December 14-16—SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA: Wholesale and retail show; Gem Faire Inc.; Scottish Rite Center, 1895 Camino del Rio S; Fri. 12-6, Sat. 10-6, Sun. 10-5
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 Post subject: Cleaning eyepieces
PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2018 10:26 pm 
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Hello again, another dumb question. What would people recommend for cleaning the eyepieces on my scopes? I have a few pairs of B&L eyepieces in various mags but they are all very dusty to the point I wouldn't want to use them. The pair on my SZ7 are not bad but have some spots that can sometimes show up on photos which is annoying.
Alternatively, if they are difficult to get inside, does anyone have a recommendation for where I could buy a clean pair compatible with my SZ7 or my AO 580? I got a pair of 15x from surplusshed but the fit is ever so slightly loose and they came already dusty.
Thanks everyone!


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 Post subject: Re: Cleaning eyepieces
PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2018 5:40 pm 
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windex is fine. Isopropyl alcohol or ethanol. eyeglass cleaner for coated lenses. camera lens cleaner.
Micro Fiber cloths are important. Bausch oculars are easy to get apart. Make sure you take them apart one at a time and observe which way each piece comes out so you can put them back exactly correctly. You may make pencil marks on the ground edges to help with that. A tiny suction pen as used for electronics (and have been sold for manipulating small gemstones too) can help pull an optic out of a barrel. Wear inspectors gloves.Do it on a clean mat.
Usually cleaning the top element is enough. If it ain't broke don't fix it. It's not a moon shot.


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 Post subject: Re: Cleaning eyepieces
PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2018 5:49 pm 
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Thanks! I just wanted to be sure I wouldn't melt anything by using cleaners or whatever (since I know the interior lenses have cornstarch and such incorporated).


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 Post subject: Re: Cleaning eyepieces
PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2018 6:26 pm 
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Cornstarch????? :shock:


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 Post subject: Re: Cleaning eyepieces
PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2018 6:32 pm 
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Starch or syrup (or no doubt some highly purified derivative)--the bit of the optics that the mold lives off of. Great optical properties and very cheap from what I understand.
edit: I'm having trouble finding a good reference for this--it was something I heard from talking with someone in person so it may well be a myth!


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 Post subject: Re: Cleaning eyepieces
PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2018 6:41 pm 
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There is no starch in the lenses nor syrup. The kind of fungi and molds that damage lenses don't really need it. They may metabolize a little bit of lubricants or paints but they don't require any additional carbs. They also eat lens cement but I wouldn't consider those formulations to be syrupy. They are acrylic acid monomers mostly and have been for decades(until catalyzed and then they are acrylic "plexiglass" bonded to the lens. They used to use canadian balsam to cement lenses. But that was before wwii.


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 Post subject: Re: Cleaning eyepieces
PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2018 8:46 am 
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I find isopropyl alcohol really good for cutting grease, a pencil arrow on the ground edge helps get things back the right way and I have found that blackening the edges of the lenses really increases contrast. Dismantling on a sheet of white paper with numbered boxes across the top means that you can preserve the sequence with ease. A tool I have recently found on ebay is a rubber sucker with different sizes of sucker for dismantling camera lenses, with the small sucker works well on microscope lenses.


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 Post subject: Re: Cleaning eyepieces
PostPosted: Sun May 20, 2018 4:11 am 
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This a late reply, but is worth posting. What's important with good optics are the anti-reflection coatings, and some of them can be damaged with common glass cleaners. I've used ROR lens cleaner on camera lenses and loupes for years, and recommend it. Amazon and camera shops have it.


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 Post subject: Re: Cleaning eyepieces
PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2018 4:52 pm 
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You are quoting the ROR marketing line perfectly. The real truth lies in looking at the Material Safety Data Sheets wherein you will find they the ingredients are similar to Windex. Windex does not harm coatings. Nor do any of the lighter alcohols. I had a bottle of ROR about 30 years ago. It was OK but not good enough that I bought a second bottle. Even though part of their marketing plan is(was?) refilling the over priced spritzer for less than the price of a new one.

Unlike internal optics which rarely if ever need to be cleaned, oculars point upwards and have dust settling on them. They also are in contact with eyes and get tears, dried tears( "sand")and ladies eye makeup rained onto them. They need to be cleaned ocassionally. A dust cover can stretch that interval.


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