CARL ZEISS CONSUMER LENS CLEANING PRODUCTS
Invariably there will come a time when a customer will need to clean a telescope or camera lens, an eyepiece or other optical accessory. To help our customers Company Seven wrote Cleaning Consumer Optics a short illustrated "how to" about cleaning telescopes and binoculars, including a decision making "flow-chart" and discussion of particle removing techniques, brushes, and solvents. There we mention that most dust or other loose bits of foreign matter from the surface of the lenses with an air bulb or small vacuum. Stubborn particles may be removed with a soft camel's hair brush such as the Staticmaster which we stock.
Right: Zeiss Pre-Moistened Lens Cloths Package, with two Lens Cloth foil paks (one open), and three Lens Cleaning Fluid bottles (114,665).
Click on image for higher quality, enlarged view (250,945 bytes).
If a particle of some inorganic matter does not come off with a lens cleaning brush, then you may employ a clean cloth dampened with water to attract the particle. However, there will be times when organic contaminants arrive onto a lens or mirror surface and the use of water alone will cause the contamination to spread and smear. This contamination most commonly originates from accidental contact with the hands which may leave fingerprints, oils from eyelashes, contaminants from sprays such as insect repellent. Detergents such as this are called for cleaning at times when oily, organic soiling occurs.
This is the only the only lens cleaning fluid sold only by Company Seven, and it is one of only two that we unconditionally recommend the other being Kodak. We know these are consistently made, and safe for all optical surfaces. Whereas there are many third party solutions on the market, it is impossible to know how effective or safe these alternatives are.
We make the Carl Zeiss Lens Cleaning solution available in two forms, both are regularly in stock in Company Seven's showroom.
Liquid in 85 ml / 3 oz. bottle with a spray head and cap.
Simply spray the liquid onto a sterile white cotton ball or onto an approved lens cleaning cloth for use. This makes the best sense for people who have more frequent use requirements, for people who want to insure this is available over long trips, or in applications where one is cleaning larger surface areas.
Pre-Moistened Lens Cloth packets, we typically provide them in a box with 21 cloths.
These are a self contained solution ideal when it is inconvenient to carry the small bottle of fluid with cleaning fabrics. These cloths are saturated with the Zeiss Lens Cleaning Fluid and provided folded and sealed into a handy and compact aluminum foil packet. The packets can be kept in an accessory kit, pocket, purse. The packet may be kept in an automobile as long as the packet is not heated too long or too often. The packet is notched so that it can easily be torn open to reveal the folded cloth. Once opened the lens cleaning fluid will evaporate in a minute or two, but permits the time necessary to clean a pair of glasses or to address most other common needs.
For those who are going into the field and anticipate only occasional cleaning of glasses, binocular or a telescope then the lens cloths will be most convenient to use. However, over time the cleaning solution can permeate even the foil wrapping and leave the cloths dry. There is a 'shelf life' to these that varies with time, temperature and conditions of storage so avoid buying old stock - insure the cloths you will need or will take on your trip are purchased new, and ideally within days or weeks of departing.
We offer packets of the cloths boxed in larger quantities for laboratories and other clients who require higher volume. However, some retailers advertise these by appealing to the 'more is better/cheaper' mentality. Regardless, we urge our typical consumer to avoid buying large quantities of these cloths if their needs are only incidental since many of the packets may dry out before well you get to them - that is no real cost savings in the long run.
Should your lens cloths be found to have dried then there is nothing wrong with spraying the cloth with the Carl Zeiss Lens Cleaning solution mentioned above, or distilled water as a last ditch measure.
How does it work?
A good water based lens cleaning fluid will do two basic functions:
1. act as an emulsifier to promote a chemical reaction to dissolve the organic contaminant material into the lens cleaning fluid, without harming sensitive optical coatings. This reaction causes the oil molecules to change their nature so that the oil releases its grip on the other oil molecules and on the surface it was attached to so that the contaminant can be suspended in the solution.
2. lowers the surface tension of the water (making it "wetter" so to speak) so that the water is more likely to interact with the oil, thereby permitting the the contaminants to flow off the lens surface as it is attracted into the water in the lens cleaning solution (the surfactant aspect).
- Uncoated glass or polycarbonate lens surfaces (typical of older antiques and some modern glasses)
- Television or Computer display panels (LCD, Plasma, CRT, either gloss or not)
- Antireflection coated lens surfaces (Magnesium Fluoride and all Multicoated)
- eyepieces of binoculars, telescopes, microscopes
- telescope or camera objective lenses
- Mirror surfaces
- Diagonal or Primary Mirrors
- uncoated glass filters (Neutral Density, Color, etc.)
- AR coated glass filters (Neutral Density, Color, etc.)
- coated glass solar filters (Questar, etc.)
- polymer solar filters (Baader Planetarium AstroSolarTM, etc.)
- Refer to our Library for the article Cleaning Most Consumer Optics a short illustrated "how to" including "flow-chart", with discussion of particle removing techniques, brushes, and solvents. In it we mention that most dust or other loose bits of foreign matter from the surface of the lenses with an air bulb or small vacuum.
- "Company Seven: Zeiss Lens Cleaning Fluid Materials Safety Data Sheet", our six (6) page color illustrated document explaining the health and safety implications of the Zeiss Lens Cleaning Fluid distributed by Company Seven and as is referred to in our article "Cleaning Telescopes And Most Consumer Optics". This document includes advice for medical professionals regarding treatment of accidental exposure to the eyes or ingestion. From Company Seven's Archives. Download size is 10,109,563 bytes (in Acrobat Reader ".pdf" format).
- "Company Seven: Zeiss Lens Cleaning Towelette Materials Safety Data Sheet", our six (6) page color illustrated document explaining the health and safety implications of the Zeiss Lens Cleaning Towlettes distributed by Company Seven and as is referred to in our article "Cleaning Telescopes And Most Consumer Optics". This document includes advice for medical professionals regarding treatment of accidental exposure to the eyes or ingestion. From Company Seven's Archives. Download size is 9,669,387 bytes (in Acrobat Reader ".pdf" format).