Lens care - how clean is clean? (UPDATED)|
(Thursday, April 4, 2002 - 15:21 EST)
Bret Harmen looks closely - very, very closely - at several options for cleaning your lens...
A page pointed out to us by Dennis Curtin (author of the popular Short Courses books and ebooks) might be an interesting read for anybody curious as to whether there's any difference between the various lens-cleaning cloths and papers on the market. With most digital cameras featuring fixed lenses, it becomes even more important to use the right material and technique to ensure your lens is kept in tip-top shape.
The page, hosted at Rochester Institute of Technology, and authored by Bret Harmen (who apparently went on to work for Fuji Hunt according to another page on the site) is an in-depth comparison of cleaning cloths from Canon, Pentax and Promaster as well as a cleaning paper from Kodak. When we say in-depth, we mean it - Bret went as far as to examine the selections under a scanning electron microscope, both before and after cleaning a piece of acetate with a dispersion of graphite on the surface.
We won't spoil the suspense by revealing the winner here, but suffice to say the scanning electron microscope images are very cool, and equally revealing...
UPDATED 2002-04-05 12:26ET: IR reader Jim Williams picked up on something we missed in our reading of Bret's article mentioned above. Unfortunately, Bret used Kodak's cleaning paper dry - whereas Kodak's instructions explicitly state that it should be used with a cleaning fluid. This obviously invalidates the results of the test - and since it was done almost two years ago we doubt he'll be correcting the error any time soon. ;)
The results of the comparison between the three cleaning cloths should still be valid, but obviously due to this oversight can't be compared to the Kodak lens paper. Thanks, Jim!
for this item!