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Orion Optics UK Servicing


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Kimwipes (the lint-free ones) and lens paper like https://cvp.com/product/tiffen_lens-cleaning-paper are what I always use when cleaning any coated optics using the once-and-bin approach. We use both lots of both at work both on photographic lenses and laser optics/fibre optics with no issues whatsoever. The Baader fluid will work fine but I'd never use a microfibre cloth on a lens/mirror surface I cared much about - the risk of dragging debris across the coating is too high. Fine for "disposable" lenses like eyeglasses which you expect to be taking a bit of handling damage, but unsuitable for long-life things you're trying to maintain at a very high standard.

I'd avoid Kleenex and similar face tissues because they've often got lots of additives for comfort and produce copius quantities of dust (and definitely aren't lint-free!). Night and day under a microscope compared to a professional cleaning wipe for the application.

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All I can say is the Baader simply works and if you follow directions perfectly safe. I’ve used it for about twenty years with perfect results and never felt the need to use anything else. 

Edited by johninderby
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7 minutes ago, Chris Willocks said:

Thanks everyone for the recommendations. Appreciate it. But I'm well and truly confused in what to use cloth or wipe-wise with so many opinions.

Its a question of being extra cautious. With the cloth, which is not cleaned until the very end of the process, there is a chance of dragging grit across the surface. Using disposable wipes this chance is greatly reduced.

I used to be technical director of an optical manufacturing company. We used one time wipes.

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11 minutes ago, Chris Willocks said:

Thanks everyone for the recommendations. Appreciate it. But I'm well and truly confused in what to use cloth or wipe-wise with so many opinions.

On a large area, like an SCT corrector plate, which is a bit dirty I always use disposable lens tissues - and plenty of them. Chuck ‘em after a small wipe.

For smaller lenses, e.g. a small refractor, which are not particularly dirty, then a reusable cloth can be fine. But turn frequently and wash well after. 
 

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6 minutes ago, AstroKeith said:

Its a question of being extra cautious. With the cloth, which is not cleaned until the very end of the process, there is a chance of dragging grit across the surface. Using disposable wipes this chance is greatly reduced.

I used to be technical director of an optical manufacturing company. We used one time wipes.

I'll probably go with the disposable wipes route with the Baader fluid then. Did you use Kimwipes as mentioned above or do you think they'd be okay?

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Just now, Chris Willocks said:

I'll probably go with the disposable wipes route with the Baader fluid then. Did you use Kimwipes as mentioned above or do you think they'd be okay?

Kimwipes are good.

Main thing is practice a little on a small bathroom mirror or similar . Get some confidence and you'll see how easy it is really.

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Alcohol is absolutely fine, even on fluorite (which is more chemically resistant than many ED glasses), so long as you avoid stuff like surgical spirit which contains additives that would leave residues on the lens. Alkalis such as ammonia solution should be avoided.

Modern hard coatings are made of materials like zirconium dioxide which is very hard and durable - it's used as a thermal barrier coating on turbine blades in jet engines so it's pretty tolerant of harsh environments.

You can buy little disposable cotton cloths that work well. I bought a bag of 100 that wasn't very expensive at all.

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Caloclean optical lens cleaning spray, alcohol free, solvent free, antistatic formula is about £4 for 25ml . Combine with Calocloth microfibre lens cleaning cloth, £4, or use cloth without spray.

Both products available from Amazon. I have used this on a Takahashi lens.

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8 hours ago, Cleetus said:

Caloclean optical lens cleaning spray, alcohol free, solvent free, antistatic formula is about £4 for 25ml . Combine with Calocloth microfibre lens cleaning cloth, £4, or use cloth without spray.

Both products available from Amazon. I have used this on a Takahashi lens.

I've used the Caloclean spray on some regular DSLR lenses and I find it really hard to avoid getting smearing/streaks, using their microfibre cloth. I usually have to follow up with something else to finish off (I've used Sticklers fibre optic cleaning fluid, since I usually have some around the place, and this works flawlessly). It does work well for lifting debris though.

I've bought some of https://www.thewipeshop.co.uk/product_info.php?products_id=345 as well as a couple of cheap lint-free wipes off Amazon - if I get a spare 30 minutes in the lab I'll stick 'em all under our stereomicroscope and take some comparison photos!

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I'm always worried that any cloth could have a small piece of dirt or grit on it that could damage an optical surface.

I therefore prefer Zeiss single use lens wipes. These come in a sealed packet so you can always be confident that they're uncontaminated.

I'd particularly be worried about an expensive main mirror.

My own second-hand 10 inch OOUK mirror looked so dirty I opted for the safe option and sent it to them for cleaning.  It turned out it was so bad it needed recoating.

 

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Well I've had a go at cleaning my FSQ85EDX objective with the Baader Optical Wonder Fluid and am quite happy with the result:

20220112_140733.thumb.jpg.0196758ac0d30410e1c8fa4685bcc100.jpg

I tried using the Tiffen lens paper initially, however found that I had to use the soft cloths that came with the Baader fluid to avoid streaks.

I tried using my breath to remove any residue, but strangely this just made the streaks worse.

It's not 100% immaculate, as you can still see some residue marks at certain angles, but nothing is perfect. Main thing is it's a lot cleaner than it was and no scratches that I can see of!

Chris

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Looks very good to me. Now you're an expert too.

Often a sleek or residue streak, is indeed made worse by breathing on it as the 'foreign material' absorbs and retains moisture. I often do this to check how well I have cleaned something!

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Hi Chris it looks like you’ve done a pretty good job to me.
It’s very difficult to get it 100% especially when you shine a light on it but I’m sure it’s given you the confidence to do it next time without all the worry. 

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Thanks everyone for your help with this. Much appreciated. Like you say; I think it's very difficult to get it looking 100% new looking, but as long as it's clean and there's no scratches, then it should be okay. Best not to shine a torch on it either, as it'll never be good enough otherwise!

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On 07/01/2022 at 18:42, 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

As far as I'm aware the only Tak telescopes with the Fluorite at the front is the FS line of telescopes. So owners of FS models might want to be careful. 

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