Unclean Lenses

(see also Cleaning Preparations and Methods)

If in either objective or eyepiece the lenses are not clean, the definition may be seriously impaired or destroyed. Uncleanliness may be due to finger marks upon the front lens of the objective, or upon the eyepiece lenses; dust which in time may settle upon the rear lens of the objective or on the eye lens; a film which forms upon one or the other lens, due occasionally to the fact that glass is hygroscopic, but generally to the exhalation from the interior finish of the mountings, and, in immersion objectives, because the front lens is not properly cleaned; or oil that has leaked on to its rear surface, or air bubbles that have formed in the oil between the cover glass and front lens.


Keep all lenses scrupulously clean. For cleaning, use well-washed linen (an old handkerchief) or Japanese lens paper.


To find impurities, revolve the eyepieces during the observation; breathe upon the lenses, and wipe gently with a circular motion and blow off any particles which may adhere.

Dry Objectives

Clean the front lens as described. To examine the rear and interior lenses use a 2-inch magnifier, looking through, the rear. Remove the dust from the rear lens with a camel's-hair brush.

Oil Immersion Objectives

Invariably clean the front lens after use with moistened linen or paper, and wipe dry.

In applying oil examine the front of the objective with a magnifier, and if there are any air bubbles, remove them with a pointed quill, or remove the oil entirely and apply a fresh quantity.