Rags to Riches

Some twenty five or so years ago, when I first started photography my father gave me a lot of advice, and a few odds and sods. Amongst the odds and sods was a Selvyt cloth, which I have used regularly for most of the last 20 years or so. It had been used for everything from cleaning negatives, photographic equipment and darkroom gear.

I haven’t been able to find it recently so I went on a trawl around photographic stores and retailers to find a replacement. I also wanted to get a good-sized microfibre cloth as well. However, after a search amongst the usual suspects, I couldn’t get a Selvyt cloth at all, and the only microfibre ones were the size of a Compact disk case.

Well I am pleased to say that I have found a supplier of Selvyt cloths, including huge ones up to 20 x 21 (for less than a fiver) as well as Microfibre cloths measuring 24″ x 21″ (just over a tenner).

Probably unsurprising that they came from an optical supplies specialist (the sort of place that will supply glasses, frames and polishing equipment to opticians), rather than a photographic retailer. The order was placed on Friday, and on Monday they were in my grubby little hands.

One of the advantage of having larger cloths than most will supply is that they can be used not only for cleaning camera equipment, but the are also very good for wrapping lenses, filters and the such like whilst they are in the Pelican Case (or in the Billingham).

They are useful to have also in the event of rain as they can provide some additional protection from the ingress of water. I usually have one in my pocket and it just gets draped over the top of the flashgun in the event of a sudden downpour.

A quick visit to http://www.coates-optical.co.uk and you can order some for yourself. Please note that I have no links to this company, it is just that they had what I was looking for and shipped it quickly.

The Microfibre cloths that I ordered are the Calotherm Professional ones, and the big ones are huge and very soft. I am even looking for something that needs cleaning as I type. Isopropanol is a little tricky to source, but just about the best thing for cleaning lens elements, I usually get mine from the dispensing chemists at Boots.

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