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  1. #1
    stradibarrius's Avatar
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    Best way to clean a focusing screen?

    I just bought a new focusing screen for my Nikon F4 and it has a fingerprint on it. I know cleaning focusing screens can be tricky so I wondered if any one knew any SAFE tricks?
    "Generalizations are made because they are generally true"
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  2. #2
    CGW
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    Quote Originally Posted by stradibarrius View Post
    I just bought a new focusing screen for my Nikon F4 and it has a fingerprint on it. I know cleaning focusing screens can be tricky so I wondered if any one knew any SAFE tricks?
    The truth? Don't unless it's glass. If the print is on the smooth side, then blow/brush off any dust and be careful with the scrubbing. I use eyeglass cleaner and a clean soft cotton flannel cloth laundered without fabric softener.
    Last edited by CGW; 02-24-2012 at 09:22 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by CGW View Post
    The truth? Don't unless it's glass. If the print is on the smooth side, then blow/brush off any dust and be careful with the scrubbing. I use eyeglass cleaner and a clean soft cotton flannel cloth laundered without fabric softener.
    What CGW said. If it came to you with a fingerprint, return it for one without a fingerprint.

  4. #4

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    I almost started a thread yesterday asking for advice on cleaning an F/F2 screen.

    There are already quite a few threads on the topic if one searches. After going through a few of them, I came away with the impression that it's best to leave your focusing screen alone unless you really know what you're doing.

    The other day I scratched up my (glass) G2 screen by wiping it gently with a dry microfiber cloth. I didn't get any of the gunk off the screen, and actually left some lint on the microprism dot which would not budge afterward, even with a blast of compressed air.

    Dots and smudges on the screen are hell if you're compulsive like me.

  5. #5
    Rol_Lei Nut's Avatar
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    If the screen is made of two parts in a frame (like the F/F2 ones), you need to take it apart first.

    Then gently wash the parts in lukewarm water and a detergent (dishwashing liquid). A final rinse should be in a very dilute solution of Photoflo (if you have it), baby shampoo, very dilute wasing up liquid or similar (to avoid water drying marks but pure & diluted enough not to leave any traces of its own), shaken well and let dry in a clean place (do not touch surfaces after the first washing).

    I've made many very grotty screens look new again this way (both glass and plastic - as long as they can be removed from the camera).

    If the print is on the smooth side of a screen, then it can be wiped off without a complete washing (also possible if plastic, but veeery gently...).
    M6, SL, SL2, R5, P6x7, SL3003, SL35-E, F, F2, FM, FE-2, Varex IIa

  6. #6
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    Rol-Lei Nut has it right, I've cleaned a lot of screens from a variety of cameras and warm water and washing up liquid to get the grime off, but very gently so as not to scratch, then wash well with running water. I use a glass cleaner for the final rinse as it drains & drys with no marks.

    I never dry clean lenses or screens I always use a proper liquid glass cleaner. About 8 years ago I bought a 10x8 camera with a 12" Dago described as having slight separation, a wet clean removed 70+ years of accumulated filth pushed to the edges by poor cleaning There was no separation

    Clean properly and well and you get as good as new in most cases.

    Ian



 

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