Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by Dustincoc, May 3, 2008.
What do you use to clean lenses? Lense cleaner or just windex
As per the ETC Source Four manual you should use a diluted mixture of ammonia and water. Ideally you should use a lint free cloth, but paper towels are OK. This is OK to use on any lenses, but make sure you do it in a properly ventilated area, ammonia fumes are BAD.
All the unit's I'll be cleaning are 360Q's or older with a few S4 pars.
most window cleaners here are in fact a mixture of ammonia and and distilled water so look on the bottle and see but I use Windex, have done for many years and it works fine.
Good, because I've got a over 200 sets of lenses to clean this summer(along with bench focusing and other maintanence) and I was worrying that lense cleaning fluid would get a bit pricy.
I have a question - I had heard from a Community Theatre TD that Windex was bad to use because of the blue dye. Something about it slightly tinting the lenses blue. Is this true?
See this thread. I recommend only distilled water and a lint-free cloth.
Attached below are excerpts from two ETC documents, appearing to give conflicting information regarding ammonia. The first (FAQ) is dated 2001 and the other (Assembly Guide), 2007. Both documents say NOT to use ammonia on the reflectors.
Once again, it appears we need guidance from the ETC factory. (Is Tom Littrell a CB member (yet)?)
For 360Q Lenses and S4-PAR lenses, they're uncoated glass, so you can use any glass cleaner you like. I've even heard of running the lenses through a commercial dishwasher.
It says to use alcohol on the reclector and ammonia on the lenses.
The First says that. The Second, newer, discussing S4 ERS glass lenses only, says "Isopropyl alcohol, distilled water, or a 50%-50% mixture of each can be used to clean the glass surface." Again, this is for SourceFour™ ERS lenses only.
For the SourceFour PAR EA User's Manual, see attachment below.
One little note about lens and reflector cleaning:
If the lens/reflector is dirty to the point of being gritty or burnt, soak it in water first and try to wash off as much as possible without rubbing, then clean. You want to avoid any rubbing until the surface is fairly clean to avoid scratches. I once purchased some used lights (I think they were 3.5 inch Altmans) where the lenses had baked in grit and dirt. (had been in some club for years) I tried everything to get them clean and couldn't get the "brown" out. My final solution involved using something I will not mention for safety reasons. On the one that I had tried the conventional mix and a lot of rubbing, there was a haze of fine scratches in the lens. (still worked pretty good, but bugged me!)
I know Ship recommends putting them in a dishwasher and using JetDry. I cleaned mine in a dishwasher (but didn't use JetDry) and ended up with spots that I had to buff off with a paper towel. According to their ads, JetDry does NOT leave spots on glass so maybe that's the way to go. Either that or dry them with a cloth before they get the chance to air dry. Either way, I now have clean lenses in my 360Q's and with or without the buffing it will take some labor. Just putting them back in the fixture is hard to do without getting finger prints on them. Possibly using some powder-free latex gloves (usual disclaimer for any females regarding latex applies here) would help the situation.
I think you can get a bit carried away here, fingerprints on the lenses are not going to reduce the efficiency of the unit, now on movers it is worth extra care.
Yeah, that's true. The only reason I worried about it was because usually my fixtures are used in situations where fingerprints on the lenses could be noticed by patrons.
I'll have to check if we have a dish washer in the shop or one that we can get. I'd just take them down to the kitchen and run them through the big machine but that doesn't take jetdry and leaves a LOOOOOTTTTT!!! of spots on everything.
Using Windex and other commercial or home use cleaners can lead to some issues. A lot of those "streak - free" cleaners have silicone in them to keep the cleaner from spotting. It's not a horrible thing but honestly by a couple bottles of rubbing alcohol and some distilled water. Make your own cleaner, put it in a spray bottle < no don't steal one from the painters closet they hate that.> spray a bunch of lens' down and have a wipe down party. Paper towel break down pretty quickly and start leaving lint behind, I've found the best thing in the world is go to the grocery store and buy a pile of generic, bulk coffe filters. They are completly lint free and won't scratch your lens or reflectors.
Even better sneak down to the cafeteria and use their big commercial dish washers they clean at about 210 degrees F.
I wouldn't have to sneak down to the cafeteria since I work there. That machine leaves lot to be desired, plates with anything thicker than ketchup on them always need to go through more than once.
Yes, but one would hope your lenses don't have anything thicker than ketchup on them! But I'm bothered by the fact that your dishwasher leaves spots on everything. If you have to "de-spot" 200 sets of lenses, you'd be better off using 50/50 rubbing alcohol and distilled water and doing them by hand. The S4-PAR lenses I would run through the dishwasher, as spots won't affect them much, if at all, optically.
Hi Dustin - the latest User Manuals for Source Four fixtures state water, alcohol or 50-50 mix of each for Source Four glass. This was chosen for the latest version of the manual because - it is acceptable for all glass components - lenses, AR coated lenses, and the reflector. Other methods in older manuals will work as well for the specific component the manual is refering to. Don't forget the part about the soft, lint-free cloth. Happy cleaning.
Fixtures Product Manager
Thank you Tom, for that clarification. And for joining ControlBooth. Snagged another ETC-er!
Cotton baby diapers work well. If it was good enough for Ferris Bueller's best friend's (Cameron:Alan Ruck) father to rub his Ferrari...
Derek wins CB for the day folks. You can all go home and come back and try again tommorow.
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