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Tip- Save Money on Cleaning Solutions

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Brian B

Brian B

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Don't buy those expensive cleaning for routine cleaning of lenses. If you look at the Material Safety Data Sheets ( which everything under the sun has one, for it is required by law in the US) for cleaning solutions such as Leica and other brands. You will find the main ingredient in just about all of them is Isopropyl Alcohol (rubbing alcohol). 

For years I cleaned lenses doing the following.


1. Blow the lens free of any dirt and sand.

2. Clean with 91%>  Rubbing Alcohol.

3. Wipe with Distilled Water to remove any streaks, this step makes coated lenses come out looking like the day it came out of the box.




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Good tip as long as your lens has Super Integrated Coating or later.


Early Nikkors have coatings that can soften on the surface when subjected to high alcohol levels in the cleaning solution. I usually have 99% Isopropyl alcohol and cut it with distilled water to 60% alcohol content.

I put a few drops of this solution on a microfiber cloth, clean the surface and then wipe the excess moisture off with the dry part of the cloth. This has proven itself safe on both Single-coated and NIC coated lenses for many years now, unlike more concentrated solutions. SIC and later coatings don’t react with the alcohol, so they are completely safe with the tip above. SIC coatings were introduced in the 1974-1976 time frame on the K-Nikkors, some on introduction of the new style and some as a running change in production.


in the field, a Rocket Blower and a LensPen are usually good enough to get back to shooting.