Part of owning a delicate piece of equipment is making sure that it is clean and well maintained. However, as humans, we tend to lean on laziness and mediocrity especially when it comes to cleaning spotting scope lenses.
The process of how to clean spotting scope lenses can be quite intimidating but you have to be familiar with it since cleaning them incorrectly will result in scratches. Likewise, having them regularly cleaned by a professional is expensive.
Apart from knowing how to clean spotting scope lenses correctly, understanding the common reasons why they get dirty is also essential so that you would know the best cleaning solution to use. With that said, this article will provide you the necessary information that you need to maintain your spotting scope and extend its life.
Table of Contents
How Spotting Scope Lenses Get Dirty
In general, there are three reasons why the lenses get dirty, and they are the following:
Spotting scope lenses are the rage in bird watching and hunting now because not only are they good for wide angle views or sharp eagle eyes, but they are also extremely portable. In fact, you rarely see people without binoculars when they go to their jungle adventures.
You would expect that when you are in the forest, mountains, and other outdoor places, there will be dirt, mud, and other grime. These will eventually splatter to your spotting scope’s lens, especially if you are continually moving. At the same time, the occasional accidents of the tripod falling over or just merely letting it go give access for the forces of nature or in this case, the dirt of nature to cling on to the lens.
Your Skin and Hair
Surprise, surprise. Yes, you are contributing to that dirt that is stuck in your spotting scope’s lens. We are talking about the natural shedding of our hair and skin. For the skin part, these are the particles that fall off when we scratch our hands, change clothes, or touch our face.
For the hair part, we naturally lose 1000 strands of hair every day. We also tend to lose eyebrow, arm, and leg hair. So, those stray hairs that you see might not just come from wherever you left your scope, but it dropped straight into it while you are using it.
We used the word “inevitable” here because in this case, even if you exercise caution to counteract the previous causes that we mentioned, your lens will still get dirty. This is the case since dust, fiber, and pollen travel by air. They will eventually land on the scope, or worse, in it. So, why not use a case right?
Too late; your case can already be covered by dust and taking your scope in and out of its case can brush that dust into your scope’s lens. Where do we go from here? It is not about precaution; rather, it is about a cleaning solution because no matter how careful you are in keeping everything safe and clean, they would still get dirty.
How to Clean Spotting Scope Lenses
Now that you are no longer wondering why the lens of your spotting scope is dirty, it is time to do the dirty work, literally. The things that you need are:
- Microfiber cloth
- Lens brush
- Lens cleaner
- Facial tissue
If you are asking if you can use alternative products like ordinary tissue, the answer is yes. So, if you know something that can also work well, go ahead. But we really recommend that you get cleaning materials that are specifically used for lenses. Again, the lens is very delicate; you do not want to use anything that might scratch it.
Wipe down the entire scope using a microfiber cloth and be sure not to touch the lens. Doing so will remove excess dirt off of the scope.
Take the lens brush and start dusting off particles from the center of the lens going outwards. Follow a consistent clockwise or counterclockwise motion. If there are still some things left, you should not get back to it, instead finish one full motion and start from the center again.
Get a facial tissue or any tissue that is soft. Put two to three drops of lens cleaner on it and rub the lens using a circular motion. Make sure not rub too hard to prevent damage as well not too light to ensure that you are removing dirt. Also, be careful not to add too much cleaning solution.
Before the liquid dries, get another facial tissue and dry the area. This time, use faster but gentle circular strokes. This will help in keeping the clarity and gleam of the lens.
Repeat Steps two to four for the other lenses.
You do not have to leave them out to dry. The lens cleaner dries fast so by the time you dry it off with the other facial tissue, you can immediately put back the lens cap and tuck it back in its case.
Tips and Tricks
Here are some simple ways to maintain the cleanliness of the lens:
- Always put back the lens cap so you will not accidentally touch the lens.
- Store in a cool and dry area so it will not get moisture.
- When you are out on the field, and the wind is strong, simply shield your lens with your hands.
- Never use the breath and wipe method
- When not in use, keep it in its case.
Now that you are equipped with the steps on how to clean a scope lens, it does not mean that you have to be bold and careless. Also, do remember that deep cleaning the lenses constantly will affect clarity, so it should not be done more than four times a month.
Additionally, never put the liquid cleaning solution to the lens directly. Always use a wad of facial tissue. You must also keep in mind that cleaning is not just the only way to maintain the quality of the scoping lenses. You must also store an handle them properly.