Everyone has probably used vinegar to clean something. But should you use it to clean your lens? The issue of how to properly clean camera lens components is significant and stressful. What if the coatings are removed? Do you really need to clean that much? It will be nerve-wracking if you’re new to photography or have never done these things. But don’t worry, we’ve spoken to a ton of experts from different camera brands over the years. However, we are also aware of the opposite.
Summary of Contents
Use No Vinegar
What Experts Employ
How Camera Lenses Were Cleaned by the CIA Years Ago
AVOID USING VINEGAR
I recall seeing this topic in several places including on Facebook group conversations back then. A film from a novice photographer was likely seen on YouTube by several young photographers. On YouTube, there is a ton of false information that hasn’t been properly verified or trusted. So if anything, learn as much as you can about cleaning camera lenses. Get professional advice. Better then, have a professional technician do it; this is particularly true when it comes to queries regarding how to clean camera lens components.
THE PROFESSIONALS USE
You’re in luck since we’ve spent years talking to numerous experts on how to clean camera lenses. We have also followed their recommendations for a long time. Years ago, Pop Photo published a piece on cleaning a lens with vodka. Almost every industry expert we talked with agreed that doing that is a terrible idea for a variety of reasons. Here are some expert opinions on cleaning camera lens components that we’ve collected over the years:
We use Methanol Alcohol here at HQ since it cleans well and dries rapidly, as opposed to Isopropyl, which might leave streaks or stains. Personally, I like to see Windex used by the photographer instead of isopropyl alcohol. Make sure they mist a cleaning tissue, like a Kimwipe, rather than the lens.
In fact, Tamron sponsored a piece with us that discussed how to maintain your lenses’ optimal performance. They have very strong lenses.
If you can’t get your hands on methanol, other manufacturers undoubtedly mention that isopropyl alcohol is a suitable substitute.
How camera lenses were cleaned by the CIA in the past
When it comes to camera lenses, ancient optics may sometimes be a huge problem. Here is an article we produced regarding what the CIA said in a declassified document from many years ago:
The paper lists the flaws in depth. It talks about things like paint, grime, and prints. The majority of contemporary photographers already deal with all of these issues. However, you must first use air to clean it as well as you can. They then discuss the use of air-filled syringes. These were invented before rocket blowers. Then, though, they turn to solvents:
Oil may be easily removed using benzoine.
Some adhesives need warm acetone.
Alcohol is okay.
Dishwashing liquid is OK. In certain circumstances, this is also referred to as dishwashing liquid. It is advised to do this using hot tap water.
However, there’s a lot more to this; evidently, hydrogen peroxide may also be effective. The staff of Blue Moon Camera reportedly said the following in an article:
He has also never used the hydrogen peroxide technique, although he saw no drawbacks. He said that his only worry is that there may be a potential that the solution may seep between the optical components and lead to separation if you immerse a cemented stack of optics in that bath. However, he believed it would be OK for single atoms. Additionally, he cleans using a mixture of Windex and non-abrasive cleaning cloths to remove fungus. He also emphasized that occasionally fungus etches in and leaves stains that cleaning won’t be able to remove. He made the point that you need to be cautious while cleaning lenses since certain lenses’ interior coatings may be weaker than their surface coatings and more prone to scratching. He said that the internal coatings on certain Leica lenses are so delicate that you can polish them right off. He admitted that he has actually done this in the past to eliminate internal haze or terrible fungus. At that point, a polished uncoated optic is preferable than one that is cloudy.
What can you utilize, therefore, in conclusion?
Ammonia Benzene Acetone Detergent in liquid