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I recently acquired some lens cleaning fluid from a camera chain store (Jessops if anyone's interested). Thinking about it now, is this fluid likely to damage the coating on the front element of my lens? Should I try to find a more expensive cleaning fluid, or does it not particularly matter?

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    Why is it that you feel you need any fluid to clean your lens? Feb 6 '17 at 9:29
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    Possible duplicate of photo.stackexchange.com/questions/1408/… Feb 6 '17 at 9:29
  • @JamesSnell That's the advice I found online. Seems a lot of people use fluid for stubborn grease/marks on the front of their lens. Don't worry, I've also got a blower and a cloth. Feb 6 '17 at 12:10
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    The suggested duplicate doesn't answer the question specifically regarding cheap/highstreet-brand lens cleaning fluid. Feb 6 '17 at 12:11
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    Does it say on the label what the fluid is made of?
    – vclaw
    Feb 7 '17 at 10:46
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Why do you think that Jessops (a long established company) would sell something named "lens cleaning fluid" which would damage a lens ?

Should I try to find a more expensive cleaning fluid, or does it not particularly matter?

Why would paying more make you feel better ? Paying less usually makes me feel better. Try it, you might get used to it.

I'd be surprised if there's any significant difference between more expensive and less expensive lens cleaning fluid.

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    I don't have anything against Jessops specifically, but they're a retailer not a specialist and someone suggested that it may not be the safest fluid to use on my lens. Feb 6 '17 at 12:11
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    I'm sooo tempted to say "Drink it and if you live, then it's ok to use on your lens" :-) Feb 6 '17 at 12:35
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    @CarlWitthoft a) It's not safe for drinking. b) If it was safe for drinking, that doesn't mean it's safe to use on a lens. c) If it isn't safe for drinking, that doesn't mean it's not safe to use on a lens. Feb 6 '17 at 15:45
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    @MichealJohnson you hear that big WHOOSHing sound just above you? Feb 6 '17 at 16:00
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    @StephenG Price does sometimes indicate quality. There are any number of photography products out there that are much cheaper than the competition but which nevertheless manage to offer less value.
    – Caleb
    Feb 7 '17 at 14:29
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The lens coating consists of as a thin coat of various minerals. The idea is to mitigate reflections from the polished glass surface. Uncoated glass reflects away 8% while coated glass reflects away 2%. A multi-element lens array can lose 30% or more as each element reflects thus the total loss is huge. Worst, the internal reflections bathe the film or sensor with stray light that destroys contrast, we are talking flare. The optimum coat thickness is 1/4 the wavelength. This will be specific for just one color. A modern lens is multi-coated to control reflections from the various colors. A modern lens array can have 6 thru 12 coats. The coat is quite durable. At the factory, ethyl alcohol is used to clean the lens as it is assembled. The real danger is aggressive scrubbing can alter the thickness of the coat.

While not actually recommending that you clean this way, I use ordinary Windex on my lenses. Never harmed one in the 60 years I have been working with this stuff.

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