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Quick poll - Cloth or Lens Pen?


Spec-Chum
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Lens Pen or Baader Wonder Cloth  

19 members have voted

  1. 1. Which do you prefer to use?

    • Celestron (or similar) Lens Pen
    • Baader Wonder Fluid and Cloth
    • Both
    • Other


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I only use the Baader fluid and their micro fibre cloth so thats what I've voted for. They will allow many uses over quite a long period so the initial cost is quickly offset. And there is peace of mind !

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I rarely clean my eyepieces other than a blower session every now and again. I think it's been about 12 months since I did any of them but when I do, it's isopropyl alcohol or acetone on the corner of a bit of tissue and a wipe over with no pressure and hardly any contact. my scope got wet the other day and I can recommend pure rainwater and a gentle blot with kitchen paper - again no pressure - worked a treat!

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I'm at the other end of the scale I tend to inspect and clean my eyepieces after each session, I seem to add a finishing touch with the lenspen (smaller green version) sometimes there isnt a need to use any fluid but if I do I go with 99%isopropyl, I never touch the field lense's, plenty of strong light always helps!

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A little story of my travels. I was in Vietnam checking into a hotel. In the lobby were thousands and thousands of pounds of film camera lenses and one guy cleaning them with some optical fluid and a brush. I watched for a few minutes, the guy then spat on the front element of one ( alone 8,000 quids worth ) and took out his hankie to clean it. Sometimes old methods are best.

Alan.

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Regarding Alan's post above, Roland Christen of Astro-physics recommends using a little spit when cleaning an objective lens if cleaning fluid doesn't quite do it.

I'm scared of lens pens. Isn't it like using the same optical cleaning wipe 500 times? Who knows what abrasive particles could accumulate in the pen.

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I prefer to use fluid & cloth on eyepieces first then use a lens pen for those bits around the edges that are hard to reach with a cloth. I've happily used the (clean) hanky and spit method too... doesn't seem to have hurt anything :smiley:

James

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It seems spit is much more clean and usefull than it may seem.

Just tried spit and cloth on my 12.5mm and it is super clean with no spots or marks now.

I am quite impressed.

I prefer the Baader Spit and Hanky kit which FLO are just about to stock :grin:

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Both for me, but only if really necessary. I first use a blower, then a very soft brush to get rid of particulates. I then use a cotton bud with Baader Wonder fluid and dab lightly. I then finish with a Lens Pen, fogging the surface lightly if necessary prior to application to help get rid of water soluble smears. Works an absolute treat. I do agree with the comment about particulates potentially building up on the Lens Pen. I only use this as the very last step to polish the lens, once I know that all particulates have been removed. I certainly won't keep my Lens Pen too long either.

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Are astro optics really that delicate? Are the coatings on the outside of the glass or on the inside.....or both? :icon_scratch:

It depends. Assuming you can find anything that tells you, if you see "fully-multicoated" for instance, that should mean all surfaces, whereas just "multicoated" may mean that some surfaces are not coated at all.

James

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I use Carl Zeiss's optical cleaning fluid and cleaning sheets of rice paper (should be able to find them in any photo accessory store, they're meant for lens cleaning; also, only use the pure rice paper, not the mositured kind, that'll leave a residue on the lens). The idea behind the rice paper is precisely that it is disposable; each one is used for a single wipe, then discarded. It avoids introducing any filth or residue that may have been present on the cleaning cloth. There's like 150 of those papers in a pack I bought so they should be good for a long time; cleaning any optical surface often is the best way of damaging it.

Edited by newman
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Are astro optics really that delicate? Are the coatings on the outside of the glass or on the inside.....or both? :icon_scratch:

For the sake of a few quid I'm not going to experiment to find out. A replacement eye lens for my Nagler 31mm would cost me around £250, fitted and matched to the other lenses !

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Are astro optics really that delicate? Are the coatings on the outside of the glass or on the inside.....or both? :icon_scratch:

yes although decent coatings are tough, you can also consider the coatings to be part of the final figure of the lens, thing is the glass is so highly polished and perfected that even residual cleaning fluid that can be seen as a tarnish-like discolouration in the coating after cleaning can alter the wavefront of the optic at that point dispersing light instead of helping to transmit and focus it through the optic, is this detectable? thats debatable but eyepieces for instance are at a very sensitive part of the telescope and you want to optimize transmission and output at the business-end/eyepiece, so keeping it clean= :grin:
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yes although decent coatings are tough, you can also consider the coatings to be part of the final figure of the lens, thing is the glass is so highly polished and perfected that even residual cleaning fluid that can be seen as a tarnish-like discolouration in the coating after cleaning can alter the wavefront of the optic at that point dispersing light instead of helping to transmit and focus it through the optic, is this detectable? thats debatable but eyepieces for instance are at a very sensitive part of the telescope and you want to optimize transmission and output at the business-end/eyepiece, so keeping it clean= :grin:

In that case I'll take even better care of them, thanks all for the info guys. :smile:

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Baader wonder fluid for me, I have the celestron pen too and I find it not bad, but the wonder fluid is so good and the bottle, though it doesn't look that big, lasts ages!

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