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Thread: Artar-aholic needs help cleaning and evaluating a 19 incher!

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Dec 2001
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    San Joaquin Valley, California
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    Artar-aholic needs help cleaning and evaluating a 19 incher!

    My name is John and I'm an Artar-aholic. For a couple of years now, I've been buying cheap Artars in barrels in hope of someday finding one that would be worth the expense of mounting in a shutter. I now have a modest collection of paperwieghts whose combined cost would probably come close to buying a good example already mounted in a shutter(arggh!)

    My latest purchase just arrived, a 19" APO in its original wooden box with the itty bitty paper and a itty-bitty-er waterhouse stop. I can't see any scratches, but that maybe because the glass is dirty---I don't see any fungus among us at least. So my question is this: What is the best way to safely clean a really dirty lens? I don't want to risk scratching it myself in the process of cleaning off the grime. It is a brass mounted lens and the rear element seems to have accumulated the most grime. Should I unscrew it and run it through the dishwasher? How about a soak in jalapeno pepper juice? Ammonia? Vinegar? If it is "it" I have a black face No.5 Universal thats waiting to go to work. I'd appreciate any advice on how to best proceed!
    I steal time at 1/125th of a second, so I don't consider my photography to be Fine Art as much as it is petty larceny.
    I'm not OCD. I'm CDO which is alphabetically correct.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Apr 2000
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    710

    Artar-aholic needs help cleaning and evaluating a 19 incher!

    My name is Jim, and I'm also an Artar-aholic. Mine is a 16 1/2 in factory Universal #4.

    The dishwasher seems a might strong. I gather you feel that conventional lens cleaning teechniques (brush off the dust, ROR with tissues) won't suffice? Is yours a red dot?

    What I can tell you is that the journey is well worth it.

    -j

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
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    Artar-aholic needs help cleaning and evaluating a 19 incher!

    Cleaning a really dirty lens is a problem, because ordinary dust does contain particles that are abrasive. Vacuuming or, failing that, blowing, as much dust as possible is a good first step, followed by brushing. At this point, you probably will still have a lot of dust which is stuck to the lens and needs lens cleaning solution to float it loose. Lens tissue which is torn and rolled up so as to make a sort of brush is a good tool at this point. Try to sort of drag it along without putting any pressure on it. You may have to repeat this step.

  4. #4
    matthew blais's Avatar
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    Oct 2003
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    Artar-aholic needs help cleaning and evaluating a 19 incher!

    John, it is a very important step that you have admitted this. Of course you know that every day you possess these devils, you are want to temptation. You will always be thinking "one more won't hurt". The next obvious step is total, yes, TOTAL, abstinence. It so happens I have a special 8 x10 box that will hold and contain their charms. Just send them (all) to me and be f-r-e-e! I am only trying to help, really.
    "I invent nothing, I rediscover"
    August Rodin

    My Now old Photo Site

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Apr 2000
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    710

    Artar-aholic needs help cleaning and evaluating a 19 incher!

    Matthew,

    That just spreads the disease.

    -j

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Dec 1998
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    Sierra Madre, California
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    61

    Artar-aholic needs help cleaning and evaluating a 19 incher!

    Hi, John.

    I've had good results cleaning very dirty lenses with an optical polymer solution called Opticlean. You paint it on the lens surface, let it cure for 15 minutes in UV light, then peel the polymer film off. The dirt comes off with the film, leaving pristine glass behind. The stuff isn't cheap, but neither are big Artars.

    See www.opticlean.com

    God grant me the serenity to adjust the small apertures I can, the patience to live with the long exposures I can't, and an accurate light meter to tell the difference.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Apr 2000
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    710

    Artar-aholic needs help cleaning and evaluating a 19 incher!

    This is my kind of twelve step program.

    -j

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Feb 2004
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    16

    Artar-aholic needs help cleaning and evaluating a 19 incher!

    I've got a 24 incher in a barrel (non-red dot) with the same problems, although there are also some "cleaning marks" on mine.

    My main concern is how to clean the dust on the inner elements? I suppose it should get an honest CLA (and maybe mounting in a shutter), but I've been hesitant to send it anywhere since I'm not sure it's worth it...

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Sep 2003
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    125

    Artar-aholic needs help cleaning and evaluating a 19 incher!

    "but I've been hesitant to send it anywhere since I'm not sure it's worth it... "

    Believe me, Artars are really worth it.

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Feb 2004
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    8

    Artar-aholic needs help cleaning and evaluating a 19 incher!

    Assuming it's not a coated Artar, and assuming at least one element unscrews easily (my rear element did), brush on a layer of Elmer's Glue (white, not yellow). Allow it to dry and then peel off. This tends to get the bigger stuff off without scratching and it cleans up with water. Then give it a soak in a mild solvent like alcohol. I find vinegar doesn't evaporate well. If that fails soak it in acetone. When soaking agitate softly. Swirl the lens elements around a little. If it's coated I'd be careful with anything stronger than alcohol, or the aforementioned lens fluid.

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