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Cleaning optics

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Unread 06-01-2003, 03:44 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Palmer, Alaska
Posts: 2,539
Re: Cleaning optics

Here's an email Jay sent me;

Hi Brent, I'm having a hard time logging on, I'm at my Aunt's house in Onalaska, WI. Tell the fellow with the question about cleaning scope lens NOT to use Windex type cleaners, they'll take the coatings off, alcohol is fine but pure Acetone works great, per Burris CS. Take Care, Jay Gorski
Brent Moffitt
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Unread 06-25-2003, 06:40 AM
Silver Member
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 143
Re: Cleaning optics

I agree with the others in the avoidance of general cleaning which is tough for me being a clean freak however when I must I have found that a very soft new paint brush and compressed air works great. MEK for serious cleaning is what I was told by NF as it disolves about anything and evaporates instantly. I was very surprised at this answer fearing damage to the ever worshipped coatings. NF reiterated that it is what thew use in their lab.
honey, all I need is just one more, I promise!
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Unread 06-30-2003, 10:37 AM
Gold Member
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Illinois
Posts: 837
Re: Cleaning optics

Camel hair brush to get the grit off, fogging lens with your breath and cleaning with a Q-tip cirular motion from center of lens out. For removal of stubborn stains, use a comercial lens solution. Zeiss makes a good one. I've used this method for 30 years when cleaning pro grade photographic lens and have never damaged the surface of the lens nor the coating.

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Unread 06-30-2003, 02:35 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Sask. Canada
Posts: 2,410
Re: Cleaning optics

Since I almost always carry a camera with me when I am shooting and hunting I always have a Lenspen in the cameracase. For most lens cleaning, camera, binocs, scopes - I brush the lens with the little brush end of the Lenspen, then simply moisten the lens by breathing on it and then use the Lenspen chamois pad, going around in diminishing circles while spinning the pen a bit. By the way, Lenspens are usually much cheaper in camera stores than sporting goods stores.
Another excellent lens cleaning tool is the specially made (micro-fiber) lens cleaning cloth with the loop design that will even remove oil from lenses, available at camera stores.
I would much rather brush a lens clean than have to wipe it, but when your scope is so mucked-up that the image is in black and white, you pretty much have to clean it.
I worry more about scratching the surface when cleaning so never rub anything hard (Lenspen, cleanex, my shirt-tail or whatever) and agree that lenses work just fine with a certain degree of specs and spots.
Last resort is lens cleaning fluid on a piece of lens cleaning paper from Zeiss, Swaro or wherever I can get some but usually the little micro-fiber cloth or Lenspen does the job. Have used clear, clean mountain lake and river water that did as good a job as the cleaning fluid - no spots.
I have had a couple of nasty experiences with lens, such as dragging the front lens of my 56mm binocs onto a steel barb as I crossed a barbed wire fence and - no marks or scratches. Worst was with a Nikon 80-200 f2.8 ED lens that a horse put into a tree - cleaning that lens involved getting all the shattered glass from the filter out of the objective.
I find if I put lens shades on the bigger scopes the objective stays pretty clean and clear of dust.
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