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Thread: cloudy glass

  1. #11

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    Really?

    What IG said is very interesting to me. I had a Summar on a Leica 3F and I thought it was akin to a Coke bottle bottom. Just awful. I wonder if that was the problem. The other lenses for that camera were fine including a Wollensak 127mm f 4.5 and an Elmar 90mm f4. I liked the latter lens, small and lightweight and very sharp.

  2. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by David Lyga View Post
    Sometimes a lens is perfect EXCEPT one of the inner elements is cloudy (probably from past moisture which has turned into fungus). Oftentimes, fungus can be removed with careful wiping with either glass cleaner or lighter fluid. However, sometimes the cloudiness seems permanent and, thus, the entire optical use of the lens is destroyed.

    Assuming one can get at that element by dismantling the lens (no, I am not talking about two cemented elements whereby the cement is the problem) is there any cure for that haze? Maybe someone has tried alternative liquids and come up with a solution. Thank you. - David Lyga
    not necessarily. I have an elmar 2.8M lens that i thought was "just hazy." Turned out it was oil/grease that had evaporated, condensed on the glass and then actually etched the glass surface. Total element replacement was the solution.

  3. #13

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    I bought a new 28mm 3.5 Nikkor in 1980 that had a noticeable cloud in it. It wasn't until I had printed some very nice pictures taken w/it that I noticed the cloud, though. Didn't seem to have much effect.

  4. #14

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    Just for interest's sake: There are proprietary fungus removal liquids, but the method my camera technician uses (and claims is better than the proprietary ones) is to cover the affected optic with shaving cream that contains menthol (eucalypt oil, I think). It is left to stand like that overnight, after which it is cleaned with water, and then alcohol. He has removed fungus from about 8 or so of my lenses (I bought them like that), and in all cases there is no etching visible after he is done with them. But I should add, these are all more recent Nikkors, and they probably don't have the soft glass issues of some of the earlier Leicas. He has also told me that very often the rear surface of the front element of a lens is soft-coated. This means a lens that has fungus on that element is to be approached with caution. Even wiping it with a normal lens cloth will leave damage. In a small number of cases, there are internal elements also with soft coatings, but they are very rare.

    I am wondering whether the haze is in some cases the soft coating having been damaged by a cleaning attempt. That said, if it is that easy to damage, it must be that easy to entirely remove also, and if you can find a facility to coat it, it might be possible to give it a tougher coating. It may change the colour response of the lens, though.

    I would never use a solvent on a cemented group, as it will cause separation if it gets in between the elements. Solvents are generally no use in getting fungus removed, but they may be the best way to remove grease.

  5. #15
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    Tom1956 (and others): the lens in question is an otherwise pristine Canon FL 1.4/50. I share my tears with you, Tom. And, yes, Tom and others, the 'light bulb' test is the absolute test to measure optical clarity.

    Ed Sawyer: I had never heard of this 'precipitate': THAT causes such haze? I had thought that haze was primarily caused by moisture in the dark (i.e., fungus). The element does not seem to be 'etched' and I have had such problems with etching in the past. Obviously, then the actual physical surface would have been compromised. The problem currently is only a SURFACE haze (not separation of elements from cement failing).

    And, yes, AgX, fluoride elements pose a particular problem. Thus, I warn ALL on APUG about the Minolta PF 1.4/58 formula: the second to last element (second from rear) is VERY fragile. I ruined one by lightly wiping in circular fashion after applying glass cleaner. I was rewarded with circular lines throughout the element. Still VERY sharp lens but the etchings amazed me.

    The solutions proposed are very interesting and assuredly I will try ALL since the lens is now 'parts only' (with tears wiped away from my eyes). The temptation to make it pristine is very, very strong with me. - David Lyga
    Last edited by David Lyga; 05-29-2014 at 08:57 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  6. #16

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    Many times after I have a lens disassembled a lens down to lone elements, I'll take them to the kitchen sink and wash them with my fingers and a little squirt of Ajax dishwashing liquid, which is slimy enough to keep the skin of my fingertips from abrading the coating, as the warm water is rinsing it away. Blot it with some CHEAP toilet paper, and finish with a fresh Q-tip. Use only genuine Q-tips, not store-brand, which causes greasy-looking swirls.

  7. #17

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    Toothpaste is probably not a good choice for polishing lenses. Remember that it will scratch dentures that are not quite as hard as tooth enamel. A better choice would be cerium oxide. This can be used with fluorite elements. I have used it to polish optics used in IR spectroscopy which are made of sodium chloride. It can even be used with cesium bromide optics which are very soft. Check online with companies that sells supplies for telescope making.
    A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.

    ~Antoine de Saint-Exupery

  8. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by summicron1 View Post
    not necessarily. I have an elmar 2.8M lens that i thought was "just hazy." Turned out it was oil/grease that had evaporated, condensed on the glass and then actually etched the glass surface. Total element replacement was the solution.
    Just did this too. The damage wasn't the total inner surface but was a shadow of the aperture stopped down to ~f8 with an undamaged center section.
    Heavily sedated for your protection.

  9. #19
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    02Pilot had a rather good idea with skin lotion. I just used some and, after 5 minutes I wiped it off with a clean, damp rag. There was a noticeable difference in clarity. Not all the cloudiness was gone but this was a better way to get rid of much of the cloudiness than other ways I had tried. I also tried jewelery cleaner and even bleach (!). Neither worked as well as the skin lotion. Multiple applications might be required and leave it on for at least a few minutes. - David Lyga

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