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Quality eyepiece cleaning fluid v LensPen


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Canvassing opinion on the best way to clean eyepiece optics - especially the eyelens element as I am forever laying down eyelash grease and detritis on mine - tight eye relief issue, I guess! Anyway, I am sure many visual observers have this issue and I would like to gather others thoughts here. Currently I  use the classic LensPen and am reluctant to try fluid as I have had past experience of over applying which is then a mini nightmare to remove. Always the worry of fluid getting between the optical components.

So, if anyone wants to volunteer advice, I would be very interested to hear.

Thanks in advance

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I have used the Baader fluid and their micro fibre cloth to clean eyepieces for the past decade with no issues at all. I use a hurricane blower to puff anything loose from the lens surface before usin

A few years back the magazine 'Trail' tested waterproofing liquids for jackets etc, and found that fabric conditioner was almost as good a waterproofer as the expensive purpose made stuff. Why on eart

Another Baader fluid user here. Have done for years When pondering what to buy (years back) two things were significant in the choice. First, if I use cleaning fluid made by a good brand filter

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I have used the Baader fluid and their micro fibre cloth to clean eyepieces for the past decade with no issues at all. I use a hurricane blower to puff anything loose from the lens surface before using the fluid and only apply it via the cloth as per Baader's instructions. The fluid is applied to the cloth as a fine spray in a small patch and then using the cloth gently onto the glass so there should be no excess to get between lenses etc.

That is what has worked for me. I don't use the fluid very often. Most often all I need is a few puffs with the blower, with the lens held upside down to ensure that any debris falls away from the glass.

 

 

 

 

 

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Another recommendation for the Baader fluid.  Allways apply the fluid to the cloth and never spray directly onto the eyepiece. And use a blower to blow any dust off first.

Lens pens don’t last very long and soon start breaking down and leaving more debris behind than they remove. 

Edited by johninderby
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another +1 for puffer + Baader fluid and cloth.

Can I ask others what they do about cleaning the cloth?  I've not been at this game long so haven't needed to yet.... but it's getting close.
Bung it in the washing machine?  Hand wash it in soapy water?  Throw away and get a new one?

 

Edited by globular
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3 minutes ago, globular said:

another +1 for Baader fluid and cloth.

Can I ask others what they do about cleaning the cloth?  I've not been at this game long so haven't needed to yet.... but it's getting close.
Bung it in the washing machine?  Hand wash it in soapy water?  Throw away and get  new one?

 

I think you can just put it in the washing machine 

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You can machine wash with other laundry , I have done them that way without any problems, many times.

Edited by Saganite
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I start with one of those squeezable puffers to blow away anything loose, then a soft brush that retracts like a pen,  These 2 items are available in kits on Amazon very cheaply.

Then I use disposable Zeiss Lens Wipes.  They're individually sealed in small packets and so don't dry out.  Most importantly though, unlike a cloth, I can be absolutely sure they're always clean.  A cloth could have some dirt or a tiny piece of grit on it that I miss and that could damage the glass.  I bought them in a box of 200 off Amazon for a tenner.   

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3 hours ago, azrabella said:

Canvassing opinion on the best way to clean eyepiece optics - especially the eyelens element as I am forever laying down eyelash grease and detritis on mine - tight eye relief issue, I guess! Anyway, I am sure many visual observers have this issue and I would like to gather others thoughts here. Currently I  use the classic LensPen and am reluctant to try fluid as I have had past experience of over applying which is then a mini nightmare to remove. Always the worry of fluid getting between the optical components.

So, if anyone wants to volunteer advice, I would be very interested to hear.

Thanks in advance

I only use long eye relief eyepieces and always wear eyeglasses, so I only clean my eye lenses once every decade or so.  I just went through a thorough cleaning of them last summer.  I just use the edge of a microfiber cloth to lightly flick away any loose particles.  I find Windex on a clean cotton cloth works best to remove stuck on tree sap dots, my main problem.  I then use a dry microfiber cloth to buff out any remaining streaks.  I sometimes turn the eyepiece upside down and huff moisture upward onto the eye lens to facilitate wiping away the last streaks.  I've used this same technique for 40+ years of cleaning camera lenses as well without any issues.

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Baader wonder fluid and cloth all day long, I wouldn’t use anything else. I trust Baader’s long history of optical engineering to produce a great product and I’ve found it to work perfectly 

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I have the Baader fluid, but i mostly use a lenspen and blower/lenspenbrush.
My experience is that with the Baader fluid on a cloth, it is hard to reach the full surface of the lens, and it leaves a film on the glass.

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On 26/03/2021 at 11:58, azrabella said:

reluctant to try fluid as I have had past experience of over applying

When cleaning an eyepiece, apply whatever liquid your choose to a cloth, not to the optical surface. That limits the quantity that could reach the lens.
If you are concerned about "pooling" and stuff seeping into the EP body, hold the lens upside down and apply the damp cloth from below. That way any excess would drip downwards, away from the EP rather than inside it.

Then dry the surface, after cleaning. But as with the cleaning, don''t apply sideways pressure against the glass (dab, don't rub).  Personally I have never noticed any difference at all with different types of fluid. None of them damage the surfaces. None of them are more or less effective at removing dirt or grease. None leave a residue if the EP is dried properly after cleaning. My favoured liquid is tap water with a tiny amount of washing up liquid and possibly a drop of vinegar. Just like for windshields.

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I dont have any eyepieces but do have a lot of camera lenses and I only ever use a lens pen, all liquid cleaners seem to just spread any grease spots etc around rather than removing them in my experience which then requires vigorous rubbing with a cloth rather than a single wipe of the pen

Alan

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Some severe problems with lens pens:

  1. the brush just smears eyelash oils around, making the problem worse.
  2. the brush and rubber ends are only clean once.  After that, they smear around whatever is imbedded in them.  If that is dust, you can scratch the lens.
  3. Many lens pens have a black powder in the rubber end, which is supposed to burnish the lens.  That is an unmitigated disaster on a lens surface.

Every eyepiece I've inspected with a loupe after someone has used a lens pen has a series of micro scratches on the lens.

The key here is to never touch a dry anything to a dry lens unless the lens is perfectly clean already.

Conclusion: don't use a lens pen.  Ever.  They should be banned.

Instead, us a blower to blow off dust, and a wet Q-Tip to wipe the lens, and always use a cleaning fluid of some sort.  Only after all the debris on the lens has been cleaned off

should any dry cloth or Q-Tip touch the lens.

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+1 for Baader fluid, but I also use Purosol, which is a bit pricey once you add shipping, but a couple of bottles will last most of a lifetime... 

One point on the Baader lens cloth - don't use fabric softener, and do use a non-bio powder/liquid. See this earlier SGL thread:

 

N.

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4 minutes ago, NigeB said:

+1 for Baader fluid, but I also use Purosol, which is a bit pricey once you add shipping, but a couple of bottles will last most of a lifetime... 

One point on the Baader lens cloth - don't use fabric softener, and do use a non-bio powder/liquid. See this earlier SGL thread:

N.

 

A few years back the magazine 'Trail' tested waterproofing liquids for jackets etc, and found that fabric conditioner was almost as good a waterproofer as the expensive purpose made stuff. Why on earth anyone would use the stuff on towels etc defeats me .

Rohan specifically says 'do not use fabric conditioner' on many clothing labels too, as the stuff reduces the fabric's breathability. 

Oh, and I just wanted my avatar near yours 🙂

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2 minutes ago, Tiny Clanger said:

Oh, and I just wanted my avatar near yours 🙂

😂  Excellent choice... I see we're clangers in quite close proximity as well...

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Another Baader fluid user here. Have done for years

When pondering what to buy (years back) two things were significant in the choice.

First, if I use cleaning fluid made by a good brand filter (and more) manufacturer, and buy it from an astro retailer, it has to be good.
If it wrecks eyepieces these two companies have a lot of explaining to do. Especially if damage gets publicised in astro circles.
So the risk of buying the wrong product is minimal.

Second, the cost. I said to myself, stop moaning. A bottle of fluid, and a cloth, last a very long time.
If you have amassed a collection of nice eyepieces and other glassware, it is big money.
The fluid, when compared to the cost of the eyepieces they are cleaning, is peanuts.

David.

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7 minutes ago, Carbon Brush said:

.....Second, the cost. I said to myself, stop moaning. A bottle of fluid, and a cloth, last a very long time.
If you have amassed a collection of nice eyepieces and other glassware, it is big money.
The fluid, when compared to the cost of the eyepieces they are cleaning, is peanuts....

 

Exactly my reasoning :thumbright:

 

 

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That wonder fluidic stuff is pretty pricey, though. What about making your own?
 

Oh sorry, I think we’ve done this one before 🤐

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