internal dust in lenses

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by herb, Aug 8, 2010.

  1. herb

    herb Subscriber

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    I have had internal dust in some of my lenses, and being a sharpness nut, that bothers me.
    Is there a tool kit available that would allow someone who is an ex rocket "scientist" who is pretty handy to clean the lenses myself? I have had problems with Zeiss for Hasselblad, goertz for LF, and lately, my Communist lenses for my Hasselblaski.

    It would seem a kit would be popular.
     
  2. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    Once you see the price for a professional cleaning you'll likely not worry about it so much. A bit of internal dust really isn't an impediment to sharpness.
     
  3. patrickjames

    patrickjames Member

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    Dust won't cause a lack of sharpness, but may affect the contrast. I wouldn't worry about the dust. If you get the lens apart and don't get the elements back in perfect alignment, then you will have a sharpness problem. It is also almost impossible to eliminate all of the dust. Some will get in during the process of cleaning and assembling the lens no matter how careful you are. The only way to avoid it is to have a laminar flow workstation.
     
  4. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    herb

    Let a pro handle it, or you'll be sorry. I had a Nikon lens cleaned, lubed and adjusted on an optical bench by a certified Nikon repair shop for $50. I asked to watch him do it and it was a very humbling experience. I would never even try to do it myself. There are a million things that can go wrong.

    By the way, you're just doing this for that fuzzy feeling in your stomach. Lens performance is not visibly affected by a little dust.
     
  5. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    The quotes (and bills) I've paid in the past couple of years for such services have been 2 to 3X what you paid. Either that was a long time ago or you have a very affordable tech at your disposal!
     
  6. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    With a bit of patience, you can get it for free. Nikon frequently offers free lens cleaning at major events like Photokina or sales events at Calumet. In any case, I recommend against opening a lens without specific training.
     
  7. herb

    herb Subscriber

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    Internat dust in lenses

    Ok guys, I give up. I will see if I can work a deal with my local tech.
     
  8. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    Smart move!

    You one can save oneself $100 in pro-repairs by using a small screwdriver and do it oneself, but then, one needs $300 to fix the damage one did with the screwdriver!
     
  9. dehk

    dehk Member

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    If you can ensure a top notch dust free environment, get a spanner wrench and go for it. Its really not rocket science. But You may get more dust in there doing it by yourself, even though I do clean lenses myself, but then, i do understand that risk. Another thing you have to watch is scratching the paints off on the threads for the retainers.
     
  10. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    By the way, whatever I said about a screwdriver goes for a spanner wrench too!
     
  11. BobD

    BobD Member

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    My advice: Do not try to disassemble any lens you care about without prior experience.

    Internal specks have no effect on the image. Why worry about nothing?
     
  12. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    Agreed, why take a huge risk for almost zero gain! Up to a point, it's only a cosmetic problem anyway. But if it really bothers you, pay for professional cleaning, which isn't risk free either by the way.
     
  13. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Some lenses don't need major dis-assembly to be cleaned.

    Your Goertz LF lens, presumably a Goerz Dagor, Dogmar or something is probably in a shutter is simple, just unscrew the front & rear cells and clean carefully, the barrel version is the same, no tools are required. My own Dagor was sold to me described as having separation, all that was wrong was 60 years of grime around the edges where gently cleaning had accumulated the dirt. I use a trade liquid glass cleaner with great care.

    Ian
     
  14. Wade D

    Wade D Member

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    I have all the tools necessary for disassembling lenses and cleaning them. The main thing to remember is the order of the elements and where any spacers go. Easy to do for simple lenses and not much harder for complicated zoom lenses as long as you pay attention to what you are doing. Many of my lenses have been refurbished this way. Shutters are a different story and can be a pain in the a$$. Still not that hard if you have the right tools. A mechanical aptitude also helps.
     
  15. JDP

    JDP Member

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    Hi,
    A while back I loaded up a camera I had not used for a while and shot a roll of transparency fiilm. When I got the results back and put them on the projrctor I noticed many of them looked a bit 'light'. Getting up close there was plenty of detail, but there were faint 'halos' around some objects. The pictures were perfectly acceptable, and I actually quite liked the look. Looking through the lens revealed the reason - I could hardly see through! There was so much fungus inside I was amazed it took pictures at all. As described above I screwed the elements off and cleaned them. However, since then I have not worried too much about a little internal dust.
     
  16. steven_e007

    steven_e007 Member

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    I have had specific training on certain lenses - and I still recommend against it!!!

    Depends on the lens, though. A Victorian brass lens you can (usually) unscrew fairly easily. An autofocus Nikon I wouldn't even think about. There is a lot in between...

    For me the dividing line is when the cost of a pro clean starts to approach or exceed the value of the lens - which it does most often with my collection of old curios...

    With the LF Geortz, I'd go for it. With the Eastern block lenses I'd think twice (I might for a stuck iris, but probably not for dust). With Zeiss lenses for a Hassleblad? No **** way!!!!

    It is well documented that a little dust has no measurable effect on sharpness and not much on flare, either. How dusty are these lenses?
     
  17. steven_e007

    steven_e007 Member

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    I'm sure there is another thread on here somewhere where a member linked to an article on the WWW where someone starts with a clean lens, takes a picture, sticks some dust on it - takes a picture, sticks tape on it - takes a picture. I think they ended up smashing it with a hammer before the picture quality deteriorated significantly! Even then, I'll bet some liked the effect :smile:
     
  18. st3ve

    st3ve Member

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    Internal dust is nothing. You'll never, ever, ever, ever, ever have any reason to worry about it.

    Check this out: http://www.lensrentals.com/news/2008.10.30/front-element-scratches

    I used to have a link to someone who had an old, I believe, Minolta 35-70 or something similar that's not a very useful zoom on digital, that they mounted onto a Sony DSLR and progressively beat the crap out of more and more. Pretty much same results. No issue with the smaller scratches, and by the time the whole front element was shattered, it was only moderately soft, slightly less contrast, and only had any serious issues (flare, predictably) shooting into the light.

    Spend however much money you were planning to spend on a nice steak dinner, and find something better to worry about than a couple specks of dust on the inside.
     
  19. hidesert

    hidesert Member

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    Yeah, don't worry about it. Through utter stupidity, while converting my 35mm f/2.8 Nikkor to AI I got some aluminum dust inside. After several rolls of film I still cannot see any difference from before.
     
  20. BobD

    BobD Member

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    There was a web page (gone now AFAIK) where a lens with a shattered front element
    was tested and images were posted. They were all beautiful with no hint of the
    damage done.

    I have a Schneider telephoto with a large crack on the front glass and it's still
    one of the sharpest lenses I've ever used.