Cleaning salt spots from lens

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Dave S, Mar 19, 2007.

  1. Dave S

    Dave S Guest


    I have noticed some salt spotting on my camera lens after a trip to
    the seaside. Someone suggested I clean it with a lenspen but I have
    thoughts that salt spots are likely to be crystalline therefore
    abrasive, so would it be better to clean the lens with water and a
    soft cloth ?

    On the other hand I have read that it is better not to clean a camera
    lens too often except that some contaminants like finger prints are
    acidic and can damage the lens coatings.

    Are salt deposits likely to be corrosive to the lens coatings or can
    they be ignored until the picture quality deteriorates.


    Dave S, Mar 19, 2007
    1. Advertisements

  2. Dave S

    cgiorgio Guest

    Use cotton swabs wetted in de-ionized water (for car battery) when the salt
    has dissolved, there is no risk of scratching. Most antireflective lens
    coatings are harder than NaCl aniway, but just to be sure do not rub before
    it is dissolved.
    cgiorgio, Mar 19, 2007
    1. Advertisements

  3. Dave S

    John Smith Guest

    Wow, few things worse for a camera than salt... I'd get it off ASAP.

    John Smith, Mar 19, 2007
  4. Damp, not wet soft clean cloth with water, nothing else. In most areas
    tap water is fine.
    Joseph Meehan, Mar 19, 2007
  5. Dave S

    Rich Guest

    NEVER clean ANY lens with a dry tissue.
    Rich, Mar 19, 2007
  6. Dave S

    Mike Russell Guest

    My experience with a Kodak Lenspen is not very encouraging. After a bit of
    use it started to leave a deposit, not what I want when cleaning a lens!
    Water is better. Buy some gauze. Lens cleaning solution is somewhat more
    effective than water, which tends to bead up, and may contain impurities
    that will leave you where you started.
    Not likely, though it doesn't hurt to be paranoid about screwing up your
    lens. I've very occasionally seen optics damaged this way, for high traffic
    optics like binoculars, etc.
    Not particularly corrosive, but it's best to clean them off sooner rather
    than later.
    Mike Russell, Mar 19, 2007
  7. Dave S

    John Smith Guest

    Humm, have you ever bought a used car from someone who lives near the beach?

    John Smith, Mar 19, 2007
  8. Dave S

    JohnR66 Guest

    Corrosivness depends on the material being acted upon. Salt corrodes (rusts)
    iron due in part to iron's electrical conductivity.
    No such issues with a lens.
    JohnR66, Mar 19, 2007
  9. Dave S

    Scott W Guest

    I get a lot of salt spray on my lenses, I just use a clean dry lens
    cloth to wipe them off.
    When the spray is bad I might have to so this every 10 minutes or so.

    There are times when the air is just filled with salt spray, so far it
    has not been a problem
    for either the lenses or the cameras.

    Scott W, Mar 19, 2007
  10. Dave S

    King Sardon Guest

    Those cars would not rust if they were made of optical glass.

    Scaremongers will tell you that Coca Cola will completely dissolve a
    spoon that is left in it in only a couple of days. Not such a good
    comparison to your stomach, though, is it?

    Still, I might be a bit worried about a camera that has salt spray on
    it no matter where it is, and clean any traces of deposits by
    carefully dabbing with a small slightly damp cloth.

    King Sardon, Mar 19, 2007
  11. Dave S

    Colin_D Guest

    One can't be sure about the lens coating material though. Only wants a
    little dampness, and a chemical reaction could take place on a
    replacement series basis to render an irremovable spot on the lens.

    This is a situation where a UV filter is mandatory on a lens.

    Colin D.
    Colin_D, Mar 20, 2007
  12. Dave S

    Scott W Guest

    I used to use a UV filter in front of my lenses but then noticed that
    the UV filter always looked fine
    even after a lot of salt was on it. So I figure the lenses will
    likely hold up fine, and to date they have.

    I don't give other people a hard time if they feel the need to use a
    filter to protect their lenses, but
    I also don't believe that it is really needed in most cases.

    For that matter is salt water was really that bad for coated lenses my
    glasses would be trash
    by now since they get far more exposure to salt spray then my lenses

    Scott W, Mar 20, 2007
  13. Dave S

    THO Guest

    The spots are on your UV or skylight filter you use to protect your
    front lens, correct?
    THO, Mar 20, 2007
  14. Salt is soft but it will ruin your Lens Pen for sure. It will probably
    feed lens-eating mold if you don't clean it off soon.

    If the front of the lens is sealed, you can roll around a drop of
    purified water then fling it off. After a few times, the lens will be
    clean enough that the water doesn't stick.

    If it's not sealed, use a clean and damp tissue to remove the salt
    followed by the Lens Pen brush to remove lint.
    Kevin McMurtrie, Mar 20, 2007
  15. Dave S

    John Smith Guest

    Do you know what brand Anti/Reflect coating you have on your eyeglasses?
    I've had a lot of trouble with mine going south in as little as six months,
    and that's using lens tissue made expressly for that purpose.
    I'd sure like to find something more durable.

    John Smith, Mar 20, 2007
  16. Dave S

    Steve Wolfe Guest

    Use cotton swabs wetted in de-ionized water (for car battery) when the
    Sea-salt isn't NaCl, but predominantly calcium chloride. It, and several
    other ionic combinations you'll get, simply won't disolve to any significant
    extent in a neutral or basic environment - it takes an acid to break them

    The good news is that vinegar - especially if warmed up - will dissolve
    them quite well. I googled quickly to see if vinegar would harm the
    coatings, and seemed to see indications both ways - hopefully someone with
    more definitive knowledge will chime in.

    I use a UV filter over my lens when I'm in a messy environment - not so
    much to protect the lens, but because if it gets REALLY dirty or goopy
    (which it sometimes does), I can just unscrew it and run it under the
    faucet, with a bit of dish soap if needed. Then I have to finish it with a
    real lens cleaner, but that's MASSIVELY faster than trying to get off loads
    of crap with just the lens cleaner.

    Steve Wolfe, Mar 20, 2007
  17. Dave S

    Steve Wolfe Guest

    Sea-salt isn't NaCl, but predominantly calcium chloride.

    Sorry, it's too late for me not to re-check my posts. It's the calcium
    carbonate which isn't going to disolve without an acid. In any event, I've
    never had sea-salt disolve completely in just water - water in some areas
    may be acidic enough to disolve it, mine certainly isn't.

    Steve Wolfe, Mar 20, 2007
  18. Dave S

    Joe Petolino Guest

    Here's what I get when I Google for "seawater composition":

    They claim that there's 30 times as much sodium as calcium.
    The same page gives the pH of seawater as 7.5 to 8.5, i.e. slightly basic.

    Maybe you're referring to precipitates that settle out after seawater
    has reacted with CO2 from the air?

    Joe Petolino, Mar 20, 2007
  19. Dave S

    Scott W Guest

    I am not sure who did the coating, but I have real glass lenses in
    Plastic is very hard to coat and the coating tends to fall off. Are
    glasses made from glass or plastic?

    Scott W, Mar 20, 2007
  20. Dave S

    Scott W Guest

    In fact sea salt is NaCl, taste good too. Threre are some other trace
    elements but they
    are much lower then good old NaCl.

    Scott W, Mar 20, 2007
    1. Advertisements

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.