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Is this real or just my imagnation

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#1 eb1019

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Posted 11 August 2005 - 02:47 PM

Hi yesterday Fedex came with my order from optics planet. I pursched one bottle of lens cleaner, a micro fiber cloth, and a nikon lens pen. The first thing I did was I used the lens pen to brush away all of the little pieces of dust and small particles of dirt. Next I put some of the solution on the microfiber cloth and started cleaning the lenses very gently in a circular motion. Next thing I did was go outside and test them. Nice clear image nothing to worry about. So the other night it was quite cloudy so I stared looking down through the town because I live pretty high up and a hill. But I noticed that every time I looked at a street light or near one that was somewhat close I am seeing these reflections all over the place. Before I cleaned them I notice a little bit of reflection's but I just don't think it was this bad. But if anyone has any ideas out there I would apperciate your replies. Thanks. Eric

#2 Joad

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Posted 11 August 2005 - 03:31 PM

It could be nothing. It could be residual smearing from the lens cleaner. But I have read that lens cleaner can remove optical coatings, which is why one is usually advised to use a distilled water/ethyl alcohol solution when cleaning coated optics. You probably haven't really removed any coating, though. i would guess you have smearing.

#3 btschumy

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Posted 11 August 2005 - 03:50 PM

I would be very surprised if any standard lens cleaner could harm modern optical coatings. They are very tough. Eric didn't indicate the age of the binoculars but I think that within the past 20 years you are pretty safe on that front.

It's possible it is his imagination and they are the same as before cleaning. However, I would give then a good looking at from the front with a bright light reflected off them. As Joad says, look for any smearing. However, I would think that smearing would cause light scatter, not noticeable reflections.

#4 eb1019

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Posted 11 August 2005 - 03:52 PM

Here is the stuff that I ordered. http://telescopes.co..._Kit_10543.html When I cleaned the lenses I made sure to do it very carefully. But the back ones, thew ones you look through were very dirty. So I had to go over them a few times before they came clean. And when I look at the lenses there are no smear marks or anything.

#5 eb1019

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Posted 11 August 2005 - 03:56 PM

Oh by the way the binoculars are nikon action extreme's 12x50 and they are about 1 month old. :)

#6 eb1019

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Posted 11 August 2005 - 08:14 PM

Ok now I am getting very upset. I can diffently see a small degrade in image quality now that this is a nice sunny day. And every 2 seconds the lens are getting fogged up to the point where I can't see out of them. All I do is take on little breath and they start to fog up. I'm getting really scared because I don't know what telescopes.com return policy is.

#7 Glassthrower

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Posted 11 August 2005 - 08:15 PM

I have yet to find a "lens solution" that comes off completely in one pass or one that will evaporate off cleanly.

Distilled water/ethyl alcohol as Joad suggested is a good alternative. Of course the best cleaning is no cleaning at all...even if it aggravates the heck out of others, I am very anal (can I say that in here?) about my optics. Keeping dirt/grime off in the first place is the best defense.

MikeG

#8 Joad

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Posted 11 August 2005 - 08:38 PM

Everything I've read says to use clean cotton balls (the advice is to buy sterile ones, but I admit that I never have) and a roughly 40% (or so) ethyl alcohol to 60% (or so) distilled water solution. You dab the cotton ball (not too soaked because you DON"T WANT ANY SOLUTION DRIPPING INTO YOUR EYEPIECE OR OBJECTIVE LENS) on the lens surface. Don't rub in circles, just very very gently dab. I do know that my Meade manual warns me against using lens cleaning solution and prescribes the water/alcohol mixture I've mentioned. Let's not panic now, though. So long as you don't leak water/alcohol solution into your binos, it really shouldn't harm them to try this method to remove any lens solution smears that may be on your binos. By all means research this entire forum for the many threads on lens cleaning before following my advice though. I count as a newbie and am by no means an expert here. I just sort of feel your pain and want to help out.

#9 holger_merlitz

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Posted 11 August 2005 - 09:26 PM

Don't worry - the Nikon Action series frequently shows varying image quality through both barrels - I have looked through some of them and it was visible even in the gloomy light of the department store. Also, the coating is not always on par on both sides. It may have nothing to do with your cleaning activities.

How comes they are fogging? Are you keeping them inside an air conditioned room and taking them out in humid weather? Or are you living in a cold place?

Best,
Holger

#10 eb1019

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Posted 11 August 2005 - 09:52 PM

Actually I never though of that. These binoculars do spend alot of time in the air conditioning. Then I take them out in the heat and they start fogging. But the thing is I never noticed it before but now it is happening just after I cleaned them. I just don't know, I could swear the images just aren't as sharp or clear now. I'm just worried that maybe I harmed the coatings. I will walk you through exactly how I cleaned them. First I used my Nikon lens pen brush and gently brushed away all the small particles of dust and lint. Next I took this liquid http://telescopes.co...aner_10544.html and applied some to my microfiber cloth. I started with the front objective lens and very gently wiped in a cicular motion. It only took a minute or two to get clean. Then I took a dry part of the cloth and wiped very gently again to make sure none of the liquid cleaner was left over. I took them under a bright light and held them at all angles so I could see if there was any smear marks or anything. Next I moved to the lens you look through(sorry don't know what they are called) :confused: and repeated the steps I used on the front lens. The lens you look through needed cleaning worse because out hiking with them on these hot summer days when you looked through them sweat would sometimes rool down into the eyecaps and hit the lens. But like I said I did the same cleaning meathod on both lens so what I want to know is, using that cleaner that I used and then walking you through the steps I took in cleaning them is it likley that I may have damaged the coatings on these binoculars? I appericated you guys helping me, only had these binocular's a month and don't know anything about optics. :)

#11 holger_merlitz

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Posted 11 August 2005 - 10:25 PM

I don't think you can remove the coating with that procedure. If you had done so, it won't have affected sharpness - these are external lenses, anyway, their coating is just used to increase transmission. Check with a torch whether you have damaged the coating with countless tiny scratches. This is unlikely, too. If this has happened, something was wrong with the coating from the very beginning. I believe you have damaged nothing.

Just keep in mind: The Nikon Action is no great glass just because there is 'Nikon' printed on them. These are fairly simple Chinese binoculars and from time to time there may be a problem with quality control.

Best,
Holger

#12 Swedpat

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Posted 11 August 2005 - 11:13 PM

Just keep in mind: The Nikon Action is no great glass just because there is 'Nikon' printed on them. These are fairly simple Chinese binoculars and from time to time there may be a problem with quality control.
Best,
Holger


A little comment: I just don't either believe that binoculars couldn't be great just because they are made in China. The country of origin is hardly the main factor of the quality level. What prevent that the japanese or german manufacturer use their knowledge and science in another country? I really protest against the prejudice that it would be a nature law or destiny that the quality of optics would be dependence of the country of origin...

Regards, Patric

#13 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 12 August 2005 - 12:36 AM

I agree that what country they're produced in really doesn't matter.

Unless you do something horribly bad, you probably can't damage coatings with the proper use of lens brush, cleaner and micro-fiber cloths.

When you're looking at these bright lights at night, the view you're getting is different than from what you used to see under the exact same conditions? I find that relatively hard to believe.

Humidity might be more of an issue, seeing how these bins are not waterproof, and taking them from cold to heat and back may indeed cause some internal moisture to form on the prisms or other surfaces and help cause all these reflections.

Perhaps it could be that you're noticing these defects (because you're actually checking for them now) for the first time now that you've properly cleaned them.

#14 eb1019

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Posted 12 August 2005 - 12:53 AM

Actualy these binoculars claim to be waterproof. They are probally more like water resistant. Is there any way I can tell if there is moisture inside?

#15 DJB

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Posted 12 August 2005 - 01:21 AM

Hello all,

I tried the microfibre cloths and a number of other lens cleaners. However, I always drop back to my favourites: 1) Kodak Lens Cleaner solution/CAT 146 3728, and 2) Kodak Lens Cleaning Paper/CAT EK 154 6027. (B&H availability.)

If I MUST clean a lens, I generally make three-to-four passes. First, as mentioned already, I dab. Then, I use a gentle, circular motion from outside to inside. Finally, I breath on the lens and use two sheets of the paper. This removes all residue that the other cleaning cycles may have produced, as well as any remaining lint. Never had a problem.

In every case I've noticed a residual "haze" on the lens(es) except for the Kodak process. I've tested these on older, torn-down, coated optics.

At work we have to clean very large (~50"-164") mirrors, which are not yet coated. Acetone works the best prior to coating. I am not endorsing using acetone on any optics.

Just my three-cents.

Regards,

Dave.

#16 holger_merlitz

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Posted 12 August 2005 - 01:30 AM

>>>What prevent that the japanese or german manufacturer use their knowledge and science in another country?

-------------------------------------------------------

Hi Patric,

it is the consumer who prevents them from applying that knowledge. The consumer who wants a cheap binocular. In fact, the Nikon Action was a nice binocular a few years back, when still made in Japan, optics and coating were all right, and especially the mechanical features were fine. Now it is slightly different. It is still a usable binocular, no doubt, but one has to keep an eye on its performance to make sure one hasn't got a dog. As this particular thread proves, even a rather inexperienced binocular user was surprised to find problems and blamed his cleaning as being the cause of that. He did so because he couldn't believe that a new binocular could pass the quality control with such a performance. He will return it back and most likely have got a better sample some days later. No problem.

I didn't claim that binoculars made in China are necessarily bad, I just claimed that the Nikon Action is among the rather simple binoculars coming from China, not among the best they can do (for example, the Oberwerk Mariner seems to belong to the better glasses made in China). In fact, I am recently trying to figure out which of the glasses made in China are actually rather good. I hope within a year or so to have a kind of small collection of China's 'high-end'. I will report on that whenever I got new information.

Best,
Holger

#17 eb1019

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Posted 12 August 2005 - 02:14 AM

Just to get this clear i have a Nikon action EXTREME. There is a difference. The nikon action's are a cheaper set I have read in previous post that the Nikon Action extreme's are better that just the Nikon action set. Second of all I never had my hopes set real high on this binocular because it was only $185. I am not one of those people who expect a $200 binocular to perform like a $1000 Zeiss. I simply posted because I have had my Nikon's for over a month, use them every single day and have been completely satisfied with them. Then the other day I apply a lens cleaning solution and now they have a haze over them when viewed through. I just found it strange that they have been fanststic for a month now and the minute I applied the solution the quality degraded. Thirdly at the bottom of the page is a thread where you member's post pictures of your binoculars and mounts. Strangely enough %85 of them seem to be celestron, Oberwerk, and Zhummell. I accept the possibality that I could be wrong but aren't most of those binoculars made in China?

#18 Claudio

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Posted 12 August 2005 - 03:01 AM

What I will say concisely here is applicable only with glass lenses not older than 30 or 35 years (i.e. with sufficiently hard coatings) and NOT for plastic lenses or mirrors. Moreover, consider these tips applicable only with outer lenses.

The cleaner depends on the kind of dirt.

- Cleaners with water + a tad of tensioactive (read detergent) remove dirts that strong solvents like Acetone hardly clean. Examples: calcium residuals of drops of rain, salt spray, marmalades …
They don’t evaporate off very cleanly.
The Kodak lens cleaner is (was?) a cleaner of this category.

- Cleaners purely made with solvents and without water attack better greases (also fingers grease), oils, resins, adhesives and evaporate off very cleanly. Examples: hexane (doesn’t damage plastics) , methyl alcohol (could damages some plastics) methyl ethyl ketone, which positive and negative effects are very similar to that ones of the more common pure acetone (care, it damages almost all the plastics). As in binoculars there are many plastic parts, I suggest to use Hexane.
All these solvents are dangerous for your health, some of them are carcinogenic and teratogenic.

The process of cleaning with dirty lenses should be:

- Blow off dust particles (not with highly compressed air, if there is sand it will damage the lens)

- Only when dust particles have been removed, damp a Kodak tissue or a similar tissue (and NOT the tissues you find by the optician, very often they contain chemicals). Also Kleenex tissues are good, make narrow (about 3 cm) strips of them, wrap one strip around the rounded tips of a tweezer, damp it (don’t soak it) and clean with circular motion starting from the centre of the lens.

- First use a cleaner with water + a tad of tensioactive.
Some dirt is probably still there, moreover there will be some traces left by the cleaner

- Damp now another tissue with a solvent, breathe a bit on the lens (this produces a protective film that works like a cushion between lens and solvent) and clean the lens again.
Repeat this last step if the lens shows still traces of cleaner
Leave a window open when use the solvent and avoid to breath close to it.

In my opinion, cleaners that are a mixture of water and alcohol are a compromise in order to avoid the two mentioned steps (i.e. before water + a tad of tensioactive and then a pure solvent). They can be used but the last cleaning step should be a pure solvent.

Some metropolitan legends (at least in my not short experience):
“white, soft, unscented toilet tissues or facial tissues are dangerous for lenses”
“don’t breathe on the lens”
“cleaning often the lenses will damage coatings”. (if you do it “cum grano salis” there is no danger for your lenses)


About the Patric’s comment:
<The country of origin is hardly the main factor of the quality level>
EVERYBODY in the forum agrees this comment!
NOBODY in the forum could eat a Chinese (but could be Swedish :poke: ) pizza margherita without a bit of trepidation!
Just a joke
Claudio

#19 holger_merlitz

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Posted 12 August 2005 - 03:06 AM

>>I simply posted because I have had my Nikon's for over a month, use them every single day and have been completely satisfied with them....

--------------------------------------------------

Oops, a misunderstanding - I assumed you got them just yesterday. If you were happy with them until now and you are not any more than it is of course not the quality control to be blamed. Pointing a torch to the ocular lens and looking through the objectives may help to identify haze or dust inside or smear on the eye-lens, possible causes for your problem.

Yes, many binoculars are coming from China. As long as you know what they can perform and where their limits are it is fine. I am also using Chinese binoculars, among others.

Best,
Holger

#20 later

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Posted 12 August 2005 - 04:34 AM

"Pointing a torch to the ocular lens"........


Just to avoid an un-intended fire............I believe Holger is refering to a FLASHLIGHT and NOT a propane torch ! !

Yes its just semantics ....but just think of the ramifications ! !

#21 Joad

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Posted 12 August 2005 - 07:57 AM

"Pointing a torch to the ocular lens"........


Just to avoid an un-intended fire............I believe Holger is refering to a FLASHLIGHT and NOT a propane torch ! !

Yes its just semantics ....but just think of the ramifications ! !


Good call, later old chap. In British English a torch is what we Yanks call a flashlight. A torch, American style, is something to be used for welding.

#22 Swedpat

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Posted 12 August 2005 - 08:13 AM

Holger,

YOU know what you are talking about and my comment was of course fairly "wrong adressed". We have also discussed this matter earlier.
It's just that I still react every time I hear someone speaks something negative about chinese optics. There are junk optics from China, and there are fairly good optics, and there are a few optics approaching the high-end level.

Several times I have heard dealers and birders (in Sweden) claim that "They are surely worse, they are chinese", "it can not be good because it's chinese" and such statements.

Some of them have never seen the chinese models who are highly respected and constantly discussed in this forum, just looked at some hobby catalog ruby-coating models and compared them to Swift and Swarovski. On the basis of that they then disqualify all chinese optics.
Therefore I easy become angry about negative judgements about chinese optics...

Regards, Patric

#23 Henry Link

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Posted 12 August 2005 - 08:15 AM

Even though the binoculars are supposed to be waterproof perhaps either sweat (as you desribe it dripping onto the eyepieces) or less likely cleaning fluid (since you applied it to the cloth and not the lenses) has worked its way into the eyepieces and has fogged an interior surface,

#24 Joad

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Posted 12 August 2005 - 09:13 AM

You know, eb, it just might be that micro fiber lens cloth that is causing your problem. One would think that those nice soft things would be perfect for delicate lens work, but my experience has been that they tend to smear optical surfaces, from the corrector plate on my SCT to the optics on my eyepieces. I can easily correct the problem with the use of soft, white, unscented bathroom tissues. I no longer use the micro fiber cloths for anything but the slightest touch ups.

#25 eb1019

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Posted 12 August 2005 - 06:03 PM

Well thank god I didn't bust out the welding torch :) Anyway I left the binoculars in the living room last night away from the air conditioning and well that seemed to be the solve the problem. The air conditioning was the culprit. I guess with the lens fogging like that it gave me the impression that the binocular was loosing clarity. Automatically I assumed that the cleaner had something to do with it. Like I said before this is the only set I have ever owned so I want to thank you for all your help and putting up with a newbie. Has anyone else had similar problems with air conditioners and optics?


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