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Thread: Hoya Polarizing Filter lens cleaning issues

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    Smile Hoya Polarizing Filter lens cleaning issues

    I recently purchased a 77mm Hoya CPL Filter for my EFS 10-22mm lens.

    I have been unable to get the filter clean after my first few shoots with it.

    I have tried gently wiping with lens paper with a light spray of lens cleaning solution on it, then wiping with a micro fiber cloth, but it seems to have some sort of film on it and doesnt get clean enough.

    I have resisted the urge to just keep polishing it with the cloth and thought Id pose the question here.

    I purchased the filter off fleabay and it states that its genuine, looks genuine and is identical to my other CPL I have.

    Any hints?

    Cheers

    Stew

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    Ausphotography Regular junqbox's Avatar
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    I had a similar issue with a 72mm once. One day I sat down, poured lens cleaning fluid on it, let it sit and used a micro fibre cloth to clean. Came up fine after that.

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    cheap as chips shaving foam (this really works) or a light detergent and wash in warm water. wipe down with a wet and dry non fluffy micro fibre cloth (optical stores are a great source of these, particularly if you have a blind life partner)

    EDIT:
    DO NOT USE GEL TYPE SHAVING FOAMS! Home brand shaving foam is perfect.
    Last edited by Rattus79; 06-06-2012 at 4:33pm. Reason: Edit
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    important tip.. never use lens cleaning solution on filters!.. they destroy their coating.. I just use a hand blower to blow of the gritty stuff, wash them under distilled water (or just use tap water if you can't be bothered), blow again with hand blower to get most of water off then wipe clean with micro fiber cloth.. always gets it clean..

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    I agree with Fabian. There are many reports of solutions degrading the coating on the newer filters. Use water and a microfibre cloth
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    I love lens pens for cleaning. I also use a bit of dishwashing soap and water if it's really oily (don't know if it'll harm the filter but works fine for me, try it at your own risk). IMO if the filter gets damaged, it's a cheap replacement in comparison to the lens.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KeeFy View Post
    I love lens pens for cleaning. I also use a bit of dishwashing soap and water if it's really oily (don't know if it'll harm the filter but works fine for me, try it at your own risk). IMO if the filter gets damaged, it's a cheap replacement in comparison to the lens.
    depends what kind of filters we're talking about.. if it's just a UV screw on for protection yes.. but if we're talking about polarizing, ND, etc filters which can cost anything from a few hundred $$ upwards you rather give as much care as you can.. I wouldn't call those cheap replaceables.. to be honest I haven't had one occasion where bit of water and micro fiber cloth didn't get the filter clean.. and I have come back from location shoots with some quite gritty looking filters.. anything from heavy "sea mist" to dust, sand and mud..
    Last edited by NGP; 09-06-2012 at 10:44pm.

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    Have had same issue and had the negitive outcome. I had a film like coating on my CPL and was a mid range product not a cheapy. After much frustration I ended up leaving it in fear of damaging the filer. Then one day I am chatting to a pro who had his filter screwed together with these metal endcaps. He tells me that storing filters for any lenght of time in the plastic cover they come in causes this to happen. Can't remember what he called it but basically as the plastic breaks down over time it sticks to the surface of the filter like dust but almost impossible to get of. Hence his expensive filters screwed together with the end caps to protect the end filters. He said they are probably a right off but try cleaning then.

    Had to get pretty vigorous to clean the filter but pretty much think I screwed it as I no longer notice the UV effect when I rotate the filter.
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    I had the same issue with two of my CPL's. Warm (not hot) water did the trick, with a gentle clean with a really soft micro fibre cloth. No detergent was necessary. I now just keep them clean with a Lenspen (love these!), after blowing off any gritty stuff with a bulb blower.

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    Thanks for all your replies guys, greatly appreciated!

    Ive heard a bit about the lens pens, wheres the cheapest place to purchase one?

    Ill check flea bay now.

    Happy shooting!

    Stew

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fishing Photog View Post
    ...... but it seems to have some sort of film on it and doesnt get clean enough.

    I have resisted the urge to just keep polishing it with the cloth and thought Id pose the question here.

    .....
    Hoya filters all seem to have varying degrees of build quality to them.
    I have three different versions, and some are better than others, and those 'others' .. you really wouldn't waste your time with ever again.

    The polarising glass is quite ok, but the finish of the ring(s) themselves are quite dreadful.

    Some of the cheaper Hoya CPLs seem to be put together using a small amount of grease between the main filter ring(which attaches to the lens) and the rotating glass housing ring which is the part that turns(so that you can rotate the polarising glass).
    This small film of grease can be what's causing the film you whatever that you see on the glass.

    Best fluid(that I've found) to clean this film off the filter is Eclipse fluid.
    Normally you get this Eclipse fluid to clean dust off your camera's sensor, and a drop or two on an old microfibre cleaning cloth will also help to remove this streaking film from your CPL too.

    Was the Hoya filter packaging purple? grey? green? black? ... I'm pretty sure that my problem filter is the purple packaged one.
    This is the same one that also comes apart more easily than the other types.
    Like I said tho the filter works quite well, when compared to the other types.. it polarises and flares up as badly as the others do, but the actual mechanics of it are the worst of the lot.

    I pulled mine apart for the last time a long time ago, and cleaned out all the greasy stuff. The grease is between the fixed ring and the rotating ring, which I assume is there to imbue a feeling of higher than reality quality.. it used to rotate smoothly. I suspect that if the filter gets a bit warm/hot, or has simply been sitting in the sun for a while.. this greasy stuff creeps.
    And then when you wipe the filter with the cleaning cloth, as you wipe at the very edge of the glass you're inadvertently smearing this greasy stuff around as well.
    it's not grease as you initially assume it to be, but it is greasy.
    I've only seen it on this particular model of Hoya, and my other versions aren't afflicted with the same problem.
    In the end I just wasted lots of pec pads and some eclipse fluid on it.. pulled it apart, and kept cleaning the two parts until the pec pads stopped cleaning off the black stuff off the metal rims of the filter.
    Put it back together and never had an issue with that filter ever again.

    Don't be afraid to use Eclipse fluid on the filter either ... I've been using it now for 6 years on my filters(glass filters only!!.. not plastic filters) and they don't seem to have been affected in any way at all.
    If you do try Eclipse as a cleaning agent, generally you always place the drops onto the cleaning medium(cloth or pecpad).
    But on my problematic greasy CPL on the first cleaning attempt I did place the fluid on the filter itself and a few more than two drops as well, as I wanted it to make it's way into the edges of the filter ring to seep into the nooks and crevices, where the annoying lubricant stuff was hiding.

    If you don't already have a sensor cleaning set such as the Copperhill type, do yourself a favour and get one.
    Get plenty of pecpads too, as they come in very handy for cleaning problem filters as well as other stuff like lenses and camera review screens, etc ....

    And be weary of using your micro fibre cloth for too long too .... this could also be part of the problem in that it traps unwanted foreign contaminants and has the ability to re disperse them across onto other gear. Because you are physically handling the cleaning cloth with your hands, there is also the possibility that you have contaminants on your hands which are transferred to the microfibre cloth which are in turn wiped onto the lens/filter/whatever ...
    Of course you will know if this is soiled cleaning cloth is a problem, as all your gear will have this 'film' over any glass surfaces as well.
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    Member KeeFy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by arthurking83 View Post
    Hoya filters all seem to have varying degrees of build quality to them.
    I have three different versions, and some are better than others, and those 'others' .. you really wouldn't waste your time with ever again.

    The polarising glass is quite ok, but the finish of the ring(s) themselves are quite dreadful.

    Some of the cheaper Hoya CPLs seem to be put together using a small amount of grease between the main filter ring(which attaches to the lens) and the rotating glass housing ring which is the part that turns(so that you can rotate the polarising glass).
    This small film of grease can be what's causing the film you whatever that you see on the glass.

    Best fluid(that I've found) to clean this film off the filter is Eclipse fluid.
    Normally you get this Eclipse fluid to clean dust off your camera's sensor, and a drop or two on an old microfibre cleaning cloth will also help to remove this streaking film from your CPL too.

    Was the Hoya filter packaging purple? grey? green? black? ... I'm pretty sure that my problem filter is the purple packaged one.
    This is the same one that also comes apart more easily than the other types.
    Like I said tho the filter works quite well, when compared to the other types.. it polarises and flares up as badly as the others do, but the actual mechanics of it are the worst of the lot.

    I pulled mine apart for the last time a long time ago, and cleaned out all the greasy stuff. The grease is between the fixed ring and the rotating ring, which I assume is there to imbue a feeling of higher than reality quality.. it used to rotate smoothly. I suspect that if the filter gets a bit warm/hot, or has simply been sitting in the sun for a while.. this greasy stuff creeps.
    And then when you wipe the filter with the cleaning cloth, as you wipe at the very edge of the glass you're inadvertently smearing this greasy stuff around as well.
    it's not grease as you initially assume it to be, but it is greasy.
    I've only seen it on this particular model of Hoya, and my other versions aren't afflicted with the same problem.
    In the end I just wasted lots of pec pads and some eclipse fluid on it.. pulled it apart, and kept cleaning the two parts until the pec pads stopped cleaning off the black stuff off the metal rims of the filter.
    Put it back together and never had an issue with that filter ever again.

    Don't be afraid to use Eclipse fluid on the filter either ... I've been using it now for 6 years on my filters(glass filters only!!.. not plastic filters) and they don't seem to have been affected in any way at all.
    If you do try Eclipse as a cleaning agent, generally you always place the drops onto the cleaning medium(cloth or pecpad).
    But on my problematic greasy CPL on the first cleaning attempt I did place the fluid on the filter itself and a few more than two drops as well, as I wanted it to make it's way into the edges of the filter ring to seep into the nooks and crevices, where the annoying lubricant stuff was hiding.

    If you don't already have a sensor cleaning set such as the Copperhill type, do yourself a favour and get one.
    Get plenty of pecpads too, as they come in very handy for cleaning problem filters as well as other stuff like lenses and camera review screens, etc ....

    And be weary of using your micro fibre cloth for too long too .... this could also be part of the problem in that it traps unwanted foreign contaminants and has the ability to re disperse them across onto other gear. Because you are physically handling the cleaning cloth with your hands, there is also the possibility that you have contaminants on your hands which are transferred to the microfibre cloth which are in turn wiped onto the lens/filter/whatever ...
    Of course you will know if this is soiled cleaning cloth is a problem, as all your gear will have this 'film' over any glass surfaces as well.
    I have the eclipse fluid but have not used it other than to clean my sensors with the pec pads. Never thought of using it on my filters or lenses.

    As for CPLs, I use hoya HDs which are pretty tough imo. So far so good. My filters get oily from my fingers and washing with water and wiping with a microfiber cloth doesn't cut it, thus the use of a drop of dish washing liquid to bind the oil.

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KeeFy View Post
    .... My filters get oily from my fingers and washing with water and wiping with a microfiber cloth doesn't cut it, thus the use of a drop of dish washing liquid to bind the oil.
    I think I already said this, but if you're using a micro fibre cloth, don't just assume because it's a great material to clean glass with that it's the best material to use.
    Part of the problem is that in 99.9% of instances, you tend to handle the entire cloth.
    Unless you live a vacuum or in a sterilised clean room, and wash your hands every 30sec or so, you may have some kind of contaminant on your hands at some point that can transfer to the microfibre cloth.
    Carbon fibre tripods (in my experience) are notorious for this(and my Manfrotto NeoTech tripod is even worse due to it's design) .. so I became weary of just using a microfibre cloth to clean any glass surfaces(lens or CPL filters).
    I find that after a bit of use, my hands seem to 'blacken' when using the carbon tripod.
    I don't know whether it's 'wearing' (I doubt it) or if dirt just clings to cf better.. or what!
    But I started using clean pec pads and made sure that I only used parts of the pec pads that I didn't touch to clean the glass surface.

    Eclipse cleans any greasy looking film substances off glass filters perfectly and almost instantly.. just as long as there is none of that greasy stuff on the CPL that helps to make rotating it smooth.
    I had a quick check yesterday again(but got busy with actually taking shots) the Hoya CPL that I got that came in the grey coloured packaging is OK, but it was the one with the purple coloured packaging that was my main problem CPL. The Pro1 CPL I have, which is also one of those ultra slim types with only 1/5th of a millimeter rotating bezel to work with, is ultra ultra smooth by comparison to the other cheaper types I have .. but I can't see any difference in (IQ)quality between it and the super cheap cheapie CPL I got about 20 years ago now.

    The cheaper Hoya CPL's seem to have a circlip type retaining method of holding the rotating bezel to the main body, and while it's not easy peasy to remove, it can be done, and that's how I cleaned out the greasy black stuff around the inner part of the rim.
    I doesn't feel as tho it's causing any problems, but it's never caused me any grief now for quite a while.
    In using it yesterday too, I noticed a few finger prints(my son also uses it sometimes) .. and they cleaned off perfectly with the micro fibre cloth I had on hand.

    One thing you would never do tho is to use Eclipse to clean Cokin type(or any other brand for that matter) poly filters(like square NDs and GNDs) it kills them quite easily... for obvious reasons!
    (I only tried it on a dead filters .. never a new one! Of course having some alcohol type of compound it it's make up ... ethanol I think ... it permanently marked an already scratched filter).

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