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Finger Oils = Serious damage


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#1 DS Williams

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Posted 27 May 2009 - 01:25 AM

Hey guys. I heard a fellow DP say today that he cleans finger prints off his lenses as fast as he possibly can because he says they "damage and degrade the fragile outer element lens coating"

Is there any truth to this? I've got some stubborn finger oil on my lens. I'm going to buy a LensPen tomorrow to get it off.

Is that finger oil 'eating away' at my HVX200 lens?
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#2 Stephen Williams

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Posted 27 May 2009 - 02:33 AM

Hey guys. I heard a fellow DP say today that he cleans finger prints off his lenses as fast as he possibly can because he says they "damage and degrade the fragile outer element lens coating"

Is there any truth to this? I've got some stubborn finger oil on my lens. I'm going to buy a LensPen tomorrow to get it off.

Is that finger oil 'eating away' at my HVX200 lens?


Yes
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#3 DS Williams

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Posted 27 May 2009 - 04:43 AM

Yes




are you sure? This is scary. Because the oil won't come off when I use my micro fiber. I mean it's not COVERING the lens but yes, there is some sort of oil on it, obviously from my hand or something.

How much damage will this do and will I see a drop in image quality?


Lens care is just the most stressful thing.
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#4 Chris Keth

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Posted 27 May 2009 - 10:02 AM

are you sure? This is scary. Because the oil won't come off when I use my micro fiber. I mean it's not COVERING the lens but yes, there is some sort of oil on it, obviously from my hand or something.

How much damage will this do and will I see a drop in image quality?


Lens care is just the most stressful thing.


Yes, it can and will do damage. Get some good lens fluid and tissues and clean your lens properly. Microfibre clothes don't really do all that much good except for remove dust and large amounts of liquid.
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#5 Michael Kubaszak

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Posted 27 May 2009 - 10:43 AM

Panchro and rosco lens tissue
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#6 DS Williams

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Posted 27 May 2009 - 12:42 PM

Panchro and rosco lens tissue


So you are all absolutely sure I've already damaged my lens? I wonder if ffinger oils damaging the lens coating is covered under panasonic's warranty

Will lenspen remove finger oil? I'm purchasing one today.
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#7 Tom Jensen

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Posted 27 May 2009 - 04:16 PM

So you are all absolutely sure I've already damaged my lens? I wonder if ffinger oils damaging the lens coating is covered under panasonic's warranty

Will lenspen remove finger oil? I'm purchasing one today.


You're worrying too much. Just clean it with some lens cleaner. I don't know much about video lenses but I can't recall ever seeing a lens for a movie camera with a finger print that I couldn't get off or damage from finger oils. Obviously you want to clean it off as fast as you can in case it does eat away some of the coating, It's just that I've never seen it. The lens in all likelihood is not permanently damaged.
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#8 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 27 May 2009 - 07:27 PM

Panchro and rosco lens tissue



Kimwipes are better :)

DS, just go out and get some Panchro lens cleaner fluid and some Kimwipes lens tissue. Spray some Panchro onto a sheet of tissue then wipe the lens in a circular motion from middle of the lens out.

It may take a couple passes, but it should wipe off eventually. I wouldn't fret too much about it.
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#9 Chris Keth

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Posted 27 May 2009 - 07:35 PM

Kimwipes are better :)


Yes they are.

To the OP: you are worrying way too much. The oil will harm the lens if you leave it on long term. Days won't matter. Weeks probably won't matter either. Don't bother with the lenspen. They are trash and are just asking for you to drag a chunk of grit across your lens and scratch it. Get a bottle of pancro and a box of kimwipes and learn to clean a lens properly. Do a search of this and the camera assistant's forums. We've talked about it a lot and fairly recently, as well.
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#10 Hal Smith

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Posted 27 May 2009 - 09:17 PM

I think what's underneath the concern about finger oil and lenses is that some people have perspiration that is acidic. In the old apprentice system for teaching young machinists, a student was washed out of the program if a clean piece of steel had rusty finger prints on it after they handled it.
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#11 Robert Skates

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Posted 29 May 2009 - 04:40 PM

Most fingerprints and oils from skin can be cleaned with pancro and good lens tissue. Every now and then you encounter a situation where the offending fingerprints and oil are of a nature and chemical make up the will not clean off. A few years ago a set of Zeiss super speeds came back from a location scout. The DP had his own finder and a PA was swapping lenses for him during the scout. Someone palmed the rear element of nearly every lens. No amount of pancro would remove the oil. It just smeared around the surface. The solution was very scary.

Please remember that I work at a rental house and this cleaning method was performed by a trained tech and owner of the lenses and rental house. A small bit of rubber was secured in a small vice. The rubber was set on fire. The oily lens element was held safely and well, well above the burning rubber. The soot/smoke of the burning rubber was allowed to coat the lens. When the soot was wiped away the body oils were gone. Do not try this at home. Fire bad!!! This a method of last resort that should only be done by a trained professional.
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#12 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 29 May 2009 - 04:54 PM

That's cooooooool, I've never heard of that method before.
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#13 Andrew Koch

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Posted 29 May 2009 - 11:36 PM

Once you get your lens clean, get a clear glass filter to screw on the front of your lens to protect it for the times when you don't use any other filters. Its much easier and cheaper to deal with if this gets damaged than your lens.
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#14 Chris Keth

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Posted 29 May 2009 - 11:42 PM

I wouldn't keep a flat on the front of it, myself. An HVX has such a tiny sensor that the filter will often be in focus, as well any every bit of dust that gets on it. I'd just keep the lens clean.
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#15 Saul Rodgar

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Posted 29 May 2009 - 11:50 PM

The rubber was set on fire. Do not try this at home. Fire bad!!!


And the environment will thank you for NOT trying it!
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#16 Andrew Koch

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Posted 30 May 2009 - 07:01 AM

I wouldn't keep a flat on the front of it, myself. An HVX has such a tiny sensor that the filter will often be in focus, as well any every bit of dust that gets on it. I'd just keep the lens clean.



That is a good point. I have seen that problem every once in a while.
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#17 Jim Hyslop

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Posted 30 May 2009 - 11:36 AM

I wouldn't keep a flat on the front of it, myself. An HVX has such a tiny sensor that the filter will often be in focus, as well any every bit of dust that gets on it. I'd just keep the lens clean.

I have an EX1, which has a 1/2" sensor (as opposed to the HVX's 1/3" sensor). Would it be subject to the same problem?
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#18 Stephen Williams

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Posted 30 May 2009 - 11:47 AM

I have an EX1, which has a 1/2" sensor (as opposed to the HVX's 1/3" sensor). Would it be subject to the same problem?


Hi,

Use the inbuilt ND filters, the only issue will be heavy back light that hits the lens filter.

Stephen
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#19 Jim Hyslop

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Posted 30 May 2009 - 12:05 PM

Use the inbuilt ND filters, the only issue will be heavy back light that hits the lens filter.

I was referring to the use of a clear glass filter to protect the lens itself.

Actually, using the inbuilt filters can produce problems with backfocus on at least some units; here's an article explaining the problem and solution (not a solution for the faint of heart, though!)
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#20 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 31 May 2009 - 03:05 AM

Actually, using the inbuilt filters can produce problems with backfocus on at least some units; here's an article explaining the problem and solution (not a solution for the faint of heart, though!)

Thanks for the link Jim, it explains a lot of the back focus issues I've been having with the EX1 and EX3. I've been using the FB adjust on these cameras for every shoot though, didn't even realize it was "hidden" maintenance menu option!

I had to laugh when I saw the pics in the article though - I have EX1 test footage showing the exact same problem with the exact same Videofax backyard background. Maybe there's just something about their bushes that makes the lens go out of focus. :lol:
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