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Silicone Cloth for Vintage Binolux!

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#1 ferncanyon

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Posted 14 May 2019 - 11:29 AM

I rehab vintage Japanese porros for environmental education programs and have worked on roughly 100 pair, including some Binolux, but this is the first time I have run across this note in the bottom of the case for a Binolux 7x35, Light Weight, Coated Optics, with plastic eye pieces, so I'm guessing from the 1960s?:

 

"Silicone Cloth

 

Silicone Cloth is a well-treated polishing cloth saturated with silicone which has several special qualities.  Silicone Cloth gives not only lustre to any optical lenses but also produces quite thin oil (Silicone Oil) on the surface of the lenses and it prevents them from diffused light-reflection.  Glass, lenses and any optical instruments are always clean from dust when Silicone Cloth is used."

 

Wow.  Clearly this idea never caught on, but did it have a germ of theory behind it?  And the specificity of "diffused light" reflection?  I'm sure our optics experts could weigh in on this.

 

The case had just the note, not the cloth, which I assume was saturated with silicone oil.  The idea that something coated in oil would not attract dust also seems a bit quaint.  But everyone is always looking for a marketing advantage.  :-)

 

 



#2 TOMDEY

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Posted 14 May 2019 - 12:19 PM

I rehab vintage Japanese porros for environmental education programs and have worked on roughly 100 pair, including some Binolux, but this is the first time I have run across this note in the bottom of the case for a Binolux 7x35, Light Weight, Coated Optics, with plastic eye pieces, so I'm guessing from the 1960s?:

 

"Silicone Cloth is a well-treated polishing cloth saturated with silicone which has several special qualities.  Silicone Cloth gives not only lustre to any optical lenses but also produces quite thin oil (Silicone Oil) on the surface of the lenses and it prevents them from diffused light-reflection.  Glass, lenses and any optical instruments are always clean from dust when Silicone Cloth is used."

 

Wow.  Clearly this idea never caught on, but did it have a germ of theory behind it?  And the specificity of "diffused light" reflection?  I'm sure our optics experts could weigh in on this.

The case had just the note, not the cloth, which I assume was saturated with silicone oil.  The idea that something coated in oil would not attract dust also seems a bit quaint.  But everyone is always looking for a marketing advantage.  :-)

Howdy! Well, I worked in optical thin films, instrument and lighting development for a long time. Even wrote a paper on antireflection of diffuse light aka from all directions. That would be a surface that accomplishes that, independent of wavelength or direction. It turns out that there is exactly one surface treatment/topology that will accomplish that. I made that in the lab... and it works! But only over a narrow range of angles of incidence. Also it's terribly fragile, can never clean it. And, there is one example of that in the natural environment. It is the surface of the moth cornea, compound eyes. And yes, I wrote a paper on that, when I was collecting insects in Panama for the Dept. of Agr. back in 1970, for a year "Antireflection Properties of the Moth Chitinous Cornea" And other best-sellers, like "Polarization Sensitivity of the Compound Eye of Hymenoptera Bombus"

 

In your magical cleaning cloth instructions... Looks like some marketing guy threw together some tech sounding mumbo-jumbo and tossed it in there. Kinda like the Tac Glasses commercials. Plain vanilla mumbo-jumbo.

 

As Freud liked to say, "Sometimes a cleaning cloth is... just a cleaning cloth; sometimes polarizing glasses are just... cheap polarizing glasses."    Tom



#3 ferncanyon

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Posted 14 May 2019 - 02:43 PM

Tom-   You certainly are the right guy to provide an answer!  Thanks for weighing in.  It is pretty 

remarkable that Binolux decided to go with this idea, probably without any real testing.  Do you think that a thin oil film could ever improve a system's optical properties, particularly given that the objective lens is already coated?  Thanks!



#4 MartinPond

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Posted 14 May 2019 - 11:17 PM

Special cleaning cloth came with binoculars, glasses, telescopes,

all kinds of things, 1960s---80s.   Mumbo-jumbo galore..

but the cloth soon picks up dust and digs in...like others would, just later.

 

I would agree that any kind of coating over a precisely dimensioned and

composed for minimized reflection cannot do better, especially if it

is uneven in thickness.

 

Silicone coatings were more commonly used to give starlets a more

   "romantic bokeh" (desirable blur).   See Joan Collins in Star Trek original flavor.  


Edited by MartinPond, 14 May 2019 - 11:17 PM.



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