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BBJim

Eyepiece cleaning

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Hello all what is the best way the clean my eyepieces? Should I just use my glasses cleaning equipment or is there a preferred way?

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No. There is a very great danger you will scratch and damage the lens coatings. Unless they are really grubby it is best to leave well alone. If you feel they absolutely must be cleaned then first try to remove any dust or loose grit using an air brush. I would suggest you then use wonder fluid and a special lens cloth available from the forum sponsors FLO

Edited by laudropb
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I use the Baader Wonder Fluid and their micro fibre cloth and it does a great job. The initial expense (£12) is offset by the fact that there is enough fluid supplied to do loads of cleanings.

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No. There is a very great danger you will scratch and damage the lens coatings. Unless they are really grubby it is best to leave well alone. If you feel they absolutely must be cleaned then first try to remove any dust or loose grit using an air brush. I would suggest you then use wonder fluid and a special lens cloth available from the forum sponsors FLO

I would agree with this if were referring to telescope optics. However, I think that the eye lens of an eyepiece is fine to clean regularly if done with care. Lens coatings are pretty durable. The lens on some eyepieces get really filthy quickly especially if you have long lashes or dry skin.

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This PDF from Baader may be useful: http://www.baader-planetarium.com/pdf/opticalWonder-engl.pdf

I bought one of these cleaning kits from TS Optics:

tsopticskit_zps0mv3s5du.jpg

The Baader fluid and cloth are good quality and can be purchased separately from anywhere.

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

TS Optics have a revised kit now, the air puffer/blower worked well but the cleaning pen was not so good. The brush worked fine but I found that the felt covering easily became detached on the reversible end cleaner.

tspen_zpsyretalje.jpg

You can quite plainly see the circular end felt has detached, later the triangular felt end also fell off. I didn't over use them either. Mine may have been faulty.

tsreversible_zpszpijiphn.jpg

However, the Celestron version is more robust and I've had no trouble with it. http://www.firstlightoptics.com/astronomy-optics-cleaning-protection/celestron-lens-pen.html

pen1_zpsqyeu0nfm.jpg

These cleaning pens can be useful used lightly after the lens surface has been air blown, brushed and cleaned with fluid and a cloth. Notwithstanding they make cleaning near the edge of the lens easier. 

Celestron Lens Pen:

pen2_zpsolhfxo5n.jpg

It's always worth cleaning fingerprints and the like off expensive optics. I agree with the above comment that most optics are quite robust these days and well coated. I wouldn't overdo cleaning eyepieces though.

Edited by Mak the Night
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No reusable materials for me. Eyepieces are easy. A blower, cotton, alcohol and Kleenex regular do the job just fine.

The dirt goes into the cotton and the Kleenex and gets thrown away.

I wonder how people keep their reusable stuff clean.

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No offense but that lens pen thing is a Bad Idea, if you pick a particle of grit up with it then it stays on the little pad, ready to scratch your lens next time you use it. My advice is to only use fresh disposable materials for cleaning optics.

ChrisH

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No reusable materials for me. Eyepieces are easy. A blower, cotton, alcohol and Kleenex regular do the job just fine.

The dirt goes into the cotton and the Kleenex and gets thrown away.

I wonder how people keep their reusable stuff clean.

I wash the micro fibre cloth in pure soap flakes now and then.

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I've used the Lenspen - which can be branded from all-over-map - for many years. Simply follow the directions. Briefly: Give the EP a good blast of air from a blower-bulb. Brush the lens lightly with the retractable brush it has. Then, if the lens needs it, gentle circular cleaning with the carbon-tip - and only if you have managed an oily fingerprint or other smudge. A good blow and gentle brushing (in that order) is more often the only action needed.

Anything can cause micro-scratches to the coatings on a lens. Gentle is the operational word here.

There are 2 sizes available - regular and small. I use the small (micro) much more often.

Clean skies,

Dave

Edited by Dave In Vermont

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they key is to remove any bits that can scratch the optics with a blower or soft brush before you start cleaning it. coatings on eyepieces / lenses are pretty hard and as long as what you are rubbing on it is softer than the coatings you will be fine. I find a huff with breath/cleaning with a glass microfibre cloth often does the trick or I then use acetone or alcohol if greasy marks remain. When my supply of these runs out I'll probably buy some baader fluid as people are very complimentary to it.

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No offense but that lens pen thing is a Bad Idea, if you pick a particle of grit up with it then it stays on the little pad, ready to scratch your lens next time you use it. My advice is to only use fresh disposable materials for cleaning optics.

ChrisH

I think that's a good point, which is why I only use them after I've cleaned an eyepiece with fluid and a cloth first. I apply the fluid with a cotton wool bud to the surface of the lens and wipe with a Baader microfibre cloth. Also, lens pens have the ability to be replenished by turning the replaced end cap which rotates a pad on the inside of the end cap itself replenishing the cleaning pad. I tested my TS Optics lens pen on some of my old eyepieces first and pretty quickly the felt pad became detached from the circular end. I was only using it gently. At first I thought it was a possibility that cleaning fluid had soaked into it in some way and affected the felt. Later the triangular end came off as well. I'm guessing mine was defective in some way as it had hardly been used. The Celestron pen is fine though. I don't use it much apart from the brush end anyway. I think if used with care they are pretty safe.

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I think that's a good point, which is why I only use them after I've cleaned an eyepiece with fluid and a cloth first. I apply the fluid with a cotton wool bud to the surface of the lens and wipe with a Baader microfibre cloth. Also, lens pens have the ability to be replenished by turning the replaced end cap which rotates a pad on the inside of the end cap itself replenishing the cleaning pad. I tested my TS Optics lens pen on some of my old eyepieces first and pretty quickly the felt pad became detached from the circular end. I was only using it gently. At first I thought it was a possibility that cleaning fluid had soaked into it in some way and affected the felt. Later the triangular end came off as well. I'm guessing mine was defective in some way as it had hardly been used. The Celestron pen is fine though. I don't use it much apart from the brush end anyway. I think if used with care they are pretty safe.

I clean my eyepieces the same way, with a rocket blower, Optical Wonder Fluid / Microfibre cloth and then a Celestron Lenspen.

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I wash the micro fibre cloth in pure soap flakes now and then.

Oh yes, a job for this weekend.

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From looking at the pictures above of the Lenspen, the first one may not be a Lenspen at all. I've never seen, or seen advertised, one with a felt-tip before. The Celestron is clearly a real Lenspen made by Park Optical of Canada. A great many outfits - like Celestron - order these directly from Park with their brand-names imprinted on them. That first picture shows what is likely a cheap imitation.

I know of three varieties: Original, Micro, and one with an angled swivel-head for cleaning the CCD in cameras, etc. I have all of them and they all work fine. Never had a scratch, but the caveat of first blowing and brushing should always be your rule - be gentle also.

Enjoy!

Dave

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From looking at the pictures above of the Lenspen, the first one may not be a Lenspen at all. I've never seen, or seen advertised, one with a felt-tip before. The Celestron is clearly a real Lenspen made by Park Optical of Canada. A great many outfits - like Celestron - order these directly from Park with their brand-names imprinted on them. That first picture shows what is likely a cheap imitation.

I know of three varieties: Original, Micro, and one with an angled swivel-head for cleaning the CCD in cameras, etc. I have all of them and they all work fine. Never had a scratch, but the caveat of first blowing and brushing should always be your rule - be gentle also.

Enjoy!

Dave

I think you're right Dave, it's a knock-off and not as well made as the Park Optical/Celestron. TS Optics market it as the 'CleanPen' although at 11.90 euros, which is about eight and a half quid (13 USD?) it isn't that much cheaper than the real thing. 

http://www.teleskop-express.de/shop/product_info.php/info/p81_TS-CleanPen---Optics-Cleaning-Pen-with-Pad-and-Brush.html

The 'blurb' on their page claims the tip material is felt:

The felt tip has two ends - a big and a small one.

So even hidden corners and small lenses can be cleaned easily. ~ op cit

The brush bit is OK anyway lol.

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A Lenspen here will run you around $10. So this fake is costing more than a real one. I'll bet Park Optical would like to know about this. Park is very protective of their product, and would likely offer to sue the makers & retailers of these things. At least demand they be fully identified as having nothing to do with Lenspen/Park Optical.

A lovely mess is brewing.....

Dave

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I reckon they're circumventing the copyright by calling it something other than the 'Lenspen'. I've seen other things like it that aren't either the Celestron or the original Park Optic cleaning pen. There's a shed load on Amazon, including variants sold as: Hama Lens Cleaning Pen, niceEshop LP-1 Lens Cleaning System Lens Cleaning Pen for DSLR Cameras, Pro Lens Pen DSLR Digital Camera Lens Filter Cleaning Kit Brush Canon Nikon UK and the Nikon 7072 Lens Pen Cleaning System. They all seem to be around £14 except for the niceEshop LP-1 which is being advertised as £1.99!

https://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=cleaning+pen

I don't know if any of these is the Park Optic made under licence like the Celestron, some look a little dodgy to me.

This may be the original: http://www.amazon.co.uk/LENSPEN-NLFK-1-Lenspen-NLFK1-FilterKlear/dp/B007G60HD6/ref=pd_sim_421_3?ie=UTF8&refRID=1CJ58FDWRNWTP0KTWC0K&dpID=41XgOmiiWVL&dpSrc=sims&preST=_AC_UL160_SR160%2C160_

Edited by Mak the Night
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Anyone know if there are cotton buds with no abrasive fibres like BPC standard cotton ?  I don't like using a cloth to clean eyepieces, it's just too fiddly, especially on very small eye-lenses and field-lenses that are recessed a long way into the eyepiece body.. 

Edited by perrin6

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I reckon they're circumventing the copyright by calling it something other than the 'Lenspen'. I've seen other things like it that aren't either the Celestron or the original Park Optic cleaning pen. There's a shed load on Amazon, including variants sold as: Hama Lens Cleaning Pen, niceEshop LP-1 Lens Cleaning System Lens Cleaning Pen for DSLR Cameras, Pro Lens Pen DSLR Digital Camera Lens Filter Cleaning Kit Brush Canon Nikon UK and the Nikon 7072 Lens Pen Cleaning System. They all seem to be around £14 except for the niceEshop LP-1 which is being advertised as £1.99!

https://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=cleaning+pen

I don't know if any of these is the Park Optic made under licence like the Celestron, some look a little dodgy to me.

This may be the original: http://www.amazon.co.uk/LENSPEN-NLFK-1-Lenspen-NLFK1-FilterKlear/dp/B007G60HD6/ref=pd_sim_421_3?ie=UTF8&refRID=1CJ58FDWRNWTP0KTWC0K&dpID=41XgOmiiWVL&dpSrc=sims&preST=_AC_UL160_SR160%2C160_

The last one you link is the real Micro from Park. The Hama in the first link looks real, but the £1.99 one is a joke! :p Though Park Optical, being as utterly protective as they are (had my dealings with 'em), would likely blow their fuses!

Thanks for these -

Dave

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The last one you link is the real Micro from Park. The Hama in the first link looks real, but the £1.99 one is a joke! :p Though Park Optical, being as utterly protective as they are (had my dealings with 'em), would likely blow their fuses!

Thanks for these -

Dave

You're welcome. I think the Hama is genuine, some of the others obviously aren't. It makes me wonder about that TS Optics 'CleanPen'. I haven't seen any others with a reversible cleaning head. If it is a generic make coming from the same factory there should be others similar. I just thought mine was faulty as the pads detached with hardly any use. If it had been £1.99 I could understand it but not at the price TS Optics were charging. I originally wanted a Celestron Lenspen but at the time couldn't obtain one. 

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