front element is OOF and will not effect the photo.


What is your idea of a "specialty cloth for lenses?  Isn't a micro-fiber cloth made for lenses?

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"I don't rent software. I use Photoshop CS6, ACR 9.8 and Lightroom 6.8 ."
Honored Contributor
Posts: 7,132
Registered: ‎12-07-2012

Re: Lens tissue paper or microfiber cloth?

You know it may be.  I don't really know what they make them out of.  They are more like suede than micro fiber.  But who knows?

 

When we got out first laser at work, we all had to go to a lens cleaning class.  Yes there is such a thing.  I adopted and continue to use their method.  The worse thing, among others, it using your breath.

A lot of Canon stuff. Along with, a lot of other stuff.
Frequent Contributor
Posts: 57
Registered: ‎01-31-2017

Re: Lens tissue paper or microfiber cloth?

Thanks for all the good responses. I walk around with UV filters on (for protection)  so when they need a cleaning, I'll stick with the little brush, lens tissue, 91 isopropyl alcohol, and an occasional wipe with the cloth. That 91 does seem to evaporate before your eyes and it doesn't seem to take much to clean up the filter.

 

I accidentally touched my 18-55mm lens putting a filter on but didn't see any trace of oil or fingerprints. I went over it with the cloth gently anyway. I may start using the tissues more based on some of the comments. They just seem kind of flimsy to me.

 

The thing about the microfiber cloths is that I hear that they trap particles, and are a pain to wash. I've got a couple of them but they probably haven't been used enough to wash by hand yet.

 

 

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