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  1. #1
    Kentucky Wildlife
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    Coffee Filter Lens Cleaner?

    I just received an email from a female friend about the many uses of coffee filters. One of them said: Clean windows and mirrors. Coffee filters are lint free, so they'll leave windows sparkling. Another said: Protect a cast iron skillet. Place a coffee filter in a skillet to absorb moisture and prevent rust.
    So I speculated that coffee filters might be good for cleaning camera lenses. Although they are a little stiffer, they look quite similar to the thin, disposable paper lens cloths you buy in a packet. I tried a coffee filter on an old, cheap lens I'll never use again, and rubbed hard to see if it left any visible scratches. It did a better job of cleaning it than the soft, felt-like, lense cloth I usually use, and I couldn't see any scratches.
    But before I try to use it on my good lenses, I wanted to throw this out for dicussion.

  2. #2
    Panarus biarmicus Moderator (Sports) SmartWombat's Avatar
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    Re: Coffee Filter Lens Cleaner?

    I expect it to scratch the **** out of the lens.
    I prefer to use pec-pads.
    PAul

    Scroll down to the Sports Forum and post your sports pictures !

  3. #3
    drg
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    la recherche de trolls drg's Avatar
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    Re: Coffee Filter Lens Cleaner?

    Yikes!

    I wouldn't take a piece of rough filter paper to a fine lens. The scratches from 'fine' paper may be too small to see now, but after a few applications the lens may start to quickly appear 'cloudy'. I doubt that it would readily scratch glass, like a mirror or a window, but remember you lens has chemical coating on it too! If it gets damaged then all kinds of bad things start to happen to Image Quality.

    Even if you could find filters that were safe . . . the quality from one batch to the next is going to vary in such a low cost product.

    Lens paper is made to be used with a particular type of lubricant that is most usually a surfactant that the lens tissue soaks up readily and provides the cleaning that way. Dry cleaning with these materials is a sure method to scratch them! Your camera lens is either glass or a different formulation of polycarbonate than eyeglasses as an example.

    Stick with products meant for a lens, paper or microfiber!
    Saving a few pennies and ruining a good lens can be a very expensive lesson!!
    CDPrice 'drg'
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  4. #4
    www.stringfieldphotograph y.com
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    Re: Coffee Filter Lens Cleaner?

    I definitely wouldn't use filters for lens cleaner. I work at a restaurant and they prefer that we use coffee filters to clean the windows because of the fabric and they don't leave streaks, but the batches do vary and you risk scratching a lens. I'd just buy some lens wipes or something else.

    www.stringfieldphotography.com

  5. #5
    Learning more with every "click" mjs1973's Avatar
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    Re: Coffee Filter Lens Cleaner?

    Never used them for cleaning a lens, but I have used them as a diffuser over my flash. I have also used them to set a custom white balance. Hold one over your lens, and then take a photo of your light source. Then use that image to set your white balance. Much cheaper than buying an Expodisc.
    Mike

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  6. #6
    has-been... another view's Avatar
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    Re: Coffee Filter Lens Cleaner?

    Quote Originally Posted by SmartWombat
    I expect it to scratch the **** out of the lens.
    I prefer to use pec-pads.
    Same here... I'd expect that pec-pads are made and packaged in a very controlled environment to keep out the stuff that could damage a lens. This isn't a concern with coffee filters.

  7. #7
    Kentucky Wildlife
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    Re: Coffee Filter Lens Cleaner?

    Thanks, everyone. That's what I suspected, and what you all have said makes sense.
    I have started using coffee filters to clean my reading glasses (cheap Wal-Mart magnifiers), and they do a great job of that, even better than Windex and paper towles, and I haven't noticed any clowding or distortion.
    The only reason I even considered it is I live in such a rural area (no camera shop for 50 miles), so I have to order all such things over the internet, and on the rare occasion that I order something, I always seem to forget ordering lens tissues. I've been using a Pro Clearners lens cloth, but wonder how long one can use one before the cloth itself needs to be cleaned, and if they can even be washed, if one has to be careful of the detergent used and if it matters that fabric softener has been used in the previous wash.
    These are things I've always wondered about, but had no good place to ask such questions until I found this site.

  8. #8
    Junior Member
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    Re: Coffee Filter Lens Cleaner?

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  9. #9
    Junior Member
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    Re: Coffee Filter Lens Cleaner?

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  10. #10
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    Re: Coffee Filter Lens Cleaner?

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  11. #11
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    Re: Coffee Filter Lens Cleaner?

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