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Lens and Port cleaning

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Hello,

 

Maybe this has been discussed already, but I didn't get good results from the search engine.

I often ask myself what might be the best way to clean lenses and ports.

For the lens it seems to be quite simple, specially because I use a UV(0) Filter as a protection. So I use lens cleaner and that paper/tissues, or just a soft brush and micro fibre cloth.

What kind of lens cleaner is the best and which chemical (e.g. Aceton) will eventually damage the coating. Maybe some chemicals will damage O-ring, glue or sealant of the ports.

 

For me, cleaning the inside of the ports is the most hated job. I always try hard to keep them clean as long as possible. The dust can be blown away by air, but any time everthing is assembled, I find "something" on the lens or on the inside of the port. The worst job ever is to clean my 24 cm Superdome.

Who knows the perfect technique and shows the secrets?

Are am I too nitpicking? Normally, a bit of dust particles so close to the lens does not affect the image quality, taking into account the millions of small disturbing things in the water.

 

 

Thilo

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Im sure there are 1000 different opinions when you ask 1000 people. Personally, I dont use UV filters. Especially not underwater. They really add nothing for you inside your housing but another layer of smudge :P I clean the lenses with a lintfree cloth, using Eclipse cleaning fluid. The nice thing about Eclipse is that it's basically pure methanol which evaporates almost instantly leaving no residue. I use the same fluid for my CCD. I almost never clean the ports. Only if I see really large particles, and then I use a little handblower to blow them out. If that fails I use the same lintfree cloth.

 

Cor

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For lens cleaning I use Eclipse and soft lint free paper wipes.

 

For ports I dont worry about dust but I find that I get water spots and finger prints on the inside of my ports that are very difficult to clean using my lens cleaning kit. I have found that watered down tooth paste smeared on with my finger and then rinsed out with distilled water works best for me. Of course you cant do this right before a dive because you have to wait for the port to dry afterwords.

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William,

 

What kind of toothpaste are you using? A gel or a paste? I'd be worried that the abrassives in the toothpaste might damage an acrylic port.

 

Thanks,

Ken

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Aquafresh. I have not noticed any damage from the toothpaste. Even if it does, it is not nearly as bad as when I tryed to use lens cleaning cloth. I found that salt (or very small pieces of sand) would leave very small scratches in the port when I cleaned it like a lens.

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I use a mild liquid dishwasher detergent. Pore some into the port and some hot water. Swirls it around a bit till the dirt is gone. Rinse with lot of hot water. Then the all the residue from the soup is gone, I fill the port and tilt it slow and gently so the water don’t leave drops on the front lens. Then the port is set aside to dry completely.

 

Works fine on Ikelite and Nexus ports, flat and domes. Ikelites ports with focus knob on the side take some time to get dry.

:P

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I've always used a StaticMaster brush to get rid of dust. Using compressed air (for me, anyway) has always just circulated the dust around inside the dome.

 

Never had to do any industrial-strength cleaning inside. <shrugs> A couple of smudge removals with a microfiber cloth.

 

All the best, James

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Thanks for all the useful advice.

I think the biggest challenge is to clean a domeport from inside.

Harald Hordosch from Seacam once told me to fill in some Aceton and move it around. Until now I didn't try, but it seems to be an effective technique, especially because the Aceton dries of very quickly without marks. I would only be scared to damage any materiel other than glass.

 

Please keep posting

 

 

 

Thilo

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<snip>... especially because the Aceton dries of very quickly without marks. I would only be scared to damage any materiel other than glass.

<snip>

Yes!! Using acetone on an acrylic dome is bad...the DIY way to make Plexiglass glue is to mix pieces of plexiglass (acrylic) in a glass jar with acetone...

 

All the best, James

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I’ve tried about everything except the acetone on my ports and the best method I’ve found is a fine weave micro fiber cloth and Novue #1 plastic clean & shine. Try it and you’ll never go back to acetone, I promise.

 

Marc

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For the inside of (glass) ports, I use a photographer's chamois. I can wrap it around my hand and get to almost the entire inside of the dome port. If necessary to remove a spot or haze, I moisten a corner with a bit of Kodak lens cleaning solution, then go over it with a clean dry chamois. (I keep the chamois in a ziplock bag so that it stays soft, doesn't dry out.)

 

Keeping a cover on the opening in the dome port when it isn't on the camera seems to help keep crap in the air from settling on the inside of the dome.

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for cleaning/scratch removal on acrylic ports, I have had good and repeated sucess with novus acrylic polish. You can find it on the internet as well as fish stores, they use it to polish scratched aquariums.

 

As for cleaning the inside of a dome port, I have had good results with a lens cloth and a vacuum cleaner. There always seems to be a piece of lint or dust that you just cant get to stay on the lint rag! So what I do is gently brush or blow on the offending lint while sucking out the inside of the port with a vacuum hose. I do it at home and you can usually find a vacuum on most good livaboards. if you dont switch ports very often on a trip, or shake your beach towel over the open housing, you should have a fairly lint free trip....

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