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Thread: Do you clean your lenses with your t-shirt?

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    Do you clean your lenses with your t-shirt?

    I was watching a Chris Weeks blog thing, and was relieved to find that he too wipes the front element of his 35 'lux with his shirt.

    It made me think that perhaps the photographic world is divided in two between those who do, and those who don't.

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: Do you clean your lenses with your t-shirt?

    Hi Jonathan,

    Personally, I would cringe if someone used a shirt to wipe the front element, but that's not to say it can't be done safely. If one was to blot the lens with gentle pressure to more or less "wick" moisture away, i'd say it's okay. Coatings are soft and can show swirls or cleaning marks, and cotton can hold dirt particles in the weave with undesirable results. If I had to use a t shirt to clean my "lux", I would first use air on the lens, and then stretch the fabric to be used for cleaning as much as possible to open the weave pattern of the shirt, it helps to get the dirt that's trapped in the fabric out. Then use air on the shirt to insure the fabric is as clean as possible and gently clean the lux. Also, use the most unexposed area of the t shirt such as, the inside. I use UV filters, but sometimes dirt and dust still find there way into the photograph!

    Fantastic photographs on your website!

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    Re: Do you clean your lenses with your t-shirt?





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    Re: Do you clean your lenses with your t-shirt?

    While we all want our gear to stay in good shape, the front lens can endure surprisingly much until it starts showing in photographs.

    Dirty lens article

    Now the question is, should we even clean the lens with any method until it's really really dirty?

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    Re: Do you clean your lenses with your t-shirt?

    Quote Originally Posted by johnnygoesdigital View Post
    Hi Jonathan,

    Personally, I would cringe if someone used a shirt to wipe the front element, but that's not to say it can't be done safely. If one was to blot the lens with gentle pressure to more or less "wick" moisture away, i'd say it's okay. Coatings are soft and can show swirls or cleaning marks, and cotton can hold dirt particles in the weave with undesirable results. If I had to use a t shirt to clean my "lux", I would first use air on the lens, and then stretch the fabric to be used for cleaning as much as possible to open the weave pattern of the shirt, it helps to get the dirt that's trapped in the fabric out. Then use air on the shirt to insure the fabric is as clean as possible and gently clean the lux. Also, use the most unexposed area of the t shirt such as, the inside. I use UV filters, but sometimes dirt and dust still find there way into the photograph!

    Fantastic photographs on your website!
    Hi Johnny . .
    I guess you are in 'type 1' - as you also use UV filters - perhaps the type of person who uses a t-shirt is also the type of person who doesn't use a UV filter?
    Having said that - I think the inside of the t-shirt is the bad bit (sweat etc.) I tend to use the outside myself, and I generally try to wear a reasonably clean t-shirt (washed at least once a fortnight - and always changed after a horse dribbles on it).

    I get the impression that you wouldn't consider that breathing on a dirty front element and then rubbing gently with said t-shirt would be a good idea?

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    Re: Do you clean your lenses with your t-shirt?

    Shirt, T-Shirt, napkin, whatever comes to hand. Never once had it being a problem.
    I am not a painter, nor an artist. Therefore I can see straight, and that may be my undoing. - Alfred Stieglitz

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    Re: Do you clean your lenses with your t-shirt?

    Since I always have a microfiber lens cloth in my pocket (I keep one in my wallet too) or my bag these days, I don't ... any more ...

    ]'-)

    Modern lens coatings are pretty darn resistant to damage. I don't put filters on lenses unless there's a reason to filter light, or if the conditions I'm shooting in are full of flying water or debris.

    For those situations, I have clear filters from B+W. Last time I used one was ... um ... two years ago? That was about the last time I shot motocross motorcycles where the mud was slinging all over the place. I washed the E-1 off in the shower when I got home before taking the filter off, or the lens off the mount. I remember wiping the filter off with a wetted thumb and my tee shirt a couple of times. The filter's antireflection coating was not damaged.

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    Re: Do you clean your lenses with your t-shirt?

    No T shirts for me here. Blower bulb if handy. Use UV filters on some but not all, but I'd use a microfiber before a T-Shirt. They are small enough to tuck in some corner of your bag. If that makes me Type A, so be it.
    Alan

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    Re: Do you clean your lenses with your t-shirt?

    Don't clean much and rarely in the field.
    I pack a lens-pen and use that usually at the end of the day.
    Oh and no uv filters either. I never saw the point of preventing my lens from getting a tan.
    -bob

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    Re: Do you clean your lenses with your t-shirt?

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    Hi Johnny . .
    I guess you are in 'type 1' - as you also use UV filters - perhaps the type of person who uses a t-shirt is also the type of person who doesn't use a UV filter?
    Having said that - I think the inside of the t-shirt is the bad bit (sweat etc.) I tend to use the outside myself, and I generally try to wear a reasonably clean t-shirt (washed at least once a fortnight - and always changed after a horse dribbles on it).

    I get the impression that you wouldn't consider that breathing on a dirty front element and then rubbing gently with said t-shirt would be a good idea?
    Hi Jonathan,

    No, I have used my breath to fog a lens many times. You're right about the sweat too, that would add unwanted oils and a musky scent as well. Shooting music videos with Arriflex 35mm camera's, I would often clean with t shirts and sometimes newspaper when shooting on the ocean. It's amazing how much gunk is in the air there. Mostly, I try to shoot without a UV filter(less glass, better resolution) and just use a UV for protection. My cleaning swirls were mostly on my older 5cm lens, now that I think about it. Must be softer coatings on those.

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    Re: Do you clean your lenses with your t-shirt?

    I normally wear a desert scarf with is made of very soft cotton and will use that or my t-shirt if I have one on (I might be wearing a long-sleeve shirt).

    Yeah - I'm also guilty of the occasional breath on the lens - it seems to work for me.
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    Re: Do you clean your lenses with your t-shirt?

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post




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    Re: Do you clean your lenses with your t-shirt?

    It's almost as bad as who uses lens caps, these things are what seperates the pros from the amatuers, the pro's rarely have the time or inclination to care, it's just a tool and usually one with a limited lifespan anyway. I'll put up a picture of my 85mm here but I think it would seriously shock the faint of heart...
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    Re: Do you clean your lenses with your t-shirt?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Rubinstein View Post
    It's almost as bad as who uses lens caps, these things are what seperates the pros from the amatuers, the pro's rarely have the time or inclination to care, it's just a tool and usually one with a limited lifespan anyway. I'll put up a picture of my 85mm here but I think it would seriously shock the faint of heart...
    Or perhaps not. There are certainly some amateur t-shirters around here.

    It reminds me of a quote:
    There are two classes of people; those who divide people into classes, and those who don't.

    But maybe the distinction here is actually between those who use their equipment as a tool, and those for whom it is an end in itself. Or maybe it's just that some of us have learned that lens coatings are pretty tough these days.

    If I added up all the money I haven't spent on UV filters over the years, I reckon I could buy a Noctilux with the proceeds!

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    Re: Do you clean your lenses with your t-shirt?

    Certainly not a t-shirt for my lenses !
    A handkerchief it is and not necessarily a clean one ...
    But most of the time I'm using a microfiber lens cloth.
    Go figure: I keep my camera stuff in a plastic sandwich bag (separately, of course)

    All the very best.
    Bart ...

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    Re: Do you clean your lenses with your t-shirt?

    The inside of a cotton shirt is just dandy - second best to microfiber. A soft paper napkin works fine too.

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    Re: Do you clean your lenses with your t-shirt?

    I had a photorapher friend, of the old school, who used to use his silk tie. It always amused me and I've seen others recoil in horror as he did it. However, I would imagine it's a pretty good option. I very rarely wear a tie accept at weddings where I hang on to Hassleblads
    The wedding photographer had left it on the deck of the boat, as shown, while the went off to find someone. It wasn't their camera, they were just doing the group shots with it, so I guess they didn't care too much. As it was the photographer friends, who was getting married, I thought I'd retrieve it
    David
    Last edited by DavidL; 27th February 2014 at 02:37.

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