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How to "properly" clean fine optics?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/03/2011 at 20:11
anomad View Drop Down
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One of the reasons I stumbled across this forum was in search of a real pro's guide to cleaning good optics. I haven't found it, but I am sure the collective knowledge here can point me in the right direction.

I only have a couple scopes that don't cause temporary blindness to look through. I plan to change that when my economic situation improves.
I use a leupold lens pen, blow off whatever dust I can with canned air or lung power, brush and then use the chamois side to touch up any smudges. I realize the danger of dragging a particle of dirt across a nice lens.

Is there a nice writeup you good folks can point me to for my own education? I like to properly take care of my toys.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/03/2011 at 20:28
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/03/2011 at 21:23
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Originally posted by Urimaginaryfrnd Urimaginaryfrnd wrote:



http://www.opticstalk.com/lense-cleaning-kits_topic27709_post393169.html?KW=cleaning+lenses#393169
 
Just like cleaning your glasses the liquid lens cleaner solution is a good thing.   Be gentle.


Well, luckily, I don't have glasses yet... Thanks for the links, I will read them carefully.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/04/2011 at 00:44
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The more seldom you clean the lenses the better it is.
Each time is a potential chanse of scrathing or destroying the coating.
 
That said i would not want to use scopes with extremely dirty lenses, but I don't clean them everytime or without a good reason.
 
Håkan
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/04/2011 at 01:23
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I thought that was what you had a shirttail for. ;^)
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/04/2011 at 06:53
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Originally posted by powderburn powderburn wrote:

I thought that was what you had a shirttail for. ;^)

and Windex and Rainguard...

(that was a JOKE... NO ONE use Windex or Rainguard on a scope lens)
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/04/2011 at 18:16
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Originally posted by anomad anomad wrote:

...I only have a couple scopes that don't cause temporary blindness to look through. I plan to change that when my economic situation improves...
 

I about spit diet dp all over my keyboard when I read that!  LMAO! 

 
I'm in somewhat the same situation, though your wording infers you have a lot more scopes than I have.  I only have 4 metal tubes with lenses in them that I would classify as rifle scopes.  I have 4 others that are just plain junk that I took off of rifles I bought.  I have 1 Hensoldt (amazing optic), a 2-7x32 Vortex, a 2-7x32 Nikon Monarch and an Aimpoint 3X magnifier mounted behind an Aimpoint CompM4 Red Dot.  The first rule I follow is to keep the lenses covered with Butler Creek lens covers, Bikini covers or the stretchy neoprene covers...whatever it takes to keep the air, dirt and rain off of your lenses.  IF I have to clean them in the field, I flood the lens with Zeiss lens cleaner and try to wash the offending particles off (dust, maybe some dirt/mud that has splashed up and hit the lens when it was unprotected).  I then take a Zeiss cleaning paper and tear it so there are a lot of jagged edges of paper along the tear, then I roll it up so the torn paper edges become a brush of sorts.  I then carefully try to get the offending particles off.  I would pull that chamois end of the Leupold lens pen off and throw it away.  It will do nothing but grind whatever is under it into your lens coating.  Utilizing your torn, rolled up cleaning cloth, use a circular-spiraling outward motion, starting in the center of your lens, carefully wipe the lens cleaning solution off.  If you can see well enough to finish your hunt, wait until you get home, take the scope off, and really flood it with tap water to get any hard particles off.  Then repeat what you would do in the field with the Zeiss lens cleaning solution to remove the sediment the tap water would leave if you allowed it to dry.

 

Yes, I am a waaaay over the top fanatic when it comes to being careful cleaning expensive optic lenses.  They cost too damn much not to be a fanatic when it comes to care; and they’ll last you and your children a lifetime if you’re using even moderately-priced optics ($200 ~ $500).

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/04/2011 at 18:47
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Here's a great one from Jon on another thread.

Originally posted by jonoMT jonoMT wrote:

  1. Holding the scope so the lens is pointing down, blow compressed air on it to get as much loose dust/grit out as possible
  2. LIGHTLY use a clean brush, such as on a Lens Pen, to get a little more off, mostly from the tube, not the lens
  3. Flush the lens with a non-ammonia-based cleaner. (Zeiss works the best of what I've tried)
  4. LIGHTLY pull a Q-tip across the lens in a spiral pattern, starting in the center and using each Q-tip only once until most of the cleaning fluid is gone:


  5. Use a clean lens cloth or the other end of a clean lens pen to gently remove any streaks.


There's one I posted many months ago that's very good and similar to Jon's post (minus the pic) but I can't find it right now. It's from the Swarovski cleaning kit literature and goes into step by step detail of cleaning optics when in the field and separate step by step instructions when at camp/home.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/04/2011 at 19:13
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Sandpaper is NOT a good cleaner...
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/04/2011 at 20:40
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Laugh Above
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/04/2011 at 20:53
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You can also use saliva from your tongue and a lens cloth.  Saw it on one of Swarovski's videos.  Good for an in-the-field fix, and easy on the coatings.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/04/2011 at 23:40
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Originally posted by Magnumdood Magnumdood wrote:

Originally posted by anomad anomad wrote:

...I only have a couple scopes that don't cause temporary blindness to look through. I plan to change that when my economic situation improves...

 


<P style="LINE-HEIGHT: normal; MARGIN: 0in 1.4pt 0.7pt" =Msonormal><SPAN style="FONT-FAMILY: 'Verdana','sans-serif'; COLOR: #31302b; FONT-SIZE: 14pt; mso-fareast-font-family: 'Times New Roman'; mso-bidi-font-family: Helvetica; mso-ansi-: EN" lang=EN>I about spit diet dp all over my keyboard when I read that!  LMAO! 


 

I'm in somewhat the same situation, though your wording infers you have a lot more scopes than I have.  I only have 4 metal tubes with lenses in them that I would classify as rifle scopes.  I have 4 others that are just plain junk that I took off of rifles I bought.  I have 1 Hensoldt (amazing optic), a 2-7x32 Vortex, a 2-7x32 Nikon Monarch and an Aimpoint 3X magnifier mounted behind an Aimpoint CompM4 Red Dot.  The first rule I follow is to keep the lenses covered with Butler Creek lens covers, Bikini covers or the stretchy neoprene covers...whatever it takes to keep the air, dirt and rain off of your lenses.  IF I have to clean them in the field, I flood the lens with Zeiss lens cleaner and try to wash the offending particles off (dust, maybe some dirt/mud that has splashed up and hit the lens when it was unprotected).  I then take a Zeiss cleaning paper and tear it so there are a lot of jagged edges of paper along the tear, then I roll it up so the torn paper edges become a brush of sorts.  I then carefully try to get the offending particles off.  I would pull that chamois end of the Leupold lens pen off and throw it away.  It will do nothing but grind whatever is under it into your lens coating.  Utilizing your torn, rolled up cleaning cloth, use a circular-spiraling outward motion, starting in the center of your lens, carefully wipe the lens cleaning solution off.  If you can see well enough to finish your hunt, wait until you get home, take the scope off, and really flood it with tap water to get any hard particles off.  Then repeat what you would do in the field with the Zeiss lens cleaning solution to remove the sediment the tap water would leave if you allowed it to dry.<?: prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /><o:p></o:p></SPAN>

<P style="LINE-HEIGHT: normal; MARGIN: 0in 1.4pt 0.7pt" =Msonormal><SPAN style="FONT-FAMILY: 'Verdana','sans-serif'; COLOR: #31302b; FONT-SIZE: 14pt; mso-fareast-font-family: 'Times New Roman'; mso-bidi-font-family: Helvetica; mso-ansi-: EN" lang=EN><o:p> </o:p></SPAN>


<P style="LINE-HEIGHT: normal; MARGIN: 0in 1.4pt 0.7pt" =Msonormal><SPAN style="FONT-FAMILY: 'Verdana','sans-serif'; COLOR: #31302b; FONT-SIZE: 14pt; mso-fareast-font-family: 'Times New Roman'; mso-bidi-font-family: Helvetica; mso-ansi-: EN" lang=EN>Yes, I am a waaaay over the top fanatic when it comes to being careful cleaning expensive optic lenses.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes">  </SPAN>They cost too damn much not to be a fanatic when it comes to care; and they’ll last you and your children a lifetime if you’re using even moderately-priced optics ($200 ~ $500).<o:p></o:p></SPAN>



We're on the same page. I have never cleaned my Leupold target scope. Its on a bench gun and rests happily behind butler creek flippers. My Nikon is on my varmint gun and its due for a cleaning. My other scopes are probably ok with a tongue job and a wipe from a lens cloth, as suggested... I'm too poor to scratch a nice lens.

Hey, my lab has a great wash cloth of a tongue... Too bad he only likes shotguns.

A Zeiss cleaning kit is in my wish list over at SWFA.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/05/2011 at 07:12
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Originally posted by Kickboxer Kickboxer wrote:

Sandpaper is NOT a good cleaner...


... or paper towels.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/05/2011 at 08:24
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Even if the sandpaper is wet Wink
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