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

Started May 20, 2012 | Discussions thread
Tom Hoots
OP Tom Hoots Veteran Member • Posts: 6,073
Re: I vacuumed the dust out of my SEL 18-200mm lens.

novak977 wrote:

Any fear that the too powerful suction would damage the construction/structure of the lens or misalign optical elements and lead to bad focusing on, say, one side?

PLENTY of fear. I don't think I'll be able to get out of the house today to do some "real testing," but I should be able to do that tomorrow. I've been able to ascertain that the lens basically "works" just fine, but I need to do some real specific testing to make sure its optical qualities are OK.

I don't have any idea of how "robust" the construction of the internal elements might be, but you really don't hear anything rattling around inside the lens -- and any lens has to withstand the rigors of international shipping, and so on. Plus, to what extent do you suppose anything in there is "hand tuned" during the manufacturing process -- I sure don't expect that anything like that happens for mass-market lenses like these. So, I imagine that things can't be too fragile in there -- quite the opposite, they need to be built to withstand a certain amount of abuse without coming out of adjustment.

But make no mistake: Nothing "gentle" worked -- at all -- in terms of actually getting the big chunks to break loose. Nothing less than the full suction of a powerful vacuum worked, and the suction would have crashed the extended lens into its fully closed position, if I hadn't been holding it steady. So, I'm talking about a LOT of powerful suction going through the lens.

If I had to do it all over again, I would have taken a few very specific test shots prior to touching the lens in any way, and then repeating those shots after getting the job done. But, all I can do at this point is to go out and shoot a bunch of different shots that might expose any problems, and see what happens.

Tom Hoots

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