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Cleaning pen for short-focus eyepieces

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#1 Quinnipiac Monster

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Posted 08 April 2021 - 06:06 AM

Hi all,

 

I've been using for a while a Celestron cleaning pen. I like cleaning pens just because they are practical, no liquids, can use them in the field if needed. The problem is that the cleaning pad is too large to be of any use with short-focus eyepieces. The Plossl 5mm I often use on Mars, for example, gets dirty very easily and I do not want to disassemble it every time I need to clean it (which is often).

 

I remember seeing somewhere a cleaning pen with a double pad, one large and convex as usual + another with a conical tip that seemed just perfect for the job. I've looked around on the web but for the sake of me, I cannot find it anywhere. Does anyone know it?

Thanks!

 

QM



#2 MartinPond

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Posted 08 April 2021 - 10:04 AM

I can't see anything out there like that.

However, at artist's supply / crafts places,

there are excellent and very carefully shaped small paintbrushes.

To prep one, you just give it a good degreasing wash

   (windex, detergent, etc), papaer towel it, let it dry.

 

I just got a can of aerosol "air" blaster stuff ...that's amazing

    for small-fl eyepieces. A bit bulky for portable use, I know.

 

There will eye/skin oil on the eye lens.

Spinning a windex-damp Q-Tip lightly helps.

wet qtip ---> press on napkin ---> damp qtip 


Edited by MartinPond, 08 April 2021 - 10:04 AM.

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#3 Miranda2525

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Posted 08 April 2021 - 10:18 AM

Here is a kit. One of them is really small. I have the same kit. This should be of some help.

 

https://www.amazon.c...h/dp/B071VN2QNK



#4 paul hart

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Posted 08 April 2021 - 02:44 PM

I've heard that you aren't supposed to use cleaning pens because of the old residue left on them. I use a soft brush,  ROR cleaner and a Q-Tip.

 

https://www.amazon.c...ef=nb_sb_noss_1


Edited by paul hart, 08 April 2021 - 02:44 PM.

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#5 Starman1

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Posted 08 April 2021 - 05:56 PM

Hi all,

 

I've been using for a while a Celestron cleaning pen. I like cleaning pens just because they are practical, no liquids, can use them in the field if needed. The problem is that the cleaning pad is too large to be of any use with short-focus eyepieces. The Plossl 5mm I often use on Mars, for example, gets dirty very easily and I do not want to disassemble it every time I need to clean it (which is often).

 

I remember seeing somewhere a cleaning pen with a double pad, one large and convex as usual + another with a conical tip that seemed just perfect for the job. I've looked around on the web but for the sake of me, I cannot find it anywhere. Does anyone know it?

Thanks!

 

QM

Use a Q-tip with some cleaning fluid.


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#6 f18dad

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Posted 09 April 2021 - 06:57 AM

Use a Q-tip with some cleaning fluid.

 

No better way to untie a Gordian knot.



#7 Sarkikos

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Posted 09 April 2021 - 07:58 AM

Toss your cleaning pens.  Use ROR on a Q-tip or the corner of a lens tissue.

 

Mike


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#8 Second Time Around

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Posted 09 April 2021 - 01:55 PM

I too don't like lens pens for the reasons given above.

 

Instead I start with one of those squeezable puffers to blow away anything loose, then a soft brush that retracts like a pen,  These 2 items are available in kits on Amazon very cheaply.

 

Then I use disposable Zeiss Lens Wipes.  They're individually sealed in small packets and so don't dry out.  Most importantly though, unlike a cloth, I can be absolutely sure they're always clean.  A cloth could have some dirt or a tiny piece of grit on it that I miss and that could damage the glass.  I bought them in a box of 200 off Amazon for less than £10.


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#9 Miranda2525

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Posted 09 April 2021 - 04:55 PM

No problem with lens pens here. I only use them so many times and then I throw them out and get new ones.



#10 Miranda2525

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Posted 09 April 2021 - 04:56 PM

Toss your cleaning pens.  Use ROR on a Q-tip or the corner of a lens tissue.

 

Mike

I've tried this, but there's always smudging left over.



#11 MitchAlsup

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Posted 09 April 2021 - 05:10 PM

There is a different solution !!

 

A 4× Barlow and a 20E makes for a dandy 5mm..............with enough eye relief that you don't get the lens dirty...........all the time.........and need to clean it...........all the time.........


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#12 MartinPond

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Posted 09 April 2021 - 08:44 PM

I've tried this, but there's always smudging left over.

Lighter fluid to the rescue. A lot less harsh than acetone, hungry for the greasy bits.

ROR or Windex to undermine biofilm, lighter-fluid finish.

It has to be purely evaporating  naptha so the old-school lighters don't gum up.

 

I finally found a decent air-blower that's hand-powered, with the right tip:

 

https://www.target.c...526#lnk=sametab

 

With the tapered 'beach ball' nozzle.  


Edited by MartinPond, 09 April 2021 - 08:55 PM.


#13 CrazyPanda

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Posted 10 April 2021 - 12:13 AM

I recently read something from a professional window cleaner that Windex builds up an incredibly difficult to remove residue over time.

 

Given I have NEVER successfully seen a "streak free" finish when using Windex or any other product with ammonia in it, I would not recommend using that on eyepieces.



#14 havasman

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Posted 10 April 2021 - 12:32 AM

I've tried this, but there's always smudging left over.

There is. A gentle breath's moisture and a new Kimwipe is effective at removing it and leaves a really clean surface. I think usually the rocket blower's all that's needed.


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#15 LDW47

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Posted 10 April 2021 - 07:44 AM

Hi all,

 

I've been using for a while a Celestron cleaning pen. I like cleaning pens just because they are practical, no liquids, can use them in the field if needed. The problem is that the cleaning pad is too large to be of any use with short-focus eyepieces. The Plossl 5mm I often use on Mars, for example, gets dirty very easily and I do not want to disassemble it every time I need to clean it (which is often).

 

I remember seeing somewhere a cleaning pen with a double pad, one large and convex as usual + another with a conical tip that seemed just perfect for the job. I've looked around on the web but for the sake of me, I cannot find it anywhere. Does anyone know it?

Thanks!

 

QM

Keep using it, stay ahead of the game, its a great piece of equipment !



#16 LDW47

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Posted 10 April 2021 - 07:48 AM

And there is nothing wrong with clean spit, the soft pad of a finger, the softest material in the world, and a nice soft kleenex to finish it off ! Those lens coatings are ‘ built tough ‘ like some autos !



#17 Starman1

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Posted 10 April 2021 - 08:56 AM

Keep using it, stay ahead of the game, its a great piece of equipment !

Sorry, but this is bad advice.

Lens pens:

--are only clean on the first use (maybe).  After that they are merely smearing around whatever it picked up on the first use.

--are used dry. NOTHING should be used dry on a lens because grit will be dragged around on the dry surface, scratching the lens permanently.

--have a brush on one end that merely smears oils around.

 

So, in lieu of a lens pen, what can you use?

1) a wet Q-tip to mop up the dirt and oils by suspending the débris in fluid.

2) a wet alcohol pad to do the same

 

You can use Kleenex AFTER the eyepiece lens has been mopped.  Kleenex, however, leaves a bit of dust on the lens that requires being blown off.

 

Which brings to mind that you need some form of device to blow dust and particles off the lens, like:

--rubber squeeze bulb with a directed nozzle

--electric blower (no heat) with a directed nozzle

What should not be used is canned air because these have a tendency to blow liquid on the glass.  Not to mention the temperature of the gas can cause thermal shock to 

the lens because it often comes out at a very cold temperature.

 

What does TeleVue recommend for cleaning their eyepieces?

https://www.televue....page.asp?id=103


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#18 LDW47

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Posted 10 April 2021 - 09:29 AM

Sorry, but this is bad advice.

Lens pens:

--are only clean on the first use (maybe).  After that they are merely smearing around whatever it picked up on the first use.

--are used dry. NOTHING should be used dry on a lens because grit will be dragged around on the dry surface, scratching the lens permanently.

--have a brush on one end that merely smears oils around.

 

So, in lieu of a lens pen, what can you use?

1) a wet Q-tip to mop up the dirt and oils by suspending the débris in fluid.

2) a wet alcohol pad to do the same

 

You can use Kleenex AFTER the eyepiece lens has been mopped.  Kleenex, however, leaves a bit of dust on the lens that requires being blown off.

 

Which brings to mind that you need some form of device to blow dust and particles off the lens, like:

--rubber squeeze bulb with a directed nozzle

--electric blower (no heat) with a directed nozzle

What should not be used is canned air because these have a tendency to blow liquid on the glass.  Not to mention the temperature of the gas can cause thermal shock to 

the lens because it often comes out at a very cold temperature.

 

What does TeleVue recommend for cleaning their eyepieces?

https://www.televue....page.asp?id=103

Tell that to all the great camera users that use the pens ! Its good sound advice until proven otherwise, I haven’t seen it yet other than unfounded opinions ! Those scope lens are probably built tougher than camera lenses if the truth be known ? Read some of the other methods and you tell me, lol !



#19 MartinPond

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Posted 10 April 2021 - 10:10 AM

I recently read something from a professional window cleaner that Windex builds up an incredibly difficult to remove residue over time.

 

Given I have NEVER successfully seen a "streak free" finish when using Windex or any other product with ammonia in it, I would not recommend using that on eyepieces.

Thing is, that has not been my experience.

The generalization to any ammonia at all seems even more odd.

Ammonia does not leave any residue at all, chemically, physically.

 

I assume the professional window cleaner was cleaning winodws.

When I clean my picture window, I use a very weak ammonia+detergent mix,

somewhere around 1/4 Windex strength. Real pros use that special high

film strength detergent as well, like you add to dishwashers, 'drying agent'.

 

When cleaning eyepieces, if they have biofilm (like tear crust), 

   full equivalent Windex-strength is needed, and then something

   to de-grease after.  91% isopropyl will do. That's for very dirty glass.


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#20 Mike W

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Posted 10 April 2021 - 11:05 AM

I use a blower bulb to get any loose dirt off then a Q-tip with cleaning fluid, toss out that Q-tip then breathe on the lens and use a fresh Q-tip for the final cleaning. (Gets any smears left over) I have been doing this for thirty years since I worked in a camera store and NEVER scratched a coating on cameras, binoculars, eyepieces etc. 


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#21 LDW47

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Posted 10 April 2021 - 11:56 AM

Thing is, that has not been my experience.

The generalization to any ammonia at all seems even more odd.

Ammonia does not leave any residue at all, chemically, physically.

 

I assume the professional window cleaner was cleaning winodws.

When I clean my picture window, I use a very weak ammonia+detergent mix,

somewhere around 1/4 Windex strength. Real pros use that special high

film strength detergent as well, like you add to dishwashers, 'drying agent'.

 

When cleaning eyepieces, if they have biofilm (like tear crust), 

   full equivalent Windex-strength is needed, and then something

   to de-grease after.  91% isopropyl will do. That's for very dirty glass.

Well said I agree completely ! Some people treat eyepieces and scopes as a matter of fact as if they were made of Fine China !



#22 LDW47

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Posted 10 April 2021 - 11:58 AM

I use a blower bulb to get any loose dirt off then a Q-tip with cleaning fluid, toss out that Q-tip then breathe on the lens and use a fresh Q-tip for the final cleaning. (Gets any smears left over) I have been doing this for thirty years since I worked in a camera store and NEVER scratched a coating on cameras, binoculars, eyepieces etc. 

Maybe times have changed, cleaning methods come in many different forms today ??



#23 areyoukiddingme

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Posted 10 April 2021 - 02:03 PM

Tell that to all the great camera users that use the pens ! Its good sound advice until proven otherwise, I haven’t seen it yet other than unfounded opinions ! Those scope lens are probably built tougher than camera lenses if the truth be known ? Read some of the other methods and you tell me, lol !

Most camera lenses are used to shoot things at low magnifications. You could clean them with a rusty old screw driver and not notice for those close shots. Or how about a Dremel:

 

e.g., https://www.youtube....h?v=Gy8-t7xP2oA

 

In a telescope using high magnifications, particularly at the focal plane on the eye lens of an eyepiece, tiny imperfections can show up in the image.

 

I do what Steve above mentioned above. When I clean my eyepieces I don't just use a cue tip, I use several. The idea is not to be dragging hard particles of dust across the lens, and certainly not applying pressure.

 

First run is the blower bulb. Second is cue tips dipped in distilled water, and the tips are gently rolled over the surface of the eyepiece. Then I use a Zeiss wipe, and if there's still a sign of residue, a puff of breath and tissue to wipe, and a final wipe with tissue and distilled water.


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#24 LDW47

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Posted 10 April 2021 - 02:34 PM

Most camera lenses are used to shoot things at low magnifications. You could clean them with a rusty old screw driver and not notice for those close shots. Or how about a Dremel:

 

e.g., https://www.youtube....h?v=Gy8-t7xP2oA

 

In a telescope using high magnifications, particularly at the focal plane on the eye lens of an eyepiece, tiny imperfections can show up in the image.

 

I do what Steve above mentioned above. When I clean my eyepieces I don't just use a cue tip, I use several. The idea is not to be dragging hard particles of dust across the lens, and certainly not applying pressure.

 

First run is the blower bulb. Second is cue tips dipped in distilled water, and the tips are gently rolled over the surface of the eyepiece. Then I use a Zeiss wipe, and if there's still a sign of residue, a puff of breath and tissue to wipe, and a final wipe with tissue and distilled water.

To each his own, even Fine China doesn’t have to be handled like that and I never said you didn’t have to use a blower ! But if it really bothers one can use what ever it takes to ........ ! As I mentioned one other time, I don’t remember anyone posting a photo(s) of the lense of an ep or scope that were damaged by improper cleaning, surely there has to be some around to show all the concerned astronomers ? Me I’m stickin with the clean spit, my finger and a kleenex, never failed me yet ! And oh yes, a clean blower first to take of the abrasive grit where ever it came from ?



#25 Miranda2525

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Posted 10 April 2021 - 03:24 PM

Lighter fluid to the rescue. A lot less harsh than acetone, hungry for the greasy bits.

ROR or Windex to undermine biofilm, lighter-fluid finish.

It has to be purely evaporating  naptha so the old-school lighters don't gum up.

 

I finally found a decent air-blower that's hand-powered, with the right tip:

 

https://www.target.c...526#lnk=sametab

 

With the tapered 'beach ball' nozzle.  

Ummmm, I don't think so. I use ROR and a Q-Tip, then a final swirl with a new lens pen. Good as new.


Edited by Miranda2525, 10 April 2021 - 03:25 PM.



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