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Compressed Air


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#1 Rolfe Klement

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Posted 31 July 2005 - 12:32 PM

I have always used loads of compressed air on my camera and lenses. My general actions are compressed air then wipe - if dust etc remains then liquid cleaner (lens cleaner etc) then wipe. I always use tiffen filter cleaners.

Anyway I was doing this on a shoot and the stills girl was saying that she was taught to never use compressed air on her camera or lenses

My camera seems fine, has anyone heard anything similar

thanks

Rolfe
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#2 Josh Bass

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Posted 31 July 2005 - 12:43 PM

Hi. You're gonna hear twenty different opinions on this, likely all from credible people who've worked for a long time in their field.

Having been around several DPs in Houston, as well as our Plus8 affiliate, I can tell you they use compressed air. However, they advocate not physically touching the lens (i.e. wiping) unless absolutely necessary. Sometimes the crap on there doesn't show up in the shot.

Let the onslaught begin.
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#3 Sam Wells

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Posted 31 July 2005 - 05:49 PM

DON'T tilt the can ! The liquid propellant is a refrigerant and can freeze moisture, possibly cracking the glass on your lens or a shutter mirror.

-Sam
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#4 Josh Bass

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Posted 31 July 2005 - 05:54 PM

So we got this guy, steadicam operator and occasional DP. He has this technique where you put the cam on a tripod, with the lens angled up, hold the can upright, but bend the little straw so that it points down, and the depress the trigger, and hold it.

For some reason when I try it, I get propellant all over the lens. Apparently I avoided doing any damage, but I'm not trying his way again. I guess it works for him, not so much for me.

I hold the can upright, and do little bursts of air. Always do a little burst somewhere away from the camera when doing it the first time that day. Holding it down seems to encourage the propellant to come out and make friends with your glass.

Some people keep telling me to use the soft brush (sometimes they have a squeezebulb in the middle, dig?), but those don't seem to do crap. At least not good crap.

Every time I've ever tried disposable tissues, I leave more poop on the lens than I get rid of.

Edited by Josh Bass, 31 July 2005 - 05:56 PM.

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#5 Chris Keth

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Posted 31 July 2005 - 06:16 PM

So we got this guy, steadicam operator and occasional DP. He has this technique where you put the cam on a tripod, with the lens angled up, hold the can upright, but bend the little straw so that it points down, and the depress the trigger, and hold it. 

For some reason when I try it, I get propellant all over the lens.  Apparently I avoided doing any damage, but I'm not trying his way again. I guess it works for him, not so much for me.

I hold the can upright, and do little bursts of air.  Always do a little burst somewhere away from the camera when doing it the first time that day. Holding it down seems to encourage the propellant to come out and make friends with your glass.

Some people keep telling me to use the soft brush (sometimes they have a squeezebulb in the middle, dig?), but those don't seem to do crap. At least not good crap.

Every time I've ever tried disposable tissues, I leave more poop on the lens than I get rid of.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>



A syringe (without needle, of course) makes a great blower for lenses that has no chance of spraying stuff. If you can get one of the older type with loops for your thumb and fingers, they're great. The hole in the tip is small enough that the air comes out with pretty high pressure.
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#6 oscar jimenez

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Posted 31 July 2005 - 07:04 PM

<Hi, there are a thousand stories made up on using compressed air cans for lens or camera cleansing, specially for damagin or staining lenses or getting debris inside camera body, If always used in straight position and with like brush circular strokes, it will help, I have thrown that refrigerant liquid over lenses accidentally lot of times, and never had a lens damaged out of it. But, before using air, Id rather use some kimwipes with a few strokes of panchro clenaser instead.
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#7 Robert Edge

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Posted 01 August 2005 - 08:30 AM

The first time that I used compressed air, the plastic straw shot forward like out of a canon and struck the lens head on. Have used compressed air since, but without the straw :) It's very handy for clearing dust from large format film holders, etc.

A couple of years ago, I started using something called a Lenspen (www.lenspen.com). Skeptical at first (the part of the pen that cleans is saturated with some kind of carbon compound), I've found that it works very well, does no damage to lenses, and is more convenient to carry than a can of compressed air.

I have UV filters on each of my lenses that come off only when a lens is in actual use. For me, that's the best solution. It's amazing how much gunk the UV filters pick up.
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#8 Matt Pacini

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Posted 02 August 2005 - 01:55 PM

The problem with compressed air, is that you're just as likely to blow stuff INTO the camera, as out of the camera.
So I won't use it inside my camera, but I have blown the outside of the camera off with it.
I got one of those microfiber cloths a while back, and those seem to be really good at removing dust & dirt of the camera body, but I use the lens cleaner/tissue route for the lens itself.

MP
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#9 Brad Grimmett

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Posted 02 August 2005 - 04:05 PM

But, before using air, Id rather use some kimwipes with a few strokes of panchro clenaser instead.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

From what I understand it's worse to use any kind of liquid cleaner on a lens than it is to use air. It's pretty rare that I see an A.C. using liquid on a lens.
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#10 Josh Bass

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Posted 02 August 2005 - 09:00 PM

The guys at Plus8 use Pancro lens cleaner on HD lenses.
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#11 Brad Grimmett

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Posted 03 August 2005 - 02:51 AM

The guys at Plus8 use Pancro lens cleaner on HD lenses.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

No offense to Plus8.....but I'd be more interested in hearing what the guys at Panavision and Clairmont use to clean lenses. My personal experience is that film folks are a bit better at making things last as long as possible.....but I'm not an A.C. so I'm probably not the best person to trust.
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#12 davelarson

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Posted 03 August 2005 - 03:32 PM

I've worked for Otto Nemenz and Panavision and I've always used Pancro and Compressed Nitrogen (no moisture) :D
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#13 Brad Grimmett

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Posted 03 August 2005 - 06:47 PM

The nitrogen doesn't surprise me. You never worried about damaging lens coatings over time by using Pancro?
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#14 oscar jimenez

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Posted 03 August 2005 - 08:24 PM

Ive been using Panchro all my life, never damaged lens coating, same with kimwipes, you are not spraying directly Panchro over the lenses or filters, just a small amount on some thorn kimwipes, then you cliean with the thorn sides to the lens, with some panchro on, they become soft as baby skin, and completely lint free. what I usually dont like to do is to spray dust off inside cam body, not from the lens mount, but inside only and I put my finger on the gate, for chips not gettting inside body cam where shutter spins.
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#15 Daniel J. Ashley-Smith

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Posted 03 August 2005 - 08:52 PM

From working in a camera shop, we've always recommended non-static fibre clothes. I heard once that in using compressed air, you can actually blow dust INTO the lens, purely from what I've heard, never actually experienced it.

Dan.
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