Fine sand -- cleaning an oly 12-40

Started Aug 23, 2014 | Discussions thread
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GAitken Regular Member • Posts: 274
Fine sand -- cleaning an oly 12-40
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Thought I would post this in case it might be helpful to others.

I recently spent a couple of months in Namibia, the world of sand.  Fine sand.  Really fine sand.  I usually had the 12-40 / f2.8 on the em1, and despite a lot of care when switching lenses and shooting, at one point it suddenly sounded like 40 grit sandpaper was being used whenever I zoomed or manually focused.

So much for weather sealing.  There might not be moisture and sand getting *inside* the lens, but that doesn't mean it won't go in the small space between the rotating rings and the main lens barrel.  I didn't want to take the lens off the body and break that seal because I don't think the rear lens cap makes a weather-tight seal.

My first idea was to try and flush the fine stuff out.  That was not particularly successful; helped a little but did not come close to doing the job.  It may have been somewhat detrimental, in that now the sand / dust was damp.  However, it may have also helped, in that it tended to make the sand / dust clump together and make something large enough to remove.  I ended up getting it running smoothly again by very patiently using strips (1/8" - 1/4" or so wide) of paper, holding them by one end and running them up the gap between  the ring and the camera body, and then gently working them around the lens with a slight downward wiping motion.  When doing this the camera and lens were held such that gravity was working in my favor and the material would want to fall out.  This worked the dust / sand gradually to the exposed edge of the ring where it would fall out or I could pick or blow it out.

It took a half hour of patient repeats of this process to get "all" the material out, but it worked.

The lens hood was constantly a problem -- really find sand / dust would make it not want to twist all the way on or off.  I was constantly wiping with a damp cloth or blowing in the grooves or using a sharpish tool to pick out offending particles.  But that was just a minor annoyance one got used to.

 GAitken's gear list:GAitken's gear list
Olympus OM-D E-M5 Olympus E-M1 II Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 75-300mm 1:4.8-6.7 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12mm 1:2 Olympus 12-40mm F2.8 Pro +2 more
Olympus E-M1
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