Cleaning Telescope Eyepieces

It is important to keep your telescope eyepieces clean as they will provide degraded images of objects you are trying to observe if the lens is dirty. The eyepieces get handled a lot so they pick up dust, accidental fingerprints and other impurities which you do not want on the eyepiece lens.

Looking at the Sun with a Dirty Eyepiece * Use a Filter* (Click for Larger Picture)

Looking at the Sun with a Dirty Eyepiece * Use a Filter* (Click for Larger Picture)

As most eyepieces do not have instructions on how to clean them, unfortunately a lot of lenses are damaged by people trying to clean them. For example, if you are in the field and the lens is dirty, if you try to clean the lens in the dark or under red light conditions, you will not see what is on the lens that may scratch it during cleaning.

So avoid cleaning them in the dark. Hard earned money went into buying eyepieces and you don’t want to ruin them.

I had a number of my eyepieces that were in serious need of cleaning. Specifically my 8-24 zoom eyepiece which had some odd looking blemishes on the lens. No idea what happened to cause them, but the blemishes were there and they looked ingrained into the surface itself.

Now I know you can get special cleaning fluid to clean lenses safely, but for some reason every time I have either forgotten to pick up the cleaning fluid when I was shopping or the telescope shop would be out of stock. Not a very good excuse.

I happened to browse in National Geographic on the weekend and happened across a product called a Lenspen  made by Barska Optics. According to the literature on the back, the Lenspen has a remarkable cleaning compound which removes dust, fingerprints, smudges and grease with ease.  I had never heard of it so I was skeptical. Apparently it was safe for all lenses including those which had multi-coated surfaces. It sounded a lot more interesting, especially as it was apparently reusable over a long period of time.

So I purchased the Lenspen for something like $25 from National Geographic and tried cleaning my dirty eyepiece lenses back home.

Well the Lenspen worked great….. and no liquid involved at all.

The Lenspen has a retractable brush to remove particles of dust…… first step. Then I wiped the circular cleaning tip of the brush on the lens itself in a circular motion to clean the lens. I had a few persistant smudges as the packaging mentioned I might ,so all I had to do was breathe gently on the lens and repeat the steps again.

Well it worked…… those strange looking smudges on my zoom lens were gone and the glass surface was absolutely clear. Best $25 I ever spent.

So I recommend people investigate what cleaning method is best for their expensive eyepieces…..  however based on my experience yesterday the Lenspen is highly recommended. It apparently works on binoculars, cameras and camcorders as well.

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~ by sydneystargazers on October 18, 2009.

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