Cleaning optical lenses

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per_funke
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Joined: Mon Jan 06, 2020 12:59 pm

Cleaning optical lenses

#1 Post by per_funke » Mon Jan 06, 2020 3:25 pm

HI!

I want to clean up my Carl Zeiss Lumpian LPE microscope real good. If I ever succeed to dismantle it without destroying it THEN I really want it to be ATOMICALLY clean. The absolute best solution to do this i using First Contact polymer goo. Of that I'm convinced.

I'm also convinced they're trying to con me when charging some $140-ish payment for something that comes in milliliters (or their "fluid oz." equivalent) when I know biiig, really biiig, factory plants are turning out floods of polymeres. So I tried to find equivalents, sold in markets NOT connected to the makeup, surgical, or microscopic fields, known for their tendency to rob people because of their low self esteem, illness, or big federal grants, respectively.

I found such a market: the ones who like to paint their Revell models in a nice and precise way. Also there is a market for the modern; the ones who paint their RC buggies in intriguing patterns and colors. They use a masking liquid that soldifies for later easy removal after the paint has been applied. This seems to me very similar to the First Contact polymer from Photonic Cleaning Technologies that cost many!! times more.

Does anyone have ideas or experiences in his field? I am positive this is the way to go to get clean glass (w. the exception of salt contamination etc.) but if possible I want to pay a reasonable amount of dough, being a retiree and all...

Any suggestions are welcome!

MicroBob
Posts: 1976
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Location: Northern Germany

Re: Cleaning optical lenses

#2 Post by MicroBob » Mon Jan 06, 2020 4:00 pm

My usual recommendation is to avoid unneccessary cleaning - sooner or later the surface or lens mounting cements might suffer.
For normal cases in microscope optics I use in this order:

- fine brush or rocket blower
- breathing on surface, wiping with tissue paper or quality cotton bud
- wiping with a little "Wundbenzin"

For more severe cases other solvents can be used but this can damage the cements with which the front lenses are fixed in the barrel ob objectives.

Your polymer goo sounds like the stuff that is used for camera sensors sometimes. I don't think it will remove gummed up immersion oil from objectives or condensers.

Bob

apochronaut
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Re: Cleaning optical lenses

#3 Post by apochronaut » Mon Jan 06, 2020 5:49 pm

Although the Lumipan originated in the 30's, the design persisted long enough into the 50's that some of the optics produced for it, must have been coated. Although the theory of using contact polymers to clean lenses is sound, the practice of it requires a high degree of precision and knowledge of just what are the active ingredients in the polymers and what one is actually going to end up removing. I would be cautious around coated optics.
Moderately active solvents and wind have proven the test of time. Although these too require precision, close observation and time; those simple tools, do work well.

per_funke
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Joined: Mon Jan 06, 2020 12:59 pm

Re: Cleaning optical lenses

#4 Post by per_funke » Mon Jan 06, 2020 9:27 pm

"I don't think it will remove gummed up immersion oil"
I agree.
I think the polymer is good for dust but there are several types of dirt I think your three alternatives are better suited for.
To what degree the polymer is more useful that compressed air is a question still to be resolved. I've ordered a can of air too.

There are several things to consider and the cement is definitely on of them. Often in adverts they show mirrors sent up as parts of the Hubble telescope and friends but in these factory environments, severe dirt is not to expect :0)

Evidently, there might still be loose dust and the transport cost for those mirrors may crave extreme cleaning measures, perhaps not called for in a hobby microscope. Well, it will be interesting to test these alternatives on other glass than my lenses. Report(s) will follow.

I duly note your advice and will try to carry on cautiously (putting the hammer aside...).

I will now check for mold on surfaces possible to reach, that's no 1.
No 2 is the 3D glasses, not because acutely need it, but because It is expected be doable
Thank you for your engagement! I'll be back when there is something to say about all this.
/p

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ImperatorRex
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Re: Cleaning optical lenses

#5 Post by ImperatorRex » Mon Jan 06, 2020 9:30 pm

I can recomment the below guideline "Carl Zeiss MicroImaging - The Clean Microscope".

https://bio.sabanciuniv.edu/sites/bio.s ... cope-1.pdf

MicroBob
Posts: 1976
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Location: Northern Germany

Re: Cleaning optical lenses

#6 Post by MicroBob » Tue Jan 07, 2020 10:33 am

"Canned air" usually is something else than just compressed air, some safety data sheets say: trans-1,3,3,3-tetrafluoroprop-1-ene :?:

I would make sure it dries off without a trace and doesn't cool the object down. Microscope optics sometimes delaminate, thermal or mechanical shock can influence this.
I use a cheap rubber ball type blower or for big cleaning jobs the air hose from my compressor in the workshop.

Bob

per_funke
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Joined: Mon Jan 06, 2020 12:59 pm

Re: Cleaning optical lenses

#7 Post by per_funke » Tue Jan 07, 2020 11:20 am

Thanks! It's a good tip!

I've come across it earlier, i will use it when the gathering of cleaning materials is completed.
Or, if you will, "Im on it!"
:0)

per_funke
Posts: 15
Joined: Mon Jan 06, 2020 12:59 pm

Re: Cleaning optical lenses

#8 Post by per_funke » Tue Jan 07, 2020 3:28 pm

apochronaut wrote:
Mon Jan 06, 2020 5:49 pm
Although the Lumipan originated in the 30's, the design persisted long enough into the 50's that some of the optics produced for it, must have been coated. Although the theory of using contact polymers to clean lenses is sound, the practice of it requires a high degree of precision and knowledge of just what are the active ingredients in the polymers and what one is actually going to end up removing. I would be cautious around coated optics.
Moderately active solvents and wind have proven the test of time. Although these too require precision, close observation and time; those simple tools, do work well.
Duly noted! Thank you!
I missed your message at first, so my answer is late.

I think you're right, also because some lenses are rather inaccessible when applying polymers.
And; you may well be right about ev. long term effects and what I am "actually going to end up removing".
It's one thing with a standalone mirror w/o any cement to hold it and which is lightly affected by loose dust in a near clean environment and a microscope stored for unknown time under unknown circumstances (in my case bad, these's traces of rust on it!).
So, I tend to agree and will focus on less high tech methods (compare to polymers not at all cheaper than 12 year old whiskey).

Best,
Per

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