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Is rain bad for lenses?

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Old Sunday 13th August 2017, 13:11   #1
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Is rain bad for lenses?

If I get rain on my lenses, do I need to clean them? Will rain damage the coating? Also, can you recommend a book to help someone without any bird knowledge easily identify birds? (I live in Florida) Thanks.

Last edited by morgothaod : Sunday 13th August 2017 at 13:17.
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Old Sunday 13th August 2017, 13:24   #2
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I just pat them dry with a Kleenex so they don't water spot....but different areas have different types of rain...hard water, lots of dust or sand in the air, ocean salt.....but if they get wet its best to clean them B4 putting away....
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Old Sunday 13th August 2017, 14:06   #3
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Gunny is right: a corner of a tissue soaks up water nicely.

The main potential problem is dust/salt, either collected by the raindrops as they fall through the air or that was on your lens already. You don't want to rub your lenses dry with dust in the rainwater from whatever the source.

If you suspect you have dust particles there then putting the lens under a tap and using a clean lens brush should get the particles off and then dab dry with a tissue. I do this at the end of a wet day out and then leave the bins to dry out overnight and then brush and wipe clean the lenses the next morning.

BTW modern waterproof roof prism binos are OK to put under a tap but some porros won't be.

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Old Sunday 13th August 2017, 21:38   #4
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Originally Posted by morgothaod View Post
Also, can you recommend a book to help someone without any bird knowledge easily identify birds? (I live in Florida) Thanks.
If you go to and search for "birds florida" you will get a number of hits. I am not familiar with any of them (I use the Sibley guides primarily), so read the reviews to see what may work for you.

The ABA Field Guide to Birds of Florida looks to be the most recent, and the series generally gets good reviews.

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Old Wednesday 16th August 2017, 13:02   #5
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A few years ago I put a small marble statue by my observatory-the acid in the rain over time made small pot holes on the top.

"I see skies of blue and clouds of white,
the bright blessed day, the dark sacred night,
and I think to myself what a wonderful world"
-L Armstrong, IZ, and others
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Old Wednesday 16th August 2017, 16:17   #6
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It is if its on the inside.

But no, I think what may be bad is wiping / cleaning lenses too often.

Last edited by Bencw : Wednesday 16th August 2017 at 16:19.
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Old Thursday 17th August 2017, 02:54   #7
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If you are talking about getting the rain off while using them in the field (vs the end of day when all done), you can give them a shake to get off a lot of water, especially if it has water repellant coatings. You can also try blowing it off but that may temporarily fog the outside of the glass depending on the temp and humidity.

If at the end of the day, just make sure there is no grit or dirt on the lenses before gently wiping off the water with a clean quality microfiber cloth. Flush it if any doubts.

As far as birding guides for the field, my favorite is the Ken Kaufman Field Guide to North America. There may be regional versions but I like the full guide because sometimes birds from outside the region show up and it is a good education to see and read about birds from other areas.

it is my understanding the bird illustrations are based on photos and then artistically enhanced to show prominent features. I find it much easier to id birds compared to the books with illustrations that look completely like a painting or are just a photo. There are multiple pictures of a bird showing males and females and showing different color patterns for different seasons. I also like the layout because it Is easy to skim through the pages looking for a match.

The birds are grouped by family such as ducks, hummingbirds, sparrows, etc. Some books group by color but that is confusing for some birds which are subjective as to what best describes the color. I can usually id the family so then I just start skimming through that section. The Kaufman book also has range maps showing seasons for each bird which is extremely helpful in ruling out close matches. If the bird in only found in Alaska, then I know that is not my guy. Check it out.
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