How often to clean dust from the front element of the lens?

Jul 1, 2016
1
0
I have a new lens and I have some dust on the edges of the front element that probably don’t effect on image quality. I’m using now a protecting filter to avoid dust on lens.

How often should I clean the front element of the lens? Is it okay to leave the dust there and clean like once a year or will leaving the dust there do some harm to the lens?
 

Viggo

EOS 5D SR
Dec 13, 2010
4,212
773
I never ever do it, I put a filter on there and use a blower meant for an optometrist if/when I change filters. I’ve bought and sold at least 200 lenses and it’s way too easy to spot the once always used with a filter compared to those who doesn’t use a filter and wipe the front element instead. Makes me cringe .. :p
 
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AlanF

Canon 5DSR II
Aug 16, 2012
5,749
3,078
I never ever do it, I put a filter on there and use a blower meant for an optometrist if/when I change filters. I’ve bought and sold at least 200 lenses and it’s way too easy to spot the once always used with a filter compared to those who doesn’t use a filter and wipe the front element instead. Makes me cringe .. :p
That will set the cat among the pigeons of the anti-filter brigade! I also always use a protective filter, and for lenses that don't take one I just blow the dust off and never wipe (mine never get splashed).
 
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JoTomOz

EOS T7i
Nov 21, 2018
56
33
www.flickr.com
im also interested in hearing views on this as sadly my knowledge is based on what photographer dad said and what I saw on youtube. I clean it of whenever it is easily noticeable. I used to use protective filters and wipe only the filter whenever I noticed much. More lately I’ve been of the opinion that it’s a bit of a waste of money to put another piece of glass in front of your finey engineered optic unless conditions are particularly nasty. From my understanding the front element would need to be very chipped or scratched for it to affect image quality?
Now, whether a UV filter would better keep dust out your lens? That may be a good reason if it is true. Oops, further digging this into the protective filter debate.
 

Click

I post too Much on Here!!
Jul 29, 2012
12,504
1,037
Canada
That will set the cat among the pigeons of the anti-filter brigade! I also always use a protective filter, and for lenses that don't take one I just blow the dust off and never wipe (mine never get splashed).

Same here.
 
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Viggo

EOS 5D SR
Dec 13, 2010
4,212
773
I also always use protective film on my phone screen for the same reason. So when I replace the protective film, it’s like getting a brand new phone every three months.

and the resell value is real issue. Even at 30% lower than normal used-price I don’t even consider lenses with even the tiniest scratches on the front element. Because of that, and the thought of how has this lens really been treated?
 

JoTomOz

EOS T7i
Nov 21, 2018
56
33
www.flickr.com
I also always use protective film on my phone screen for the same reason. So when I replace the protective film, it’s like getting a brand new phone every three months.

and the resell value is real issue. Even at 30% lower than normal used-price I don’t even consider lenses with even the tiniest scratches on the front element. Because of that, and the thought of how has this lens really been treated?
Out of curiosity what brand/ model of protective filter are worthy of your RF L primes?
 

AlanF

Canon 5DSR II
Aug 16, 2012
5,749
3,078
B+W. I prefer, unless the lens is an ultra-wide, the standard MRC UV filters, not the extra-slim ones. I like the brass construction, and, the thicker ones seem easier to take off.
I have some B&W but find Marumi just as good and cheaper.
 
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Graphic.Artifacts

EOS 7D MK II
Aug 1, 2017
450
256
I don't worry too much about a few little dust specs but I periodically go over mine with a lens pen to brighten them up. The lens pen makes them look brand new. Traditional cleaning methods often just make them worse and as others have said can damage the front element. Personally I never use protective filters but I don't advocate one way or the other. Personal choice. I've never damaged the front element of any lens that I am aware of.
 
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CanonFanBoy

EOS 5D SR
Jan 28, 2015
4,085
1,630
Irving, Texas
I don't worry too much about a few little dust specs but I periodically go over mine with a lens pen to brighten them up. The lens pen makes them look brand new. Traditional cleaning methods often just make them worse and as others have said can damage the front element. Personally I never use protective filters but I don't advocate one way or the other. Personal choice. I've never damaged the front element of any lens that I am aware of.
Lens pen for me also. Never had a problem. For protection in the case (Pelican only) I use the screw on metal lens caps. I throw away the OEM plastic caps. I also always use the lens hood. The only time I felt a lens was vulnerable when in use was when I had the Tamron 15-30.
 

neuroanatomist

I post too Much on Here!!
Jul 21, 2010
24,610
2,072
I use B+W MRC Nano, either clear (007) or UV (010), depending on which is cheaper in the size I need at the time I buy it.

LensPen for cleaning both filters and front elements (I wish they made a bigger LensPen, cleaning a 150mm diameter front element with that little disc is a PITA, although I don’t do it often).
 

Sporgon

5% of gear used 95% of the time
That will set the cat among the pigeons of the anti-filter brigade! I also always use a protective filter, and for lenses that don't take one I just blow the dust off and never wipe (mine never get splashed).
Yep, cat among the pigeons ! I never use filters unless I’m going to be shooting in an abrasive environment. Rarely clean the lens, if it’s getting really dusty I use a lens blower - “rocket blower” I think it is. If someone or something has managed to stick a sticky paw on the lens I use a proprietary lens cleaning fluid and tissue - but this is once in a blue moon. Thinking about it I suppose this is why I use lens hoods all the time.