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Go Back   IceInSpace > Equipment > Eyepieces, Barlows and Filters

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  #1  
Old 29-10-2016, 07:19 PM
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dreamstation (James)
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Another cleaning eyepieces thread

Now I understand that most people will tell you that you probably don't need to clean them, and I fully agree, but I had one particular eyepiece that had an unknown drop of residue right in the middle of the glass. Light from bright objects would scatter and it made the eyepiece very difficult to use. It is my most used eyepiece so something had to be done.

Having read pretty much every thread on this particular topic on both IIS and several other Astronomy forums as well as several 'how to' guides on what to do and what not to do, I decided to give it a go recently. My problem is, even after thoroughly researching the topic for several weeks psyching myself up to it, I've somehow managed to stuff it up.

I've managed to remove the residue that was causing the original problem quite successfully using some isopropanol and the eyepiece works well again in the telescope but inspecting the glass with the eyepiece in hand reveals a film of something else over the entire surface. It doesn't appear to affect it's use but it's really annoying me and I'd like to get to the bottom of it. It's almost as if the isopropanol has left behind some residue but I was under the impression it shouldn't do that.

Does anyone have any suggestions on what is going on? Thanks.
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  #2  
Old 29-10-2016, 07:51 PM
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RB (Andrew)
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James, I know this is going to sound strange but give Lens Pen a try.
http://www.lenspen.com/

Make sure it's the original and not a cheap fake imitation.

I use it on all my photo gear and also on my Tele Vue eyepieces.

RB
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  #3  
Old 30-10-2016, 07:27 PM
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ab1963 (Andrew)
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use a blower on the eyepiece to get rid of anything that could scratch the coatings,breathe on it and gently wipe with a microfiber cloth,sorted.
i would never touch my ep's with a lens pen,the 2 times i have had to clean my most valuable ep that's how i have done it with absolutely no problems ,just do it when you really have to ,that's my 2 cents worth
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  #4  
Old 30-10-2016, 10:39 PM
ausastronomer (John Bambury)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dreamstation View Post
Now I understand that most people will tell you that you probably don't need to clean them, and I fully agree, but I had one particular eyepiece that had an unknown drop of residue right in the middle of the glass. Light from bright objects would scatter and it made the eyepiece very difficult to use.
Hi James

While less cleaning the better is the normal generalisation applied to cleaning optics, it doesn't really apply to cleaning eyepieces. The frequency you need to clean your eyepieces is dependent on the specific eyepiece design, it's eye relief and each person who has used the eyepieces physiology. Some people generate a lot of natural eye lash oil and tear residue which combined with eyepieces having shorter eye relief can necessitate frequent cleaning to optimise the views.

Don't be scared to clean the eye lens of your eyepieces. Just make sure you do It carefully with the correct technique and materials. I use a blower bulb to remove loose residue then several cotton buds with 99% isopropyl alcohol. Using each bud for 1 gentle wipe.

Cheers
John B
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  #5  
Old 31-10-2016, 06:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ausastronomer View Post
Don't be scared to clean the eye lens of your eyepieces. Just make sure you do It carefully with the correct technique and materials. I use a blower bulb to remove loose residue then several cotton buds with 99% isopropyl alcohol. Using each bud for 1 gentle wipe.

Cheers
John B
John is absolutely correct, don't be scared but if you do it using liquid, then use his method with 99% isopropyl alcohol.
I should have mentioned the use of a blower first or course.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ab1963 View Post
i would never touch my ep's with a lens pen
Andrew I did say it was going to sound strange but believe me, The Lens Pen is perfect for optical cleaning especially in this situation where James states that it's "a film of something else over the entire surface."

I've used The Lens Pen on tens of thousands of dollars worth of equipment, from my Canon lenses and cameras right through to my EP collection.
It's never damaged anything and has always brought back that "showroom look" on all my optics.
Just make sure it's the "real McCoy" and not some cheap imitation.
There's a reason why it's so heavily imitated.

Cheers.
RB
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  #6  
Old 09-11-2016, 05:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ausastronomer View Post
Don't be scared to clean the eye lens of your eyepieces. Just make sure you do It carefully with the correct technique and materials. I use a blower bulb to remove loose residue then several cotton buds with 99% isopropyl alcohol. Using each bud for 1 gentle wipe.

Cheers
John B
Hey John. The method you described is exactly what I did except that I used each cotton bud twice, once on each side. I'm really at a loss as to what the 'film' of residue left on the glass is or where it came from. It's either come out of the alcohol which I thought was highly unlikely or it's the original drop of residue spread all over the glass..? Maybe I should give it another going over to see if it comes off. I'm scared!

Quote:
Originally Posted by RB View Post
James, I know this is going to sound strange but give Lens Pen a try.
http://www.lenspen.com/

Make sure it's the original and not a cheap fake imitation.

I use it on all my photo gear and also on my Tele Vue eyepieces.

RB
Thanks for the suggestion. I'll have a read!
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  #7  
Old 09-11-2016, 07:40 PM
ausastronomer (John Bambury)
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Originally Posted by dreamstation View Post
I'm really at a loss as to what the 'film' of residue left on the glass is or where it came from. It's either come out of the alcohol which I thought was highly unlikely or it's the original drop of residue spread all over the glass..? Maybe I should give it another going over to see if it comes off. I'm scared!



Thanks for the suggestion. I'll have a read!
Hi James,

Did you use cotton buds or cotton balls? Cause if you used cotton balls I can tell you straight away what the residue is

Cheers,
John B
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  #8  
Old 09-11-2016, 07:52 PM
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Hi James,

Did you use cotton buds or cotton balls? Cause if you used cotton balls I can tell you straight away what the residue is

Cheers,
John B
Hey John. I used the double ended cotton buds, not cotton balls!
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  #9  
Old 09-11-2016, 07:54 PM
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RB (Andrew)
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Can you post a photo of the problem James?

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  #10  
Old 09-11-2016, 08:32 PM
ausastronomer (John Bambury)
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Hey John. I used the double ended cotton buds, not cotton balls!
That's fine then. A lot of "cotton balls" are impregnated with perfume, or lanolin which dissolves into the isopropyl alcohol and then dries on your lens when the alcohol evaporates.

I only ever did that once and it was many years ago. My 8" mirror looked like a snail crawled over it continually for a month in every direction. It took a lot more isopropyl alcohol and lint free cotton to get it off. Never again. I have since sourced a good supply of lint free cotton which I use to clean my mirrors and larger optical surfaces and I use good quality double ended cotton buds for my eyepieces and binoculars.

Cheers
John B
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  #11  
Old 10-11-2016, 07:56 PM
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James listen to John B's advice, as you know he's very knowledgeable and a highly experienced observer and eyepiece expert.

I just wanted to show you what I do if I have to deal with basic smudges etc that aren't too excessive.
Here's an example I did tonight for you on my Meade ETX 90, (btw I know my secondary is off centre, that's why it was dirt cheap).
I haven't cleaned it in over 5 years and it had a smear right across the corrector.
A few quick wipe-overs with my lens-pen and it's back to that 'show-room' look.

Anyway, good luck with your cleaning.

RB
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  #12  
Old 10-11-2016, 08:06 PM
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Can you post a photo of the problem James?
I will try and get something up over the weekend!

Quote:
Originally Posted by RB View Post
James listen to John B's advice, as you know he's very knowledgeable and a highly experienced observer and eyepiece expert.

Anyway, good luck with your cleaning.
Oh don't worry, I'm all ears. John has been a tremendous help to me on several occasions since joining IIS and he probably doesn't even know it There are a lot of very helpful people on here and I'm very thankful for their wisdom!
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  #13  
Old 13-11-2016, 02:19 PM
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Here is a photo of the issue. The eyepiece is dirty as it has been used since cleaning but you can clearly see the residue dried on the glass.
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  #14  
Old 15-11-2016, 02:11 PM
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crap that's filthy, if you don't have alcohol handy [I find lens pen tend to dry fairly quickly] I often just use blue windex for my e's, but then again I tend to wipe them over fairly regularly
cotton bud are fine, I avoid lens tissue, I find it too abrasive if you don't use it soaked
I also have a large box of zeiss lens cleaning wipes, they are like KFC moist towelettes, in mini foil packs -they work great
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  #15  
Old 15-11-2016, 09:11 PM
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Just on the note of cleaning lenses, does anyone know if the spray on aeroguard can hurt lens coatings?

the other day I was out with a group of friends and one of them was rubbing aeroguard all over himself by spraying it into this cupped hands first - I was wary of him handling lenses after that......

cheers
Jeelan
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  #16  
Old 16-11-2016, 06:39 AM
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aergogard i'd hazard a guess at YES, it has to have some chemical -who knows how it could interact with the coating

dare I bring up peter [exfso] exp with his TAk scope -had to be sent back to japan due to insect repellant
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  #17  
Old 16-11-2016, 07:03 AM
croweater (Richard)
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Some cleaning info here http://www.televue.com/engine/TV3b_page.asp?id=103 Cheers Richard
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  #18  
Old 16-11-2016, 07:07 AM
ausastronomer (John Bambury)
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the other day I was out with a group of friends and one of them was rubbing aeroguard all over himself by spraying it into this cupped hands first - I was wary of him handling lenses after that......

cheers
Jeelan
That's asking for trouble IMO. Either spray it on directly, or wash your hands thoroughly afterwards. I am the same when I go fishing. Aerogard sprayed on directly because you don't want it on the bait, or terminal tackle. Unfortunately it's hard to know what people have on their hands when they wander up to your telescope 1/2 way through the night. That having been said I would expect that a diligent experienced observer would know not to put insect repellant on their hands when they are going to be handling optics or eyepieces.

Cheers
John B
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  #19  
Old 16-11-2016, 08:13 AM
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Just on the note of cleaning lenses, does anyone know if the spray on aeroguard can hurt lens coatings?
cheers
Jeelan
Aerogaurd is a big no-no around my scopes.
There's no way I'd let anyone using or spraying aerogaurd anywhere near my TOA's and eyepieces.
Like John and Daniel said it's a hazard and asking for trouble.
Daniel, I still cringe when I think about what happened to Peter's (Exfso) TOA 130 at that star party and have always been cautious ever since.

If you must use it yourself then just use a roll on repellent sparingly and make sure you don't have it on your hands or near your eyes when observing.



RB
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  #20  
Old 17-11-2016, 09:23 PM
jeelan (Jeelan)
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Pretty emphatic responses!! thanks for clearing that up....

cheers
Jeelan
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