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Orion Optics UK Servicing


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Hi everyone,

Does anyone have any experience with the scope servicing that Orion Optics UK do?

The objective on my Tak FSQ-85EDX is rather grubby and needs a good clean. It hasn't been cleaned once in the 5 or so years that I've had it and I think it could do with one. I wouldn't trust myself to clean the objective of such an expensive scope, so I would rather a professional do it.

Orion Optics are only a hour drive from where I live, so I was planning to drive the scope to them, rather than posting it.

Many thanks,

Chris

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Personally, I wouldnt let OOUK near it.

Its not that difficult to clean a lens and its something you should learn to do, IMO. There are plenty of threads and sources on how to do it.

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3 minutes ago, AstroKeith said:

Personally, I wouldnt let OOUK near it.

Its not that difficult to clean a lens and its something you should learn to do, IMO. There are plenty of threads and sources on how to do it.

Thanks for the reply, my gut is telling me that I should avoid OOUK based on what I've read.

I've researched quite a lot on how to clean it myself, but it's just having the courage to try.

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49 minutes ago, Chris Willocks said:

Thanks for the reply, my gut is telling me that I should avoid OOUK based on what I've read.

I've researched quite a lot on how to clean it myself, but it's just having the courage to try.

It can be a scary prospect. This was what I did with my FC100DC.

 

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44 minutes ago, Stu said:

It can be a scary prospect. This was what I did with my FC100DC.

 

Appreciate the information Stu. Looks like you did a very decent job on your Tak.

The one thing that I was unsure about was the use of alcohol-based cleaners on Takahashi objectives, as I've read quite a few threads stating that they shouldn't be used. Do you know if this is the case?

Chris

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9 minutes ago, Chris Willocks said:

Appreciate the information Stu. Looks like you did a very decent job on your Tak.

The one thing that I was unsure about was the use of alcohol-based cleaners on Takahashi objectives, as I've read quite a few threads stating that they shouldn't be used. Do you know if this is the case?

Chris

Well, after hearing that from Mike I played it on the safe side as below quoted from my post.

In preparation I had ordered a couple of brand new Microfibre cloths from FLO and purchased some solvent and alcohol free lens cleaner from SpecSavers.’

Better safe than sorry I think so I would recommend an alcohol free cleaner.

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I bought a 105mm LZOS a while ago and the seller admitted never having touched the objective, for cleaning or anything else, all the years he owned it. I did clean it after one viewing session with much trepidation and my god the difference! It’s definitely something you should learn to do. With patience, deference, modern hard coatings and recommended cleaning agents you’ll be OK. There’s no shortage of very good advice on here.

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There is absolutely nothing to it and the whole point of premium instruments is that they are well made with very hard coatings. I clean all the refractors here about three or four times a year. I just put some Baader fluid on a lint free cloth and wipe them using curved strokes and not re-using the same bit of the cloth twice, since it might have picked up a gritty fragment. I've been doing this for over twenty years and host a number of refractors at any one time. If it were going to cause a problem it would have done so by now!

The reality is that some particles landing on the lens, notably pollens, do have the ability to degrade coatings so not cleaning the lens is more risky than cleaning it.

You are worrying about nothing.

Olly

 

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Using something like Baader fluid may be best (I use IPA though!).

As Olly says - NEVER re-use the same bit of cloth (I use cotton wall which I form into balls and discard after every wipe) I 'roll' the wipe backwards as I wipe across the lens. This lift the dirt off rather than dragging it across the surface. Practice techniques on a bit of glass. Its easy really.

Big thing, is to moisten the wipe, NOT the lens. You dont want excess fluid running down the lens sides.

The edge of the lens can be difficult to reach, just next to the clamp ring. I usually clean this first with a cotton bud (same principle - moisten the bud and discard after every wipe), then do the main part of the lens. Otherwise you will find your main wipes are bringing dirt in from the edge.

Practice on something else first - you'll find its not scary really. 

The coatings are reasonably hard and durable, they just dont like grit etc. They also dont like stuff being left on them spider trails, pollen etc.

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Hi @Chris Willocks I've been through the same agony as yourself, after taking advice off fellow SGL'rs and the Internet I carefully did it myself using Baader Wonder Fluid and their cleaning cloths and job was a good one. 

 

Edited by jock1958
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Thanks everyone for the advice, much appreciated.

I think I'll try some alcohol-free lens cleaner from the opticians to start with and then use the cotton ball method to start. Then use some microfibre cloths if necessary.

Just to check; are the microfibre cloths the same as the ones that you get from the opticians to clean glasses?

Chris

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15 hours ago, Chris Willocks said:

Do you think Baader Optical Wonder Fluid would be okay to use on the FSQ-85? I've read good things about it.

This is what I've used on my FSQ85 and also TOA, just once or twice in 8 years now. It seems to work very well.

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My 'chemical' experience is......

Neat isopropanol has damaged coatings on spectacle lenses after multiple applications.
This was some years ago from two users of Specsavers lenses.
Remember we tend to clean specs lenses daily, so this was the equivalent of several years of scope cleaning.
Also specs lenses are geared around buy again in a year or two, and sometimes coating are shop, rather than factory, applied.

All my astro lenses get cleaned using Baader fluid. I have yet to find any problems.

HTH, David.


 

 

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1 hour ago, Chris Willocks said:

Thanks everyone for the advice, much appreciated.

I think I'll try some alcohol-free lens cleaner from the opticians to start with and then use the cotton ball method to start. Then use some microfibre cloths if necessary.

Just to check; are the microfibre cloths the same as the ones that you get from the opticians to clean glasses?

Chris

No, the optician supplied cloth is reusable (meant to be washed I think?).

You need lint free optical wipes that you can dispose.

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Okay, in that case I'm just going to go with the Baader kit i.e. the fluid and cloths, as it's designed for telescope optics, unlike the Specsavers fluid. The reviews are good as well. Better to be safe than sorry.

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There was a scare a few years ago about cleaning Takahashis with alcohol (which Baader fluid contains). But think it was about fluorite lenses?? Not 100% sure but I never had any problems with Baader or other cleaners.

Edited by Highburymark
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2 hours ago, Highburymark said:

There was a scare a few years ago about cleaning Takahashis with alcohol (which Baader fluid contains). But think it was about fluorite lenses?? Not 100% sure but I never had any problems with Baader or other cleaners.

I've been cleaning fluorite Taks for years with Baader fluid. I don't know if the exposed element is fluorite, though. I think it's at the back, from memory.

Olly

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1 hour ago, ollypenrice said:

I've been cleaning fluorite Taks for years with Baader fluid. I don't know if the exposed element is fluorite, though. I think it's at the back, from memory.

Olly

Me too.
I seem to remember the scare was a storm in a teacup. Meltdown for a few nanoseconds, then life returned to normal.

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Posted (edited)
14 minutes ago, JeremyS said:

Interesting they recommend Kleenex tissues, with Baader fluid, on objectives and SCT plates…

True, but they sell it with the microfibre cloth on their website: https://www.baader-planetarium.com/en/accessories/optical-accessories/optical-wonder-set-(cleaning-fluid-and-cloth).html.

Perhaps the instructions haven't been updated for a while? Although I have seen that Astro-Physics recommend Kleenex in their instructions also: https://astro-physics.info/tech_support/refractors/care-of-scope-instructions-9-4-2014.pdf.

I'm confused now.

Edited by Chris Willocks
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9 minutes ago, Chris Willocks said:

True, but they sell it with the microfibre cloth on their website: https://www.baader-planetarium.com/en/accessories/optical-accessories/optical-wonder-set-(cleaning-fluid-and-cloth).html.

Perhaps the instructions haven't been updated for a while? Although I have seen that Astro-Physics recommend Kleenex in their instructions also: https://astro-physics.info/tech_support/refractors/care-of-scope-instructions-9-4-2014.pdf.

I'm confused now.

I think they are suggesting going with high quality DISPOSABLE materials. Clean bit, then throw away. Do that many times. Rather than using the same micro fibre cloth to clean the whole objective. They suggest the cloth for smaller items like eyepieces.

I have used Canon disposable lens wipes,in copious quantities, when I’ve used cleaning fluid.

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I’ve used the Baader kit and method on Esprit 150s with no issues for a number of years, usually twice a year. I agree if only inert dust settled on the lens then cleaning would be a rare event but most amateur scopes tend to be in back gardens and hence in close proximity to all sorts of biochemicals.

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