I just received a bolex 16mm film camera from someone that didn't want it anymore. Everything seems to be working fine except that the lenses have some mold and muck on them. What is the best way to clean them? Can i clean them myself or do i need to send it away? Anyone have any experience with it? Let me know.
Great to see that someone's planning to shoot actual film. If I hear one more person say "I'm planning to film so-and-so with my XL1" or "We're shooting this film with our Sony such-and-such" I'm gonna have an attack of some kind. That's video, not film.
As for your lenses, if it's actually mold, hmmmm... I dunno. But if what you see as mold is actually fungus then you have a different problem. That might require a pro to take care of, as the fungus can often creep into the lens and get between the elements themselves.
As for the "muck"... try cleaning them with Glass Plus. Yes, plain-old-buy-it-at-the-grocery-store-for-your-windows Glass Plus. But use Glass Plus and only Glass Plus. Believe it or not, this is what many bigshot ASC cinematographers swear by and use on lenses that cost a mint every day. This info came about several years ago when Olympus was testing different lens coatings and how they held up to different kinds of cleaners... and after a fair bit of testing with various lenses and various chemicals, it was discovered that humble off-the-shelf Glass Plus was one of the few products that would never harm any coatings and did a good job of cleaning. I would put a few drops on a lens, let it coat, then first use a cotton swab to try to loosen the gunk. Repeat. Maybe several times. Finally give them a final cleaning with the Glass Plus and some lintless 100% cotton rag (an old tee shirt that has been laundered countless times is ideal).
As for pro repair, that can be done (I'd recommend Paul Duclos of Duclos Lenses in L.A.), but I'm willing to bet that professional overhaul of those particular lenses would cost a great deal more than they are worth. Those lenses should be both plentiful and dirt cheap though... hit eBay if you want to just replace them.
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