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Nikon support: do not breathe on your lens to clean it, your breath contains harmful acids that could damage the lens coating

An interesting advice from Nikon support - do not breathe on your lens to clean it because you could damage the lens coating:

How do I clean the camera lens?

The best way to clean a lens is to use a piece of lint free lens cleaning tissue and a small amount of Lens Cleaning solution. Do not use anything containing abrasives or  solvents, only use Lens Cleaning Solution.

First we recommend taking a small blower brush to blow off or brush away loose dust or debris.

Next, place a drop or two of cleaner on the tissue (never directly onto the lens) and then wipe the lens in a circular motion, beginning in the center and working your way outward, removing any marks or smear.

If the above supplies are not available a clean, dry, soft, lint free cloth can be used to clean the lens. Do not breathe on the lens to fog it for cleaning. There are harmful acids in breath that can damage lens coatings. Just use the blower bulb, then brush, and wipe the lens in a circular spiral from the center outward.

The same method can be used to clean the viewfinder eyepiece of Nikon cameras.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/FeitosaPaulo Paulo Feitosa

    Uau: does that mean that most of my lenses are doomed?! :o

  • Richard

    Well shit, Ive done this a lot, My lenses are still in good shape, so I will stop now.

  • http://twitter.com/statchuk Craig Statchuk

    Everyone is entitled to an opinion. In many organizations, opinions differ. I am willing to wager this support person doesn’t speak for all of Nikon – nor the camera industry in general. I did get a chuckle from this one.

    • Mike

      I chuckled as well.

      I’ve always thought coatings were mostly made from calcium fluoride, which is pretty inert to lots of treatment. It has a bit of solubility in water; so theoretically the water in your breath is the worst.

      • Pat Mann

        Calcium fluoride is actually the material used to make Canon’s fluorite lens elements. Compared to conventional optical glass, this material apparently transmits a wide range of frequencies at nearly the same speed so a wider range of colors focuses at the same point – less chromatic aberration. I’ve not heard of it being used as a lens coating. Magnesium fluoride has been used in lens coatings.

  • Art

    I wondered why my lens fogged up after my pet alien drooled on my 70-200 VRII.

  • Chucky

    ROFL they got a D4 out with firmwear patch to fix focus, they got a D800 with focus issue, they got a D600 out with oil issues and they issue a warning about how you breath on your lense. Hello Nikon who is on the bridge?

    • Alex

      Do you think one guy is working on all of those problems by himself?

      • Micah Goldstein

        No, it’s quite apparent that it’s only one guy who is utterly failing to work out any problems at all.

    • lorenzo

      Which D4, D800, D600 problems?

      THERE ARE NO KNOWN PROBLEMS!

      • neversink

        I must be one of the lucky ones. No problems with my D4 or D800 and don’t have a D600 so I can’t talk about the oil showers on the sensor…..

  • http://twitter.com/csar Carsten Saager

    I will have to throw away all my lenses, some I even licked on resistant spots…

    Thx God for creating ebay

  • LaurentProulx

    Thank god ! I have Clear UV filter ! I’ll continu to clean my filter with my breath ! :)

    • Abraham Collins

      You’ll eventually need to remove it. Those filters ghost like crazy under a lot of conditions.

      • fjfjjj

        Not the ones with good coatings.

        • Gly

          Even the nice expensive filters with the high end coatings have some ghosting. In fact filters do degrade the image slightly but I prefer that then a cleaning scratch on my front element.

          • Guest

            No doubt, adding another element to any optical systems adds another internal reflection. But why is a filter any worse than the 24th element Nikon just added to the new version of your favorite lens?

      • LaurentProulx

        I do more studio control shoot than anything else and when I remove it it’s for a big clean up ! so no breath :)

  • Joey

    lol this sounds like non-sense

  • Kirk

    They should have announced a new Nikon Lens Cleaner. 4 oz, $39.95.

  • Paperman

    I’m glad it took them only 60 years to figure out what was harmful for lenses. Bravo Nikon !

  • Robert

    Sounds like utter rubbish. Back in the ’70s Pentax used to promote their lenses by doing a test whereby a dealer would extinguish a smoldering cigarette onto the front element of a lens to demonstrate just how tough the lens coatings were. That was 40 years ago. Today’s lenses can’t withstand our breath?

    Gimmie a break.

    • Tom McGill

      Go get a 70’s Pentax then.

      • Robert

        Go get stuffed.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=703131824 Teun Dilles

      Actually, a burning cigarette is just that. All the chemicals that come off are just water, carbon dioxide and some sticky chemical inert stuff. Your breath contains different kinds of acid. It makes sense that breath is more damaging to a coating of just a few atoms thick than a burning cigarette. This chemistry, not physics.

      • fjfjjj

        How do water, carbon dioxide, and “inert stuff” cause cancer? Rubbish.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=703131824 Teun Dilles

          The truth is that we don’t know exactly what it is in cigarettes that causes the cancer. It’s true that not all the chemicals are pretty inert, I was overstating to make the point that a seemingly more destructive thing such as a burning cigarette may actually be less harmfull than something which is seamingly innocent such as saliva.

          • fjfjjj

            Not exactly standing on the shoulders of giants, are we? Science actually knows quite a lot about which components in cigarette smoke are carcinogenic and toxic. Please stop posting rubbish.

      • robert

        Toxic metals are known to be present in cigarettes. Inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectroscopy (ICP-AES) has been used to determine that chromium, iron and zinc are all found in all cigarette ash, in significant levels.

        Then there’s the issue of applying those elements to the surface of your lens, albeit briefly, while they are hot.

        Cigarette ash also contains alkaline, and like soap is BAD for lens coatings. Moreover, it’s associated with a significant amount of highly birefirngent small crystals.

      • Robert

        Toxic metals are known to be present in cigarettes. Inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectroscopy (ICP-AES) has been used to determine that chromium, iron and zinc are all found in all cigarette ash, in significant levels.

        Then there’s the issue of applying those elements to the surface of your lens, albeit briefly, while they are hot.

        Cigarette ash also contains alkaline, and like soap is BAD for lens coatings. Moreover, it’s associated with a significant amount of highly birefirngent small crystals.

  • http://www.facebook.com/lee.sherman.77 Lee Sherman

    Imaging you shoot in some shit hole places, such as Beijing or Shanghai, with tons of harmful chemical stuff in the air. Will that harm my naked Nikkors?

    • kyoshinikon

      As a sports photog locally Ive had a lens unintentionally doused in champange…

    • fjfjjj

      If you shoot in harsh environments, use protective filters.

      • Hawkeye

        If you shoot in places, or even non-places, use a protective filter.

        • ronadair

          Don’t shoot with filters. Shoot with lenses. Filters more often than not create image degradation that you cannot fix or remove in post. You can get double (or more) images (especially prevalent in highlights); haze, fog or ghosting; reduced contrast; poor color rendition; flare; etc. Filters are OFTEN no better protection than good old-fashioned care and handling. Use lens caps religiously, and you’ll be 99%+ safe.

          In almost 20 years of shooting, I’ve only has 2 instances where not using a filter was unwise: filming an ATV splashing through a puddle, and when someone was cutting angle iron and I got too close to the sparks (at least for a bare lens). The first scenario simply required a good, careful cleaning. The second actually left a minor blemish on the front element, though it is immaterial at all focal lengths even though the lens in question is the 17-35mm 2.8 lens.

          On the other side, I’ve had numerous shots jeopardized by the aforementioned “filter failures”.

          However, the breathing acid stuff is new to me. Nice to know. Might have been nicer to know a few decades ago, though. :)

          • Aldo

            Nikon NC filters are outstanding… never run into the issues you mentioned. Many folks put cheap filters that may explain some of those problems.

            • ronadair

              I’ve heard good things about the Nikon filters, but I’ve never personally used them. I’ve used a range of filters from the cheapies to B+W/Schneider. However, if I were to use high-end clear or UV filters on all of my lenses, it would cost more than the replacement of the one front element I’ve ever (nominally) damaged since I started treating my lenses with care. The insurance costs as much as the fix. I’d rather go naked. ;)

            • Aldo

              Well put… but I think a lot of us like the idea of our glass retaining the highest possible value should we decide to sell. That’s why we put protection filters on though we may lose some negligible quality in our photos.

            • Jorge

              I have Nikon NC filters on my nikon glass. all 77mm size. These filters, though not inexpensive, are amazing. Put them on a piece of white paper, and there is no color shift at all. And they are durable.

  • nrb
  • Bernard

    If they admit their lens coating is so fragile that it can’t stand human breath, it’s about time they start working on a better one !… :)

    • Tom McGill

      Your understanding of chemistry is a failure. We so need more STEM.

      • Arkasai

        Cool it Bill Nye, saliva ain’t that acidic.

        • Andrianarivo Ramamonjy

          Saliva has destroyed billions of teeth on earth…that’s chemistry! Better keep your Nano front lens away from your breathe.

          • Brett A. Wheeler

            Actually, saliva does cause tooth decay. It is the bacteria inside your mouth that convert sugars to acids that cause tooth enamel to wear.

    • Remedy

      Or A) you are a douche with zero understanding of a basic chemistry/physics, B) every other coating equally acid sensitive but only Nikon said it loud, C) you are a douche, again
      You decide.

  • n11

    Moral, stop zooming and blowing your lenses!

  • lorenzo

    Next will be:

    “When holding a Nikon camera you must wear latex gloves. A prolonged contact with your hands body oil will damage the plastic paint cover, the grip and the shutter release.”

    And:
    “We recommend not to take photos of people with a cold; they might incidentally sneeze, ruining your lens”.

    I AM | WISE

    • Larrry

      You mean you don’t use latex gloves like everone else?
      It is OK to take photos of people with colds. That is the essence of documentary photography exposing the camers to the elements. Just be sure to rub the camera down good afterwards with hand sanitizer.
      (Hopefully not a repeat post as original didn’t post with disq signup.)

      • lorenzo

        Larry and Admin:
        I DID login and posted with Disqus why are you saying so?

    • LesM

      I used my D200 on a safari tour of East Africa. I must not have washed my hands thoroughly enough after applying insect repellent and have then handled the camera. The white paint on the buttons of the camera simply disappears when there’s insect repellent anywhere near it! Be warned – use latex gloves!

      • AnthonyH

        DEET also dissolves nylon. You make an excellent point.

        • Robert Falconer

          Deet will dissolve the bottle in which it comes, given enough time. I used it in Africa this time last year. It’s nasty stuff, and best avoided altogether unless a real threat of malaria is present. But you should be taking Malarone for that.

          • neversink

            You should use Malarone and DEET and mosquito nets at night and spray your room and bet each evening. Remember, Malarone is close to 100 percent effective, but there is some failure with Malarone. However, most malarial vectors only bite at dusk, night and dawn. There is a new specie or sub-specie of mosquito now with very small populations (at least currently) that can spread malaria in the day, which is putting a hex on traditional methods of control.

      • lorenzo

        This what the label says on the 98.11% DEET Jungle Juice:
        Note: it will not damage cotton, wool or NYLON. DO NOT apply on or near acetate, rayon, Spandex, or other synthetic fabrics (other than nylon), furniture, plastics (such as eyeglasses and watch crystals), leather and PAINTED or VARNISHED surfaces (including automobiles).

        See, I was right! :-) Wonder what happens if put on the lens.
        Were you able to have the camera re-painted by Nikon?

      • chicagonature

        That’s what DEET is supposed to do to any plastic that it comes into contact with. That’s because DEET is actually a plasticizer. My solution, which seems to work well, is this:

        1) Store container of DEET in a PLASTIC BAG. I use a ZIPLOC and leave the top open.

        2) When you’re ready to use it, remove the container, then pour or spray the DEET into the bag. Use a lot if you want. Now, rub the bag against itself to coat it evenly.

        3) In one motion, push your hand into the bottom of the bag, turning it inside-out.

        4) Now, rub the slippery bag across your skin and you’ll get a nice even coating without waste and, very importantly, without getting any on your fingers. If you need more, just appyly it to the bag.

        5) When finished, push the container back into the bag from the closed bottom, like you did with your hand, turning it rightside-out again.

        6) If you get a little on your hands, just spit on them, rub them together, and wipe off with a napkin. We’re outdoorsy people, right? Now, it’s safe to touch any plactic like the trim on your car doors, dashboard, keys, sex toys, and, of course, you camera.

        This method works for me, but you still want to be careful to not get any on your hands/fingers.

        Good luck!

    • XYZ

      I never do that, but clean the lenses with my urine. It may explain the yellowish cast in my photos taken with D800 :)

    • Annonimouse photographer

      I use always sandpaper to clean it I promise you all those spots are gone.

  • R8R

    The coating on a lens is extremely thin, and human breath has varying levels of acidity. (carbonic acid, etc) Perhaps it is actually harmful. I don’t doubt it for a second. Maybe with some people, and certain lenses, it’s not a problem. Nikon is playing it safe by advising against it for all lenses and people. They are trying to keep the products they sell from being ruined. That’s what companies do. This isn’t just a Nikon thing.

    Ever see an old lens on eBay with coating damage? You might speculate how that lens may have been cleaned…

    Go ahead and breath on your lenses. Maybe nothing will happen. Maybe it takes a few years to wear down the coating. Maybe you have fairy breath and it’s actually good for the lens.

    If something does happen, well – they told you so.

    Who are you going to believe in this matter? The company that has made millions of lenses for decades, or the guy on the internet who owns a few lenses and in a comment says, “This is nonsense, all my lenses are fine”.

    • Spy Black

      Considering I’ve been doing this to my lenses since I bought many of them back in the late 70s and they’re still in pristine shape, I wonder what on earth both you and Nikon are talking about.

      • R8R

        Pristine? Do you have lab equipment to measure the coating? We’ll have to take your word for it. Read my post again, it might make more sense the second time around.

        • AM

          No, you don’t make any sense. I wear glasses that have coat on it and always fog them up to clean them and never have had any problems. I can’t believe that cheaper pieces of glass have better coating technology than Nikon glass.

          • FLC

            How long did u wear ur glasses? I had one that i wore everyday for 5 years, the coatings came off so badly from sweat and constant fogging and wiping that i had to replace it. And it’s quite and expensive Hoya glass.

            • fjfjjj

              Hoya multicoatings are the worst.

          • R8R

            I think I’m not making sense because people are not really reading what I’m typing. Sure, you have a sample of “one” pair of glasses which are “fine” and you fog them up. As far you can tell, no ill effects. Great. Maybe the coating on the lenses in THOSE glasses is very durable, but has inferior optical qualities than the coating on Nikon lenses. I’m not a coatings expert. Neither are you. The experts, a company that MAKES CAMERA LENSES, have now generally advised against breathing on a lens to clean it.

            So because of your single sample of a pair of eye glasses, which may be coated with durability in mind over optical quality, you confidently say that Nikon is wrong here, and you are right? Even when Nikon has decades of time and millions of samples to refer to?

            Alrighty then.

          • LesM

            The coating on my eyeglasses became so bad that they were unusable and had to be replaced. But the makers wouldn’t honour their warranty because I had used photographic lens cleaner on them!

            But I’ll bet if I had only breathed on them, it would have been alright!

        • Spy Black

          “Ever see an old lens on eBay with coating damage? You might speculate how that lens may have been cleaned…”

          It’s that they were NOT cleaned that is the reason why they’re like that. There are also any number of elements that can land on a lens that can ruin a coating imediately.

          You don’t know the history of those lenses you see on ebay any more then you know the history and care of my lenses with, yes, their pristine coatings. I have a special set of lab equipment to measure those coatings, they’re called my eyes, the same equipment you’re using to analyze those lenses you see on ebay with those ratty coatings.

          • Nikon

            I agree…if our eyes cant see anything, then the sensor aint going to pick it up and put it on a photo. Even if you can see a speck of dust on the front element it won’t show up in a photo. I had a 80-200mm f2.8 lens with a huge scratch on the front element and it still took awesome shots. you would not be able to tell from the shots that there was a scratch. The only prob that may occur is loss of contrast. All my lenses are also pristine (to my eye) and I did sell the scratched lens years ago. Probably still being used by someone and still producing awesome shots.

            • R8R

              “…if our eyes cant see anything, then the sensor aint going to pick it up and put it on a photo.”

              I agree with that completely. However, you can’t see the coating in the first place, so how do you know when you’ve damaged it? Your eyes, no matter how good, can’t measure what condition the coating is in.

              Perhaps in some cases, the only way to tell if the coating is damaged, is the absence of the benefit of the coating. Maybe a lens might look pristine to the eye, even when shining a flashlight through it. But it will have pronounced flare and ghosting. You can’t see that looking at the lens, only the resulting images. And it might be that the lens still reduces flare and ghosting, but LESS than it used to.

              Everyone on here with an argument that their lens looks fine to them is seriously missing the point. We’re not discussing dust or scratches or anything like that (which usually have zero effect). We’re talking about the potential destruction of a coating that reduces things like flare and ghosting. Something you can’t see until the image is made.

              Of course anyone who’s been shooting for years doesn’t want to readily admit they’ve been doing something that MAY have been potentially harmful to their glass. Who would?

              And like I said above, this might only be for certain lenses and it might only be for certain people. Nikon made a BLANKET suggestion. Ass covering: it’s what companies do.

              Get over yourselves.

            • Greg

              “if our eyes cant see anything, then the sensor aint going to pick it up and put it on a photo. ”

              Sorry, I find this laughable… Isn’t the whole point of a lens coating to improve your pictures by applying an essentially invisible layer to the lens?

              Why pay for high quality coatings, if you’re not worried about losing them? If you don’t think the loss of contrast from dust and scratches are a problem, and you don’t think damage to a coating you can’t see will impact your images, then why buy quality glass?

            • Nikon

              ok Laughable, have you ever shot with dust on the front element of your lens? Have you ever shot with a scratched front element? Have you ever shot by the ocean and had ocean spray on the front of your lens. None will show up in your shots, try it (except maybe the spray if enough gets there to blur the shot, but unlikely). The point of mentioning a scratched front element earlier was made to make a point that even if the front element is damaged it’s not going to make much difference to a picture. Do a search for a test on shooting with a shattered front element on google and you will see how little even that affects the shot. Search for the “Dirty lens article” also and read the same info.

              And yes, I shoot with equipment that is worth more than my convertible.

              Btw, I could care less what you find laughable….

            • Greg

              Ok, arguments about humor aside, I’m still not sure what motivates you to pay more than your car for equipment when you don’t see any value in the factors that set the price for that equipment. Why not shoot with cheap, used, slightly damaged equipment if it gives exactly the same results?

            • Nikon

              huh!!!

            • Nikon

              i have much better things to do then argue with lowlife like you!!!! Jerk!!!!

    • Neil

      I agree wholeheartedly

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/57T3PX6S3OXBER3ZNBOOMGBUPI Tony

      Judging by some of the comments on here I’d be more worried about the effect of Ethanol on the coating rather than carbonic acid and essential oils etc.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=703131824 Teun Dilles

        The problem is that manufacturers of optics do not make public what their coatings are made of. To figure out what chemicals are harmful and what chemicals are not, you need to know that.

        • RMS

          Yes! Open source optics!

        • RMS

          Yes! Open source optics!

      • Spy Black

        Judging by some of the comments on here I’d be more worried about the effect of Ethanol on the user…

      • lorenzo

        Have you tried Hydrofluoric acid? Works better than Ethanol on glass! You can always get some on eBay LOL

    • umeshrw

      Totally agree about nikon playing safe. How else would you explain the stupid warnings in your camera manuals.

    • Saumya

      True. As far as I remember, coatings are typicallynone quarter the wavelength of the spectrum of lifht they are made for. Thats fragile thin. Try your breath on a litmus paper. In fact all pros will use compressed air to clean the lens first, and if hat doesnt work, for the greasy stuff, they will use pro liquids, and lesn cleanng chamoise/cloth.

      By the way, i just checked the Nikon support link, the company seems to have remved the ‘breath’ issue.

  • David Averbuch

    I have a Nikon Pen. Can I use it?

  • Photoretouchpro

    I imagine some people have breath that is more harmful than others.

    • Photoretouchpro

      And nice deflection Nikon.

    • Anonymous Coward

      Some Nijon employees are especially prone to this ,,, They should not be allowed to breath around camera lenses… HAHAHAHAHA!!!!!

  • AztecPhotos

    Like I don’t slap on a filter as soon as I take the lens out of the box!

  • CGL

    Ha, if I would only have know this 26 years ago ;-)

  • http://profiles.google.com/colinstuart12 Colin Stuart

    No shit.

  • http://profiles.google.com/ericcalabros Eric Calabros

    Next Nikkor Feature: Anti Acid Breath Coating
    Price: extra $200

  • Guest

    The comments on this thread to not necessarily reflect the opinions of those with brains.

    • hawkeye

      +1000. There seem to be a lot of chemistry experts reading NR these days. Or maybe when they say “you don’t have a basic understanding of chemistry,” they mean to add “and neither do I, so we should just believe everything papa Nikon tells us.”

  • Iris Chrome

    Some numbers:
    – 7 is considered to be neutral pH, anything below is acidic
    – pH levels in a human mouth can range from 5.6 – 6.9
    – Rain, in clean unpolluted areas, has a pH level of around 5.6
    – Rain, in polluted areas, has a pH range from 2.0 – 5.6 depending on pollution levels and pollutants.
    – You make up your mind

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=703131824 Teun Dilles

      It’s not just the concentration that matters, also the chemicals dissolved in the water that makes the water acidic. Some might be more harmful than others.

    • Ben

      We are not discussing spitting on lenses, but breathing on them. The liquid that condenses on the glass almost pure water, completely different to the contents of your mouth.

      In my opinion, Nikon USA’s advice is nonsense, and I am fairly sure that no-one at Nikon USA really know the in-depth chemistry and PVD technique details which might enable them to judge this matter.

      • AnthonyH

        So what about the organic volatiles that are dissolved in the water vapor? I like how you qualify your answer with “almost pure”. So, basically, it’s NOT pure water. Exhalations will contain volatile chemicals from foods or liquids consumed, as well as metabolic gases like methane. If you think it’s just water vapor, CO2, and nitrogen, let me tell you that your mouthwash ain’t cutting it.

        • Ben

          Methane or any other volatile organic chemical that you breathe out will not condense on glass at normal temperatures.

          I was highlighting the difference between the contents of you mouth and the condensing liquid reaching the lens.

  • IShootU

    I am very particular when cleaning my lenses/filters. I use ‘protective’ filters on all my lenses
    that I can (sorry fro). There are no filters for my larger lenses. I have tried many different methods and solutions
    to include rubbing alcohol, denatured alcohol. When I get through I take them out in the sun
    light I find cleaning streaks. A little
    bit of breath makes them readily apparent.
    The only way I have ever been able to remove them is with a microcloth
    and bad breath. I have tried putting
    them in the freezer to get condensation but usually there is too much condensation. I would sure like to know how Nikon service
    cleans them because my lenses come back without any streaks.

    • R8R

      Store bought rubbing alcohol is usually impure and can have all kinds of extra stuff in it, including perfume oils. Probably the worst thing if you want to avoid streaks. Have you tried a couple drops of specific lens cleaner solution on a microfiber cloth? Works wonders.

    • umeshrw

      You should put a smiley when you joke. You are joking. Right?

  • Andy

    The viewfinder on my D7000 hasn’t been the same since I spilt mayonnaise on it.

  • `/1nc3nt

    too late …

  • http://www.facebook.com/ebowles1 Eric Bowles

    Obviously this is an old comment from Nikon (2002) that has not truly been vetted. Saliva has a high ph – it is not acidic and has a chemical composition that neutralizes acids. Given that the reference to acids is incorrect, I question whether any part of the statement is correct.

    It’s also hard to image that lens or filter makers would regularly use coatings that are susceptible to such a common substance or cleaning technique. When you create advanced coatings, doesn’t it make sense that they would have protective elements that stand up to this kind of issue?

    That being said, with over time saliva or other contaminants might cause damage to some coatings. One potential source of damage is leaving a residue that is hard to clean. And there are foods that do have acids that can contaminate and damage lens coatings.

    • AnthonyH

      Breathing on the lens is different than spitting on the lens, as breathing doesn’t involve saliva and food particles, unless your exhalations are particularly gross.

  • NikonDPunk

    Combat photographer’s (myself included) have been known to use a few drops of urine to clean stubborn grime off a lens. The ammonia works like a charm. Followup requires a spit shine, too.

  • desmo

    Ooooopss

  • Luís Lopes

    I have just bought the Nikon Lens Pen and the instructions go: “If some smudges persist, breathe gently on the surface…” What gives, Nikon?

  • http://www.facebook.com/michael.dougherty.3114935 Michael Dougherty

    This is the best explanation yet why I use a quality protection filter. Now I don’t have to worry about damaging the front element of my lenses and whose right and whose wrong in the comment section.

  • Rickard

    Good with supportinfo, but the gear suffers from daily use in any case. Weathersealed, waterresistant and well built for dust. But beware of the corrosive human breath.

  • EnticingHavoc

    I do brush my teeth twice a day. Does that help ?

    • lorenzo

      If don’t use the special Nikon tooth paste it doesn’t.

  • Pickerel

    So it’s still alright for me to lick the front element clean, right? It seems to work for cats…

    • fishguy

      IDK – my cat seems to prefer to lick its rear element….

  • R8R

    Maybe Nikon discovered that crack smoke is bad for lens coatings, hence the warning, as this seems to be what many are exhaling.

  • XYZ

    I never do that, but cleanse the lenses with my urine & it may explain the yellowish tint in my photos taken with D800 :)

  • mimcc

    Oh my God!!!

  • Peter

    I always thought the coating was on the inside of the lens. Why would you put it on the outside, doesn’t make sense.

    • lorenzo

      It maybe an issue of reflection or diffraction.
      Perhaps it won’t work from the inside

  • W0ut

    Yes my friends, a few more years and we have all evolved into dragons…. bwahahahaha! (evil laugh)

  • Avi Raz

    Puts NC filter on every lens ever owned. Completely disregards Nikons advice…

  • NOOOO!!!

    Nikon is going to announce a new series of lens in 2013 which is breath proof. Be ready for the exciting new upgrade to all your old equipment you spend thousands on. These lenses will not be backward compatible with any of the current bodies. Enjoy!!!

  • that guy

    Weew, Glad I only work in a sealed lab with filter air.

  • trialcritic

    I add a filter to the lens the minute I unbox the lens. I rarely remove the filter to clean the lens. The only exception is the 14-24, which I have to be careful about.

  • whmitty

    Everything about this post is simply breathtaking.

  • bertbopper

    please reissue 1980 coatings then. All my heavy used AIS lenses still have glass like new after more than 30 years, and always cleaned them with alcohol 98%, wodka, breath, tap water or whatever was at hand with my T-shirt, napkin or toilet paper.

  • Greg

    People act like Nikon said “if you breathe on your lens, you may as well throw it away”. All this means is that the less you breathe on a lens clean it, the longer the coating will last.

    My optometrist told me not to use my t-shirt to clean my glasses. Sometimes I have no choice. My glasses still work. That doesn’t mean he was making stuff up– it just means that it *can* reduce the life of my glasses.

  • dubdub

    Anyways aren’t the coating on the exterior of the front element is much less important than the ones in the insides ?
    I’m not an expert but.. aren’t coatings supposed to get rid of internal reflexions ?
    Then, the only use for coatings on the front element I can see is when you would use a filter in front of it ?
    Please tell me if I am wrong.

  • zyniker

    How about advise about oil&dust on D600 istead of this idiotic advice?!

    • fishguy

      And for dust/oil on the D800! I bought a refurbished D800 direct from Nikon USA and it had a shutter count of 54 yet it had 24+ spots on the sensor – four of them visible at f8! I sent it back as they requested ($53 USD shipping) and they are now in the process of “determining a repair estimate”….they wouldn’t communicate with me why I should pay for repairs to a one day old camera, and wouldn’t accept it back through their 14 day return policy, so I charge backed the amount on my credit card!

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