Cleaning your lens

My experience

A fair number of people exhale on their lens surface. Zeiss or some german brand says it's ok. Nikon in one quote says that the exhalation has acid (actually, your saliva is alkali but you may have acid from food or stomach) and is not good for their nano coatings. I used to use Kodak Lens Cleaner, now use some pocket spray from a UK optical company but not directly on the lens, on the cloth. I don't mind exhaling in an emergency when I don't have these liquids.

Mostly I use air blower or soft brush end of a Lenspen first. If there is a smudge, I use the Lenspen - it has a powder coated felt that aggregates the smudge without the need for fluid, then brush off.

Further links

Navigate tp: article on Lens Cleaning

Recent forum discussions on Lens Cleaning

Ananda's Compilation of Tips

Ananda's Photoblog 

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Total comments: 6
By photoamitsharma (Dec 22, 2011)

air blower or soft brush ,Thank you for good Information
Photographer @

By SethThomas (Oct 6, 2011)

Here's the Kurt Munger article, it's a fun read, if anything.

By SethThomas (Oct 6, 2011)

I like that you have the manufacturer's recommendations here.

In regard to how much dust actually affects your photos, Kurt Munger has an interesting, candid field test where he goes from clean lens, dirty lens to completely destroyed lens while showing the corresponding photos. Although unscientific, it is enlightening.

Note also the lens baby "soft focus" adapter (and others, I'm sure) obscure a significant amount of the front element, allowing for great, stylized photos.

Remember the days of vaseline on a filter for the same effect?

Linus M
By Linus M (Oct 1, 2011)

Acid is present because of CO2 in exhaled air. CO2 + H20 from the condensation= H2CO3 or better known as Carbonic Acid.
In this case it would be very weak though. I can not see it endangering the lens coatings.

By AnandaSim (Sep 29, 2011)

Same here Dylan

By dylanbarnhart (Sep 29, 2011)

I've been exhaling on my eye glasses for a long time for cleaning purpose, and they are still fine. Note that I have many coatings on the glasses, just like a camera lens.

Total comments: 6