Eyepiece cleaning woes
Posted 05 January 2013 - 11:19 PM
Posted 05 January 2013 - 11:39 PM
Posted 05 January 2013 - 11:41 PM
Posted 05 January 2013 - 11:49 PM
Posted 06 January 2013 - 01:05 AM
Would that be "Isopropyl" or "Denatured" alcohol?
Acetone is used to strip finishes, paint, laquer etc. Too strong in my opinion.
Posted 06 January 2013 - 01:23 AM
Posted 06 January 2013 - 01:55 AM
I replace my lens pens every couple of months because lens pens gather debris and can re-deposit debris back onto a lens surface..... I only clean mine when I have to. I may go to the unscented kleenex for my final cleaning because lens pens are expensive to keep on buying.
Posted 06 January 2013 - 04:32 AM
Just lighter spots about the size of a ink pen tip or pencil lead.
I doubt the cause was the pur o sol.
Acid dew possibly over time, storage conditions, the coatings themselves?
But yes when in doubt, change to another product/method.
My older Meade plossls have a few spots as do my old 7x50 binoculars, no effect on the view though that I can see.
Posted 06 January 2013 - 12:06 PM
1) Water. Doesn't dissolve eyelash oils or pollen. Not recommended.
1a) Breath on eyepiece. Can't say why this is more effective than just water, but it is.
2) Pure isopropyl alcohol. Without soap added, this can't clean a lot of organic debris. Just not strong enough. Safe, though. Does a decent job on already fairly clean lenses.
3) Water/soap/alcohol mix (like ROR). Very effective to remove organic contaminants. Doesn't clean everything off eyepieces, though, without multiple cleanings. I had some thick mascara streaks that required several cleanings with something harsher.
4) Acetone. Much better solvent. Not harmful to lenses, but can dissolve plastic. If the cleaning is anywhere near a plastic baffle or rubber eyecup, don't use it. It's quite safe on all-metal eyepieces, though, and cleans off some stains that other cleaners can't.
5) Methyl Ethyl Ketone (MEK). This will take off ALL substances on the lens and requires ventilation for safety. It has removed mildew and chemical stains where nothing else would touch the discolorations. It won't harm the lenses with short-duration contact, but I only recommend it if the eyepiece has what looks like mildew or rust discoloration on the lens (likely to be a classic eyepiece being restored after disassembly).
It might interest you to know that I have tried, just for the sake of an experiment, cleaning brand new eyepieces right out of their boxes. Guess what? They got cleaner. Noticeably. It seems that many companies don't maintain perfect cleanliness in assembly one the eyepiece is put together. I've even seen a brand new eyepiece come out of the box with a fingerprint on the eye lens (!).
People on this forum are obsessed with picayune details that distinguish one eyepiece from another, but seldom address the possibility the eyepieces being tested might not be clean. Though one could become obsessed with cleaning, a judicious amount of cleaning at regular intervals or whenever anything foreign is seen on the lenses is definitely called for. Done right, no damage will result, and the eyepiece will be cleaner.
Most often, I see little tiny dots that probably are from the eyelashes touching the eye lenses or from accidentally breathing on the eyepiece lens. I don't let those sit because if left in place they can cause permanent damage to the lens coatings in time. But if there appears to be small shiny dots on the eyepiece, they are probably cleanable. The small dots I've seen that were where small dust particles present on the lenses interfered with the coating process were all invisible to the eye and only visible through a 20X loupe or microscope. I suggest you NOT inspect your eyepieces that way unless you realize that nothing is perfect.
If you get pure alcohol or acetone, make sure they are "reagent grade" or as pure as you can find. No additives. I've been able to find 90% pure IPA and 90+% pure acetone in local stores. ROR works great 99% of the time.
Posted 06 January 2013 - 12:50 PM
Posted 06 January 2013 - 01:14 PM
Acetone and IPA seem to work on different oils. Maybe an IPA, acetone, and dist H2O mix. Cleaning soulutions are like talking about oils on an automotive forum..
Posted 06 January 2013 - 02:11 PM
Posted 06 January 2013 - 02:31 PM
Next, I use one or two Zeiss lens cleaning tissues, which come impregnated with a small amount of pure alcohol. You don't have to be super careful with these as they will not force any alcohol between the lens elements. Usually the wipes leave a bit of residue, which I remove by fogging the eyepiece lens by breathing on it, followed by wiping with a small section of Viva paper towel. These towels are soft and not contaminated with perfumes or oils. To avoid introducing oils from my own hands I am careful not to touch the Zeiss wipes or the paper towel with my fingers except in places that will not directly contact the lens.
This method has worked well on eyepiece lenses and objectives up to 8" in diameter.
Posted 06 January 2013 - 03:42 PM
Posted 06 January 2013 - 05:54 PM
Posted 06 January 2013 - 06:26 PM
Regarding eyepiece cleaning, other than learning to leave them alone and limit cleaning frequency to rare and necessary occasions,
This is difficult lesson for all of us to learn regarding all of our optics. There are times optics should immediately be cleaned. However, too often more problems occur from over cleaning than cleaning too little.
Posted 06 January 2013 - 10:41 PM
Posted 11 January 2013 - 02:18 PM
As Johnny posted I would try saliva on the pad of your finger, it will clean organics off the glass that nothing else removes and the clean pad of your finger is very soft and friendly to glass. Just be sure to clean the saliva off before it dries or it will leave a difficult to remove stain.
If that doesn't work, try Kodak lens cleaning solution, Zeiss lens cleaning solution, acetone, methanol, or MEK (in that order).
Posted 28 January 2013 - 10:01 AM
Posted 28 January 2013 - 10:48 AM
Which is why new q-tips, disposed of after one wipe of the lens surface, remains the easiest way to clean an eyepiece lens: guaranteed clean upon application to the lens, quite absorbent, and easy to manipulate into the "corners".
I have seen the small spots you refered to when cleaning. They have always been the result of contaminated cleaning cloths, the most recent example, ( I start cleaning by blowing off the lens with a bulb blower followed by brushing the surface with a Edmund Optics lens brush to loosen any particles along the edge of the lens, then blowing again), was caused by ( eyelash oil? ) contamination on the brush. Cleaning the brush with alcohol fixed that issue. I would be very suspicious of any lens cleaning cloths that were not new out of the package. Purosol is a very good cleaner but remember, any cleaner just suspends the oil or grease and that can find its way onto the cleaning cloths etc to be re-deposited again.
Posted 28 January 2013 - 02:17 PM
6) Human spit. Ultimate remover of organic compounds from glass.
Exactly!!! Did this last evening...no solvent was getting the spots off, until I put some spit on it...then right off it came
One also has to remember when there are "spots" to be removed to be patient. Don't expect instant gratification by applying and then immediately taking off. Put a dab of the alcohol or saliva on and let it seit for 30 seconds or more, then wipe. takes some time for the chemical/enzyme reactions to occur and loosen things up.
Posted 29 January 2013 - 04:26 AM
Ultima 18mm newly cleaned with Purosol
There were no bright spots or anything not normal on the Ultima 18 eye lens after being cleaned with Purosol, just clean glass with its coatings perfectly intact as has always been the result when I clean my other EP's using Purosol. Really puzzled what happened to OP's Ultima 18mm/other EP's.