Help cleaning a grain of sand inside my lens

Discussion in 'Digital Discussion & Q&A' started by TotallySweet, Jul 31, 2005.

  1. TotallySweet

    TotallySweet TPF Noob!

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    I just came back from the beach and downloaded my pictures into my laptop to check them out. Then I noticed that half the pictures had a dark mark on them, so I looked at the camera and there's a little grain of sand on the inside of the first lens. (It's not on the sensor, you can see it easily looking at the lens) I now need help cleaning it. I don't want to send it to some store since it's expensive as hell. I have ton's of experience with little delicate and complex things and I would love to try to clean it myself but have no idea how to open a lens(if I really need to do that). Could you guys help me ouy finding some info on how to clean it? Where I can get some tutorials of anything?

    The camera is a D70 and it's the original lens that came with it 18-70mm DX.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Mitica100

    Mitica100 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Unfortunately you'll have to do a professional cleaning. I don't advise anyone taking a lens apart unless they know 1000% what they're doing. You should be able to find a pro camera shop that will do repairs and cleaning of your equipment. If you decide to do it yourself though, keep in mind that it could set you back the amount the lens costs. On the other hand, a pro cleaning of your lens shouldn't be over $100.00.

    Questions: What is the size of the dark spot on the picture? Does it have well pronounced edges to it or is it fuzzy around the edges? Is the position of the dark spot in the picture corresponding to the position of the grain of sand on the lens? Does every picture have the same dark spot in the same position?
     
  3. TotallySweet

    TotallySweet TPF Noob!

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    The dark spot is always on the same places. Is shows up clearer when I don't use any zoom and when you zoom in it gets a little smudgy. I really have experience and confidence on doing really delicate servicing. I've already opened and fixed tons of camcorders a few cameras but never really opened up a camera lens. I wish there was a way just to blow it away.
    Any ideas or tutorial?
     
  4. photogoddess

    photogoddess TPF Noob!

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    I don't know of any tutorials for cleaning out lenses. Mitica (as well as ksmattfish) are our local camera experts here on tpf. If they don't know how to do it or advise you against doing it yourself, I'd definitely send it out for service. Just my 2 cents. :D
     
  5. Mitica100

    Mitica100 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    TS, you are then right! The spot on the pictures are from the piece of dirt on the lens.

    Now, even if you opened many camcorders and cameras, opening a camera lens is a lot more delicate than you can imagine. First, you need the correct tools: spanner wrenches with removable tips, sticky rubber rings attached/glued to wooden rods (in case the front ring of the camera does not have any slots for using the spanner wrenches), magnifying jeweler's glasses, well honed jeweler's screwdrivers, strong light, a white cotton towel for the work surface, an air blowing device for blowing out the dust and most important, a note pad where you write down every step you take in disassembling the lens. That will prove to be a life saver when reassembling the lens. Watch out for the helicoidal focusing ring, note the position it comes off the lens cylinder, otherwise your focus will never be the same. Use no other cleaners outside of clean air for blowing the dust off.

    That being said, I'll look around in my big websites collection to see if I can find a site showing you how to disassemble a lens. I hope you know what you are getting into. :wink:
     
  6. Mitica100

    Mitica100 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

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  7. Artemis

    Artemis Just Punked Himself

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    Heh I got my old broken nikon lens and yanked it apart :p

    Not gonna do that again...THE OIL!!! ARRGGHH!!
     

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