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  1. #1

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    Cleaning glass... The Neverending Story

    I have a lot of lenses through which have enough dust inside that their value goes down. I'm competent enough to take most of them apart and clean them out but the problem I have is getting the glass clean. It's particularly difficult with multicoated glass. It seems like everytime I get things back together I look and I've left a small wipe mark or a bit of dust inside. I'm using ROR but have also tried denatured alcohol when cleaning things out. I'm using microfiber cloths which are clean.

    Any tips on how to get things back together cleanly would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    brucemuir's Avatar
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    Are you using gloves throughout any contact with glass cleaning cloths etc.
    If even a tiny bit of any finger oils gets on a microcloth or worse...any glass surface if becomes VERY difficult to get off the glass.

    It seems like it just gets moved around even when using a suitable lens safe cleaner.

  3. #3

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    My method only needs a small paintbrush consists of two steps:

    1.) I use the brush soaked in isopropyl alcohol to solve oily things. Only use small amounts of liquid.

    2.) To remove any residue from step 1, I apply one drop of destilled water to the glass surface and move it around with the paintbrush. You can navigate the drop quite easily over the surface and collect the last grain of dust.

    Practise that with some old lens and you will get perfectly clean surfaces. The paintbrush is easy to clean and able to catch any excess pressure by its flexible tip. I never even touched a glass surface with anything else. This method is also suitable for 1st surface mirrors. Keep distance from the lens' edges.

  4. #4

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    Cleaning multicoated surfaces is a real pain. You may find some answers here: http://www.apug.org/forums/forum45/2...n-recipes.html
    And the sign said, "long haired freaky people need not apply"

  5. #5

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    I clean optics in my day job.

    The biggest pain to cleaning lenses is 'Health and Safety' - with the added bonus of anti-terrorist legislation thrown in.

    Every solvent that is good for cleaning glass is either too flammable, carcinogenic or suitable for use in explosives :-(

    Consequently, most propriety lens cleaners these days are just water with a spot of detergent and maybe a splash of alcohol. They don't harm your lens in any way - but aren't so great at cleaning it either.

    There are a few mixtures I use that get past the rules and regulations - but not sure if the components are easy enough to obtain to make it worthwhile listing them.

    Ethanol might be your best bet - but it must be pure, or nearly pure. Most alcohol sold in the shops is a mixture with methanol and will have something added to make it undrinkable to alcoholics which will look and smell disgusting and always leaves residues...

    I never use cloths on lenses. Personally I prefer pure cotton wool. Roll your own cotton bud, moisten, use for one sweep only and then replace. Keep everything moist to prevent scratches - work from the centre of the lens to the edge in a spiral and don't go over the same bit again with the same bud. HTH
    Steve

  6. #6

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    I start by using clean tools. I wipe off my tools using lacquer thinner, and I work on a clean surface. I then carefull wash my hands to remove any oil from my fingers. Alcohol wipes are good to wipe off my hands from time to time.

    To get lenses clean, I use a pure cotton Q-tip moistened with lens cleaning fluid and a touch of toothpaste. The abrasive in the toothpaste polishes glass, but can remove lens coating if used agressively. I have had good success at removing fungus from many lenses using toothpaste while not harming the coating, but it depends on the extent of the fungus. I then use a clean microfiber cloth with an ammonia/water solution, and then a new microfiber cloth for a final cleaning. I keep a blow bottle handy to blow out any dust just before setting or threading in the lens element. It usually takes more than one attempt to get the lens together with no dust specks. A magnifier is necessary to inspect the lens properly.

  7. #7

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    Use denatured alcohol. Isopropyl (rubbing alcohol) has water in it and will leave spots. Use folded lens tissue, dip in alcohol, breathe on lens element, then wipe in circular motion from center out, blowing on element as you do it. This makes alcohol evaporate faster. It's important to use new tissue for every wipe as once a sheet is contaminated, it will streak the glass if used again. Be very careful as some older lenses (like Minolta Rokkor 58mm 1.4) have inner coatings that are SO soft, a single cleaning will rub them off, ruining the element). John

  8. #8

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    I sandblast my lenses!

    Jeff

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by John Hermanson View Post
    Use denatured alcohol. Isopropyl (rubbing alcohol) has water in it and will leave spots. Use folded lens tissue, dip in alcohol, breathe on lens element, then wipe in circular motion from center out, blowing on element as you do it. This makes alcohol evaporate faster. It's important to use new tissue for every wipe as once a sheet is contaminated, it will streak the glass if used again. Be very careful as some older lenses (like Minolta Rokkor 58mm 1.4) have inner coatings that are SO soft, a single cleaning will rub them off, ruining the element). John
    I am glad there is someone who knows what to do. Might I add that after rolling the tissue into what looks like a cigarette, tear it in two to expose the paper fibers and use these ends to clean.
    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

  10. #10

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    I use Pec Pads and an optical cleaner called Eclipse (I think I got it at Freestyle). Bottle says that it contains Methanol.

    Steven_E007 - does this type of cleaner seem to make sense to you. I don't seem to get any residue at all. Since you work with cleaning optics all the time, you may be the resident expert. The cleaning method it says to use is pretty much the same as what you recommend with the spiral wiping effect.

    All I know is that this combination works miles better for me than conventional lens cleaner and lens cleaning paper. I used to use Kodak Lens Cleaner and lens cleaning paper and it never completely worked.
    Dan's website: www.dandozer.com

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