Camera Cleaning

Discussion in 'Collector's Corner' started by Fraggo, Mar 16, 2009.

  1. Fraggo

    Fraggo TPF Noob!

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    I have a Mamiya MSX 1000 that needs cleaning and i would like to know what the best sloution to use would be. would a Q-Tip and alchol be good, or would that ruin some components? Thanks in advance for all the advice.
     
  2. Mitica100

    Mitica100 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Do not use alcohol. What do you need cleaning? Optics? Mirror?

    Do not touch the mirror, if that's the case, it's extremely fragile. For optics I suggest you use a lens cleaning fluid from a camera store. Also, a 50-50 dilution alcohol and distilled water will work well. Apply it to a microfiber cloth and very gently clean the lens in spiral motion starting from its center and towards the edges. Dry with another piece of microfiber in same manner.
     
  3. Fraggo

    Fraggo TPF Noob!

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    ok, thank you for the advice. i'll try to post a pic of the camera once i clean it as well.
     
  4. Eldrich

    Eldrich TPF Noob!

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    If you really wanted to clean optics the cadillac way (which is usually overkill, but for the sake of argument...) you would want to use lens tissue and alcohol. For alcohol, methanol is good for dust, use acetone if there is really something gooey that you need to get off, but don't use acetone on plastic parts as it will eat it away. Methanol is good because it dries very clean, you're really just using it as an absorbant to soak up dust.

    You fold up the lens tissue apply a few drops of alcohol and wipe the lens tissue across the surface ONCE. Then you must refold the tissue and repeat the procedure. The reason you only swipe once with each surface is so that if you collect any dust with the lens paper, you are not rubbing it across the lens element.

    And if there is a soft element like a metal mirror, that you really need to clean, then basically, use the lens paper, don't fold it this time, but apply a few drops, lay it on the mirror, and just drag it off of the surface without applying any pressure. This will only get dust off, nothing sticky or gooey. I would not recommend doing this unless you think it is absolutely necessary.

    This is probably overkill, but as I said, this is the obsessive compulsive way to clean optics.

    Why do you say 50-50 alcohol and water Mitica? Out of curiosity...what is the benefit of the 50% water when cleaning optics?

    EDIT* I just wanted to stress that this is a method for cleaning Optics. If you need to clean the camera body, I think distilled water and some sort of microfiber cloth would suffice. I would have recommended a mixture of ethanol and water for the body, but Mitica suggests not to, so I would look into that a little further before applying it to the plasticy components of the body. I certainly wouldn't use anything stronger than ethanol, such as methanol and especially not acetone.
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2009
  5. Fraggo

    Fraggo TPF Noob!

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    cool, thanks for all the info eldrich, i do appriciate it. and i really do understand the obsessive compulsive way to clean, kind of how i am anyways. i want it right the first time.
     
  6. Mitica100

    Mitica100 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Why 50-50? I believe pure alcohol is an overkill and all the photo cleaning fluids are a mix of alcohol and distilled water. Also, I would discourage the use of photo paper, there are many risks of leaving behind the so called 'cleaning marks', visible only when the lens is off camera and open. I usually see them clearly when looking at a slight angle with some sort of light shining through the lens. I have done some cleaning with photo tissue and realized that there were marks left behind, despite my very gentle cleaning. Microfiber cloth is the softest available material for cleaning a lens without any risks. This advice came from a camera repairman at a local store and I follow it religiously. He also advocated against cleaning the mirror on any SLR. It's extremely soft in nature and dangerous to clean, even with the utmost gentleness.

    As for the body cleaning, I found that Windex works wonders, from chrome to painted areas as well as leatherette.
     
  7. Eldrich

    Eldrich TPF Noob!

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    I see. Well if you have found a process that works then that's all that matters. I think the majority of what I'm talking about is overkill for most of the cleaning of camera optics that needs to take place, but I tried to make that clear from the get-go. But sometimes I think it is useful to keep in mind the "ideal" cleaning method so that one can decide what is best for them even when in the majority of cases there is a "good enough" method that would be much more suitable.

    My experience is mostly in cleaning optics in my lab where I maintain something like 300 optical elements and clean them routinely, but the same principles apply to optics on a camera as they are all simply dielectric coated glass.

    I've never personally had any problems with lens tissue, perhaps there is a difference in brands used. The ones that work best are lintless, non-woven, and pure cotton. The reason I would never use microfiber cloth on an optic is that I would never clean an optic with something that has already cleaned something else. If there is any dust or particles on the surface of the cloth, when rubbed against the optic, it could scratch. Tissues have the benefit that they are packaged in a clean room, and sold to you in sealed packages that are designed to keep dust out.

    It may be overkill to use pure methanol or alcohol, but I've found that pure methanol evaporates much quicker than water, (as in, it evaporates in several seconds as opposed to several minutes) and is less likely to leave streaks. Since I only apply two or 3 drops from an eye dropper onto the tissue, a small bottle goes a long way.

    I agree, I would never recommend cleaning the mirror either, I'm not familiar with that mirror in particular, but if it is anything like a metal mirror any pressure could damage it. Which is why I said if you absolutely must get dust off of it, you can lay a tissue on it, apply a few drops of alcohol to the tissue, and pull the tissue off to the side, making sure that the largest pressure the mirror feels is the weight of the lens tissue.
     
  8. Battou

    Battou No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    It's not only it's soft nature but the absolute importance of it's angle and alignment. Since the mirror of any SLR can not just be popped out it would need to be cleaned in the mirror box, doing so could apply pressure to mirror linkages and rests risking mirror missalignment as well as increasing the risk of linkage failure. Either one of these issues can sideline (potentially perminately) even the most durable of the old SLR's. I'd be willing to bet that somewhere in the neighbor hood of half the cases of "Canon Squeal" are related to mirror cleaning efforts.

    I will clean my mirror with some alcohol, but only if it is absolutely necessary and after it's been locked up and blown off. Like I got oil on to it or something that would impare vision. Anything less just leave it, it won't hurt its performance none.
     
  9. Mike_E

    Mike_E No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    As far as lenses go, a good 100 proof vodka works very well. It's already at 50% and is food grade which means few if any additives. Just don't drink your cleaning supplies. ;)

    I never use anything that is hard enough to fold and retain that shape on my lenses. Micro-fiber or 100% cotton. Cotton balls work as well just be careful not to leave strands behind.
     
  10. Fraggo

    Fraggo TPF Noob!

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    Vodka, really? does it matter really what brand or just any 100 proof work? and i do want to know as well, is it drinkable, because i will make part for cleaning and then the rest for cooking and drinking.:D
     
  11. Eldrich

    Eldrich TPF Noob!

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    I feel compelled to suggest, as this thread takes a bit of a turn, only to indulge in the cleaning vodka After it has been used to clean, as taking care to not damage or misalign things does require some motor control...I remember once I tuned a guitar while slightly intoxicated, sounded absolutely Great at the time, not so much the next morning....
     
  12. Fraggo

    Fraggo TPF Noob!

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    lol, i only plan on drinking it as a celebratory thing after the camera is clean. to bad about your guitar though.
     

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