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Thread: Will adhesive tape spoil the lens coating?

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    Will adhesive tape spoil the lens coating?

    Hi, i spotted some oil stains on the back element of my lens. I tried to clean it off using lens cloth with a little bit of warm water, but it just didn't go away, it smudged into bigger area.

    I'm thinking of using adhesive tape to stick out the oil stain. Will this method spoil the lens coating?

    Thanks.

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    Re: Will adhesive tape spoil the lens coating?

    Why would you want to do that? It won't remove the splotch, for one thing.

    Use a tiny drop of lens cleaning solution on the proper lens tissue. Or Eclipse on a Pec pad. Even a micro fiber cloth...

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    Re: Will adhesive tape spoil the lens coating?

    yes i know, but would you answer my question?

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    Re: Will adhesive tape spoil the lens coating?

    It is possible that it would leave a residue - - as double neg suggest use lens cleaner or isopropanol (similar if not same) and a lens tissue. This will act as a solvent for the oil.
    What's you reason for using tape?

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    Re: Will adhesive tape spoil the lens coating?

    Quote Originally Posted by edftwin View Post
    yes i know, but would you answer my question?
    To directly answer your question - no, tape should not hurt the lens coating. It won't, say, "peel off" or anything like that.

    But you do risk leaving residue behind, which will be a lot more difficult to remove than an oily splotch, which as mentioned - tape won't remove in the first place.

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    Re: Will adhesive tape spoil the lens coating?

    Quote Originally Posted by edftwin View Post
    Hi, i spotted some oil stains on the back element of my lens. I tried to clean it off using lens cloth with a little bit of warm water, but it just didn't go away, it smudged into bigger area.

    I'm thinking of using adhesive tape to stick out the oil stain. Will this method spoil the lens coating?

    Thanks.
    Hi There
    I think we're relying on you to find out whether it hurts it . . . .and tell us . . . then we'll all know!

    all the best

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: Will adhesive tape spoil the lens coating?

    Tape (at least most normal tape) won't do a good job of removing the oil. For what little it's worth, as long as you only apply it over the oily areas, the oil will probably do a pretty decent job of keeping the tape from leaving any residue behind though. The problem will arise when/if you stick the tape to parts of the lens that are currently clean (but, that's difficult to avoid).

    While the glue on the tape won't peel off the coating, it stays sticky by containing solvent. Most soft/flexible plastic (like the backing of the tape) stays soft by containing some solvents as well. I don't know exactly what solvents are used in any particular brand of tape, but they're clearly not going to do the lens/coating any good.

    Especially of they're left there very long, they may well do some harm. For comparison, look at a piece of paper that was taped together a long time ago. The tape will be hard, the glue no longer sticky, and (most importantly) the paper under the tape much more yellowed than the rest.

    Bottom line: this will do no good. The best you can hope for is to minimize the damage it causes (and to truly minimize it, just don't do it).

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    Re: Will adhesive tape spoil the lens coating?

    Quote Originally Posted by jcoffin View Post
    Tape (at least most normal tape) won't do a good job of removing the oil. For what little it's worth, as long as you only apply it over the oily areas, the oil will probably do a pretty decent job of keeping the tape from leaving any residue behind though. The problem will arise when/if you stick the tape to parts of the lens that are currently clean (but, that's difficult to avoid).

    While the glue on the tape won't peel off the coating, it stays sticky by containing solvent. Most soft/flexible plastic (like the backing of the tape) stays soft by containing some solvents as well. I don't know exactly what solvents are used in any particular brand of tape, but they're clearly not going to do the lens/coating any good.

    Especially of they're left there very long, they may well do some harm. For comparison, look at a piece of paper that was taped together a long time ago. The tape will be hard, the glue no longer sticky, and (most importantly) the paper under the tape much more yellowed than the rest.

    Bottom line: this will do no good. The best you can hope for is to minimize the damage it causes (and to truly minimize it, just don't do it).

    The OP made no mention of the age of the lens...older coatings are a bit fragile and indeed could be "lifted" by an adhesive.

    How anyone would mess with glass is beyond my understanding....

    Film, sensors and electronics can change...silica and light should be sacrosanct....=8>)

    Bob

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    Re: Will adhesive tape spoil the lens coating?

    The OP will take from all this what he wants to. I have the feeling he wanted approval for the tape idea. I would not do it, and if some Eclipse and a pec pad did not work, I would have the lens repaired/cleaned professionally.
    Alan

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    Re: Will adhesive tape spoil the lens coating?

    Quote Originally Posted by weinschela View Post
    The OP will take from all this what he wants to. I have the feeling he wanted approval for the tape idea. I would not do it, and if some Eclipse and a pec pad did not work, I would have the lens repaired/cleaned professionally.
    IN total agreement.

    Bob

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    Re: Will adhesive tape spoil the lens coating?

    "You can lead a horse to water..."

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    Re: Will adhesive tape spoil the lens coating?

    I'd avoid duct tape personally or any tape come to think of it! As already mentioned, either do the job properly or get it professionally cleaned. You'll definitely appreciate it later particularly if the tape residue does cause any unexpected issues.

    In THEORY you'd probably be fine although you could just make the whole situation worse and expensive to fix.
    Last edited by GrahamWelland; 30th November 2011 at 03:49.
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    Re: Will adhesive tape spoil the lens coating?

    I can't really see what tape is supposed to do. It would lift dust, it would lift glue debris from other tape, but oil will at best coat the tape and spread the oil around, or worst case if the oil is a petroleum based product disolve the glue on the tape making it all worse.

    A mild detergent like shampoo mixed with water and used on a barely damp lens cloth may work if proper lens cleaning fluid isn't close by. But as has been said, I don't think the OP wanted to hear alternative methods, just if tape would damage the coating, which it probably wouldn't.

    Steve

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    Re: Will adhesive tape spoil the lens coating?

    The tape won't even stick to the oil. How can it remove it?

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    Re: Will adhesive tape spoil the lens coating?

    Adhesive tape is a terrible idea. Besides the fact that it won't help, it will leave little bits of goo adhering to the lens which in fact is harder to remove than oil.

    Other things to avoid include scotch-brite, crocus cloth, and abrasive mesh.

    Seriously, oil is not that difficult to remove, there are several solutions.
    First is simply a microfiber cloth which has an affinity for oil an often will remove it completely.
    Second are the solvents available:
    Eclipse: mostly methanol which has limited ability to clean some oils.
    ROR (Residual Oil Cleaner): Contains a bit of ammonia I think which does a good job in cleaning off oil, but which might leave a haze which could be cleaned off with any water or methanol based cleaner.

    -bob

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    Re: Will adhesive tape spoil the lens coating?

    Modern lens coatings aren't hurt by painters masking tape in my experience (old lens I just tried it on) If there is any residue Eclipse will get it off.

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    Re: Will adhesive tape spoil the lens coating?

    Efficacy on oil Daniel?

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    Re: Will adhesive tape spoil the lens coating?

    A pot scrubbing pad or sand paper may be a better option...

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    Re: Will adhesive tape spoil the lens coating?


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    Re: Will adhesive tape spoil the lens coating?

    Bob: efficacy, oil should be dissolved by a methanol/ethanol solvent or detergent on lens coatings. I imagine the mild adhesive on tape would do sweet F all.

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    Re: Will adhesive tape spoil the lens coating?

    FWIW - I just damaged the front element of my 90mm Elmarit-M. At least I'll take the blame for it but I have no idea what happened. I noticed something on the front element, tried microfiber cloth and light moisture (breath fog) with no effect, then tried an alcohol swab. Whatever was on the lens the combination of that and the alcohol swab took the coating right off. I still have no idea how whatever it was got on there as I've always had an IRCut filter on the lens. Fortunately the lens still seems to perform well, at least it has in the limited testing I've done so far. I suspect I'll notice the lack of coating when a really, really nice photo is spoiled... <sigh>

    Bruce

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    Re: Will adhesive tape spoil the lens coating?

    Hi, appreciate the answers from you guys, i got the oil cleaned off using lens cleaner, but it left smudges on the surface which i cant get rid of.

    Hi Bruce, how do you know that the coating of your lens has been damaged?
    Is there any way to confirm this?


    Quote Originally Posted by brucek View Post
    FWIW - I just damaged the front element of my 90mm Elmarit-M. At least I'll take the blame for it but I have no idea what happened. I noticed something on the front element, tried microfiber cloth and light moisture (breath fog) with no effect, then tried an alcohol swab. Whatever was on the lens the combination of that and the alcohol swab took the coating right off. I still have no idea how whatever it was got on there as I've always had an IRCut filter on the lens. Fortunately the lens still seems to perform well, at least it has in the limited testing I've done so far. I suspect I'll notice the lack of coating when a really, really nice photo is spoiled... <sigh>

    Bruce

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    Re: Will adhesive tape spoil the lens coating?

    I am standing in a puddle of gas on the side of the road. Would this be a good time to light a highway flare?

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    Re: Will adhesive tape spoil the lens coating?

    edftwin - so what did you use in the end?

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    Re: Will adhesive tape spoil the lens coating?

    A trick reportedly coming from Nikon lens engineers in Japan is to smear the spot with skin grease from your nose or forehead, then remove it with a microfiber cloth.
    Monochrome: http://mochro.com

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    Re: Will adhesive tape spoil the lens coating?

    You might want to try a LensPen Bruce, assuming its just a spot of coating you think has come off. Sometimes combinations of dirt and cleaning fluid can 'set' contamination into something harder that makes it look like a coating mark. I use a LensPen for those occasions if it is a modern lens with a tough coating like your Elmarit, but would avoid it with older softer coated lenses.

    Steve

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    Re: Will adhesive tape spoil the lens coating?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lars Vinberg View Post
    A trick reportedly coming from Nikon lens engineers in Japan is to smear the spot with skin grease from your nose or forehead, then remove it with a microfiber cloth.
    Although I have never done that, I can appreciate the basic principle behind it:
    "like dissolves like".

    Normally, to remove finger/nose grease I use a small amount of (~) neutral pH, non-ionic detergent and plenty of tepid water to get rid of it all.

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    Re: Will adhesive tape spoil the lens coating?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    Normally, to remove finger/nose grease I use a small amount of (~) neutral pH, non-ionic detergent and plenty of tepid water to get rid of it all.
    But how practical is it to wash your face and hands every time you pick up the camera...

    Last edited by Shashin; 2nd December 2011 at 06:32.

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    Re: Will adhesive tape spoil the lens coating?



    Depends on the gear I use. If it is the regularly used stuff, it gets thrown around and really used. If it is an expensive fondler stuff, out comes the soft cotton gloves and other protective measures.

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    Re: Will adhesive tape spoil the lens coating?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vincent Goetz View Post
    I am standing in a puddle of gas on the side of the road. Would this be a good time to light a highway flare?
    "Heheh ugh, heheh. Yeah. Um. Heh. FIRE!"

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    Re: Will adhesive tape spoil the lens coating?

    i borrowed a bottle of zeiss fluid from a friend and cleaned it with lens tissue.

    Is lux 35 pre asph coating soft?

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    Re: Will adhesive tape spoil the lens coating?

    Quote Originally Posted by edftwin View Post
    Hi Bruce, how do you know that the coating of your lens has been damaged?
    Is there any way to confirm this?
    I sent the lens to Leica NJ and they returned it with a note saying the lens coating was damaged.

    When you look at the lens you can see a bright "blob" with a different form of reflection on the lens surface. It almost looks mirrorlike. Nothing I have used has made it any better. Lens pen, lens cleaner, etc. I'm willing to try (almost) anything but it seems permanent.

    It's also possible that the gnomes in NJ took one look at it and sent it back without really trying anything.

    Bruce

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    Re: Will adhesive tape spoil the lens coating?

    Quote Originally Posted by brucek View Post
    It's also possible that the gnomes in NJ took one look at it and sent it back without really trying anything.

    Bruce
    That actually wouldn't surprise me at all. Try Sherry Krauter or Don Goldberg as they'll give you a considered opinion. Both have been great for me in the past, Sherry for repairs and Don for setup & calibration.
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

    As Oscar Wilde said, "my tastes are simple, I only like the best"

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    Re: Will adhesive tape spoil the lens coating?

    Graham: Thanks! I'll give them a try.

    In the meantime I've tried a few other liquids and still no luck.

    Bruce

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    Re: Will adhesive tape spoil the lens coating?

    I doubt that it would damage coating in the short term but I know for sure it can if left on. I once bought a nice little chrome ring 39mm Leica UV filter that someone had unwisely stuck a little round dot price tag on. And had positioned it on the front of the glass element. When I got it home I found that the coating was gone under the dot after I removed it. It ruined the filter.

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