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Old Aug 11, 2007, 2:50 AM   #31
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After using a puffer of some sort to blow away what isnt attached then a nice clean brush the job is often finished.

But then there are times when someone projectile expells grape soda out of their nostrils such as to speckle the lens with nasty sugar droplets. Alcohol will herein need to follow distilled water to regain that fresh from the factory spotless, smearless, no visible remnant with a brite light inspection appearance. pure water first, then alcohol.

BTW, grape soda gushers occur most often with the very young. Oldsters not used to grape soda-everclear spritzers can also erupt quite involuntarily and unexpectedly. Something to do with the carbonics I suppose.

How did I come by this revelation you ask. After searching the web for any shred of lens cleaning lore (yes, for a much longer period of time than seemly, but I wanted to be prepared to do it right) I happened upon some interesting advice beyond the normal commercial means. Here are a couple:



So, off to the druggist I went.

However, the chemist said completely denatured formula 19-190 PROOF was the stuff the commercial pros used most heavily. Three major studios very are near the druggist. HMMMM and I ordered a bottle.

Methanol is too dangerous to one's health, he said. 85% ethyl and a tad of methy makes it undrinkable but a highly useable concoction at $7 / pint, 473mL.
Its actually 90.5% Ethyl Alcohol, 3.8% Methyl isobutyl ketone, 1% ether. Don't do the math. It gets what the water leaves including the unsightly water spots. Flat out works...

Yes, the lens coatings (of my modern lenses) have remained intact.

Cotton (as in cotton balls and Q-tips) is ok, but is best if used on this side of a good new lens tissue, not on the lens at all. Cotton by itself has a very nasty habit of leaving strands behind caught between the lens and its mount or in the filter threads when trying to clean near the lens edge. Those hairs of cotton can be very very tough to remove.

To rehash: There can be water soluable and or alcohol soluable crud on a lens.

Grape soda, its water time. BUT, you'll need alcohol to get the water spots off.

Fingerprints, as when a child grabs the camera faster than a mongoose on a cobra, its alcohol time. Unless, he or she, more likely he, was dripping with peanut butter and or jelly. At which time Isoporply may seem a reasonable solvent with which a person might begin. BUT, you'll still need to finish with 19-190 Proof Ethyl to attain that pristine crystal clear cleanliness so calming of ones angst.

military ordnace chemist for a brief period, or at least they said I was long ago,

P.S. thats what works well for me

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Old Aug 11, 2007, 5:25 PM   #32
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Quotes from Steve (and other related threads):

steve wrote:
Gentle rubbing with a clean cloth like an old T-shirt is fine, just check for any signs of "hard particles" like sand, dirt, etc first.

steve wrote: [/b]
Over the years I have field-cleaned lenseson consumer digicams and digital SLRs by using a clean portion of the tail of my t-shirt. This is of course not recommended, especially if you have hard debris on the lens but for the occassional fingerprint, rain drop, etc - it works. Modern multi-coatedlenses are a lot tougher than most people give them credit for. Now if it is an $8000 Canon prime telephoto lens that's another story, it would get treated better than my girlfriend

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Old Aug 11, 2007, 9:09 PM   #33
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I would make a distinction between cleaning lens surfaces, and cleaning camera internal parts. The solvents we have all been mentioning are organic solvents, and won't cause any problems with coatings on glass lenses, which, at least on external surfaces are inorganic, generally vapor deposited. IIRC, the earliest was magnesium fluoride. Others, whose names escape me, are also metallic fluorides or sulfides. (long time since I looked up this info) They chemically bond to the glass, at least the fluoride types do. (our chemist is sure to correct me if I'm wrong) I have used rangefinder and SLR cameras since the '60s and haven't had any problems with lenses due to using T-shirts, shirt tails, handkerchiefs, etc. This applies to GLASS lenses only. The plastic lenses on some digicams are considerably different, and should be treated as such.

Internally, there are parts which could be attacked by some components of denatured alcohols, such as benzine, toluene, and ether. I found this out with a plastic focus screen which had a fingerprint on it. I generally purchase anhydrous Isopropyl from an electronics supplier. It is a useful solvent for a lot of things.

For cleaning sensors, I am not sure what kind of coating is on the sensor. I have read that the new Pentax K10D has a "flouride" coating, which some have speculated is Teflon, but I rather suspect is similar to lens coatings. If I need to use a solvent, I only apply it to the swab ( non-cotton - they leave lint) . Kind of nervous about the materials used in the Bayer color matrix.

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Old Aug 21, 2007, 2:51 PM   #34
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Sorry to dig up an old topic, but any further advice, specifically regarding the K10D's flourine/flouride/whatever sensor coating?

I have some "camera cleaning kits" from the pound shop which have served both my S5600 and K1000 lenses perfectly fine, but the sensor is a whole different ballpark! am I reasonably safe using the cleaning fluid and a cottonbud or lens tissue on it?
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Old Aug 21, 2007, 8:40 PM   #35
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I don't care for using cotton swabs for optics at all. The cotton used is short staple type, and tends to leave lint behind. There are lint-free cotton wipes which work, as well as synthetic swabs. I prefer the chamois tipped cleaning swabs used vor VCR head cleaning. Just a bit of isopropyl to dampen the swab, and wipe very gently. That is, of course, when I have to. Mostly, as others recommend also, I use a blower for dust.

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Old Aug 22, 2007, 6:34 AM   #36
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VTphotog wrote:
I don't care for using cotton swabs for optics at all. The cotton used is short staple type, and tends to leave lint behind.
Dry: Absolutely.
Wet: Not so much.

I think the capillary action keeps everything in a tight little package.
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