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Old 10-11-2011, 11:00 PM #1
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Default Lens pens and lens cleaners

Can anybody recommend a good lens pen for use with lasers? The Nikon brand lens pen uses activated charcoal on the brush which I don't believe is compatible with the high energy a laser lens is subjected to. Please only recommend a product if you have actually used it. Thanks for the help.

Also I'm not wild about using canned air for lenses because the flow of air is difficult to control and I worry about how cold it is as well as liquid coming out of the cans. I own one of these Amazon.com: CleanDr 30103 00 AirBlaster CO2 Actuator: Office Products and I am wondering what you guys think about using it on a laser lens. The pressure is a lot easier to control and you don't have to worry about extremely cold temperatures or the liquid issue.


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Old 10-11-2011, 11:40 PM #2
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Default Re: Lens pens and lens cleaners

I've used a lens pen. They work pretty well. It wouldn't be considered a cleaner if it left a bunch of carbon behind.

Most experts will agree that first contact is the best though.
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Last edited by Cyparagon; 10-11-2011 at 11:42 PM.
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Old 10-12-2011, 12:19 AM #3
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Default Re: Lens pens and lens cleaners

Thats the issue I'm worried about. I don't really need it for cleaning as much as for just removing dust. I guess I'll just find one of the off brand ones that doesn't use the activated charcoal impregnation.
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Old 10-12-2011, 03:51 AM #4
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Default Re: Lens pens and lens cleaners

There's nothing wrong with the charcoal. It, too will clean dust. But for just dust, there is a soft brush on the other end of the pen.
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Old 10-15-2011, 07:21 PM #5
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Default Re: Lens pens and lens cleaners

I personally have used the LensPens. I have three of them of different sizes; they all came together as part of this kit: LENSPEN is The superior Camera lens cleaning system for all fine optics, rifle scopes, camcorder and camera viewer screens, binoculars
You can find this kit on Amazon for ~$20
Of the three that it came with, the only one that is at all useful for the tiny collimation lenses that we deal with is the LensPen MicroPro. While it is only just small enough to fit on the lens and spin it, it does have a camel hair brush on the other end and all in all, does a great job. So far NO scratching of the AR coating has occurred. I only got the kit because it was only $5 more than just getting the MicroPro all by itself. I am glad I got the kit because the other 2 LensPens do a mighty fine job on my sunglasses and several other laser and non-laser related optics. Amazingly I have even used the other 2 LensPens on FS mirrors without any scratching! I whole-heartedly recommend the LensPens for cleaning fingerprints and light dust off lenses. If you have a worse situation, then I would concur with the previous posts, get First Contact (as long as your lens is GLASS and not plastic).
Oops, I almost forgot to add that all the big camera manufacturers sell LensPens under their own brand name. And in all these cases they provide them with their own higher end cameras when they sell them. This is quite an endorsement. One thing to be cautious about though is there are a LOT of knock off LensPens because of this. So really, if you are going to get one, make sure you get a genuine one, either through LensPen or Canon, and yes even Nikon.

Last edited by fixitiwill; 10-15-2011 at 07:27 PM. Reason: additional info
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Old 10-15-2011, 09:23 PM #6
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Default Re: Lens pens and lens cleaners

Thanks for the info fixit. I checked out the link you included and from what you said that sounds perfect for my needs. I am just using them for dust removal so basically low impact is what I am going for. I don't ned anything crazy but as I said that kit sounds perfect.
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Old 10-15-2011, 11:53 PM #7
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Default Re: Lens pens and lens cleaners

It really depends on what you need to remove. If its just dust that has not caked onto the lens, things like lens pens but also compressed air will likely work.

For substances that have set onto a surface and need to be dissolved i usually use a 50/50 mixture of isopropanol and distilled water. This dissolves both fatty streaks and mineral desposits (left behind from using tap water etc).

The most important thing is not to power up a laser with a dirty lens though: small flakes of dust or plastic will melt/burn onto the lens even if they could have been removed quite easily otherwise.
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Old 10-16-2011, 01:22 AM #8
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Default Re: Lens pens and lens cleaners

All very good advice. Though I read somewhere that Isopropanol can attack some AR coatings. I'll see if I can find that reference again. On the other hand, I'm guessing you have probably been using IPA for some time with no harm.

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Old 10-16-2011, 04:08 AM #9
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Default Re: Lens pens and lens cleaners

For a long time I just used dust off but I don't want to use it anymore for several reasons.
1. It is very difficult to control the flow of air meaning you can accidentally blast way to much air in and you can end up dismounting optics
2. It's a waste of money
3. Quite often you end up blowing MORE dust onto the optics then you started with
4. The air from a dust off can comes out very cold and subjecting your optics to that rapid cooling and heating isn't good.
5. If you even slightly tilt the dust off can the freezing compressed liquid spills out which is definitely not good for your optics or the electronics.

Luckily I keep my optics very clean so I have avoided the problem of dust getting caked onto them. I figure if I routinely use a lens pen on them I can avoid the issue of caked on grime and dust the way I always have. I know the saying if it's not broken don't fix it but for the reasons stated above I am no longer comfortable using dust off. Thanks again to everyone for the advice.
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Old 10-16-2011, 06:35 AM #10
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Default Re: Lens pens and lens cleaners

Something else I've found quite useful is this:
Rubber Dust Blower
It has several times the volume of the ones that are used in photography and you can't beat the price.
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Old 10-16-2011, 06:51 PM #11
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Default Re: Lens pens and lens cleaners

Quote:
Originally Posted by fixitiwill View Post
Something else I've found quite useful is this:
Rubber Dust Blower
It has several times the volume of the ones that are used in photography and you can't beat the price.
It's funny that you posted that because I actually just purchased that exact one when I purchased the previously posted lenspen kit.
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Old 10-16-2011, 11:04 PM #12
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Default Re: Lens pens and lens cleaners

Quote:
Originally Posted by sopark4000 View Post
It's funny that you posted that because I actually just purchased that exact one when I purchased the previously posted lenspen kit.
Nice! Just goes to show, great minds really do think alike.
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