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Old Thursday 26th October 2017, 17:06   #1
cgr1971
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What do you guys recommend for a lens cleaning kit?

What is a good kit for lens cleaning. The Swarovski one is a bit pricey, is there a kit that is considered best buy for the money?
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Old Thursday 26th October 2017, 19:03   #2
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I don't use a kit, but here's what I do. First of all, use a "blower" of the kind used for photography. Basically just a rubber bulb of this kind I can't vouch for that particular one, but you get the idea. This is to puff any debris (especially gritty stuff like sand) off the lenses. It only takes a moment, and it's vital, because you can damage lenses by using a cleaning cloth and grinding abrasive debris against the glass.

Next, I use a lens brush, also of the kind used for cameras, to brush off any debris still remaining. Just insurance really.

Finally I use a microfibre cleaning cloth. I have one which was supplied with my Swaro bins, but it just needs to be decent quality. I also have a pair of mid-range Zeiss, and again a microfibre cloth came with the bins. I use the cloths interchangeably. I first breathe lightly on the glass surfaces so they mist up for a moment, and use the cleaning cloth before the mist has evaporated.

I've been using bins since 1979 and have never caused the slightest scratch on the lenses of any of them. Ditto camera lenses. I'm largely housebound now, but in the field used to see people - usually in the rain, in a hurry to wipe water off their lenses - pulling a handkerchief out of their pocket and scrubbing hard at them. I wouldn't!
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Old Thursday 26th October 2017, 19:55   #3
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I've recently received advise on lens cleaning from a lady who's in the business on selling eye glass lens. The advice was basically the same as Junno52 posted.

I asked for a recommendation on cleaning binocular lens - same as eye glasses she advised only difference would be to use a lens blower and lens brush for minor debris if used outdoors mainly - then use a microfiber cleaning cloth. She stated you should start on one side and wipe straight across - repeating as necessary until clean. Never go in a circular motion, especially at the corners.

I think the microfiber cloth I have possesses some sort of cleaning agent, as it doesn't have the same "feel" as the microfiber cloth my wife uses. Sure does a good job on my eyeglasses and 50mm spotting scope lens.

My spotting scope lens developed some haze a while back, which I thought might be some internal fogging. Nope, just some stubborn film on the outside of the lens. I have a spray bottle containing eyeglass cleaner supplied by my optometrist that I used and it cleaned everything up like new.
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Old Thursday 26th October 2017, 20:27   #4
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Originally Posted by cgr1971 View Post
What is a good kit for lens cleaning. The Swarovski one is a bit pricey, is there a kit that is considered best buy for the money?
Just take them into the shower with you. I wouldn't have considered that approach until I did some serious sea-watching on the west coast of Ireland and discovered that's what the hard core guys did after a 12 hour session.
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Old Friday 27th October 2017, 10:35   #5
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For the lenses of my three telescopes and for the lenses of my 60 binoculars (among which the Swarovski SLC 10 x 42 WB) I am using optical wonder. It's working very good and leves no residue or wipemarks.

http://www.baader-planetarium.com/en...ing-fluid.html

I have also the Swarovski cleaning set but I don't like the Swarovski cleaning fluid, because it leaves a lot of residue.
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Old Friday 27th October 2017, 13:52   #6
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The question being asked is for practical advice from peoples' own experience, but if I was going to buy a kit, this one from Zeiss looks OK. It includes blower, lens brush, and a microfibre cloth which will be good quality. You also get a few moist lens wipes: I had such wipes included with my Zeiss bins (and I think also Swaro) but they're not essential and it's better to develop a cleaning strategy which doesn't depend on wipes. Who wants to keep forking out money for more of the things?

Incidentally, while you can get combined blower-brushes, they often don't have a large enough bulbs to deliver a strong enough puff of air, and I prefer to use separate bulbs and brushes.
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Old Friday 27th October 2017, 15:44   #7
cgr1971
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Thank you for all the advice, it has been very educational. I didn't know about anything other than the lens brush and microfibre cloth.
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Old Saturday 28th October 2017, 11:34   #8
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[Delete, see below: Maybe this thread should be relocated outside the Swaro. subforum?] Jonno52/John's two posts above are the most useful I have seen on this subject.

Last edited by adhoc : Sunday 29th October 2017 at 01:25. Reason: Explained.
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Old Saturday 28th October 2017, 18:27   #9
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May be "Ad Hoc" you should read the answers on this topic better?? Have a nice evening.
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Old Sunday 29th October 2017, 01:22   #10
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Kees Boer,
I apologize, that was thoughtless and hasty.
I focused only on those two posts, as they are the most useful for those of us, like me, with no access to select and purchase a special fluid for this purpose.
All/most of us can obtain a bulb, lens brush and microfiber cloth/s, and for the long term.
In the second post I cite it is not the information about the kit by a particular manufacturer but the advice on wipes, and the second paragraph, that I meant.
It is a pity, I still think, that the general information in those two posts is not in a wider forum than that of a particular make of binocular.
My post above will now be edited.
Best wishes,
Adhoc
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Old Sunday 29th October 2017, 10:01   #11
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I found this kit on Amazon, it seems to be really popular with lots of positive reviews. Any opinions on the regular cleaning fluid vs the all natural option?
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Old Sunday 29th October 2017, 13:22   #12
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If you want to be obsessive and keep it cheap, use the following orthodox protocol (A variant of the standard advice for cleaning lenses that has been around for many decades, as you will see in old books, Nikon user manuals, etc).

1. 1 inch horsehair brush for cleaning body and big stuff off lenses
2. powerful rubber/plastic blower bulb to blast bits off lenses
3. smaller hair brush for second lens clean to remove any particles. Stop if reasonably clean.
4. natural cotton balls well-wetted with distilled water; gentle smudge/swirl/wipe, let sit wet to let stuff dissolve
5. lift liquid and dissolve crud off lens with gentle rotation of fresh cotton ball. Stop if reasonably clean.
6. if necessary, natural cotton balls wetted with ethanol, isopropanol, or your favorite cheap lens cleaning fluid
7. if necessary, Kimwipe or equivalent with ROR fluid
8. bit of breath or distilled water with cotton ball to remove residual detergents etc if you used a cleaning fluid

*. Follow-up with powerful rubber/plastic blower bulb to blast bits of cotton or Kimwipe off lenses

I use fresh natural cotton balls instead of microfiber cloth because the latter can accumulate particles that scratch.

--AP
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Old Monday 30th October 2017, 02:38   #13
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From my own experience and mistake what I would stress is: as the first step use a strong blower and then a very soft brush.

Instead I used to blow air from my mouth, then "brush" very lightly and gently with an ordinary paper tissue, using a torn edge to make it lighter still, before using moist breath, or water from off a tissue, and wiping with a microfiber cloth or soft cloth or tissue. Before wiping I always scrutinized the surface for the smallest particle of dust my eye could see.

Still I seemed to have (by the look of it) scratched off, completely, a tiny dot of the coating of a binocular of a reputed ("alpha") make which says it "protects the lenses from scratches and abrasion". Maybe some particle had somehow got lodged there.
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Old Monday 30th October 2017, 04:07   #14
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...I seemed to have (by the look of it) scratched off, completely, a tiny dot of the coating of a binocular of a reputed ("alpha") make which says it "protects the lenses from scratches and abrasion"...
If a "dot" was removed, either it came from a sharp point coming into contact w/the lens at a time other than during your cleaning, or else it was a coating flaw. Bad cleaning techniques generate linear/curvilinear microscratches, a.k.a. sleeks.

--AP
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Old Tuesday 31st October 2017, 05:06   #15
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Thanks AP.
I have now examined again what I remembered as a "dot". It is more elongated and irregular than that. The instrument is a Leica and the coating is the "AquaDura". It is strange that I cannot see this mark at all when I shine a light on it very close. An expert (a friend I am due to see) will soon be examining it with a loupe.

Last edited by adhoc : Wednesday 1st November 2017 at 02:24.
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Old Sunday 5th November 2017, 02:59   #16
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A tiny bit of the coating has, indeed, come away. The mark is not visible close to a light only at some angles, I have now been shown (so there is nothing strange there!) I'd appreciate it if anyone else can tell me if they had a similar experience with the Leica AquaDura coating. As this is the Swaro. subforum maybe the response can be by PM. Thanks!

Last edited by adhoc : Monday 6th November 2017 at 01:02.
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