I have received enquiries on how to clean a lens
from time to time...sorry that I couldn't write earlier...hopefully today I can
share something useful for those who are new to cleaning lenses.
In Chinese saying, "In order to accomplish a job
well, you must first sharpen the tools that you are going to use". In cleaning
lenses, you must first get the right tools. Here's what I use:
Hand Blower (choose one with big blow.
The one I am using is aging, and definitely not the best. You can
find a better one for sure. I have heard Giotto Rocket Blower is
Lens Tissue (Find a premium grade
tissue with the softest surface and material. You will not want to
use any paper to scratch on the surface of your lens).
Micro Fibre Cloth (An alternative to
Lens Tissue. The one I am using is Matin Magic Cleaner Tri-Coat. It
has very smooth and soft surface material use. Will not scratch
against your lens or glass. If you are using micro fibre cloth, make
sure the surface is perfectly clean and has no hard particle or dirt
on it, as to avoid scratching against your lens surface.).
Cleaner (There are various lens
cleaners in the market. The famous one being Kodak lens cleaner. I
have used it before, the cap is not so well done and leaked easily.
The solution is not really that good for multi-coated lens. It
leaves smear and residual on my lens surface after cleaning. Hard to
remove. The one I am now using is
Formula MC from USA specially formulated for multi-coated lens
and filter, designed for the precision tools (microscope, laboratory
equipments). I have tested
Formula MC personally and I must say I am very very impressed
with the result! My lens has never been so clean before!).
Before cleaning your lenses, here's
what you need to note:
Prepare a clean wind
free environment, with good lightning condition. Preferable with a
Have a relax mind, do
not do it in a rush or hurry. You might end up do more damaging to
your lens/filter than before.
Have 10~15 mins spare
time for the cleaning process.
Get all the needed
Steps in cleaning your lens:
Blow away any dust
or dirt on your lens by using a hand blower. I prefer to do it with
the lens upside down so that the gravity force can pull away the
dust or dirt when I blast air onto the lens surface. Some lenses
have opening especially at the rear part, hence be very careful not
to blow dust/dirt INTO the inner part of the lens.
Prepare TWO pieces
of lens tissue. One ~> wet ; One ~> dry
Fold each tissue,
fold into a piece of six, and smash it into a ball like shape or
small enough that you can hold it like a photo on the right.
Prepare the 2nd
piece of lens tissue in the similar shape. Make sure you do not
touch or dirty the lens tissue especially on the tip.
Drop one ~ two drops
Formula MC lens cleaner onto the tip of the first piece of lens
(DO NOT DROP LIQUID DIRECTLY ONTO THE LENS
The second piece
still remain dry.
Hold the first piece
of wet lens tissue and clean the surface of the lens in circular
motion. Start from the center to the edge. Pay attention to the part
where there is noticeable dirt on it. Do not apply too much force
onto the surface of the lens. Just move the tissue with little
pressure from your hand.
Repeat the same
process with the dry lens tissue immediately. Clean from the center
to the edge.
attention especially at the corner of the lens, as dirt normally is
push from center to the edge and remains there. Hence, shape the 2nd
tissue to have edges (sharp) so that you can move it reaching the
corner of the lens and the entire surface of your lens thoroughly.
Finally, check the
lens surface under a good lighting source (table lamp), and blow
away any remaining dust using a hand blower.
Your lens should be sparkling clean now. If
not, repeat the process above with some NEW lens tissue.
Don't be stingy on lens tissue, your lens is
much precious than the tissue!
Hope this helps... :)