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01-16-2011, 07:18 AM   #1
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Clean and remove... smell.

Hi have just bought a pretty decently working Spotmatic, with some lenses to go along with my other Spotmatic F; the plan was to hold on the newer one' body and sell the older one.

problem is that when i opened the package, there was a pungent smell, a mix of stale air and perfume coming out of it, and it is attached to all the lenses and to the camera.

I proceeded to carefully clean up the exposed parts of everything with a little wet cotton and tissue, and to clean the glasses, and i threw the bag in a bucket with water and detergent.
Inspecting the lenses, one of them, a Takumar 50mm, has an hint of an early fungus infestation on a glass, so i suspect that they were not properly stored.

I would like to open the 50mm and clean it, but before of that, i really want to remove that unnerving smell, because keeping the camera under the nose when shooting is proving really annoying. I don't want to come as squeamish, but it does really bother me.

So to the point: is it possible to store the camera and the lenses maybe in a drawer with some naphthalene or something like that without making it worse for diaphragms and glasses? or is there any other advices you can give me about it?

thank you!

01-16-2011, 08:16 AM - 1 Like   #2
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Hrm, it sounds to me like it's possible the whole kit was mildewed or something like that, and someone tried cleaning it up with like Febreeze or something (that might be the perfumey smell)

Just in case any mold or anything is still active, I'd keep that new stuff separate for a while, till you're confident you won't have a recurrence of the problem. I'd try exposing that kit to as much sunlight as possible, for a start, and the bag, well, who knows how bad that is.
01-16-2011, 09:56 AM - 4 Likes   #3
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There are a couple of approaches. Most likely, the camera has been in a damp environment and hasn't seen light for some time. I've use a couple of options. First is line a file box (typical of OfficeMax/Depot) with a heavy black garbage bag. Arrange all items in the bottom of the box. Purchase some of these chlorine dioxide packs and place one in the corner of the box. Seal the bag up with a twist tie and leave for 2-3 weeks. You can include lens cases and anything else that has been affected.

After three weeks, ventilate the bag outdoors allowing everything to return to normal air. Check the status of the odor. If it's still not completely gone, using the same technique, however this time replace the little bag of ClO2 with a dish of mint scented rubbing alcohol. Without spilling the dish, again seal up the bag, but this time add a few "breathing holes". The alcohol will 'scent' the contents, but evaporate. Once evaporated (1 pint should take about a week or longer), your equipment should pass the sniff test. Good luck.
01-17-2011, 05:52 AM   #4
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Thank you guys!
I will follow your advices, starting with the chlorine dioxide, but i'll finish with the sun bath so to remove the yellowing on the Super Takumar 1:1.4/50.
thank you!

01-17-2011, 09:10 AM   #5
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A used Domke bag I bought arrived bearing a strong scent of fabric softener.
I left the empty bag in my car's trunk for several months; the odor dissipated.

Chris
01-17-2011, 09:20 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by rormeister Quote
There are a couple of approaches. Most likely, the camera has been in a damp environment and hasn't seen light for some time. I've use a couple of options. First is line a file box (typical of OfficeMax/Depot) with a heavy black garbage bag. Arrange all items in the bottom of the box. Purchase some of these chlorine dioxide packs and place one in the corner of the box. Seal the bag up with a twist tie and leave for 2-3 weeks. You can include lens cases and anything else that has been affected.

After three weeks, ventilate the bag outdoors allowing everything to return to normal air. Check the status of the odor. If it's still not completely gone, using the same technique, however this time replace the little bag of ClO2 with a dish of mint scented rubbing alcohol. Without spilling the dish, again seal up the bag, but this time add a few "breathing holes". The alcohol will 'scent' the contents, but evaporate. Once evaporated (1 pint should take about a week or longer), your equipment should pass the sniff test. Good luck.
That's the most informative post, ever!
01-20-2011, 10:35 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by rormeister Quote
There are a couple of approaches. Most likely, the camera has been in a damp environment and hasn't seen light for some time. I've use a couple of options. First is line a file box (typical of OfficeMax/Depot) with a heavy black garbage bag. Arrange all items in the bottom of the box. Purchase some of these chlorine dioxide packs and place one in the corner of the box. Seal the bag up with a twist tie and leave for 2-3 weeks. You can include lens cases and anything else that has been affected.

After three weeks, ventilate the bag outdoors allowing everything to return to normal air. Check the status of the odor. If it's still not completely gone, using the same technique, however this time replace the little bag of ClO2 with a dish of mint scented rubbing alcohol. Without spilling the dish, again seal up the bag, but this time add a few "breathing holes". The alcohol will 'scent' the contents, but evaporate. Once evaporated (1 pint should take about a week or longer), your equipment should pass the sniff test. Good luck.
QuoteOriginally posted by rormeister Quote
There are a couple of approaches. Most likely, the camera has been in a damp environment and hasn't seen light for some time. \.
I am going to try Rormeister's system with two lenses that smell moldy, although they don't show any mold on the glass. I would like to ask if it would be better to take off the caps of the lenses and expose as much of the body (i.e. extend the lenses to their maximum lenght) for better results?
Thank you for your time.
01-21-2011, 07:23 AM   #8
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On another forum that I belong to, there was a lengthy discussion on removing stale smoking smells from ebay items. One cheap method is to put the item in closed container with baking soda. The baking soda absorbs the smell.

As a side note, this is an old trick for refrigerators. My mom used to put an open box in the refrigerator to keep down food odors.

01-21-2011, 10:18 AM - 1 Like   #9
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You can do the same thing with silica cat litter crystals which would be better than using a substance that's dusty like regular clay litter or baking soda. The silica litter would absorb the smell and any moisture just like desiccant packs do over the course of a few days. I've done that with some things and it works fairly well actually. You want the cat litter that looks like little while plastic aquarium gravel pellets. The stuff is a bit on the expensive side but it works fairly well for smoky items etc.
01-21-2011, 10:57 AM   #10
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Is there any ground for concern regarding the effect of chlorine dioxide or naphthalene on lens coatings?
01-21-2011, 11:57 AM   #11
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So far i've been unlucky in finding both silica packs and chlorine dioxide in town; not to mention i had a hard time explaining what rubbing alchool is at the clerk; i could order them on the www, and at least the chlorine dioxide is at that link rormeister provided, but i couldn't believe it was so hard to find something like that in actual shops here around.
So i'll try this silica litter instead, that i think is easier to find, before the rest, thank you!
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