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Lens tissue paper or microfiber cloth?

John_SD
Whiz

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

27 REPLIES 27

You can do as you see fit but I would never what most people call micro fiber cloths.  I don't use tissues either.  I think Canon even advises against using lens tissues.

On cheaper lenses you can wipe off the multi-coating doing it wrong.  Some of the higher end lenses have a tough weather coating that is really good.  The Sigma 150-600 S is one among others.  Also some Canon lenses require a protecto filter for weather sealing.  I think protecto filters are generally a good idea.  Much better to expose it than your front element.  Even if it is only for cleaning.  Right?

EB
EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!


@ebiggs1 wrote:

You can do as you see fit but I would never what most people call micro fiber cloths.  I don't use tissues either.  I think Canon even advises against using lens tissues.

On cheaper lenses you can wipe off the multi-coating doing it wrong.  Some of the higher end lenses have a tough weather coating that is really good.  The Sigma 150-600 S is one among others.  Also some Canon lenses require a protecto filter for weather sealing.  I think protecto filters are generally a good idea.  Much better to expose it than your front element.  Even if it is only for cleaning.  Right?


So, Ernie.  What do you recommend using?  You have rejected tissues and micro fiber cloths.  What do you use?

 

On another note, I use a micro fiber cloth, the tissues and a spray bottle of alcohol at home.  But, I do carry travel cleaning kit that includes lens pens, pre-moistened tissues, blower, and a micro fiber cloth.  The travel kit is made by Zeus.

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"The right mouse button is your friend."

Like you I don't over clean my lenses.  A lot of folks do.  I have never cleaned my 600mm f4.

I use the "suede" lens cloths and any popular brand of lens cleaning solution.

I have the Rocket Blower, who doesn't?  I also have a squirrel hair brush.

 

Maybe the cloths I am referring to are indeed microfiber.  They are very fine microfiber if they are.  The one I have right here in front of me has Zeiss printed on it.  I have several that have Canon printed on them.

 

What I mean is they aren't the microfiber that you buy at WalMart !

EB
EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!


@ebiggs1 wrote:

Like you I don't over clean my lenses.  A lot of folks do.  I have never cleaned my 600mm f4.

I use the "suede" lens cloths and any popular brand of lens cleaning solution.

I have the Rocket Blower, who doesn't?  I also have a squirrel hair brush.

 

Maybe the cloths I am referring to are indeed microfiber.  They are very fine microfiber if they are.  The one I have right here in front of me has Zeiss printed on it.  I have several that have Canon printed on them.

 

What I mean is they aren't the microfiber that you buy at WalMart !


I have never cleaned the front element on several lenses.  Seeing how I placed a clear protective filter on them when they were brand new out of the box, I doubt I will be cleaning the front elements anytime soon in the near future.  

 

After wearing and cleaning eyeglasses for several decades, I avoid off the shelf lens cleaning solutions.  One, they are comparatively expensive compared to my simple spray bottle of 91% isopropyl.  The cleaning solutions tend to contain a lower concentration of alcohol.  

 

The cleaning solutions tend to contain dyes, perfumes, solvents, and other stuff that I consider contaminants, which I don't want coming into contact with my lenses.  The simpler the cleaning solution, the better.  

 

Also, I have learned that you really need to go over the lens surface with a cleaning solution, in order to loosen and remove oils and dirt prior to using a micro fiber cloth.  Using a dry cloth on a dirty, dry lens will rub the dirt into the surface of the lens, scratching it.  

 

I would compare using a dry cloth on a dirty lens to cleaning your car.  They sell stuff that claims to clean and shine your car in one step.  They claim that you don't even need soap and water, just wipe and shine.  Nope.  If you have ever used that stuff before, then you should have noticed that it simply grinds the dirt into the paint, which scratches the surface, creating all of those little micro-whirls that you sometimes see in the finish of a car.  

 

You gotta wipe away the dirt, or at least loosen it up, before you come along and polish your lens with a micro fiber cloth.  If you don't make an effort to wipe away and loosen up the dirt, it will try to stick in place, it will drag across the lens, and scratch it.  This is what happens to eyeglasses over time, so I know that it can happen to lens filters and front elements, too.

 

EDIT]. A dry rub is for a steak going on the grill, not your lenses.

--------------------------------------------------------
"The right mouse button is your friend."


@Waddizzle wrote:

EDIT]. A dry rub is for a steak going on the grill, not your lenses.


Waddizzle, I think I'll be taking your and diverhank's approach to lens cleaning -- rocket blowers, brushes, 91 isopropyl, microfiber cloths and Zeiss moistened wipes. Not all at once, of course. 🙂 But definitely the less, the better. 


@ebiggs1 wrote:

I use the "suede" lens cloths and any popular brand of lens cleaning solution. 

 


Suede? Are you talking about a soft chamois?

Like many I personally try not to clean my lenses outside of using a blower.  But if there are smudges, I use the Zeiss Lens Cleaning Wipe. It comes in individual packaged wipe that leaves no residue.

 

I have used it several times on my 24-70 f/2.8L and 16-35 f/2.8L lenses without any problems...still I wouldn't want to do it too often.  Of course you have to make sure there are no flint or dust on the lens before the wipe as they might scratch the surface...just for oily smudges...

 

Oh, I wouldn't trust cleaning my lenses with a microfiber cloth.  All it takes is a caught piece of micro-sand crystal and your lens might be ruined.

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Diverhank's photos on Flickr


@Waddizzle wrote:

@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?


Thought so too. It says Canon on my micro fiber cloth and I got it as a CPS member.

Peter
Authority
Authority
Ebiggs1, what you call suede lens cloths I call micr fiber cloths. Seems we mean the same thing.

"Seems we mean the same thing."

 

Yeah, I think so too.  I just never called them that but perhaps you guys are right.

EB
EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!
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