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Tuesday, April 25, 2006

T.O.P. Endorses: LENSPEN

Okay, so I'm kind of a nut about lenses. But in the past 26 years I have tried every single possible method ever devised by Mankind for getting lenses really clean, spotless, new-looking, and this one works the best. No, it doesn't last forever. But it only costs ten bucks, give or take. If you don't have one already, get one. They really work well.

Where To Buy: I care? Google or Froogle "lenspen" and suit yourself.

Tip: The business end (at right, with the chamois tip and carbon in the cap) is detachable. In case you're backpacking or into saving space. Just pull hard.

This is an actual unpaid, unsolicited endorsement.



Anonymous stevierose said...

I have bought some of these through the years and like them. I find that the business end dries up very quickly and then is no longer useful. Perhaps it is because I only shoot photos 3-4 times/year these days??? Only the Lenspen knows for sure.....

9:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well I've been using these a long time but had no idea that the cleaning tip was removable. (I"m not sure why I'd want to remove it...but nice to know I can.)

I wonder when cell phone makers will begin to incorporate a LensPen into the antennas to aid in cleaning phone camera lenses?

Don't forget to also mention the "Micro LensPen", with its tiny cleaning pad. It's the only thing I've found that cleans camera viewfinder eyepieces very well.

-Ken Tanaka-

9:55 AM  
Blogger JohnJo said...

I was extremely happy with its performance but unhappy with its longevity. I found that it ran dry with sporadic light use, albeit over a period of a couple of months.

Where this product hits the win button over pads and liquid solutions is its simplicity and ease of use. I could whip it out anywhere, on the move, with bags over my shoulders and camera in hand and apply it successfully.

A road trip tool that works.

9:59 AM  
Anonymous Tom said...

I'm not sure which I like more the lens pen or micro fiber cloths.

11:04 AM  
Blogger Paul Butzi said...

There's only one thing wrong with the lenspen - it violates Paul's Rule of Small Photographically Related Objects, which states that "All small photo objects which are carried in the camera bag which might be easily dropped or fall out of said camera bag should be colored either International Distress Orange, or a violent fluorescent pink, so as to be easily noticed on the ground."

11:12 AM  
Blogger Albano Garcia said...

I couldn't agree more. I've owned two of them, the first one lost in the hands of a friend, who was almost killed because the thing is not available in my country.
I simply love the thing. It does the job wonderfuly, and it's easy to use, relatively cheap and long lasting. Long live to the Lenspen!!!!

1:34 PM  
Anonymous auspiciousdragon said...

First endorsement leads to first purchase.....just make all your endorsement ten dollar ones, please Mike.

3:46 PM  
Blogger Hiding Pup said...

In the UK, do them on a 3 for 3 offer. Have been using mine for a few months now and not found this drying effect: did you all read the instructions and turn the pen-top to release more of the solvent when it got dry?

7:30 PM  
Anonymous Pat Cooney said...

How odd! I bought one of these when they first appeared. I found that the pad left streaks on my lenses, easily visible by reflecting light from the lenses' coated surfaces.

When I read this item, I dug out my original lenspen and tried again to remove a skin-oil smudge from a coated filter. The results were just as bad as I remembered.

Are the current lenspens really any better than a lens-tissue pad with some instant distilled breath (which is how I cleaned off the streaks that resulted from this experiment) or am I missing something about how to use the lenspen?

--Pat Cooney

8:12 PM  
Blogger Fazal Majid said...


Use mildly abrasive graphite powder to scratch off the coatings off my Leica, Zeiss and Canon lenses. I think I will pass.

The single-use Zeiss lens cleaning cloths in pouches do a perfectly good job for me.

9:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've been using these for several years and love them. Wouldn't use anything else. After brushing away the dust simply twist the cap a few times to charge the pad, start at the center with circular movement and move towards the outter edge.

11:03 PM  
Blogger Mikko J. Kalavainen said...

Woohoo, I've got the perfect ones then: A Lenspen, sponsored by Nikon, in characteristic Nikon-y bright yellow colour! Fulfills Paul's Rule quite well.

3:11 AM  
Blogger KeithAlanK said...

I suspected that the promised series of unpaid endorsements would be funny while still being very helpful, but not to this degree. And to find so much MORE fun and knowledge in the comments? Wow! Can't wait for #2.
BTW, 250,000 hits in six months for T.O.P. is outstanding. Constantly updated, well-written in a 'we're all friends hanging out here' tone, featuring helpful and/or interesting content for those who are into hardware, software, history, theory and's no surprise that site traffic is huge. Congratulations.

3:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well the brush end of this thing looks like something I would use, but I would never use the "pen" end.

I do not like to rub on my lenses with anything that is reusable.

I like old-fashioned lens tissue. Use it and toss it, no way for contamination to linger for repeated insult.

"Need Moar Cowbell"

11:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've always used a very soft cloth gently (like a well washed handkerchief and usually canned air.

Even better than canned air and cheaper are the old type syringes you used to be able to buy in drug stores. I am not sure what they are used for, but try them first and make sure they squirt plenty of air. The new ear syringes don't move enough air.

I have had the same one in my bag for 30 years. It never wears out and does the job. Looks a little weird, though.


2:43 PM  
Anonymous Justin said...

I read somewhere that the LensPen uses a carbon compound to work it's magic. Having used them before, I am impressed by their effectiveness, but I'm put off by the price (at least where I live).

Here's an alternative: activated charcoal that has been ground into a very fine powder works just as well.

I store mine in a clean film canister, and use a Q-tip to apply it to the lens. It has always been effective at cleaning lenses, even multicoated ones, and I've never scratched a lens.

If you do decide to try it, it should be of a consistency similar to baby powder. After picking up some of the powder with the Q-tip, ensure you tap the Q-tip against the side of the canister to remove any larger particles.

8:59 AM  
Blogger bjorke said...

Paul, that's why they make fluorescent pink gaffer tape - so stuff can have a properly-useful color AND have a writeable surface. Also comes in handy for labelling cables.

3:18 PM  
Anonymous Ronald said...

I've used one for over a decade (always breathing at the lens before wiping it) and loved it.

A couple of months ago I finally had to buy a replacemet and have recently noticed flare problems with a couple of my lenses that didn't exist before.

I wonder if the newer lenspens, or the ones marketed under the different brand (couldn't get the original one) use a different formulation from my old one but will definitely not use them anymore - cost me my most beloved wide-angle...

8:21 PM  

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