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  #1  
Old 20th August 2014, 02:28 PM
alexmuir alexmuir is offline
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Default Ensign Special Ranger

I have one of these, and I have noticed that the lens has a lot of dirt or other markings on it. I'm keen to have a go at cleaning it myself. It is the 105mm Ensar Anastigmat in an Epsilon shutter. It looks like removal of a retaining ring behind the lens should release the whole assembly from the camera. The ring has either two,or four indents on its outer edge. I presume these are for a turning tool? The retainer is quite close to, and partially covered by the bellows material. Is there a technique to avoid damage, or is it a case of taking extreme care? Once the lens is off the camera, I'm fairly sure I can at least improve its clarity. I wouldn't want to render the camera useless, however if attempting this is likely to lead to disaster! Any advice would be appreciated.
Alex
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Old 20th August 2014, 06:11 PM
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Xpres Xpres is offline
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I usually loosen it with a lens spanner and then undo it a quarter turn at a time with the tip if a screwdriver. A long nose... so to speak... lens spanner would help as you'd be able to open the bellows some.
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Old 20th August 2014, 09:31 PM
alexmuir alexmuir is offline
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Thanks. I have a device for removing the backs of watches which has adjustable pins. I will give it a try if I can get it to reach far enough into the bellows. It may be sufficient to loosen the ring until I can turn it with a screwdriver.
Alex
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Old 20th August 2014, 09:54 PM
Steven Steven is offline
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Hi Alex,

I do a*lot* of optic cleaning in my day job.

My best advice is: Don't dismantle anything you don't really need to dismantle. Clean only that which really needs cleaning. Blow off any loose dust you can, first. Use a blower brush or can of air. Gently brush off anything else with a really soft brush. Then... Clean wet - I mean use cleaning fluid. Use either cotton wool or lens tisdue but gently, don't rub and don't reuse the tissue or cotton, wipe over once, discarde, get another one.

The reason for this is that most lenses are ruined by scratching. Lens cloths are the invention of the devil. Too expensive to throw away, they get reused, dry, and so any grit or dirt is constantly rubbed back into the delicate glass surface better to by a big bag of cotton wool from the chemist (very cheap) - use once and discard. It is important to blow and brush off any loose particles as these may be gritty. You don't want to make a grinding paste out of lens cleaner and grit!

It is difficult to get decent solvents these days due to health and safety laws and such.... Propriety lens cleaners these days are mostly a drop of detergent and water. They won't do any harm - but aren't great either. Ethanol or propanol is better if you can get it. Alcohol in the form of methylated spirits or surgical spirits (rubbing alcohol to the Americans) is ok... But the stuff they put in to stop folk drinking it can sometimes leave streaks or a deposit.
Never use acetone!!! This is a great glass cleaner... But is also a great solvent of paint, glue, the balsam that cements lenses together....

If you can remove elements from the camera - or even better from the lens barrel and you are struggling to get off grime - warm water and washing up liquid won't hurt the glass at all. (Your shutter wouldn't appreciate it so much ;-) )


As for removing the lens assembly... Should be easy to get at with the back open but the bellows closed. The "traditional" way is to cross over two screwdrivers or use long nose pliers. Part of the tradition is that you then slip and scrap the lens by scratching it. You can buy proper face spanners on eBay and amazon. Until you get one.... Don't do it!!!!
But is it necessary?
Are you sure you can't just unscrew the rear element and leave the barrel / shutter assembly behind? I have an embarrassingly large collection of folding 6 x 6 cameras and most of them you can unscrew the rear element this way. If it is tight then use a rubber bung or a champagne cork.

Just my two penneth.
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Old 20th August 2014, 11:40 PM
alexmuir alexmuir is offline
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Hi Steven and thanks for the advice. I will try to remove the rear element without dismantling, although it doesn't appear to have anything to locate a tool. I can try a rubber bung on the rim. I don't need to have a perfect lens, but would prefer it to be cleaner than it is. Thanks for your glass cleaning tips which will undoubtedly help with this, and future projects.
Alex
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  #6  
Old 21st August 2014, 09:37 AM
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Eclipse drops on a PEC PAD is safe and very effective. Go gently and if it's really dirty do the outer edges of the lens first, discard the PEC PAD then do the whole lens with another PEC PAD with the drops of Eclipse finishing by lifting the PEC PAD off at the edge not the centre of the lens.

I got mine from eBay.

richard
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Old 21st August 2014, 09:39 AM
Lostlabours Lostlabours is offline
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A wet clean works wonders





Ian
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  #8  
Old 21st August 2014, 11:54 AM
alexmuir alexmuir is offline
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It's not quite as bad as that!! I am confident that it will be improved. I have som PEC pads which I find to be very useful. I hope to get the work underway this evening.
Alex
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Old 21st August 2014, 08:19 PM
alexmuir alexmuir is offline
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Lens cleaned and looking a lot better, although there seems to be quite a bit of coating loss on the inner surface of the rear group. I managed to remove the rear group, as suggested. This gave access to the rear of the front group via the shutter on 'T' setting. It's now back together, and I will try it out soon. Although it does 6x9, I'll probably use it for 6x6 as that's the max negative I can enlarge. Thanks for all the helpful suggestions and advice. The before and after shots in Ian's post are superb. I'm now looking for something similar, although there isn't much in old large format equipment on offer up here.
Alex.
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  #10  
Old 22nd August 2014, 06:50 AM
Richard Gould Richard Gould is offline
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Alex, I doubt it's coating loss as, as far I am aware, the Ensar lens was un coated, at least, every sample I have seen, and I have seen a few, have all been uncoated, but they are no mean performers, they need stopping down to 5.6 or better and produce pretty good negatives, looking forward to hearing how it goes,
Richard
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