Finally, An Optical Lens Cleaner That Really Works!

Most optical lens and filter cleaners have trouble getting rid of serious dirt and grime; even worse, they can remove the coatings on costly lenses or even scratch them. Read on to find out about a cleaner that cleans in a snap, and without harming your expensive gear.
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  1. a good article for anyone with glasses or lenses or any other optical equipment. It did sound a little infomercial esk.

    the bad part about a well written article is that the errors stand out a little more.
    Those of you who have read my "Who Designed This Crap?" columns know that I'm not easily impressed with many technologies, and I take vendor claims with a ton of salt.

    taking vendor claims with a "ton" of salt, is just that, a ton. makes it sound like you value their opinion greatly as if it were a ton of salt bearing down on your conscious. theres a reason why the saying is "grain of salt."
  2. DenGuru, I hate you! :wink:
    Let me explain why. I'm an amator photographer, I have a cheap digital SLR equipped with cheap lenses. Still, being so amator, I knew cleaning lenses was important ... but I had noooo idea it could be a problem.
    Now, (and here is why I hate you :P ), I'm gonna have to buy this expensive cleaner instead of using the tip of my t-shirt and some spitting on the lens :lol:
    Keep on the good job, I value your opinion because, as you say, it seems to me that you are an independant, not easely inpressed, tech-journalist.
    Thanks man.
  3. ROR cleaner, or, Residual Oil Remover has been on the market for years to clean lens glass.
  4. I have happily used a product for the past few years which sounds very similar in all respects. It's called Rexton Optyl-7 Lens/Optical/CD-DVD Media Cleaner (yeah, I know--too long a name. "Optyl-7" works)

    It's great, leaves no residue, has nothing harmful in it, and works like magic. In fact, I'm not sure how it works, but it does. Very well. I get it at the Surplus Shed
    and it's very inexpensive--you get 8 oz for less than 4USD--more than you'll need in a decade. It sounds like it's basically the same product as the one described in the review. Highly recommended!

  5. If you have cheap lenses and need a good isopropanol based cleaner, I got a free 2 oz. bottle with my polycarbonate coated lenses from Lens Crafters. The retail on the bottle is $2.49. I've used other cleaners for my glasses and have to say this stuff impressed me. The folks at the eye store said this wouldn't hurt the coating and not to use any other detergent based cleaners. Since my expensive glasses are under warranty, I'd think they would have to believe their own stuff.

    I've had the bottle several months and use it daily if not more. I still have 2/3 of the bottle left. The Lens Crafter's tissues work great, too. It seems expensive, about $12 for a box of 24, but I reuse it about 2 weeks before it leaves streaks.

    I couldn't say if it would hurt coating on a good camera lens. I have used in on my L series lens and it cleaned up prints well. Just because I have an L lens does not mean I'm a pro. I'm an amateur photographer at best. So, take that with a GRAIN OF SALT! Heh, heh. (I'm not an english major, either. Damn, I'm not much of anything? Crap.)
  6. I have been in photoghy as both an extremely advanced amateur and professional. I have used all sorts of products to clean my lenses and filters.

    I kept coming back to a very old standard, that has been around for a very long time and works very well.

    The product was Kodak's lens cleaning solution. It is still available, as are the lens cleaning tissues made by Kodak.

    The product mentioned in your article may be superior to the Kodak product. What surprised me was that you didn't mention the Kodak product. Why is that?

    Kodak knows a thing or two about photography and lenses.
  7. is there a printable version of this article?

  8. Great article for all that use lenses and displays (that means ALL of us).

    My Rule#1 is to NEVER touch a screen (optical lenses/displays/etc.) for ANY reason. Not even for pointing at things on a screen. I have trained many people to immediately tap the hand of someone that is about to reach/point at a screen and jovially remark "DON'T TOUCH THE SCREEN!", while looking directly at them as you mean business.

    My Rule#2 is to NEVER use a wood-based (aka paper, tissue, towel) product to clean any type of optical material (glass or plastic). Micro-Fiber cleaning cloth material is great for such tasks.

    My Rule#3 is to NEVER clean an optical material unless absolutely necessary.

    Pursol sounds like a great product and the chemistry (enzymes?) sounds like much forethought went into it. But I don't know if this product is readily available (w/o mail ordering it).

    I have found that Maxell "Video Screen Cleaner Spray" to be a worthy alternative, which is non-streaking, non-toxic and non-abrasive. This product and the refill kits are relatively easy to find locally; in such stores as Fry's Electronics.
  9. JackM,

    I think you misunderstand the "grain of salt" analogy... at least as I've always understood it... so I believe the "ton of salt" comment is perfectly valid.

    If you take a "grain of salt" and put it on your tongue your face will scrunch up in disgust. This is roughly the same face that you might make if you’re skeptical of a sales pitch. So now a sales guy gives you a line so you “take it with a grain of salt” so your face scrunches up in skeptical disgust. Therefore, a pinch salt = a pinch of skepticism, a ton of salt = a ton of skepticism.

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