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Old 11-14-2016, 11:33 AM
Steelpier

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Cleaning antique scopes



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I have a Pecar Berlin 6 x 59 scope that has mold inside the 26 mm tube and on the inside of the objective lense, most likely due to the fact that these scopes were not gas filled. Whatever was in the air during assembly is inside the scope. I was thinking of swabbing the inside of the tube with a bleach/water mixture but don't want to take any chances of damaging the scope. Any guidance would be appreciated.
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Old 11-14-2016, 12:28 PM
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Bleach won't harm the glass, but you'd need to keep it off any painted or brass surface and if the glass is coated it could do major damage to the coating. Instead, I would use straight rubbing alcohol (91%) without additives to clean the glass lenses.
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Old 11-14-2016, 12:50 PM
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You might want to consider Hydrogen Peroxide instead of the bleach.
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Old 11-14-2016, 12:59 PM
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Bleach will etch glass, my mother in law wanted Really clean windows and bleached the glass on the back of the house. 40 feet of streaked glass was the result.
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Old 11-14-2016, 01:23 PM
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Midway has a cleaning kit with brush, fluid and tissues, or get the same at a camera shop.
I just cleaned up a Weaver B4, it did not have mold growing in it, it was fogged from condensation.
The first lens coating was called "hard coating" started sometime before WW1.
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Old 11-14-2016, 02:54 PM
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You can buy lens cleaning fluid or pre-moistened lens cleaning tissues at most anywhere that sells glasses or pharmacies. Don't use paper towels whatever you do.
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Old 11-14-2016, 06:10 PM
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The fungus might be between the individual glass elements, if the optics are roughly WW II vintage or earlier. Canada balsam was used as an optical adhesive. Fungus won't grow on something unless there is a food source. Canada balsam was an excellent food source, especially if there was/is moisture present.

I've dealt with vintage camera lenses "infected" with fungus. Sometimes it is better to find a replacement. 91 percent IPA is a good start.
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Old 11-15-2016, 01:01 PM
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I'm not sure of the age. The serial # is 2039 but I can't find info on Berlins. All of the elements are solid glass. I took the fungus off with lenses cleaning solution but might try the 91% iso alcohol on the inside of the tube.
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Old 11-15-2016, 02:38 PM
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I would first disinfect the metal tube by placing it at 340 degrees in the oven for one hour. That will kill everything in it. You can then swab it out with the IPA.
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