Jump to content


Photo
- - - - -

The Mask by Satan


  • Please log in to reply
26 replies to this topic

#1 Steve Williams

Steve Williams

    Humpback Whale

  • Moderator
  • 3135 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Tucson, Arizona
  • Interests:Protecting our Ocean, Environmental Education,
    Having fun and Living Well

Posted 20 June 2008 - 11:04 AM

Hi all,

I thought I’d share an experience from last week in the hope that someone else can avoid my mistakes. In the run up and getting ready for the Digital Shootout in Bonaire I convinced myself I needed a new mask. After reading all the threads and recommendations here I purchased a new Atomic. It fits great, which is hard to find for my big head. I knew that people have had trouble cleaning it so it wouldn’t fog up. To solve that problem I purchased some stuff made by a company named JAWS; mask cleaner and a mask defogger called “Spit”. Sounded good to me, plain old spit had worked for the first 30 years of my diving. I worked on the mask pretty hard and cleaned it four times before heading for Bonaire. The checkout in the pool led me to believe I had finally been successful. Once in Bonaire I started having fogging problems about thirty minutes into the first dive. I’ve been diving for awhile so I wasn’t too concerned. I just had to do a little dip and clear every time I wanted to take a picture. Every night back in the room, I tried cleaning it again, my son Jeff tried cleaning it again, the toothpaste came out, and in short we tried everything we could think of. Still no good, fog city.

By Wed. tired of looking through the glass darkly, I gave the mask defog (soap) on the Divi Flamingo dock a try. Wonder of wonders it worked for the afternoon shore dive. The next morning, the last day of shooting for the competition, I loaded up the mask with the thoughtfully provided soap and we headed off to do the Salt Pier site. Now, to back up I had been trying to learn to shoot my new DSLR rig all week and thought it would be great to learn to shoot the wide angle stuff I’ve always admired but had never been able to attempt. I was making progress with the Tokina 10-17mm but it was slow. I was learning how hard it is to get great images; With Berkley’s help I had progressed from awful, through “hey that’s a diver” to actually getting blue water.

On the ride out to the dive site my son and I discussed the shots we wanted to get with the pier, and I was feeling very good about our chances. I was sure I had the Shootout winning image in my head and was finally getting comfortable with the rig. I was actually feeling like I was ahead of the camera instead of being behind the curve. Once on the site, we found out we didn’t actually have permission to dive the pier but if we swam 500 yards south from the mooring and sort of found the pier by accident no one would have a problem. No sweat, off we go after carefully and thoroughly rinsing the soap/defogger that had been cooking away in my mask. As soon as we hit the water I knew something wasn’t right. My eyes started to tear up and itch almost immediately. Very quickly, I realized that by combining toothpaste, Spit, real spit, soap and whatever vile substance gets left on the mask from the production process, I had managed to conjure up a compound with the attributes of a weird combination of mustard gas, pepper spray and mace.

Within three minutes my eyes had swollen completely shut and the tears were running constantly. I couldn’t see a thing. Halfway to the pier, after a few attempts at rinsing and clearing I finally took it off completely and tried to wash out my eyes and clean the unholy vapor emanating from mask. Thinking this had to clear up, right? We kept going toward the pier and the great images I knew were there. Luckily the sun was still low to the horizon so I could make progress toward the pier by keeping the glimmer on my left shoulder. Jeff was right there keeping me headed in the right direction and probably thinking his old man had finally lost it. “Why is he diving without his mask?” Another ten minutes and 1000 psi later I sensed the darker area under the pier. With my mask back on we setup for the shots we had discussed. It was completely fogged by the way. Through the barely open eye slits I could just make out areas of light and dark, no hope of focusing or even making out sponges on the large pilings. I just shot by instinct, knowing Jeff was circling into the frame as we had talked about. I only got off three frames when we found ourselves surrounded by divers and inundated with bubbles. It seems that two other boats had dropped their divers right at the pier rather than make them swim from a mooring. Our tidy little group had gone from 6 to 50. This wasn’t turning out quite as I had imagined.

On the long swim back to the boat I went through the five stages of grief. Seriously pissed at myself lasted the longest. I knew in my heart I had crap on the card.

Later at the awards party for the Shootout I realized I shouldn’t have been so hard on myself. The winning images were so far above what I had been focused on achieving I needn’t have worried. There were some truly impressive images that won and placed in the wide angle category. I’m not in that league yet. Outstandingly, Jeff won a third place in the macro category with a beautiful urchin image. A win for him in his first photo competition took most of the sting out of my screw-up, I’m very proud of him. But hey, if anybody knows of a blindfolded photo competition let me know. I think I have a chance. ;)



Finally for the real question I need answered. Anybody know how to truly clean an Atomic mask?

Steve

The Fin Foundation
HSWImages.com        My Images on Flikr

Canon 5D Mk III, 7D & 40D, 60mm, 100mm, 17-40L, Tokina 10-17, Nauticam 7D, Sea & Sea MDX-40D YS-250's ULCS arms, Lightroom


#2 rodriguezfelix

rodriguezfelix

    Eagle Ray

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 377 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Caracas, Venezuela
  • Interests:UWP, Surf, Travel

Posted 20 June 2008 - 12:31 PM

What I always do, I think goes against every manufacturer advise... I just use the old lighter trick. Burn the damn thing, just be carefull to not burn the silicone...

A candle 6 inches away in circles will slowly burn all te parafin and stuff is there to preserve the glass. You actually will see the protective parafin (or else) diluing...

#3 uw_nikon

uw_nikon

    Wolf Eel

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 164 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:San Jose, California

Posted 20 June 2008 - 12:33 PM

Try Soft Scrub.
You've got to remove the silicone film that builds up after production (offgassing) when the mask is put into its plastic box or bag.

Take Care,
ChrisS
Chris Simmons
UW photo methods

#4 Lionfish43

Lionfish43

    Great White

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 910 posts
  • Location:Dover, NH USA

Posted 20 June 2008 - 01:26 PM

Very funny story Steve. Too bad you more or less missed seeing the pier. I had a similar experience when I used what I thought was someone else's mask defog. Turned out to be some kind of high powered boat detergent.

Edited by Lionfish43, 20 June 2008 - 01:27 PM.

Larry Oberlander My Webpage
Nikon D200, Aquatica AD200

#5 okuma

okuma

    Great Hammerhead

  • Industry
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 894 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Anaheim, CA USA

Posted 20 June 2008 - 01:51 PM

[quote name='rodriguezfelix' date='Jun 20 2008, 01:31 PM' post='174348']
What I always do, I think goes against every manufacturer advise... I just use the old lighter trick. Burn the damn thing, just be carefull to not burn the silicone...

Last year in the Philippines, my friend's new mask continued to fog up.
The resort's dive master used a butane lighter to "burn off" the silicone.
About 30 seconds into the process, the lens spider web'ed into hundreds of pieces.
So much for that process !

Soft scrub has always worked for us!

Underwater Photography:
If it is so easy every one would be doing it!

Nikon D 500, Subal Housing, Inon Z 240 strobes.


#6 rtrski

rtrski

    Great White

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1019 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Texas, USA
  • Interests:Slowly learning digital photography and underwater digital photography. Like drinking from a salt-water firehose... ;-)

Posted 21 June 2008 - 04:22 AM

Yeah, the lighter trick can be heck on tempered glass, if you get it too hot in one small area.

Hope the mask gets usable again, Steve.

Current rig: Sony SLT-alpha55 in Ikelite housing, Sigma 105mm f2.8 DC Macro w/ Ike 5505.58 flat port or Sigma 8-16mm f/4.5-5.6 DC HSM behind UWCamStuff custom 5" mini-dome. Dual INON z240 Type IVs triggered with DS51 for TTL mimicry, or DS51 alone with home-made ringflash assy for macro.

 

Topside, unhoused: Sony SLT-alpha99, Sigma 150-500mm + 1.4TC (Saving for Sony 70-400 G2), Sigma 15mm diagonal fish, Sony 24-70mm f2.8 CZ, Tamron 180mm f2.8 Macro...all the gear and nary a clue...


#7 Steve Williams

Steve Williams

    Humpback Whale

  • Moderator
  • 3135 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Tucson, Arizona
  • Interests:Protecting our Ocean, Environmental Education,
    Having fun and Living Well

Posted 21 June 2008 - 05:36 AM

Thanks folks, I hadn't heard of the lighter/candle trick. I think at one point I was considering gasoline as an option. Sounds like softscrub is the way to go, I'll hold back burning at the stake as a last resort.

Steve

The Fin Foundation
HSWImages.com        My Images on Flikr

Canon 5D Mk III, 7D & 40D, 60mm, 100mm, 17-40L, Tokina 10-17, Nauticam 7D, Sea & Sea MDX-40D YS-250's ULCS arms, Lightroom


#8 secretsea18

secretsea18

    Wolf Eel

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 172 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:New York City

Posted 21 June 2008 - 08:36 AM

Thanks folks, I hadn't heard of the lighter/candle trick. I think at one point I was considering gasoline as an option. Sounds like softscrub is the way to go, I'll hold back burning at the stake as a last resort.

Steve



You might want to try out some vinegar on the mask too. My previously fine mask started fogging up for no good reason, and no matter how much I scrubbed with the toothpaste, I could not get it to stop fogging. FWIW, I like to use PSI5000, the blue goop to defog, with prior excellent results. However, it seemed to fog within two seconds, and would not work for anything. The vinegar scrub did the trick, as it was mineral deposits from the very mineral ladden fresh water I was using to rinse it in, at the resort. After getting those invisible deposits off with the vinegar, my guide suggested to NOT rinse the mask with "fresh resort water" after diving, and amazingly, the mask has stayed clear, and defogging normally with the goop.

#9 ScubaSpen

ScubaSpen

    Wolf Eel

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 119 posts
  • Location:Phuket, Thailand
  • Interests:spending more than 500 hrs a year underwater gawking at marine life and taking the odd picture.

Posted 21 June 2008 - 08:56 AM

Yeah the lighter trick works but I prefer leaving a soda like Coca Cola inside overnight. The acid in the Coca Cola breaks down the coating on the glass, safer than melting the silicone.

good luck
Spen

#10 Steve Williams

Steve Williams

    Humpback Whale

  • Moderator
  • 3135 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Tucson, Arizona
  • Interests:Protecting our Ocean, Environmental Education,
    Having fun and Living Well

Posted 21 June 2008 - 09:35 AM

Yeah the lighter trick works but I prefer leaving a soda like Coca Cola inside overnight. The acid in the Coca Cola breaks down the coating on the glass, safer than melting the silicone.

good luck
Spen

Wow that's a new one on me. Sounds like we're on the way to a new boat drink. The "Mask Cleaner" Rum & Coke with a touch of vinegar, somebody try it and let us know how it tastes. Spen, does the Coke thing really work?

Steve

The Fin Foundation
HSWImages.com        My Images on Flikr

Canon 5D Mk III, 7D & 40D, 60mm, 100mm, 17-40L, Tokina 10-17, Nauticam 7D, Sea & Sea MDX-40D YS-250's ULCS arms, Lightroom


#11 rodriguezfelix

rodriguezfelix

    Eagle Ray

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 377 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Caracas, Venezuela
  • Interests:UWP, Surf, Travel

Posted 21 June 2008 - 04:48 PM

Sounds like we're on the way to a new boat drink. The "Mask Cleaner" Rum & Coke with a touch of vinegar


Put some lemon on it, one of those little pink umbrellas... and voila! (of course there is a risk of get your vision fogged... or dizzy...)

#12 ScubaSpen

ScubaSpen

    Wolf Eel

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 119 posts
  • Location:Phuket, Thailand
  • Interests:spending more than 500 hrs a year underwater gawking at marine life and taking the odd picture.

Posted 22 June 2008 - 03:40 AM

Steve

Yeah the Coke thing works and I recommend it to my students when they buy a new mask.

Spen

#13 secretsea18

secretsea18

    Wolf Eel

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 172 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:New York City

Posted 22 June 2008 - 04:06 AM

Both Coke and vinegar are acidic and would accomplish the same job.

Neither is likely to damage the glass or silicone of the mask. Good luck!

#14 diver dave1

diver dave1

    Great White

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 972 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Interests:chess, u/w photography

Posted 22 June 2008 - 07:18 AM

All this begs the question....
Why does an organization like Atomic provide a product that requires something approaching an Act of God to make it work in its intended purpose?
Why would thy think we would buy more of it?

After all you have gone through with this mask, I think I would have tried filling it with concrete and see if it works as a small boat achor.
Or perhaps filling it with wax and using it as a nifty dive camp candle.

I am in the mask shopping dept now and previously considered an Atomic mask.
NOT ANY MORE!
I have never had to try anything more than toothpaste cleaning for a new mask. Perhaps I have lived a sheltered life.

Thanks for the good story and sorry for your problems.

Perhaps the mask we made by the agnostic dyslexic that got insomnia...staying awake at night, wondering if there is a doG or his brother, the atheist dyslexic that sold his soul to Santa.

Nauticam D7000, Inon Z-240's, 60 micro, 105 micro, Tokina 10-17

www.shiningseastudio.com


#15 Halabriel

Halabriel

    Wolf Eel

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 147 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:BERMUDA

Posted 22 June 2008 - 06:08 PM

I had managed to conjure up a compound with the attributes of a weird combination of mustard gas, pepper spray and mace.
Within three minutes my eyes had swollen completely shut and the tears were running constantly. I couldn’t see a thing.


Everyone should be really careful what you clean your mask with. I have seen a lot of eye injuries from inappropriate use of cleaning agents on a mask. The latest was dish washer fluid - it clean the mask great, scours away all silicone, deposits and build ups - but also contains sodium hydroxide, an intense alkali. get this in your eye and it burns - not stopping until you have no cornea left, a bit like getting cement in your eye.
  • Check with the dive boat operator before adding anything to your mask. All sorts of noxious cleaning agents get left on a boat, you may not want them in your mask.
  • Always rinse thoroughly with sea water prior to wearing your mask
  • Never mix compounds on your mask
End of public safety announcement,

Cheers

Hal
Canon Ixus 950is in WPDC-15 housing with Inon accessorization (D2000s strobe, UWL105 and UCL165 lenses).

#16 Gudge

Gudge

    Tiger Shark

  • Team Wetpixel
  • 582 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Pottsville, NSW Australia

Posted 22 June 2008 - 06:19 PM

My wife Mary had a mask from hell (Cressi) that could not be de-fogged whatever we tried until someone put me on to Cerium Oxide:

http://en.wikipedia....erium(IV)_oxide

I polished the lenses in the mask with Cerium Oxide and it worked, no more fogging!

Canon 7D MkII, Nauticam NA-7DMKII housing, 2 x Inon Z240, 2 x Ikelite DS160, Tokina 10-17, Canon 60 & 100 macro, Sigma 150 macro, Kenko 1.X Teleconverters.

 

UW Photo Courses


#17 diggy

diggy

    Manta Ray

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 480 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Mumbai, India
  • Interests:U/W Photography

Posted 22 June 2008 - 11:31 PM

My wife Mary had a mask from hell (Cressi) that could not be de-fogged whatever we tried until someone put me on to Cerium Oxide:

http://en.wikipedia....erium(IV)_oxide

I polished the lenses in the mask with Cerium Oxide and it worked, no more fogging!


Hey Gudge,

I have an IST that is from the deepest recesses of hell :) Have tried quite a few of the methods mentioned on this thread but to no avail.

How and where do you get this Cerium Oxide ? And is there some local name for it ?

Thanks and cheers, ;)

Diggy

SERENE I FOLD MY HANDS AND WAIT,    FOR WHAT IS MINE WILL KNOW MY FACE

Diggy          http://www.scubadiggy.com/

Canon7D, Nauticam housing, mini and large dome, canon 100mm, canon 60mm, 10-17 tokina, macro ports, extensions, two inon Z240, Nauticam SMC converter, +3, +5 diopters. Two Sola 2000, One Sola 1200, Go Pro hero 3 Black 


#18 Gudge

Gudge

    Tiger Shark

  • Team Wetpixel
  • 582 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Pottsville, NSW Australia

Posted 23 June 2008 - 02:18 AM

From the Wikepedia link I posted above:

It is used in ceramics, to polish glass.................. It is also used in lapidary as "jeweller's rouge"; it is also known as "optician's rouge".


I'd try jewellers, opticians, lapidary suppliers and ceramic hobby suppliers. I got mine as a result of posting my problem with the mask on a general diving forum. Someone took pity on me and sent me a small bag through the mail. I don't know where he got his.

If you get some all you need to do is put about half a teaspoon full in the mask, add enough water to make a runny paste then polish the lens vigorously using a makeup applicator or cotton ball.

Canon 7D MkII, Nauticam NA-7DMKII housing, 2 x Inon Z240, 2 x Ikelite DS160, Tokina 10-17, Canon 60 & 100 macro, Sigma 150 macro, Kenko 1.X Teleconverters.

 

UW Photo Courses


#19 rtrski

rtrski

    Great White

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1019 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Texas, USA
  • Interests:Slowly learning digital photography and underwater digital photography. Like drinking from a salt-water firehose... ;-)

Posted 23 June 2008 - 05:07 AM

I'd strongly suggest NOT asking random strangers to send you small packets of unlabeled powder through the mail. At least not in the US. There's a wee bit of postal paranoia going around still.....

Current rig: Sony SLT-alpha55 in Ikelite housing, Sigma 105mm f2.8 DC Macro w/ Ike 5505.58 flat port or Sigma 8-16mm f/4.5-5.6 DC HSM behind UWCamStuff custom 5" mini-dome. Dual INON z240 Type IVs triggered with DS51 for TTL mimicry, or DS51 alone with home-made ringflash assy for macro.

 

Topside, unhoused: Sony SLT-alpha99, Sigma 150-500mm + 1.4TC (Saving for Sony 70-400 G2), Sigma 15mm diagonal fish, Sony 24-70mm f2.8 CZ, Tamron 180mm f2.8 Macro...all the gear and nary a clue...


#20 Phil Rudin

Phil Rudin

    Orca

  • Industry
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1270 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:WEST PALM BEACH, FLORIDA

Posted 23 June 2008 - 06:22 AM

I have the same mask with the same problem and the glass is not what needs to be cleaned it is the inside skirt of the mask. I used a product from Marine Sport Products called mask lens and slate cleaner. You rub it around on the skirt for at least three minutes then rinse it with soap. Do this three times and you should see a vast improvement. repeat as needed. You can also go to an auto parts store and get goo gone hand cleaning jell which will do the same thing. It is a blue gritty product, I may have the name wrong.

Phil