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12-06-2015, 10:15 AM   #1
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General Maintenance & Cleaning

I have noticed on e-bay etc., that film cameras and lenses for sale generally look a lot cleaner and smarter than my collection, before I tear into them with every household cleaner under the sun, metal polish etc, does any body know what, or perhaps more importantly, what not to do.

I have a couple of "spares or repairs" bodies I was going to try first but I thought I'd better ask first.

I have also a couple of East German lenses which partially stick when focusing, I gather lithium grease is the favoured lubricant replacement but is there a special type ?

Apologies if this is not the correct place.

CD

12-06-2015, 10:35 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by PenPusher Quote
Apologies if this is not the correct place.
You posted in the article section, I've moved your thread to the film forum.

Adam
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12-06-2015, 12:29 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by PenPusher Quote
I have noticed on e-bay etc., that film cameras and lenses for sale generally look a lot cleaner and smarter than my collection, before I tear into them with every household cleaner under the sun, metal polish etc, does any body know what, or perhaps more importantly, what not to do.

I have a couple of "spares or repairs" bodies I was going to try first but I thought I'd better ask first.

I have also a couple of East German lenses which partially stick when focusing, I gather lithium grease is the favoured lubricant replacement but is there a special type ?

Apologies if this is not the correct place.

CD
If the concern is mainly cosmetic (apart from the sticking lens focus), you can clean up the bodies and lens exteriors with a soft cloth, blow dust out of the film compartment, and clean glass with camera lens cleaner and lens tissues (certainly not generic household cleaners, which will probably damage lens anti-reflection coatings). Go easy, and don't scrub or 'polish' the glass.

The lens lube is another issue. You may be able to get help on the tools you will need for disassembly of specific models, if you list them here.
12-06-2015, 12:41 PM   #4
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I use "quick interior detailer" from autozone Meguiars brand with a microfiber cloth to clean the body and caps (sprayed to the cloth never directly at the lenses), and Zeiss lens tissues for the glass and mount, so far none of my lenses have fell apart and look clean.

I do not recomend metal o car polish for the paint, theyre messy, and are very hard to remove from small crevices if they dry.

12-06-2015, 03:31 PM   #5
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Metal polish contains an Abrasive. Do not use it on your lenses. Including the problems mentioned above, the abrasive can migrate onto the glass elements and fog it. It can also migrate into the focus/zoom mechanism and cause excessive wear. Also as mentioned above, do not use any household cleaners on your lenses. As it can damage the coatings on the lens. when cleaning your lens, only use the recommended cleaners for that lens. And as mentioned above apply it to the cleaning cloth, not directly to the lens. when cleaning your lens, it is better to take a minimalistic approach. Only do what is absolutely necessary to keep your lens clean and in working order. No more. Cleaning the lens just to be cleaning it is not recommended. And never polish anything on the lens.
12-06-2015, 09:25 PM   #6
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Proper lens cleaner for the glass, and don't rub grit onto it. Use a soft cloth or special lens tissue.
I use Amour-all for the leather, but shoe polish may be appropriate, and meths on a rag for the bright-work and sticky spots inside the compartment.
12-06-2015, 11:44 PM   #7
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To make chrome top covers look their best I use deoxit by Caig Laboratories. Put it on with a cotton swab and after letting it sit a couple of minutes, wipe it off with kimwipes. Deoxit also works really well for the purpose for which it is made which is cleaning and improving conductivity of electrical connections.
12-07-2015, 05:35 AM - 1 Like   #8
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Domo arigato, Okabe-san

When I worked at Olympus my trainer Mr. Okabe showed me the camera repair technicians secret weapon: nose grease.
I thought he was joking when he suggested it to me, but I was amazed how well it can work.

Swipe a little from the side of your nose with your fingertip, dab it on the front element of a lens, buff it in with some lens tissue and those tiny scratches seem to disappear.
It can also be used to shine dulled leatherette and rubber.

Though available in limited quantity (depending on the size of your nose) your "dispenser" refills automatically.
It's natural, biodegradable, free and works well. Don't laugh - try it!

Chris

12-07-2015, 06:33 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by ChrisPlatt Quote
When I worked at Olympus my trainer Mr. Okabe showed me the camera repair technicians secret weapon: nose grease.
I thought he was joking when he suggested it to me, but I was amazed how well it can work.

Swipe a little from the side of your nose with your fingertip, dab it on the front element of a lens, buff it in with some lens tissue and those tiny scratches seem to disappear.
It can also be used to shine dulled leatherette and rubber.

Though available in limited quantity (depending on the size of your nose) your "dispenser" refills automatically.
It's natural, biodegradable, free and works well. Don't laugh - try it!

Chris
Well now that's very interesting.

Before CAD took over and we all went boss eyed looking at crap computer screens, we used to draw on 110g tracing paper (90g if you or the boss was hard up) with pen and ink, naturally mistakes were made and usually scratched out with a razor blade, if you tried to draw over it, it either smudged or blotted, so the thing to do was rub the blunt end of the pen on the side of your nose, rub it over the scratched out bit and problem fixed, no smudge or blot. You could do multiple repairs on 110g, 90g wasn't so good.

Erasers, even with an erasing shield, though ok for pencil were not so good for ink.

So now that's two professions that successfully used the product.


Chris D
12-07-2015, 07:09 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by arnold Quote
sticky spots inside the compartment.
OK, but how do you remove "nose grease" smeared all over the lens by an unhygienic camera technician?
12-07-2015, 09:54 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by dsmithhfx Quote
OK, but how do you remove "nose grease" smeared all over the lens by an unhygienic camera technician?
Sounds like a failed first attempt by some amateur...

Excess can be removed with any lens safe solvent.
In 1986 at Olympus we used Freon TF, which is no doubt banned now.
Any mild degreaser containing alcohol or ammonia should remove it easily.
A Pentax camera repair specialist some of you know tells me Windex works well and is even effective against mild fungus.

When cleaning/polishing lens elements use several layers of soft lens tissue,
and always add a little moisture by fogging surface with your breath.

If at first you don't succeed...

Chris
12-07-2015, 10:23 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by ChrisPlatt Quote
Sounds like a failed first attempt by some amateur
Suffice to say "nose grease" doesn't get on my lenses, because I don't send them out to camera technicians . On rare occasions finger prints, more commonly dust. I don't think I've taken a lens tissue to most of my lenses in years. Full disclosure: when I got my first slr ~45 years ago, I was guilty of obsessively polishing the lenses, because I imagined it would make better pictures (also I was very bad at keeping my greasy fingertips off them).

You did get the "amateur" part right though.
12-09-2015, 02:51 AM   #13
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There are some very interesting suggestions in your replies, I'll give them a go and see what happens.

It seems that the white lithium grease used in bicycle repair shops does the job adequately for gunged up lens lubricant.

Thank you all

CD
12-23-2015, 02:29 PM   #14
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For cleaning the glass, methanol is the best thing. For the bodies, it depends on the dirt. Baby wipes are mainly water-impregnated with a little oil, these are good for a wipe-over, otherwise a bit of isopropanol shifts most stuff (including some printing, be careful) and also kills bugs - handy for a new purchase because, let's face it, some of them look like Alien was the last user.
01-01-2016, 02:55 PM   #15
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Yes Chris, Freon TF is quite banned now. It was one of the two ingredients in Kodak Film Cleaner, the other being Heptane. I use Residual Oil Remover when I really need to clean a lens, but Windex is fine as well. Kodak lens tissue isn't really any softer than good facial tissue. The key in lens cleaning is almost no pressure, always moist, one swipe, never rub.
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