Been speaking to the local telescope dealer who has worked in various lens labs and cleans various government telescopes etc as well.
Also I'm always am amazed who much the average astronmer knows about optics. Anyway so interesting to listen to him and you guys especially, talk about lenses and cleaning.
When he goes off on a telescope/lens/mirror cleaning job, he has 3 solutions....technical grade iso-propyl (99.95%), technical grade acetone and a product called (if I remember) X55 which if unavailable, Zippo lighter fluid can be used.
He gave me a Bintel product ($15 - 100ml ) which he said it is very common in optics labs. It's a mixture of tech grade iso-propyl, blue windex, wetting agent (from Kodak I think) and reversed osmosis water (whoa). Have tried it on some still lenses and seems fine. Also suggested using soft tissues.
The funny think about this cleaner is it doesn't evaporate and you need to either blow or use a tissue to wipe up excess. It certainly doesn't stick to the lens.
Another thing he suggested if it you have any foreign particles that are difficult to remove, dab some of the above product on a cotton (ear) bud, gently place the wet bud on the particle for about 10/20 seconds. After it's soaked in, very gently vibrate the cotton bud from side to side. This may release the particle. If not it's there to stay.
Another product he saw at the lens/telescope NEAF exhibition was a 'face mask' for lens/mirrors which you paint on and peel off once dried.
It's called Photonic Cleaning which is ethanol/acetone/polymer solution. http://www.photoniccleaning.com/?page_id=28.
Advantage is you don't ever touch/brush/wipe sensor or lens, thus reducing the chance of scratching whilst cleaning.
Be good to hear thoughts.
A couple things there David,
I have a lot of respect for telescope techs. My girlfriends father works at UCLA as an optical/mechanical designer for their telescopes.
I don't use regular soft tissues because they leave behind TONS of lint and dust. This may be fine for the front element of a lens because it can be blown off after. But it's not good for internal elements due to their extreme sensitivity to dust particles. Same thing with cotton balls. They just leave too much residue behind.
I've seen the "face bask" material used before and it seems to work well. But I find that it always leaves behind a faint pattern from when it dries. Also, it's just not practical for use on internal elements since sometimes they are impossibly placed in a tight barrel. I don't like to get crazy with tools and exotic chemicals...
I can clean any element to perfection with just a few basic ingredients. If I can't get an element perfectly clean, then something is wrong with the element (coating, pits, scratches, etc.). I'm also proud to say that I have NEVER damaged an element during cleaning.
I'll be adding a little glass cleaning tutorial to my website soon. I just need to figure out how to show the fine detail required to demonstrate such delicate procedures. Maybe a combination of video and high res photos. Any feedback on this matter would be help me help you. ;)
Yeah thanks Matt...make sense. I liked the idea of the exotic face mask because I hate cleaning the sensor and I was told it also made the surface anti-static for a short while. Sensor might seem clean but once you place that loupe on it you see it wasn't. So it leaves a pattern...interesting.
Hopefully I'll never have open up a lens.
I used to used those kim wipes to polish disk drive heads and just felt scared they were abrasive if not wet or used carefully...hence the soft approach. With the lensor I use wet Visible Dust wipes which would be expensive if used everyday. Look forward to the video..
Have had this smallest of specks in the corner of my olpf which couldn't be seen with the naked eye but could see with a 7x loupe.
Did tests and couldn't see it on any test shots i.e sky, grey, white, black cards but it was still bugging me.
So after blowing olpf, I applied the Bintel solution (iso-propyl, blue windex, wetting agent and reversed osmosis water) to a cotton bud.
Rested the wet bud on the spot for 10-15 secs then very gently 'vibrated' the bud from side to side....removed bud and voila....no more spec!
This solution must soften the speck or olpf.
Trouble is the solution doesn't evaporate so I needed to give the sensor (olpf) a final wipe with a swap soaked (few drops) in Eclipse solution, which I find leaves least residue.
Actually I would prefer to use the Eclipse 2 solution but don't as I'm told it is mainly for 'sensitive' sensor coatings which contain tin oxide.
don't know what effect this has so I don't use it on the sensor. Any advice would be greatly appreciated as I find Eclipse 2 to be the cleanest solution (least residue) I've seen.
Anyway good news on the speck!!
Other good thing would be to hear what Matt/Jorge/other lens experts would suggest as a laymen's lens/sensor cleaning kit.
- For difficult specks, the Bintel solution helped where other solutions didn't.
- Visible Dust 1.6x Orange swabs are perfect for Red's sensor.
- They also have a corner swab which I could of used instead of the cotton bud but I just don't trust the thinness of it's swab material before it touches hard plastic!
- Hurricane Blower
- Eclipse Pec pads (which must be similiar to Kim wipes)
- Eclipse (not Eclipse 2) cleaning solution.
My heart rate is probably double when cleaning sensor in comparison to front lens elements.
For lenses I'd simply use the blower, pec pad or micro-fiber cloth soaked in Eclipse solution.
Finally I admit to using the Visible Dust Artic Butterfly brush on lenses and sensor after blowing and before wipes.
Anyway be good to hear what's in other people's kit. Matt/Jorge??
Another interesting thing would be to hear what solutions/techniques not to employ with certain surfaces.
Has anyone tried our Pancro pro cleaner on the sensor. It would be a smart option combined with the kim wipes. Obviously sprayed directly on the wipe not the sensor, then applied as mentioned above. This is similar to the application for lenses and filters.
It won't leave a trace or damage the sensor? I had many people ask me about this very thing at the recent cinegear expo. I can send a sample if you want to test. It also drys very quickly with absolutely no residue. No extra wiping needed. Basically, it's good stuff!!! Good luck
If you're looking for a video on how to clean lenses, here's one:
Use a fine chamois leather cloth. It is made from goat or lamb skin, is very soft and absorbs any grease without smearing. The downside is that some qualities leave fine leather particles, but they can usually be blown away.
I've even used chamois to clean the UV-filter in front of the CMOS, it took away spots that special CCD cleaning kits couldn't handle.
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