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TomLiles

Sensor Cleaning Workarounds

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Hi all,

Hope everyone is getting on OK through the lockdown. 

I use the S-system for work (I'm just a basic freelance photographer), and thus far I've always passed off my bodies to Leica Service here in Ginza, Tokyo to clean the sensors. With the Leica reputation in connection to sensor cover glass, I have not taken any chances. Leica Ginza usually do the job for nothing (quick clean)---anything more involved that'd require a service charge can be written down on my expenses, so I do that and save myself the hassle. All good.

{It's also better for me to put the liability more squarely on them, just in-case any sensor cover glass problems did arise: I do not want to eat the Leica after-service tax infamous in these parts---I'm only half joking.}

However! Leica Ginza has been effectively shut down since 8th April and doesn't look like going back to normal service anytime soon. My sensors really need a clean, so I'll have to take matters into my own hands. Not scared about it, but I want to get this right in the least number of iterations. Please lend me your expertise m(. .)m

I have just tried the Pentax O-ICK1 on my backup S2-P body today. The O-ICK1 (great name) is a kind of dry-clean implement, for anyone unfamiliar. Didn't go well. I had more dust on the sensor after cleaning than before! (I held myself back from doubling down and trying again) So it looks as though that was ¥3,000 down the tubes. No great shakes, but I'm looking for a different and better way now... I'm in Japan so many of the products available to guys in the West, that turn up on Google searches of this topic, don't seem to be available for me here. I checked older threads and saw a Visible Dust swab made for 30mm sensors (dunno if specifically for the 30x45 Leica Pro Format, but anyway...) which I can't get my hands on in Japan. So I'm looking for workarounds.

I've never wet cleaned a sensor myself before, so please forgive my ignorance and beginner questions:

1) Can I just use a full-frame swab? Does the edge of a swab leave a line? Assuming yes, otherwise there would be no market for different sensor size swabs.. or is it all FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt) from the sensor cleaning-industrial complex?

2) Can I just wrap a lens cleaning paper on a bit of stiff card or plastic, some isopropyl alcohol on the thin edge, and DIY myself a swab?

The one remaining dry-clean solution (that I know of) I haven't tried is a sensor brush, like one of those Arctic Butterfly brushes---how do we feel about those? That specific product is not readily available here, although there seem to be copycat brush products (which surely perform just as well). What is the main thing I am looking for in a sensor brush? (materials, size, etc)

I can't say whether the majority of the spots on my sensors are dust or oil, etc., but blowing is not doing the trick so I definitely need to do something more proactive to deal with whatever it is. My two camera bodies are the S typ006 and S2-P, both have had new sensors in them to replace defective gen1 versions, so the cover glass on there is whatever spec the replacement CCDs come with. Any advice and experience welcome.

 

Cheers.

Tom

Edited by TomLiles

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You should think of sensor-corrotion as mentioned in this LUF. I had to face it with my earlier 007. Finally this was the reason to switch over to my brandnew S3.

Find it out. I wish you all the best,

Regards Hans

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Never heard of sensor (cover) corrosion with the S(007), thought it was only with the Kodak CCD sensors in earlier bodies...

john

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Tom, I think you are being a bit too nervous about the whole cleaning exercise. I have used full frame sensor swabs and the Eclipse solution on my S007 sensor since 2015 and on each and every digital sensor in my possession since the beginning of digital photography. First blow off any loose dust with a Giottos Rocket blower, then apply 2-3 drops of Eclipse on the tip of the spatula and use "push" motion to clean the sensor along its length, with only very light pressure. Turn the spatula around to the unused side and do the same motion in the other direction. Use the blower again. Test the sensor against a white wall, with lens on. Repeat if there are still any spots. I've done this dozens of times and have not done any damage to my camera. And of course, the S sensor is a dust magnet of the first order - the only really frustrating thing for me about the camera. I've returned from many shoots with a prominent dust spot or even thread/worm, or oil flecks on each picture that I later had to remove in Photoshop. I regularly check and clean the sensor if necessary, before each shoot. I would not give up my camera for a period of time or entrust it to a service person just to clean the sensor - I can clean it myself, just like I can clean my shoes. Sensor corrosion is not an issue with the S007 (it was with the CCD sensors of the s2/s006/M9 etc. but even there, it had nothing to do with sensor cleaning - I cleaned the sensor on my S2 and several M9s many times and had no corrosion whatsoever on any of those sensors, unlike many other owners). So, unless you have very clumsy fingers, I suggest to learn to clean the sensor yourself. Of course, your mileage may vary, etc. etc.

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Thanks for the well wishes, Hans. Like John, I've never heard of S typ007 having the bad spec cover glass issue---that's a little troubling to hear. The depreciation on my S-bodies runs down to zero next year, and I was going to use that timing to trade them in, throw in a bunch of money, and get two 007's to work with for 2021 and onward. As I mentioned, my S2-P and S typ006 bodies have replaced CCD's already, so sensor corrosion is probably not a thing to worry about for me... an IR pollution-like issue in the center area of the frame is a problem on those CCD bodies though, I photograph clothing a lot and that color issue (tell tale sign on dark/white/cyan fabrics) is the most frustrating thing about an otherwise excellent tool---I was really looking forward to being home and free with a CMOS: no worries about used models having replaced sensors or not, no IR pollution-like red/magenta cloud in center frame, faster review times, etc., etc. All  in all though, I could still work with a typ006 from here-ever-after and be happy. I love them, warts and all.

-----

Thanks for the tips Albireo. Yea, a little nervous about getting any worse than I've already gotten with that Pentax O-ICK1 cleaning attempt. It is great to know the answer to my Q (1) above is a "yes." I will give it a go, and I am sure, as you say, I'll be a happy camper. Thanks again.

By design, or arbitrary design choice, probably the former, but Leica uses incredibly thin cover glass on their sensors -- I am sure that's where the IR pollution I mentioned arises from -- I don't have an encyclopedic knowledge, but in my experience I haven't heard of other makers having the sensor issues Leica has had... so that's one thing... I am also super cautious about Leica Service having read so many stories of guys sending bodies back to the mothership for minor issues, and getting told something else, which was never an issue, was an issue and needing fixing and the cost would be 3x, etc... like a shakedown almost! It seems pretty hit and miss---guys have had the most amazing service experience, for free, other guys get put over a barrel and fisted. We only ever hear one side of the story, so there is that, but still... I think there is healthy reason to be cautious about needing to use Leica Service in Wetzlar. Just as a practical matter, the equipment downtime alone is a killer: I think you work in photography too, so I know you get that. So, I love the camera system, but stay very cautious of the after-service lottery!

As you say, the chances of me making a mistake and cracking that glass, or fracturing it are small; the chances of using the wrong cleaning solution and damaging the cover-glass coating, though, are a bit higher and worth being cautious about---the downside could be pretty big. I think it's circa 2500 Euro for a new sensor, and given Leica's form, I am sure they would be happy to charge me for it. (If one of their own techs made the same mistake though, at Leica Ginza service, then my case for having them pay for a replacement part is much, much stronger, and hence I always had them do it thus far---not because I don't think I can do it, because I don't want to get fleeced any more than I need to be)

Well, I've rambled on a bit, but suffice to say---thanks a lot for helping me out Albireo. I'll give a full frame swab a run and get my sensors ship-shape and Bristol fashion! 

Cheers. Tom

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TomLiles,   The advice and how to clean the S sensor by Albireo_double in his post #4 is spot on.  This is how I clean both my former S bodies and current S3. The process is very easy to do yourself.  It sounds like you have a number of S bodies as well.  Currently, Leica has a very good trade-in offer towards the S3.  The offer might help you upgrade.  I believe it is good until Oct 31 with your Leica dealer.  BTW, the S3 does a way better job with photographing dark fabrics as you described.  You might check out this Leica tech rep Ray Olson on this You Tube video that describes the S3 and improvements.

Try:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ykPRTsKcbUw&feature=emb_title  

Hope this helps.  r/ Mark

 

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Posted (edited)

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Thanks LeicaR10---yea, it's good to know a 135 sensor sized swab will do the job (two passes each way to cover the sensor)... and therefore, as I wondered above, the variety of swab sizes --u43,  APS-C, 135, 645 (Phase make one) -- is just sensor-cleaning industrial complex FUD to encourage sales.

Never having done this, I wanted to check-in with the user community first. Sensor swabs and cleaning solution are super cheap, but eff it up and the huge economic penalty is obvious, and two-fold since it's my work tool... it's an easy thing to double check with you guys first, so thanks again for your help.

Would love an S3, but I think that's out of my price range. I'm not a high-end fashion photographer, and since the Corona Virus has hit the rest of this year is looking very grim. I'm currently on a job hunt to keep me afloat while the market works its way through the slowdown and coming recession. Tough times. But I don't have it as bad as some, that's for sure.

Thanks again LeicaR10. 

Cheers. Tom

Edited by TomLiles

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Tom,  You are most welcome.  The 135 sensor swabs work and Visible Dust makes swabs for medium format as well.  I use either for the S.  I am sure you can find them in Japan.  I order mine from B&H, VisibleDust Ultra MXD-100 (Fabric) Green Vswab for Medium Format DSLR (12 Pack).  The S sensor is a dust magnet.  Before I go out to shoot, I use the Visible Dust magnifying loupe and a large Giotto air blower.  Then use a Sensor Vu Cleaner that is a "sticky, stick" to remove the dust the blower won't remove.  This IMO is one of the best inventions ever made for digital camera sensor cleaning.  Leica techs at the factory use them to clean the sensors for new cameras.  As my last resort, I do what Alberio_double described with the swabs and Eclipse for stubborn spots.  Your current S cameras are still excellent.  The S007 cameras are coming down in price as more people upgrade to the S3. B&H and eBay stores like Camera West and Leica Store San Francisco had some excellent used S007s for $6-7K.  In about 18-24 months, look for the S3 "Q" demo/refurbished cameras can be bought from Leica dealers for about 30% less than new.  Last, stay well and safe in Japan.  r/ Mark

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Hi again Mark,

Just enjoying the Leica S3 video you shared over a cup of tea. It's a nice presentation so far. Gotta say: I prefer getting sold-in from an out and out Leica rep, with no pretense of impartiality, than, for recent example, those red dot forum videos by David Farkas and Josh Lehrer, which I appreciate are popular, but are straight advertorials let's be honest. The definitive guide to Leica S lenses they made was, well... "definitive" perhaps doesn't mean for me what it does for them. I get it, they are trying to keep the wheels turning on their business, and power to them, but as a real-deal day-in-day-out S user, I think their treatment on the lenses was... mmm... as I say, "definitive" is not the word I'd use. I lasted about 10min on their S-system video---when introducing the S typ007 Josh said "first time for Live View on a medium format... [remembers all the other medium format makers, recomposes]... S camera" 😄 
God bless him, but when he said that I was out. Again though, power to them. Leica Miami has a great rep and I respect the store.

I daren't let myself get carried away, but the S3 seems great. Re: my S typ007 switch up in 2021 =>  I've been patiently saving from work fees over the last three years for that equipment move. My upgrade plan is up in the air now thanks to Corona: I have three kids and my wife to look after and it's odds on that I'll have to draw down on that three years of saved capital in order to keep our heads above water throughout this year... but I prefer to think positive: I'm sure I'll find a new job (slash extra job) to cover us and won't need to damage those business savings too badly. I'm talking with one company already so there is reason to think positive. 

The other thing about stuff going up in the air, it gives me a chance to reevaluate since nothing is going to plan now. When Leica here in Japan starts up again I think I may well go in and enquire about the S3 trade up program, and I'll ask them about ex-demos, thanks Mark. I may not go for it, who knows, but it'd be good to have the data point at least, and then I can weigh it up. It'd be one S3 body, and wing it on just one for a year, maybe two; or, as planned, sell off my two CCD S bodies, chuck that money in, and have two S typ007's. I was banking on the S3 body putting good condition used S typ007 bodies at around $6,000 plus minus 10%, in 2021... my saved capital was double that. I don't know if that'd get me over the line on the trade in deal for an S3, but I'll go check it out. Assuming the money is still there in 2021 of course! 😄

Cheers Mark. Have a good weekend 👍
Best of health to you too.

P/S unfortunately, the "Visible Dust" brand stuff is not readily available in Japan. I had seen that they made a 30x45 swab, but alas... I'll see if B&H do delivery to Japan.

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Posted (edited)

G'day Tom,  B&H does ship to Japan.  I think you will find the Sensor Vu Cleaner sticky sticks to be the most useful and easiest cleaning tool made.  Adorama in NY has them and ships to Japan.  The correct listing at Adorama is:  DLC Dot Line Sensor Dust Tip Sensor Cleaning Kit.  I always consider the wet clean of the S sensor to be my last resort because it is a bit inconvenient and time consuming depending how tough the spot(s) are on the sensor.  But the sticky sticky takes care of 98% of my dust cleaning needs.  Last, you have a good number of options for S cameras too.  Hope this helps.  Have a good weekend as well.  r/ Mark  

Edited by LeicaR10

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One more thing Tom, regarding the IR pollution. Have you tried using the UV/IR cutoff filter on the lenses? They can be purchased in the 82mm size (I know, bought one just two weeks ago...not that I notice a lot of IR pollution in the S007 shots regularly, but I want to try it with shots that include a lot of vegetation under harsh Summer sun).

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7 hours ago, TomLiles said:

Thanks for the well wishes, Hans. Like John, I've never heard of S typ007 having the bad spec cover glass issue---that's a little troubling to hear. The depreciation on my S-bodies runs down to zero next year, and I was going to use that timing to trade them in, throw in a bunch of money, and get two 007's to work with for 2021 and onward. As I mentioned, my S2-P and S typ006 bodies have replaced CCD's already, so sensor corrosion is probably not a thing to worry about for me... an IR pollution-like issue in the center area of the frame is a problem on those CCD bodies though, I photograph clothing a lot and that color issue (tell tale sign on dark/white/cyan fabrics) is the most frustrating thing about an otherwise excellent tool---I was really looking forward to being home and free with a CMOS: no worries about used models having replaced sensors or not, no IR pollution-like red/magenta cloud in center frame, faster review times, etc., etc. All  in all though, I could still work with a typ006 from here-ever-after and be happy. I love them, warts and all.

-----

Thanks for the tips Albireo. Yea, a little nervous about getting any worse than I've already gotten with that Pentax O-ICK1 cleaning attempt. It is great to know the answer to my Q (1) above is a "yes." I will give it a go, and I am sure, as you say, I'll be a happy camper. Thanks again.

By design, or arbitrary design choice, probably the former, but Leica uses incredibly thin cover glass on their sensors -- I am sure that's where the IR pollution I mentioned arises from -- I don't have an encyclopedic knowledge, but in my experience I haven't heard of other makers having the sensor issues Leica has had... so that's one thing... I am also super cautious about Leica Service having read so many stories of guys sending bodies back to the mothership for minor issues, and getting told something else, which was never an issue, was an issue and needing fixing and the cost would be 3x, etc... like a shakedown almost! It seems pretty hit and miss---guys have had the most amazing service experience, for free, other guys get put over a barrel and fisted. We only ever hear one side of the story, so there is that, but still... I think there is healthy reason to be cautious about needing to use Leica Service in Wetzlar. Just as a practical matter, the equipment downtime alone is a killer: I think you work in photography too, so I know you get that. So, I love the camera system, but stay very cautious of the after-service lottery!

As you say, the chances of me making a mistake and cracking that glass, or fracturing it are small; the chances of using the wrong cleaning solution and damaging the cover-glass coating, though, are a bit higher and worth being cautious about---the downside could be pretty big. I think it's circa 2500 Euro for a new sensor, and given Leica's form, I am sure they would be happy to charge me for it. (If one of their own techs made the same mistake though, at Leica Ginza service, then my case for having them pay for a replacement part is much, much stronger, and hence I always had them do it thus far---not because I don't think I can do it, because I don't want to get fleeced any more than I need to be)

Well, I've rambled on a bit, but suffice to say---thanks a lot for helping me out Albireo. I'll give a full frame swab a run and get my sensors ship-shape and Bristol fashion! 

Cheers. Tom

The coating on the sensor filter is no different from coating on a lens or filter. Have you ever heard of a lens or filter coating being damaged by any regular cleaning fluid? There is a full post on sensor leaning in the Leica M FAQ. Get some full-frame swabs and  Visible Dust cleaning fluid and you'll be fine.

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Hi jaapv,

Thanks for the reminder that there is info amongst the M content. I will take a look, much appreciated.

Just to underline it here: my post was not made because I am scared of cleaning a digital sensor. I'm making sure that swab size was not as important as the internet would like you to think it is, and that no-one has had any issues with doing this over time, since Leica, as we know better than most, does not have a great track record on sensor cover-glass QA. I'm not shy about equipment maintenance either -- quite the opposite since these are my work tools, I keep a maintenance schedule going on my equipment and stick to it -- but I am cautious with expensive stuff and not afraid to ask questions and make sure. As you say, and I imagined, I'll be fine with a 135 (24mm) swab---thanks again to you and the group for confirming this.

I don't want to get into a debate so I'm not sure if I should mention the following, but since we are among friends: I have definitely heard of lens coatings being damaged by regular lens cleaning fluids. I used Nikon before Leica, and was told directly by a Nikon service engineer that lens cleaning fluids can degrade lens coatings, and to stay off wet-cleans as much as possible (wet cleans as a last resort). The dust on a front element may look bad but it does not show up in the photos -- I think Roger Cicala showed that you need to basically draw on an element with a marker pen to get something to show up -- but this guy assured me that doing wet cleans (with lens cleaner) over time would degrade lens coats. I had no reason to doubt him. And I follow that advice to this day: I don't mess about with coated optical glass unless there is a solid reason to. I have a few S lenses, I think I've wet cleaned my S70's (I have two, one for backup) a grand total of three times in four years, and zero wet cleans for all the others (S120 Makro, S-K 120 T/S, S35 Summarit)---a few lens-pen passes on them, maybe. I can't even recall. Just blower a lot, and take sensible care with them. Never had any issues. They all look super clean. 

And  for 2) I would not have assumed sensor cover glass gets the same coat as lens elements do. So that's interesting to hear. Where did you learn that jaapv? No cross-examining intended, just curious. I'm not an expert, that's the problem, but yea, I wouldn't have thought to make that assumption. So, you learn something everyday 👍 Thanks again.

Have a good one jaapv. Cheers.

Tom

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Posted (edited)

Albireo,

No, haven't used any UV/IR cut filters on my lenses. So far I've been processing my way out of color issues in Photoshop; it's not best practice but I just take the trade off (convenience when shooting for inconvenience in post). To deal with it in post I made a couple of quick fix tools for myself, for instance shooting a few layers of clear plastic to get a reference frame for the color pollution, then add that reference frame as a layer in Ps (invert and set blend mode to color, reduce opacity to taste); it's basically what large format guys were doing for fixing lens color cast issues when shifting with digital backs (not a problem anymore for high end guys with IQ4 150's, the BSI sensor backs). I chucked that fix away last year as the pollution is not super consistent, and I found most times it's just quicker to use brushes with color or exposure adjustments and sort it out ad hoc. That's still not a brilliant strategy, but it works (enough) for now, I'm quicker at it, and I haven't had any issues with customers, knock on wood.

I will be trying an IR cut filter though, so I'll report back if it returns a good result 👍 

P/S I half suspect Leica likes the thin cover glass and consequent IR pollution for nice skin tones and for a certain kind of monochrome look. I have an M9 for personal use (photographing my family), as well as my two S bodies for work.... and of the many cameras I've ever used, the S2, the S typ006 and M9, those three in particular, do skin tones very nicely. They also all show an IR-like pollution cloud in the middle of the frame; and I'm quite sure they all have the thin filter cover stack. Who knows, but yea, I suspect Leica wanted it that way---for better and for worse. They are smart people and I can't imagine they weren't aware of the effect.

Edited by TomLiles

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3 hours ago, TomLiles said:

Hi jaapv,

Thanks for the reminder that there is info amongst the M content. I will take a look, much appreciated.

Just to underline it here: my post was not made because I am scared of cleaning a digital sensor. I'm making sure that swab size was not as important as the internet would like you to think it is, and that no-one has had any issues with doing this over time, since Leica, as we know better than most, does not have a great track record on sensor cover-glass QA. I'm not shy about equipment maintenance either -- quite the opposite since these are my work tools, I keep a maintenance schedule going on my equipment and stick to it -- but I am cautious with expensive stuff and not afraid to ask questions and make sure. As you say, and I imagined, I'll be fine with a 135 (24mm) swab---thanks again to you and the group for confirming this.

I don't want to get into a debate so I'm not sure if I should mention the following, but since we are among friends: I have definitely heard of lens coatings being damaged by regular lens cleaning fluids. I used Nikon before Leica, and was told directly by a Nikon service engineer that lens cleaning fluids can degrade lens coatings, and to stay off wet-cleans as much as possible (wet cleans as a last resort). The dust on a front element may look bad but it does not show up in the photos -- I think Roger Cicala showed that you need to basically draw on an element with a marker pen to get something to show up -- but this guy assured me that doing wet cleans (with lens cleaner) over time would degrade lens coats. I had no reason to doubt him. And I follow that advice to this day: I don't mess about with coated optical glass unless there is a solid reason to. I have a few S lenses, I think I've wet cleaned my S70's (I have two, one for backup) a grand total of three times in four years, and zero wet cleans for all the others (S120 Makro, S-K 120 T/S, S35 Summarit)---a few lens-pen passes on them, maybe. I can't even recall. Just blower a lot, and take sensible care with them. Never had any issues. They all look super clean. 

And  for 2) I would not have assumed sensor cover glass gets the same coat as lens elements do. So that's interesting to hear. Where did you learn that jaapv? No cross-examining intended, just curious. I'm not an expert, that's the problem, but yea, I wouldn't have thought to make that assumption. So, you learn something everyday 👍 Thanks again.

Have a good one jaapv. Cheers.

Tom

The cover glass of sensors is not that fragile at all. There is a (probably true) story of a Leica rep demonstrating this on a DMR. He pulled out a handkerchief, moistened it with his breath and cleaned a DMR sensor, just to demonstrate.
The main cause of sensor damage when cleaning is to drag a sharp piece of grit, like a small sand grain, across the sensor. This can be avoided by blowing with a blower bulb before cleaning. I use the Green Clean vacuum cleaner for the purpose when at home.
Another cause of grief, I found, is using old fluid in a plastic bottle. The plasticizers can get leached out. I found out the hard way with a five year old bottle of Eclipse. It took me at least ten passes  with Isopropyl Alcohol 99% under a surgical microscope to get the gunk off. :(.
Nowadays I rarely wet clean, (using Smear Away by Visible Dust), only to remove the inevitable haze. I  use the Eyelead  Sensor Stick for Sony. The trick, for peace of mind, is to wobble it when removing, not pull. I find it even removes most of the greasy stuff. At any rate, most sticky dust on sensors is pollen.

One hair-raising experience was a rather unique photo opportunity I had observing Wild Dogs in a tropical downpour when I had no sensor cleaning gear with me. I had to wipe the condensation off my CL's sensor using the tail of my T-shirt and Kleenex tissues. The sensor came to no harm.

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Posted (edited)

Hi again jaapv,

Quote

One hair-raising experience was a rather unique photo opportunity I had observing Wild Dogs in a tropical downpour when I had no sensor cleaning gear with me. I had to wipe the condensation off my CL's sensor using the tail of my T-shirt and Kleenex tissues. The sensor came to no harm

Wow! Good illustration of your point too 😄

Cheers jaapv 👍

 

P/S Years ago, I was checking how to best clean a lens filter (I had borrowed one and wanted to return it as it was lent to me). On that search I read a (also probably true) story of a Zeiss technician saying "just put them under a tap, use a small dab of soap on any determined grime if you need to." So, lens pens, lens cleaners, etc., were not working for me in getting this filter clean -- probably pollen on the filter, as you mentioned -- so I tried what the Zeiss guy had said. With someone else's filter! That was a bad move but I figured I'd buy him a new one if really went bad. This is me when I was younger; I wouldn't be so cavalier about it now! Anyway, it worked, kind of. I got that stubborn grime off, but after the tap water had evaporated away all the impurities in the water were left deposited in a fog on the filter surface... this time, though, a bit of lens cleaner and a couple lens papers---all gone. I think the soap did carry away some of the coating on the lens filter though: makes sense as I imagine lens coatings would have hydrophobic chemicals in there (to make water bead up and roll off the glass, like it would a leaf) and the soap likely acted like a solvent for some of that coating. Anyway, the guy who lent me the filter seemed happy: never noticed or brought it up... but I walk around with the vague fear in the back of my head, that someday, somehow, God is going use this punish me (lol) 🤣 It would be just my luck to clean a sensor myself and make some fatal mistake---and if that did ever happen, I'll know why! I'm joking of course, but you get an idea how my mind works.

Thanks again jaapv, enjoy your Sunday 👍

Edited by TomLiles

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The way to remove coating from old lenses is by  using household vinegar. I'm not sure whether it would work for modern ones. BTW, I find that Fairy Liquid is quite efficient for cleaning filters. (for our American friends: Dawn Dish Soap)

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The efficient homemade lens cleaning formula I saw was 50/50 99% Isoproponol and distilled water, filtered through a rinsed coffee filter (i.e. rinse the filter first to remove the bulk of the loose fibers), then add a drop or two of photo flo, depending on how much solution you made. Some people add some blue windex...

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Many years ago, I read that the so called "Hoffmann's drops" was a good solution for cleaning lenses (3 parts alcohol, 1 part diethyl ether). Never tried that myself and not sure the pharmacy would sell it nowadays. For me, the lenses were cleanest after application of the Opticlean strippable polymer, but it was a hair-raising experience initially and I believe the company that made it is now gone. Google says it was a "solution of polyvinyl alcohol in some polar solvent like methanol or stabilized tetrohydrofuran"... I am not a chemist, so have no idea if that's what it was but it did clean lenses superbly.

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vor 22 Minuten schrieb albireo_double:

Never tried that myself and not sure the pharmacy would sell it nowadays.

At least in Germany it is still available as "Hoffmanns Tropfen", around 3€ for 30ml, you can order at internet pharmacies. If it is suitable for sensor or lens cleaning I cannot comment - no experience - but by its composition it should be possible (that is my feeling as a chemist).

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