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I have a 4" refractor and all i've read states one should never clean the lenses of the EPs or the objective lens with any type of material - ever! However, i've also just been given a nice pair of binoculars and the care and cleaning instructions for these say it's fine to use an optical cleaning cloth or lens tissue - why the contradictory advice?

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Take care and clean them, I would say half or more of the stuff on them is worse then cleaning.

Finger prints have amino acids, pollen decomposes and produces chemicals.

If you ever work in optics you will find that glass objects are cleaned about 20 times a day, nothing is used that is remotely dirty or dusty or marked. Somehow in astronomy it seems to be a case of leave the dust, dirt and marks on. :confused: :confused: :confused:

Buy the BST Starguider eyepieces and they come with a nice little cloth to clean them with.

The last time I saw an SCT being cleaned it was breathed on and a convenient length of loo roll applied, came up good, after a bit of additional rubbing for the odd established bit. :eek: :eek: :eek:

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I believe there is a division of advise. Camera and telescope lens optics have a hard coating that should be cleaned, preferably with a microfiber cloth and quality solution. Reflector mirrors have a soft coating which is easily damaged. If really dirty, a water bath cleaning method does less harm.

Paper fibers are abrasive. Don't.

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A photographic blower and camel hay brush is useful for keeping lenses clean.

This should set you up;

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/251646526595?_trksid=p2060353.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

Just ordered another one myself at that price.

When you do have to clean, Baader cleaning fluid is good:

http://www.firstlightoptics.com/astronomy-optics-cleaning-protection/baader-optical-wonder-fluid.html

And do get the cloth too.

Edited by keithatrochdale
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I would also recommend the Baader Wonder fluid and the micro fibre cleaning cloth to go with it. I have had some for many years and it is an excellent product :)

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Another vote for the Baader cleaning fluid and cloth. I have been using this for several years without any problems.

It might seem expensive. But is very low cost compared to damaged coatings.

Unless you know the source of the chemicals and/or cloth, you can't be sure that last year's product is the same as this year's.

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And yet another vote for the Baader fluid and cloth - excellent product. One bottle lasts for ages too. I recently bought an ep which had not been cleaned, possibly for years, and looked like it had not been capped for awhile. The FOV was full of bits n bobs, stationary floaters all over the place. Much better since I judiciously applied the ol' Wonder stuff. A bit of care, a bit of BWF, micro cloth and the odd clean Q tip gently used...lovely :)

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And yet another vote for the Baader fluid and cloth - excellent product. One bottle lasts for ages too. I recently bought an ep which had not been cleaned, possibly for years, and looked like it had not been capped for awhile. The FOV was full of bits n bobs, stationary floaters all over the place. Much better since I judiciously applied the ol' Wonder stuff. A bit of care, a bit of BWF, micro cloth and the odd clean Q tip gently used...lovely :)

I agree totally, I think wonderfluid and wondercloth are worth their weight in gold, they do a perfect job.  

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The Baader fluid and cloth are certainly the best I know of, but do rember to use a blower first to remove grit and dust. This will minimise the risk of scratching the lens.

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I've used the Baader Fluid and their micro-fibre cloth on my eyepieces and refractor lenses and it's superb stuff. I always blow off as much dust as I can with a manual "hurricane" type blower first though and I don't clean more than necessary.

I've also used this technique on meniscus lenses and SCT correctors. The Baader fluid is not suitable for aluminised optics though. It makes this clear on the label on the bottle.

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