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Author Topic: Vendor for lens cleaner
Jesse Crooks
Film Handler

Posts: 14
From: Doylestown, PA, United States
Registered: Mar 2016


 - posted 10-10-2018 03:47 PM      Profile for Jesse Crooks     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I'm curious what brands and vendors folks are using for lens cleaner these days. We used to buy it in bulk but none of our old vendors are still in business. I've found a few random websites that sell 16oz bottles of Rosco (and it seems overpriced), but I'm wondering what other folks are doing. We use it for our coated port glass, so we might want to get it by the case depending on the pricing.

Can anyone offer a recommendation?

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Leo Enticknap
Film God

Posts: 7035
From: Loma Linda, CA
Registered: Jul 2000


 - posted 10-10-2018 04:05 PM      Profile for Leo Enticknap   Author's Homepage   Email Leo Enticknap   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
We stock our own brand of lens cleaner - please email sales {at} movingimagetech.com, or call 714-751-7998 and ask for sales, if interested in a quote. They can also give you a MSDS sheet if you'd like one.

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Ken Lackner
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1883
From: Atlanta, GA, USA
Registered: Sep 2001


 - posted 10-10-2018 06:19 PM      Profile for Ken Lackner   Email Ken Lackner   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Residual Oil Remover (ROR) is the best optical cleaner I have ever used. You can get it from B&H Photo and Amazon. I imagine other places, as well.

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/64495-REG/ROR_RO212D_Residual_Oil_Remover.html

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Mark Gulbrandsen
Resident Trollmaster

Posts: 16221
From: Bountiful, Utah
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 10-10-2018 07:59 PM      Profile for Mark Gulbrandsen   Email Mark Gulbrandsen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Pancro is the absolute best cleaner out there. It's in use my every major motion picture camera manufacturer to clean optics and front surface mirrors. I use it on DLP prisms.

https://www.filmtools.com/pancro-4oz-professional-lens-cleaner-spray-bottle-pan001.html

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Steve Guttag
We forgot the crackers Gromit!!!

Posts: 12207
From: Annapolis, MD
Registered: Dec 1999


 - posted 10-11-2018 07:09 AM      Profile for Steve Guttag   Email Steve Guttag   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Last I checked, we can still get ROSCO (in both sizes).

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Mark Ogden
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 882
From: Little Falls, N.J.
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 10-11-2018 07:52 AM      Profile for Mark Ogden   Email Mark Ogden   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Pancro is very good, but at the same time it is just 90% isopropyl alcohol, which you can get at CVS for something like $4.00 for 32oz. Pour it into a schpritzer bottle and it'll do your coated port glass and lenses just fine.

We use LensClens #1 (the pink stuff) on our lenses, which is pretty much the nuclear option as far as lens cleaning goes, but it really goes to town. Has some acetone in it though. They have some less aggressive formulas as well, as well as specialized stuff for front-surface mirrors.

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Bruce Cloutier
Film Handler

Posts: 50
From: Gibsonia, PA, USA
Registered: Aug 2016


 - posted 10-14-2018 07:34 AM      Profile for Bruce Cloutier   Author's Homepage   Email Bruce Cloutier   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
If any of you are amateur astronomers you know that this topic is major. It has been a long while since I have gotten my telescope out. It has its own closet where I am sure it has been waiting patiently for well over a decade. I just popped my head in there because I used to have a box of cleaning supplies. Well right on top I find an email from a local astronomy club member (Pittsburgh Amateur Astronomers Association) dated November 2003 regarding Cleaning Optics. This is the procedure that I had used. You know, on a telescope not only do you want clean lenses but also mirrors both internal and external. These optical components also have coatings which you do not want to disturb and of course not scratch.

The recommendation was to use a mixture of 9 parts of distilled water and 1 part of isopropyl alcohol. For a pint of the mixture the writer adds one or two drops of the water-clear (no lemon, no nothing) Dove disk detergent. My guess is that soap prevents cleaning mixture from beading up and leaving spots.

You then blow any loose dust from the lens with dry air or a squeeze bulb. If the lens looks good at that point then leave it alone. Better safe than sorry. Next you spritz a small amount of the cleaner on the lens and use a clean microfiber tissue made perhaps for your glasses to remove it. Do not wipe in circles but in radial swipes from the center out. Use as little pressure as possible. That member uses white, unscented, unhandcreamed tissue with success.

That all said, astronomers can be hugely picky about this as you can imagine. I recall a discussion about just how much dust and smudges you can tolerate on a lens or mirror. Again, that going along with the warnings that you could do more harm than good and shouldn't perform major lens cleanings every use.

In cinema you might be putting a lot of optical power through those lenses. I suspect that they get hot. I would think that you should not try to clean any lens until it has cooled completely. If you do leave any residue or some area on the lens that might heat/cool at a different rate you might risk having it fail. I don't know. I have no experience but this concern comes to mind. Perhaps not an issue. You folks have training on this. I welcome an education.

Actually with a telescope we have the opposite issue. With the lens exposed to the open night sky it cools and moisture begins to condense on it. We actually use heaters and shields to control that. Dust and dirt support the formation of condensation so...

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Randy Stankey
Film God

Posts: 6425
From: Erie, Pennsylvania
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 10-14-2018 09:48 AM      Profile for Randy Stankey   Email Randy Stankey   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I have a collection of over 100 vintage cameras. Many of which are still in operating condition and I still use them.

I have used a home made mixture of ethyl alcohol and distilled water with a little bit of Kodak Photo-Flo 200.

I usually make it up as:
75 ml. Lab Grade Ethyl Alcohol.
25 ml. Distilled/Deionozed water.
5 drops Photo-Flo.

If you can't get pure ethyl alcohol you can substitute 151 proof grain alcohol. (e.g. Everclear)

I use Kimtech "Kimwipes" for lens tissue.

I agree with others... Don't clean optics unless it's necessary.
Many of my cameras are irreplaceable or else it would be very difficult or expensive to replace lenses and optics. I just don't take the risk.

I would rather have a lens that it a little bit dirty than to damage an irreplaceable lens.

Besides, scientifically speaking, a lens can not resolve an object on its surface. Technically critical applications excepted, a few specks of dust on the surface of a lens will all but invisible.

It's best just to let those few specks of dust remain there until the lens gets dirty enough to "need" cleaning.

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Leo Enticknap
Film God

Posts: 7035
From: Loma Linda, CA
Registered: Jul 2000


 - posted 10-14-2018 02:20 PM      Profile for Leo Enticknap   Author's Homepage   Email Leo Enticknap   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
A similar debate has taken place among record collectors and hifi geeks as to the best cleaning solution to use. A general, though not absolute consensus seems to be that if you can afford a seriously expensive cleaner (e.g. a Keith Monks or a Loricraft) with a very powerful vacuum motor, distilled water is all you need: agitation of the fluid to suspend particles of crud, followed by seriously powerful suction to get rid of the resulting solution, will do the job without the need for any further chemical action.

For those of us on a tighter budget, using cheap immersion cleaners such as the Knosti or the Spin Clean, the addition of isopropanol and a surfactant is necessary. In the absence of suction, you need the solution to evaporate, and evaporate evenly, after contaminants have been dislodged from the surface and transferred to the tank of solution. For vinyl records in my Knosti, trial and error has led me to use a solution of 20% 99% pure isopropyl alcohol, 80% distilled water, and a few drops of dishwasher rinse aid for the first wash, and then immediately afterwards, a rinse in distilled water only, and then leave the record to dry in a vertical rack for 24 hours at room temperature.

The two exceptions to the above are shellac and acetate (or nitrocellulose) on glass or steel one-time recordings: the alcohol will destroy them, and they should only be cleaned in distilled water. The corrosive action of the alcohol is also why vinyl records should be rinsed in distilled water only immediately after washing in the alcohol/water/rinse aid solution.

The same considerations should also apply to lens cleaning: you need the solution to suspend particles of dirt (or transfer them to the cloth), and then evaporate without leaving a trace. You also need the solution not to attack any coatings on the surface of the glass. Presumably most of the coatings found on projection lenses are highly resistant to chemical corrosion, because all the lens cleaning solutions I've ever used smell pretty strongly of alcohol.

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Carsten Kurz
Film God

Posts: 3775
From: Cologne, NRW, Germany
Registered: Aug 2009


 - posted 10-15-2018 03:56 AM      Profile for Carsten Kurz   Email Carsten Kurz   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Our projector maintenance manual reccommends:

'Absolute alcohol (ethanol: 99.5% or more, propanol: 99.5% or more)'

I think buying an explicit expensive lens cleaner is a bit too much for cleaning just a port glas. 99% Propanol is cheap enough to get by the litre. You can even order it on ebay.

- Carsten

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Mark Gulbrandsen
Resident Trollmaster

Posts: 16221
From: Bountiful, Utah
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 10-15-2018 08:26 AM      Profile for Mark Gulbrandsen   Email Mark Gulbrandsen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Randy Stankey
I use Kimtech "Kimwipes" for lens tissue.
We used Kimwipes when I worked at Canon and I stress that they MUST ONLY BE USED WET! Used dry they are way too abrasive.

On Digital Cinema lenses some of them can only be cleaned with a micro fiber rag. Using lens cleaner on the flourite element can actually damage it. Check with Konica or Fujinon before you use any cleaner to be sure it is safe.

Mark

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Randy Stankey
Film God

Posts: 6425
From: Erie, Pennsylvania
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 10-16-2018 06:39 PM      Profile for Randy Stankey   Email Randy Stankey   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Yes, that’s a good thing to remember.

I always put a few drops of lens cleaner on the tissue before wiping the lens.
That’s just the way I have always done it so I guess it’s easy to forget that you shouldn’t use a lens tissue dry.

I use a refractometer, daily, at work. As I am sure many of you already know, a refractometer has to be cleaned, zeroed and cleaned again each time you use it then it has to be cleaned a third time, before you put it away. Consequently, I go through a box of Kimwipes pretty quickly.

I use deionized water to rinse off the prism and cover, a tissue to wipe it, another to dry it then more DI to set the device to zero and a third tissue to dry it again. I have to take three readings of each solution to be tested and average the results. That’s another three tissues. I have up to four things to test each day. After I’m done, another cleaning and drying is done before I put the refractometer back in the case and put it away.

Wow! I never reaalized how many tissues I go through in a day until just now! [Wink]

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