Filter cleaning solutions and methods?

KillerbobKillerbob Posts: 732Member
edited May 2013 in Nikon Lenses

I pretty exclusively use Hoya Pro1 Digital filters, I know them and know how to affect my lenses, and I have UV, CIR. POL, and ND. Most in 77mm, with a few exceptions.

One thing that I have been "blessed" with is the capability to put fingerprints on my filters, and my post-photography workflow includes a cleaning session of sorts. I use filter pens, the ones with carbon in one end, and a brush in the other end. For the really touch cleaning I have a microfiber/nano-cloth.

However, I find that there is a sort of film that I sometimes end up smearing on the filter, which makes it very hard to get them entirely clean. For these situations, is there a solution anyone can suggest I use? I think the Hoya filters are coated, and I can't help wonder how much this coating can actually take?


  • JohnJohn Posts: 134Member
    The film that you see is probably a combination of organic particles (pollen,...), dust, air polution and/or grease (if you touched it with your fingers).
    A cleaning cloth has fibers to absorb some of these materials but some will remain. In that case you need a cleaning solution as you suggested.
    I use two types:
    - a lens cleaning solution made by Hama
    - a cleaning solution for glasses (made by Pearl Vision)
    Both work wonders in keeping my B+W filters clean.
    I clean them in 3 steps:
    First I use a blower to remove as much dust as I can
    Then I apply a small amount of cleaning liquid directly on the filter (you can always add more so start of with only a drop or two). I rub the solution all over the filter with a lens cloth until all the liquid is gone.
    Finally, I give the filter a final light polish with another (dry) lens cloth. This is done yo remove any remaining streaks.

    I haven't used Hoya filters myself but most coatings on high quality, expensive filters can take a lot.
    So, don't worry to much about it. Just clean whenever you think it's needed.
    It's better to have a filter finally fail after hundreds or thousands of cleanings then to have soft images due to a dirty filter.
    (And it's likely that the filter will outlive you, even if you use and clean it every day)

    One small point to stress: always blow away the dust first before starting to clean.
    Some small sand particles are extremely hard and can scratch a filter or lens.
    (more expensive filter with resistant coatings tend to be less likely to get scratched but better safe then sorry)
  • Golf007sdGolf007sd Posts: 2,840Moderator
    edited May 2013
    To use Hoya HD filters on all me lenses. I have been very pleased with their performance. For cleaning I use Zeiss Lens Cleanning Wipes. They are great to use to clean the filters off first and the follow it by a nice clean micro-fiber cloth.

    I totally agree with John in first blowing any dust off with a blower and then begin the cleaning process.

    Lastly, small amounts of finger prints will not show up on a given shot because the distance to the front element is so close that the sensor will never pick it up.
    Post edited by Golf007sd on
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  • AlfonsoAlfonso Posts: 15Member
    I use Purosol Optical leans cleaner. It works Ok. Here a product description

    Purosol Optical was originally developed for NASA and the US military for use on high-end multi-coated optics. Combining the power of organic plant extracts and state-of-the-art green chemistry, it is the world’s most advanced cleaning solution. Taking its cleaning power from nature itself, Purosol Optical is non-toxic, hypoallergenic, nonflammable, sterile and completely biodegradable. It is CFC-free, VOC-free and exceeds EPA and OSHA health and safety standards, as well as exceeding standards set for the EU, Australia, Canada, Japan, and other countries worldwide


  • sidewayssideways Posts: 54Member
    To use Hoya HD filters on all me lenses. I have been very pleased with their performance. For cleaning I use Zeiss Lens Cleanning Wipes.

    I also bought a boxful of the Zeiss wipes after reading recommendations and they're great for removing whatever a lenspen cannot touch. You get to have sparkling clean spectacles too :-)
  • RenardRichie13RenardRichie13 Posts: 51Member
    I do this to clean my lenses and filter.

    Eclipse Pad and solution.

    I know its for sensor but it hasn't fail me yet.

    I top it off blowing the area with Koh hepa filter air blower then put the cap on.

  • IronheartIronheart Posts: 3,017Moderator
    I use 1oz (30ml) of a 40% Ethanol solution and a clean microfiber cloth. Drink the ethanol, breathe on the filter and rub with the cloth. Repeat as necessary. I'm happy even if the filter is still dirty.
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