Cleaning Ground Glass

Discussion in 'Medium Format' started by luke_cobrae, Jan 16, 2010.

  1. My glass in my WLF is driving me nuts! I've tried the brush, the blower and have had no luck. I had heard you really shouldn't touch the glass, but is this really true? Anyone have any recommendations of cleaning the Ground Glass on this camera? I have specks, spots, oil spots from finger prints etc.
  2. You can easily clean your ground glass with a soft cloth (not paper) and a non-solvent cleaner like Glass-Plus or Windex. Just make sure you wipe in a gentle circular motion.
  3. I assume you can remove it from the camera, in which case try some mild washing up liquid with a clear water rinse, only lukewarm water mind you. I treat a lot of my stubborn filters in this way and it usually works a treat.
    Ground glass is very easily susceptible to pressure marks, so handle with the utmost care, fingermarks on lens glass, filters, screens etc is a crime for which your work has to pay the price.
  4. Luke, Adrian brings up a good point.
    Have you removed the ground glass from your camera?
    Sounds to me like you only cleaned one side. (The gloss side and not the dull side)
  5. I have a bronica SQ-ai, and it can be removed with tweesers, I was just leery about touching it before I found out some opinions.
  6. All the ground glass and viewing screens I have cleaned from my LF cameras and Rolleiflex have cleaned up easily in warm water. You need a clean soft cloth to blot some of the water off and then let them air dry. All my grid lines have stood up to the wetness so I am guessing they are mostly made from some ink or paint that doesn't dissolve in water.
  7. Bronica SQ-Ai focus screens are plastic and fragile. If you can't resist scrubbing it, avoid the textured underside and only deal with smooth top surface. It will collect dust if you use a WLF, so just remove the finder and blow off the dust. Repeated removal and "cleaning" virtually guarantees scratches and permanent marks to the textured underside. Look past the spots and remember that these screens are out of production.
  8. It depends whether your screen is really ground glass, or molded plastic. A glass screen can be manhandled to your heart's content, but plastic ones scratch pretty easily... better to keep them clean than to keep cleaning them.
  9. Most ground glass (depending on the type) is not really susceptible to damage by handling it with your fingers, but I would wash the oil off your hands first.
  10. I cleaned it, no problems, I didn't scrub it but just ran it under warm water with some diluted dish soap and blotted and left it to air dry. It was dirty from the previous owner who sold it to me. I, frequently maintain my equipment.
    Thanks for all the info!

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