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I purchased a ND 1024x B&W filter and it arrived with a small fingerprint near the perimeter of the filter.

Should I clean it or just leave it as cleaning would do more harm than its presence? If I were to clean it, what is the best method to clean a single fingerprint smudge? Are there cleaning techniques better suited for just a fingerprint?

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    \$\begingroup\$ possible duplicate of photo.stackexchange.com/questions/22017/… \$\endgroup\$
    – Evan Pak
    Oct 2, 2013 at 23:46
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    \$\begingroup\$ @EvanPak That is similar (I looked at it before posting) but not the same as mine also asks about whether cleaning should even be attempted and also queries about a specific kind of issue, a fingerprint. \$\endgroup\$
    – WilliamKF
    Oct 2, 2013 at 23:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ No worries at all. I do this about ~100x per year to my ND 10 stop B+W. A clean microfiber and your good to go. \$\endgroup\$
    – dpollitt
    Oct 3, 2013 at 1:48

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I would recommend using a microfiber cloth to slowly wipe it off, one straight stroke at a time. If you rub it continuously, you run the risk of grinding in grit on the lens. Don't use a tissue, because paper is slightly abrasive, and some have lotion, which you don't want on your filter.

If you are cautious, you shouldn't harm the filter.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Would the black screen cleaning cloth supplied with a MacBook Retina Pro be a microfiber cloth? \$\endgroup\$
    – WilliamKF
    Oct 2, 2013 at 23:46
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    \$\begingroup\$ Most likely. Another example is the cleaning cloths that come with glasses. \$\endgroup\$
    – Evan Pak
    Oct 2, 2013 at 23:47

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