Essential Lens Cleaning Tool For Tough Spots

Recently I wrote an article titled The Most Important Piece Of Photography Equipment You Need about the LensPen, one of the most important pieces of gear I own, and I wanted to follow that up with another lens cleaner that is my second defense… Lens wipes, Nikon Moist Lens Cleaner Cloths to be more specific (I’ll just be calling them lens wipes for the purposes of this review).  Wet wipes like these are perfect for tough spots that don’t seem to budge with the LensPen, it’s a rare event but one you want to be prepared for.*

*If you’ve ever photographed near a rough surf you’ll know all about the ocean spray that tends to stick to your glass and typically just smears when you try to dry wipe it.  Lens wipes work perfectly for situations just like this. 

Why Nikon Lens Cloths?

To be honest, I always error on the side of name brand products in regards to photography.  I don’t hate my money but I do hate junk that breaks too soon or doesn’t do what it is supposed to.  I have not even tried the “no name” wipes because I spent a good bit of money on my lenses and I refuse to risk scratching one of them.  After using the lens wipes for the last three years I can confidently say they do a great job.

The box comes with 21 lens cloths individually packaged…  This is great if you are like me and want to drop a few in your camera bag without worrying about getting lint or hair all over them like you would a dry micro fiber cloth.

How To Use The Lens Wipes

I’m no scientist so I won’t guess what elements from the periodic table went into creating the concoction that moistens the lens cloths…  But I will say that whatever it is becomes dry very quickly so I recommend using one wipe per lens.  If you are cleaning multiple lenses pitch each wipe after use on one lens otherwise it will dry out and possibly damage your lens.  Even if it wouldn’t damage the lens it would transplant some of the grease and grime it pulled of the first lens to the subsequent lenses.

Just like I mentioned when talking about the LensPen, I recommend wiping in circular motions.  I don’t have a scientific reason for you, it just feels right.  And look tough guy, you don’t need to push very hard, the lens doesn’t owe you money…  Or maybe it does, I don’t know how much you spent on it.  It doesn’t take much pressure to remove stubborn spots.

Finally, use the LensPen to wipe away any residue that may be left over from the wipe.  Any wet cleaning of the lens will leave behind a trace amount of residue, doesn’t matter what chemical concoction you use so it’s good practice to always wipe it with the felt side of a LensPen and then with the brush side for good measure.

If you follow these direction your lenses will be squeaky clean and your images will thank you.

Alternative

The only alternative to lens wipes is either a Harry Potter spell or a dry micro fiber cloth with lens cleaning solution.  I’m all about reducing the amount of crap I have to carry so I would recommend the wipes over the cloth and solution any day of the week.  Plus, if you are like me and like to leave home without a camera bag the lens cloth’s easily slip into your back pocket without picking up all the lint you collect in there (each one is individually packaged, remember?).

What do you clean your lenses with?  Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments section below.

 

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