lens cleaning

Discussion in 'Digital SLR' started by Ben Rosengart, Feb 23, 2005.

  1. I made a newbie mistake and stored my Canon EF-S 18-55mm kit lens
    without the cap on it. Now, when I mount it on my camera, the
    viewfinder has a look to it that I can only describe as grainy.

    Is there anything I can do about this myself? Should I take the
    lens to a camera store, or a specialized repair shop? (I have easy
    access to Adorama.) If I have to have it cleaned professionally,
    what is it likely to cost me? It is not an expensive lens, and I
    wonder if a professional cleaning will even be cost-effective.

    Thanks in advance for any advice you can offer. If you prefer to
    respond by email, please feel free.
    Ben Rosengart, Feb 23, 2005
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  2. Ben Rosengart

    Sheldon Guest

    1. Is the dust on the lens or did it get into the camera?
    2. If it's just on the lens start by using a blower and see how much dust
    and dirt you can remove.
    3. If that won't do it you can try a soft lens brush.
    4. If that still won't do it use some lens tissue and lens cleaner,
    available at any photo store.
    5. If the dust is in the viewfinder (focusing screen), you should be able
    to blow and brush that out.
    6. If it's on the mirror you can clean that, too, but be very careful.
    It's a surface coated mirror and is easily scratched.
    7. If you've cleaned everything else, and you still see spots, you've got
    dust on the sensor. Try using a blower first. A hand blower, and not
    canned air. That will often do it. (Look in your manual as to how to expose
    the sensor for cleaning).
    8. If not, you have three choices. You can try one of those brushes made
    for cleaning the image sensor. You can use one of those kits for cleaning
    the image sensor. You can send it to the factory.

    Cleaning lenses should be something you learn to do yourself. Lenses get
    dirty all the time. Buy some lens tissue and cleaner and the person in the
    photo store who sells it to you should be able to show you how to clean a
    lens. Just don't spit on it and use your shirt. :)

    If you have to go inside the camera you must have the confidence to go for
    it, or just take it in. Gone are the days when you could just open the
    camera, set the shutter to bulb, and blow the hell out of it with a can of
    air. It is a gamble to go in there and do anything beyond what the owner's
    manual tells you.
    Sheldon, Feb 23, 2005
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  3. The body is fine. I only mention the camera body because so far,
    looking through the viewfinder has been the only way I've been able
    to see the problem. If I just look at the lens, it looks fine.
    But I'm quite sure the problem is with the lens because other lenses
    do not exhibit the problem.
    Including the insides?
    Ben Rosengart, Feb 23, 2005
  4. Ben Rosengart

    Fyimo Guest

    No, don't attempt to clean the inside of the lens glass. That needs to
    be done by a technican. . If the glass looks clean and clear when you
    hold the lens up to the light then it's something else that's wrong. I
    don't own this lens but it could be something set wrong on the lens or
    camera body? Take a picture with it and see how it turns out.

    Fyimo, Feb 23, 2005
  5. Ben Rosengart

    Sheldon Guest

    You say you "stored" the lens without the cap on it. Where was it stored,
    and for how long? Might give us a clue as to what the problem is, assuming
    the rear and front elements are clean. I assume if you put a different lens
    on the camera you don't have this problem, based on your last answer.

    Sheldon, Feb 23, 2005
  6. In a plastic shopping bag on my desk, for maybe a month, month and a half.
    That's right.

    I took the lens to Adorama today. The guy there didn't see the
    problem -- I don't think he was trying very hard -- but he was
    plenty willing to sell me a $16 lens cleaning kit.

    I haven't yet tried to spot the problem in an image. Maybe it won't
    show up. If that's the case, then I'll probably just live with it.
    Otherwise, I'll give this cleaning kit a shot.
    Ben Rosengart, Feb 23, 2005
  7. Ben Rosengart

    Sheldon Guest

    I assume you don't work at a saw mill. :)
    Couldn't you point it out to him?
    I would definitely clean the lens, just the parts you can easily see and
    clean. See if that helps. I also doubt you'll see the problem in a photo.
    With digital, and film, you probably won't see a spot of dust unless it's
    very close to the film or right on the image sensor. I took a whole role of
    film once with a hair hanging down in front of the film plane.

    Also, I don't know about today's new lenses, but we used to see bubbles in
    high quality lens glass and it never made any difference in the image

    Keep us posted.
    Sheldon, Feb 24, 2005
  8. Ben Rosengart

    tomm101 Guest

    Actually a plastic bag is not a bad place for the lens to be, generally
    clean, and plastic generally has an electronic charge that catches
    dust. Anyway, graininess when you look through the view finder comes
    from a lack of light at the ground glass, the lens would have to be
    filthy to cause this. Did your camera get set to stop down the lens,
    this would cause this or have you been using a large aperture lens on
    the camera and then switch to the slow kit lens? Again it would really
    be a discusting film on the lens to cause the syptoms you describe.
    Clean the lens with a blower or use isopropyl alcohol on a cotton ball,
    make certain it is cotton, an gently wipe off with a dry cotton ball.

    good luck
    tomm101, Feb 28, 2005
  9. DING!

    I've been running around with a couple of different 1.8 fixed lenses.

    Ben Rosengart, Feb 28, 2005
  10. Ben Rosengart

    Bubbabob Guest

    Plastic bags (some of them) outgas plasticizers. It sounds like that's
    what happened to yours. I find ROR lens cleaner works better than
    isopropyl for removing this sort of thing. Many camera stores stock it.
    Bubbabob, Feb 28, 2005
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