Continuing on from silly thing no.1, I had purchased all the gear for cleaning the sensor, and did not need it. That’s OK, i can use the cleaner to clean my lenses and filters. It says so on the website. What you can not do, is clean your multi coated filters. Which brings me to…
Silly thing No.2 – Multi Coated Filters & Cleaning.
Most photographers will always have a filter attached to the end of their lenses. The main reason is protection. It is also handy for cutting down on unwanted ultraviolet light. With the advent of digital photography, the multi coated filters like the Hoya “Pro1 D”, or B+W “MRC” filter series are now the standard for digital photography. What the manufacturers will not tell you is how to clean the filter without damaging it.
I use the “Eclipse” cleaning fluid to clean the filters. It states on the website that i can clean filters with this fluid. I even had some Pec Pads i can use in conjunction with the product. Bad idea.
While it is true that you can clean filters with this product, i found it is not true for multi coated filters. Take my advise, and do not even try it. It seemed to remove the coating and create large streaks and then little pools of uncoated glass. I did manage to salvage it slightly, but the filter was ruined. One of my more expensive circular polarisers was for the bin.
So what to do?
A fellow photography enthusiast informed me he himself does not use any special fluids, brushes or the like. The best and cheapest method, is to give the filter a blow with something like Giottos Q.Ball if it needs it. Use your breath to dampen the glass, and clean using a good cleaning cloth. I currently use B+W’s cleaning cloth, which is a great product. If you have managed to get salt water, dirt or some other alien matter on the filter, use tap water to clean, let it dry, and clean in the way just mentioned. If you do have dirt, please be sure you have removed all the dirt before wiping with the cloth. Otherwise the glass may become scratched.
Granted, this may not be the only method of cleaning, but it has worked well for me thus far. If anyone has some other tips or tricks, i would love to hear them.
But do not forget, do not use special fluids on multi coated filters. Take it from this numb skull.
One way i have avoided the heartache is to not purchase the multi coated filters. I now use the B+W standard UV filter as a protector filter, which is also cheaper. It does a great job, and it is easier to clean.