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03-29-2020, 06:36 AM   #1
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Can I save my LX screen? I messed up....

Hello all.
This days at home I start to do some maintenance to my cameras, and well I said to myself, let's try to repair the LX.
The camera has a sloooow and heavy mirror movement up, nothing to do with the sticky syndrome, deeper.
So, i dismantle the camera, and I apply in the mirror movements Zippo fluid, and isopropyl alcohol.
Zippo first, and the gears worked again, nice! problem solved.
BUT, some of one or both fluids, went to the screen, and let it very stained.
I tried to clean that and it was worst...
Can I assume the screen is dead, or I can try something to resolve it?
I need a hand here, is sad.

Any suggestions?

Thanks all!!

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03-29-2020, 07:06 AM   #2
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Let it sit in a small container of distilled water. (Not deionized, distilled) for at least 30 minutes. Fish it out by the tab. Shake it to dry it off a bit, and see if it is clearing up any.

If it is clear, a Rocket blower can be used to get the last drops off. Don't touh it with anything. Kimwipes/techwipes are maybe the only thing, and blotting.
Never use lighter fluid - its not pure, it has all kinds of stuff in the mix.
When using Isopropyl, it needs to be 99.9% or more pure. The common drugstore stuff is only 70% and it has water and may have other impurities including dissolved minerals.

If it still doesnt clear up, and stays whitish, then you may have a plastic screen instead of the old glass ones. The substances you've used have likely destroyed the plastic.
If it DOES clear up, then dump the water, pour in new clear distilled.
Sometimes 1 drop (eyedrop, tiny tiny drop) of Dawn with the distilled will help break down the oils etc.
Good luck.
For other optics, I usually use 1:1 distilled water:99.9% isopropyl + 1 drop of Dawn dish detergent to break the surface tension.
03-29-2020, 08:17 AM   #3
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What I would do is to immerse it in a mild solvent like isopropyl alcohol and gently brush it off with a soft painter's brush or makeup brush until it looks clean. As last step rinse it in demineralised or distilled water and let it dry.

Another possibility could be to clean it with isopropyl alcohol in an ultrasonic bath.

Last edited by Kobayashi.K; 03-29-2020 at 08:33 AM.
03-29-2020, 08:55 AM - 1 Like   #4
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if its a plastic screen and has been hit with IPA its probably totalled. My solution would be bath it for at least 30 minutes in a bath of warm water with a tiny drop of washing up liquid. One small drop per cup of warm water. Thats warm by the way not hot....just luke warm. After 30 minutes use a rocket blower on it to blast any drips off but my best is the screen has been totalled.

03-29-2020, 08:58 AM   #5
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As a sidenote, isopropyl alcohol and other alcohols are very hygroscopic. So if you theoretically could get a 99% pure alcohol, and when you open the bottle and pour it into a bath it immediately absorbs moisture from the air and you end up with 80% or less.

Last edited by Kobayashi.K; 03-29-2020 at 09:09 AM.
03-29-2020, 11:16 AM - 2 Likes   #6
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Unfortunately plastic focusing screens are easily damaged.
I've ruined a couple in an attempt to clean them.

I'd start looking for a replacement focusing screen.

Chris
03-29-2020, 11:28 AM - 1 Like   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by ChrisPlatt Quote
Unfortunately plastic focusing screens are easily damaged.
I've ruined a couple in an attempt to clean them.

I'd start looking for a replacement focusing screen.

Chris
This ^ ^ ^

FWIW...there is a good amount of mis-information in this thread. The screen is toast, probably courtesy of the IPA (isopropyl alcohol). It has solvent action against many plastics and should not be used around focusing screens. Google "rubbing alcohol focusing screen" and the results will include several where screens were reduced to an opaque mess from IPA.


Steve
03-29-2020, 11:49 AM   #8
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Hello all, thanks for your answers.
i've learned a lesson...
i've found a provisoire substitute focusing scree, from a Vivitar donor camera.
It fits ok after lateral sand.
But of course it's not the same, the image i see on the viewfinder is lifeless.
I'll find an original one.
Anyway, i'll try all the procedures Buzz, Kobayashi, and Astro Baby sugests.
It's a plastic screen.
It's a peety because i've solved the probloem, but killed the screen.
Anyway, everyday we learn something, this is good.
Thanks all!!!

03-29-2020, 11:57 AM   #9
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@foliver Here is a comprehensive list of the LX Focusing Screens.

Beware eBay - at tleast on US eBay the prices range from a few tens of dollars to $249.
03-29-2020, 01:41 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by ChrisPlatt Quote
Unfortunately plastic focusing screens are easily damaged.
I've ruined a couple in an attempt to clean them.

I'd start looking for a replacement focusing screen.

Chris
Yes they are plastic...

I was trying to swap screens in my LX with the little supplied tweezers and they slipped, put a nice scratch on the plastic screen. Thankfully I had some NOS extra screens I got from a local camera store.

Swapping focusing screens in the LX is on the "mickey mouse" side, so I'll let Eric/or a local tech do it in the future.
(The P67II screen swap requires no tools and is done by removing the finder, so way better than the LX via the lens mount opening.)

Phil.
03-29-2020, 02:04 PM   #11
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Thanks @gofour3, I couldn't find any info about that.

Generally isopropyl alcohol isn't very reactive with plastic (contrary to ethanol). I have used it extensively and have never seen adverse effects but perhaps I was lucky.

The MIR page (Pentax LX - Info on Various Focusing Screens) dousn't say if the screen is glass or plastic. It says "All screens are coated with Pentax's exclusive Clear-Bright-Matte surface for better light transmission." So when you take that literally it is not a mechanical surface treatment as on the classic glass focusing screens. But I would be surprised if was a coating indeed.
03-29-2020, 02:16 PM   #12
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Thanks for the info, they are not cheap!!, any tip on buying?
03-29-2020, 08:31 PM   #13
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I have a couple of extra SC-21's and a SI-20, but CanadaPost won't ship to Uruguay at the moment.
If it's any help, you can use an MX screen in an LX without any problems. (LX screen in an MX will throw the metering off slightly.)
03-29-2020, 11:53 PM   #14
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Kobayashi....
I have wrecked a focus screen with IPA and also seen IPA react super badly with a plastic camera case and auto winder bith Chinon. Until the Chinon I had never seen it react badly with basic plastic finishes but on the Chinon it took the shine right out of the plastic and turned it to a matt finish.
03-30-2020, 06:56 AM - 2 Likes   #15
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One additional word of warning. You can easily destroy a focusing screen using compressed air spray. Some of these contain alcohol. I destroyed a screen with one of those, which I buyed at my local camera store. Luckyly it was no loss, as it was out of a scrap camera.

So, never use ready for use compessed air spray to clean your gear. Use a rocket blower.
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