I vacuumed the dust out of my SEL 18-200mm lens.

Started May 20, 2012 | Discussions
Tom Hoots
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Re: brilliant post. Any less-than-$200 dollar vacuum that would work?
In reply to RussellInCincinnati, May 24, 2012

RussellInCincinnati wrote:

Wonder what the least expensive vacuum cleaner is, that has the same strong suction as the $200 dollar DataVac.

I would try anything that has a cord (my battery-powered Dyson coughed up blood when I tried it), and that'll fit a standard 1-1/4-inch hose onto it. ShopVacs, upright floor vacuums with the ability to attach a hose, and so on.

Tom Hoots
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Tom Hoots
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Re: No vacuum cleaner needed at all.....
In reply to Dirk W, May 24, 2012

Dirk W wrote:

I very efficiently sucked the dust out just with my mouth, strongly breathing in (having a cloth over the lens opening to catch the dust). It is important to repeat that some times with different zoom lengths.

I suppose that all "depends" -- I really vacuumed the holy heck out of my 18-200mm before the two big, offending chunks of dust finally broke loose. Indeed, extending and retracting the lens while vacuuming is also advisable. But anything short of a powerful vacuum wouldn't have taken care of my situation.

Tom Hoots
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MBRuss
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Re: No vacuum cleaner needed at all.....
In reply to Tom Hoots, May 24, 2012

Tom Hoots wrote:

Dirk W wrote:

I very efficiently sucked the dust out just with my mouth, strongly breathing in (having a cloth over the lens opening to catch the dust). It is important to repeat that some times with different zoom lengths.

I suppose that all "depends" -- I really vacuumed the holy heck out of my 18-200mm before the two big, offending chunks of dust finally broke loose. Indeed, extending and retracting the lens while vacuuming is also advisable. But anything short of a powerful vacuum wouldn't have taken care of my situation.

Plus I'd be weary of breathing moisture into the lens. At least with the vacuum you're not going to accidentally breathe back towards it.

Also, as weird as vacuuming out a lens might look, it probably doesn't look anywhere near as silly as heavily inhaling from your lens like it's some kind of new-fangled bong...!

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chromnd
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YES! It works! - Thank you so much!
In reply to Tom Hoots, May 24, 2012

I had some pretty nasty dust inside my SEL18200 so I just gave it a try.

At first, it did not really work, because I had some concerns, so I turned the power of my vacuum cleaner down to reduce the force.

After a few minutes vacuuming and no notable change concerning the dust inside, I just decided to go on full power. The force was so strong that I barely could adjust the focal length anymore, so I first reeled-out the lens, then attached the vacuum cleaner at the backside of the lens and slowly reduced focal length to change the air-stream inside - pretty much force. I repeated this about 5 times and all the visible dust was all gone!

I took some test shots afterwards and did not notice any malfunction on strange behavior of the lens. Tomorrow I will get out in the bright sun and try some nice small aperture shots.
So thanks again for this very good hint!

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Dirk W
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Re: No vacuum cleaner needed at all.....
In reply to MBRuss, May 24, 2012

I closed all doors and curtains before I started this, it sure looks extremely weird. But I managed to control if I was breathing in or out, and neither started coughing into the lens or so.

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BoosAngel
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Re: brilliant post. Any less-than-$200 dollar vacuum that would work?
In reply to no soup, Jan 17, 2013

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Keit ll
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Re: brilliant post. Any less-than-$200 dollar vacuum that would work?
In reply to BoosAngel, Jan 17, 2013

I think that greater emphasis needs to be placed on the possibility of sucking dust into the lens !  That is the way in which dust gets into the lens in the first place.

I would suggest placing a vacuumed microfibre cloth around the lens when performing these procedures having first vacuumed the general exterior of the lens. Houshold interiors abound in small particles of dust shed from carpets & textiles & if you were unlucky you could end up with more lens dust than you started with ?

Damp air generally is less dusty than dry air but is more likely to encourage lens fungus growth - nothing is ever simple is it ?

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Keith C

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baltimorecaesar
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Re: I vacuumed the dust out of my SEL 18-200mm lens.
In reply to Tom Hoots, Jan 17, 2013

Thanks ass!  Horrible advice.  I just did this with an old Minolta lens, and the vacuum created a spacial vortex which spawned a wormhole.  The lens imploded into another dimension, and my Dyson was crushed into a perfect 1" sphere.  I'll not be trying this again anytime soon.  Time to buy a new Dyson.

FYI:  I have a 5 month old who is teething and just joined the anti-sleep movement.

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Photozopia
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O Ring?
In reply to Tom Hoots, Jan 17, 2013

Although obviously not for the Nex, this project on Kickstarter seems to be on to something:

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/77243737/dust-donuttm-add-a-weather-seal-to-the-mount-of-an/?ref=kicktraq

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Tom Hoots
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Re: O Ring?
In reply to Photozopia, Jan 17, 2013

Photozopia wrote:

Although obviously not for the Nex, this project on Kickstarter seems to be on to something:

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/77243737/dust-donuttm-add-a-weather-seal-to-the-mount-of-an/?ref=kicktraq

In the meantime, this kit, available from REI, has two rubber O-rings that will fit perfectly into the "gap" between any NEX lens and the lens mount:

http://www.rei.com/product/407235/msr-water-filter-maintenance-kit

I don't think you can find anything that will fit as well as the O-rings included in this kit will.

And, it's very obvious that dust gets into the lens via this gap.  When you try to vacuum dust out anywhere else around the lens, nothing happens.  It'll only come out if you vacuum from the bottom of the lens.  Thus, that's how the dust has to be getting in there.  And hopefully keeping something on there to close that gap will help.

Tom Hoots
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Photozopia
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Re: O Ring?
In reply to Tom Hoots, Jan 17, 2013

Item not available in UK so can't comment on it's efficiency or value for money

As an ex-engineer the Kickstarter project looks good as it possesses a moulded ridged form (unlike a plain o-ring) which might prevent potential distortion if an oversized, or too rigid, an o-ring form was used.

Might be nice if the idea kickstart idea was expanded to Nex - or other manufacturer's ranges - in the future.

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romicva
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Re: O Ring?
In reply to Tom Hoots, Jan 17, 2013

Great info all around. Much appreciated.

I do have a question, what size ring would fit an A mount body/lens?

Thank you in advance.

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LifeIsAVerb
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Re: I vacuumed the dust out of my SEL 18-200mm lens.
In reply to Tom Hoots, Jan 17, 2013

Tom Hoots wrote:

Folks,

I had plenty of dust in my NEX 18-200mm lens, with a couple of prominently large chunks that just bothered the heck out of me. And yes, I took a vacuum cleaner to it, and in the end I was 100% successful -- the dust is gone. Here's my story:

In the end, I'm thrilled. Gosh, it seems like if the dust could get in there somehow, you ought to be able to vacuum it out of there somehow. And it sure worked for me.

Tom Hoots
http://thoots.zenfolio.com
http://www.dpreview.com/galleries/4330317199/albums

Wow, that story really sucks!  {8^)

Seriously, though, nice work!

I can see where this could spark a whole adapter industry to fit different vacuum hoses to different lenses.

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evoprox
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Re: brilliant post. Any less-than-$200 dollar vacuum that would work?
In reply to Keit ll, Apr 8, 2013

Keit ll wrote:

I think that greater emphasis needs to be placed on the possibility of sucking dust into the lens !  That is the way in which dust gets into the lens in the first place.

Exactly and pretty hard to find the right conditions.

I would suggest placing a vacuumed microfibre cloth around the lens when performing these procedures having first vacuumed the general exterior of the lens. Houshold interiors abound in small particles of dust shed from carpets & textiles & if you were unlucky you could end up with more lens dust than you started with ?

Damp air generally is less dusty than dry air but is more likely to encourage lens fungus growth - nothing is ever simple is it ?

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Keith C

I had four SEL1855 and they were gathering dust like no other lens I've owned before and I don't live in the Sahara or central China. My first copy, unfortunately the sharpest of the bunch by far, was pretty much unuseable after about 5 months of extensive use and I didn't need to stop that sucker down to f22, the specks already showed up when shot wide open ... yuk. Last night I spent some serious time to  retouch the sky in one of those shots to use it in a publication. This sucks.

Also, my N5n gathered WAY more dust on the sensor than my two N5 or my two N7, even though I didn't shoot it that often.

Thanks for the great thread. +1

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joe talks photography
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Re: brilliant post. Any less-than-$200 dollar vacuum that would work?
In reply to BoosAngel, Apr 10, 2013

BoosAngel wrote:

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*Cherish every minute and be kind to others because life is short and our time is to precious to waste.*

On receiving a Canon FD 24 2.8 SSC this past week (which had reported light dust flecks on rear elements) I considered vacuuming the lens. After all, lens was fairly inexpensive so if something went awry I could live with it. I then came across this thread started by Tom.

Today, I vacuumed my lens with my $79 vacuum. Lens is now dust-free.

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Joe

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lenshoarder
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Re: I vacuumed the dust out of my SEL 18-200mm lens.
In reply to Tom Hoots, Apr 10, 2013

Yes, this does work.  It's an old technique to get dust out of a lens.  I'm surprised that so many people haven't heard of it before.

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saintz
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Re: I vacuumed the dust out of my SEL 18-200mm lens.
In reply to Tom Hoots, Apr 10, 2013

Out of curiosity, how often do you shoot at high enough aperture to notice the dust? I would think at f22 you'd have more issues with softness from diffraction than the dust spots.

I understand the approach, though, and very clever. I've taken apart several lenses to clean dust out, even if some of them were more a nuisance than an actual problem that could be seen in pictures.

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ghengii
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Re: brilliant post. Any less-than-$200 dollar vacuum that would work?
In reply to Keit ll, Sep 7, 2013

Keit ll wrote:

I think that greater emphasis needs to be placed on the possibility of sucking dust into the lens ! That is the way in which dust gets into the lens in the first place.

I would suggest placing a vacuumed microfibre cloth around the lens when performing these procedures having first vacuumed the general exterior of the lens. Houshold interiors abound in small particles of dust shed from carpets & textiles & if you were unlucky you could end up with more lens dust than you started with

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Keith C

you are dead right, the air being sucked out must be replaced and it will be drawn in through the joint at the focus ring on the lens, so a microfilter is a great idea

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Keit ll
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Re: brilliant post. Any less-than-$200 dollar vacuum that would work?
In reply to ghengii, Sep 7, 2013

Tom who used to be a great supporter & enthusiastic NEX owner can now be found on the Canon forum supporting the EOS-M...

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Keith C

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Stewart Cocker
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Re: I vacuumed the dust out of my SEL 18-200mm lens.
In reply to Tom Hoots, 6 months ago

Just worked for me great idea, thank you! moving my KonicaMinolta 18-200 to about half zoom seemed to get rid of the stubborn bits.

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