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Mineral PhotographyCleaning lenses

26th Nov 2017 22:50 GMTJerry Cone Expert

I've read the "Dust on camera components" thread. My question is more basic.

What is a good way (best way if possible) to clean microscope lenses. I use a camera with a telephoto and microscope objective lens attached for photomicrography.

I've used a cleaning solution with a cloth provided and sometimes with a q-tip. I can't seem to get all the 'grit' and threads (probably from the q-tip) off the lenses. Maybe these spots and threads have nothing to do with the trails on the photo.

I'm sure people have different methods and I'd love to hear them.



27th Nov 2017 03:52 GMTOT. Ljøstad Expert


If you got a kind of unwanted, greyish worms creping over the image of a finished, stacked photo, it comes from a dirt particle on the sensor of your camera.

27th Nov 2017 05:17 GMTJoel Dyer

Hi Jerry,

Q-tips aren't of much use for direct cleaning of microscope objectives, as almost always they leave smaller or larger cotton fiber fragments on the objective surfaces.

As for chemicals used to clean the objectives, I would certainly avoid common alchohols, as they may damage various anti-reflection and other coatings. The problem also is that modern and older microscope objectives can be built with different compositions / coatings, some of which can tolerate some chemicals, others some other chemicals.

In many microscope care documents I've seen "benzine" or "purified benzine" mentioned. This is not the same as the fuel you put into your car tank. In general mineral turpentine ("mineraalitärpätti" or "lakkabensiini" in Finnish) has been used, and I've tried this with many of my antique and modern objectives, with no damage yet. However, using special microscope cleaning kits may be the best method in many cases.

Personally, I use lint-free (or lint-minimal) microfiber cloths. I first blow off off possible grit(!!) or obvious dust from the objective surfaces. Then, I dampen the surfaces with the cleaning fluid & blow off the dust again.

After this, I slightly dampen the microfiber with the cleaning agent and gently rotate the microfiber against the objective surface with a q-tip or something other round-ended and soft behind it until I have a clean objective. I'm sure a "mini-vacuum" for removing a lot of the dust would be the absolute best first action & I'm planning to get one of these, also for use with my cameras.

Some links for you:

Microscopy website:

Microscope World:

Zeiss document:



27th Nov 2017 11:16 GMTJerry Cone Expert

Thanks Joel, great information, just what I needed.

Take care,


27th Nov 2017 11:30 GMTJerry Cone Expert

Thanks OT, I do have the worms. I'm not sure I want to tackle cleaning the sensor.


27th Nov 2017 12:59 GMTTom Tucker

A page at Absolute Clarity and Callibration website, notes "things to do" and gives hints to cleaning your lenses. They're a good outfit to work with. Tom

27th Nov 2017 21:48 GMTJerry Cone Expert

Thanks to you too Tom.


22nd Dec 2017 13:53 GMTJean-Pierre Bourgarel

A good cleaning is :


23rd Dec 2017 00:21 GMTJerry Cone Expert

Thanks Jean-Pierre, that looks like a great idea!
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