Forums > Photography Talk > Nikon says do not breath on your lens to clean

Photographer

Photos by Lorrin

Posts: 6994

Eugene, Oregon, US

http://support.nikonusa.com/app/answers … mera-lens?

Basically acid in your breath is bad for lens.

Dec 09 12 04:00 am Link

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Photographer

Robb Mann

Posts: 10812

Baltimore, Maryland, US

I keep all my Nikon lenses in nitrogen-filled sealed vessels when not in use. Wrapped in custom made cashmere lens coosies, of course.

Dec 09 12 04:05 am Link

Photographer

RKD Photographic

Posts: 3265

Iserlohn, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany

As long as you don't do it twenty times a day, I think they're overstating the risk TBH...
When I sit down to 'clean' my lenses, I use proprietary cleaning products as per their advice.
When I'm on a shoot and I get a drop of spray or put one of my fat fingerprints on the lens, a bit of 'hrrrrr' and the corner of my t-shirt often gets the job done.

But then I do use UV/Protection filters and swap them out every year or so, so the actual lens' front element gets cleaned maybe once a year, if that.

Dec 09 12 04:53 am Link

Photographer

Vector One Photography

Posts: 2808

Fort Lauderdale, Florida, US

As long as I haven't been eating onions or gargling with vinegar I think a once in a while emergency breath isn't going to hurt.  But I do carry Kodak lens cleaner and lens tissues for the stubborn things.  My repairman, who has been fixing my equipment for 30 years and whom I respect, once told me for the really stubborn things use the industries secret weapon.... Windex.

Dec 09 12 08:30 am Link

Photographer

ontherocks

Posts: 22735

Salem, Oregon, US

i remember reading that when i first got started. it's especially bad when you had onions for lunch!

Dec 09 12 08:31 am Link

Photographer

AG_Boston

Posts: 352

Boston, Massachusetts, US

Robb Mann wrote:
I keep all my Nikon lenses in nitrogen-filled sealed vessels when not in use. Wrapped in custom made cashmere lens coosies, of course.

Uh...how high above absolute zero are they kept at?

Dec 09 12 11:35 am Link

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Photographer

Robb Mann

Posts: 10812

Baltimore, Maryland, US

AG_Boston wrote:

Uh...how high above absolute zero are they kept at?

Since Nikon lenses are not athermal, i keep them around 74 degrees F, and 20-30% relative humidity.

Dec 09 12 11:43 am Link

Photographer

Drew Smith Photography

Posts: 5210

Nottingham, England, United Kingdom

Probably not really gonna cause you a problem unless you're 'one of Ripley's bad guys'.  smile

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/--5_-gnrmY7M/T1eomzdROmI/AAAAAAAAAZc/8SHGErAUw0o/s1600/AVP_Xenomorph.jpg

Dec 09 12 11:47 am Link

Photographer

BlueMoonPics

Posts: 4451

New York, New York, US

Vector One Photography wrote:
As long as I haven't been eating onions or gargling with vinegar I think a once in a while emergency breath isn't going to hurt.  But I do carry Kodak lens cleaner and lens tissues for the stubborn things.  My repairman, who has been fixing my equipment for 30 years and whom I respect, once told me for the really stubborn things use the industries secret weapon.... Windex.

I used to repair cameras loooong time ago.  I did many tests of different solvents to clean lenses and the best one I found was Windex!

Dec 09 12 12:04 pm Link

Photographer

deletedxxx

Posts: 149

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Seems no matter what it is there will be contradicting advice. I thought you shouldn't use any cleaning fluid on lenses because they can affect the coating they put on them these days. If you've got greasy finger marks or something then wiping with a dry camera cloth is probably not enough, so if breath vapour is out, cleaning fluid is out what are you supposed to do? Put them in the dishwasher?

Dec 09 12 12:09 pm Link

Photographer

AVD AlphaDuctions

Posts: 10571

Gatineau, Quebec, Canada

my great uncle  breathed on all his Nikon lenses.  Same for his son. Two of his grandchildren are still using happily using his glass and breathing on before using a wipe. I think its a crock even long term.

Dec 09 12 12:10 pm Link

Photographer

AJ_In_Atlanta

Posts: 12858

Atlanta, Georgia, US

So long as you can still lick them I don't see a problem tongue

Dec 09 12 12:13 pm Link

Photographer

Good Egg Productions

Posts: 15788

Orlando, Florida, US

AVD AlphaDuctions wrote:
my great uncle  breathed on all his Nikon lenses.  Same for his son. Two of his grandchildren are still using happily using his glass and breathing on before using a wipe. I think its a crock even long term.

Your great uncle's lenses didn't have the modern nano coatings to control CA.

If I'm spending $6000 on a 400mm f/4, I'm not doing the hot-breath-and-cotton-sleeve-rub cleaning method for the front element.

Dec 09 12 12:14 pm Link

Photographer

Leonard Gee Photography

Posts: 16517

Sacramento, California, US

If I remember correctly, back in the dark ages and the black art of chemistry; when you vaporize water and condense it back, you get this junk called distilled water - which didn't have any impurities in it.

On the other hand, acid rain is caused by condensing water mixed with nitric and sulfuric particles in the air. So if you are standing around some place where there is high concentrations, it may be a problem. But otherwise, no.

Also, modern coatings mostly use vapor deposition and softer coatings of older lenses are even relatively inert. Other than abrasive cleaning, it's not going to get damaged much.

I do not think that one person's opinion equals Nikon corporate wisdom.

Dec 09 12 12:24 pm Link

Photographer

Raoul Isidro Images

Posts: 6302

Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

"There are harmful acids in breath that can damage lens coatings." --- Nikon

Uh huh?

V
V
V
V
V

http://images.smh.com.au/2010/10/19/1994970/mythbusters-420-420x0.jpg

.

Dec 09 12 01:49 pm Link

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Photographer

Robb Mann

Posts: 10812

Baltimore, Maryland, US

AVD AlphaDuctions wrote:
my great uncle  breathed on all his Nikon lenses.  Same for his son. Two of his grandchildren are still using happily using his glass and breathing on before using a wipe. I think its a crock even long term.

Except classic Nikon lenses did not have modern Nano coatings... Im sure its over-cautious advice, but nonetheless good advice.

Dec 09 12 03:58 pm Link

Photographer

Kev Lawson

Posts: 8620

Las Vegas, Nevada, US

landofy wrote:
Seems no matter what it is there will be contradicting advice. I thought you shouldn't use any cleaning fluid on lenses because they can affect the coating they put on them these days. If you've got greasy finger marks or something then wiping with a dry camera cloth is probably not enough, so if breath vapour is out, cleaning fluid is out what are you supposed to do? Put them in the dishwasher?

After researching this in depth, the trick to using the dishwasher to clean your glass is to maintain a relative humidity level below 30%. As long as you can do that the dishwasher seems harmless enough.













lol
warning: do not put your lenses in the dishwasher (some MM members may be tempted)
lol

Dec 09 12 04:06 pm Link

Photographer

AVD AlphaDuctions

Posts: 10571

Gatineau, Quebec, Canada

UltimateAppeal wrote:

After researching this in depth, the trick to using the dishwasher to clean your glass is to maintain a relative humidity level below 30%. As long as you can do that the dishwasher seems harmless enough.













lol
warning: do not put your lenses in the dishwasher (some MM members may be tempted)
lol

if you put them in the dishwasher some MMers will wanna know what fabric softener to use?

Dec 09 12 04:07 pm Link

Photographer

Image Magik

Posts: 1068

New Orleans, Louisiana, US

Lorin Edmonds wrote:
http://support.nikonusa.com/app/answers … mera-lens?

Basically acid in your breath is bad for lens.

Why would you breath on your lens???
Get a lens pen. Problem solved.

Dec 09 12 04:14 pm Link

Photographer

Image Magik

Posts: 1068

New Orleans, Louisiana, US

AJScalzitti wrote:
So long as you can still lick them I don't see a problem tongue

Yes and spit too!

Dec 09 12 04:16 pm Link

Photographer

sidney_k

Posts: 874

Paris, Île-de-France, France

I have worked with a photgrapher who wiped his finger cross-wise over the front lens, because it was too sharp...

Dec 09 12 04:24 pm Link

Photographer

D S P

Posts: 510

Portland, Oregon, US

I can see them covering their butts. However in reality, I've been breathing on my lenses and using my shirt to wipe my lenses since the mid '80s. They make a great product.

Dec 09 12 04:25 pm Link

Photographer

AJ_In_Atlanta

Posts: 12858

Atlanta, Georgia, US

Image Magik wrote:

Yes and spit too!

Guess I will stick to my L glass lol

Dec 09 12 04:27 pm Link

Photographer

photo212grapher

Posts: 1551

Saint Louis, Missouri, US

Image Magik wrote:
Why would you breath on your lens???
Get a lens pen. Problem solved.

+1

Image Magik wrote:
Yes and spit too!

LOL. Basically the moisture from your breath is the same as your spit.

Would those that breath on their lenses also spit to remove a stubborn mark?

Dec 09 12 10:19 pm Link

Photographer

Andrew Somers

Posts: 1032

Los Angeles, California, US

I *have never* "breathed" on a camera lens. WTF? Why would you put saliva on a $2000 lens? If you have good lenses, then surely you can afford proper lens cleaning tools.

Dec 10 12 02:40 am Link

Photographer

Kent Art Photography

Posts: 2969

Ashford, England, United Kingdom

What would happen if I took my lens outdoors?

Dec 10 12 02:44 am Link

Photographer

Z_Photo

Posts: 6965

Huntsville, Alabama, US

AJScalzitti wrote:

Guess I will stick to my L glass lol

i guarantee that if you rub with one of those L lenses it will damage the coatings of those great nikon lenses

Dec 10 12 05:27 am Link

Photographer

Jhono Bashian

Posts: 2432

Cleveland, Ohio, US

does this mean the multi-coating on lens 20 years ago was a stronger compound then the current recipe of coatings today?  Or do more people have halitosis today then yesteryear?

Dec 10 12 05:37 am Link

Photographer

Rebel Photo

Posts: 11446

Florence, South Carolina, US

Raoul Isidro Images wrote:
"There are harmful acids in breath that can damage lens coatings." --- Nikon

Uh huh?

V
V
V
V
V

http://images.smh.com.au/2010/10/19/1994970/mythbusters-420-420x0.jpg

.

now if someone would explain how they held a .45ACP bullet with a magnet.....

Dec 10 12 05:49 am Link

Photographer

Wolfy4u

Posts: 1103

Grand Junction, Colorado, US

I use my eye glasses cleaner and haven't noticed any problems so far.

Dec 10 12 06:18 am Link

Photographer

Shades Of Gray

Posts: 1054

Colorado Springs, Colorado, US

I like those pre-moistened Zeiss lens wipes myself but I think the dishwasher idea sounds pretty good as long as you did it with the camera body attached to keep the back sealed and used a good anti spotting rinse agent. tongue

Dec 10 12 07:02 am Link

Photographer

terrysphotocountry

Posts: 4170

Rochester, New York, US

Specially after eating a limburger cheese and onion Sandwich.

Dec 10 12 07:18 am Link

Photographer

the lonely photographer

Posts: 1888

Beverly Hills, California, US

breathing on the lens acid breath,   not likely, NIkon probably does'nt want you hocking up all kinds of  cooties and getting them lodged in the cracks and crevices of teh lens.  especially if they have to service them.  Tell me of one incident of Godzilla like breath damaging the lens?

Dec 11 12 08:26 am Link

Photographer

Light and Lens Studio

Posts: 1525

Sisters, Oregon, US

Vector One Photography wrote:
As long as I haven't been eating onions or gargling with vinegar I think a once in a while emergency breath isn't going to hurt.  But I do carry Kodak lens cleaner and lens tissues for the stubborn things.  My repairman, who has been fixing my equipment for 30 years and whom I respect, once told me for the really stubborn things use the industries secret weapon.... Windex.

If you are going to use "Windex" I would be sure that it isn't the ammonia containing version. 

The two major risks of lens cleaning are 1) scratching from  abrasive particles in dust and 2) damage to the coatings by chemicals (dragon breath included).  One of the great improvements in lens quality and potential image quality have been the coatings that have been developed.

Dec 11 12 08:52 am Link

Photographer

Jabari J Hunt

Posts: 527

Chicago, Illinois, US

Funny - I JUST read this in Hasselblad's H1 manual the other day!  I've done this a million times without issue, but I guess I'll head the warnings now.

Dec 12 12 04:52 pm Link

Photographer

AJ_In_Atlanta

Posts: 12858

Atlanta, Georgia, US

Andrew Somers wrote:
I *have never* "breathed" on a camera lens. WTF? Why would you put saliva on a $2000 lens? If you have good lenses, then surely you can afford proper lens cleaning tools.

Or how about how can a $2000 professional lens that is supposed to be weather sealed against the elements fail because some breathed on it WTF.

Dec 12 12 06:51 pm Link

Photographer

MMR Digital

Posts: 1731

Doylestown, Pennsylvania, US

So I guess wiping my lens on the front of my jeans everytime a model tells me she sees something on it is bad? I don't breath on the lens on beach shoots so the sand doesn't stick. I have a model in front of me- not a camera lens manufaturer before me. Wipe. Geesh!

jk

Dec 12 12 06:59 pm Link

Photographer

Don Olson Imagery

Posts: 291

Eugene, Oregon, US

AJScalzitti wrote:

Or how about how can a $2000 professional lens that is supposed to be weather sealed against the elements fail because some breathed on it WTF.

+1

Dec 12 12 07:03 pm Link

Photographer

Don Olson Imagery

Posts: 291

Eugene, Oregon, US

I think people freak over "NANO" coating too much. If it's that bad, soft and touchy it's not up to industry professional standards. I'll just rub it off and then I won't have to worry about it anymore. BTW my 2 camera repair techies one of which is a recently retired Nikon engineer both have Windex at hand. It's also good to clean camera bodies. Do what you want.

Dec 12 12 07:12 pm Link

Photographer

Flex Photography

Posts: 5339

Sudbury, Ontario, Canada

Non-issue for me, as I always have a UV or other filter on the front of all my lenses, for protection. I have no worries cleaning those. (carefully)

Dec 13 12 07:37 am Link