Several years ago I had the opportunity to try a lens cleaner that made a claim of adding up to two f/stops of light transmission. (The product was called ROR, short for Residual Oil Remover.) That got my attention and I took up the challenge by checking a Mamiya RB 180/4.5 lens with a filter. The lens and filter appeared to be fairly clean. I made an electronic test, then cleaned the lens and filter. I made the test again and was astonished at the results: A full stop and a half gain!
I immediately put it to use as the lens cleaner of choice on my bench. When I first started using it on customers’ lenses and filters, after receiving their repaired lenses they would call to say that I had forgotten to “return the filter” or “didn’t put the front lens element back in.” I explained that everything was indeed intact and that they should look closer — the lenses and filters were so clean that the customers couldn’t see them!
Since then, sales reps have asked me to try their brands of lens cleaners. I put the cleaners through an objective side-by-side test with ROR. The results have always been that no lens cleaner can even come close to the cleaning quality of ROR.
I also use ROR to clean a wide variety of other things, including removal of ink, blood and coffee stains. So far, I have found only one thing that should not be cleaned with ROR and that is film. The emulsion will be destroyed. Like any other cleaning solution, when cleaning an unfamiliar surface, try ROR on an area that is disposable in case there is a problem. To me, ROR is the undisputed King of the Hill of lens cleaners.
– John Petterson, Tech Talk/ Rangefinder magazine
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