How to maintain and clean a projector lens?

srinivas38

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Hi,
Please share any tips to maintain and clean a projector lens. I think the generic guidance is to avoid alcohol based cleaning wet wipes for projector lens. Please let me know what solution/wipes could be brought in India to clean the leans. Any experiences shared should help the community as well.

Regards,
Sri
 

srinivas38

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Interestingly found this, which recommends plain distilled water and clean q-tips. The important point seems to be the way the cleaning motion matches the way the actual lenses are polished.

 

Chulbulee

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First of all, follow the instructions coming from the mfr, either for projector or camera lenses, as they are the most expensive part of that equipment. Earlier, there used to be a suction pump, plus very fine brush/tissue. If I remember correctly, water was NEVER recommended. The cotton buds shown in the video is too bad. How does one know, how were the lenses polished, in which motion? IMO pour Iso Propyl Alcohol, blow upon it to move the liquid all over and keep blowing till it evaporates.
 

jbkar

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I use the following method

1. Wipe off the dust on the lens using a 0.5" soft brush

2. Spray little quantity lens cleaner sprays on a cloth which comes with spectacle. Then gently rub it on the lens.
 

superczar

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Does one even need to wet clean a projector lens?
it never gets touched by anything so smear marks should not really be an issue ..
some dust may settle over months - which a light dusting from a lint free cloth should take care of..

(At least thats what I do)
 

rrunner

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I always use a circular polarizer filter attached in front of the projector lens. It helps in improving the contrast and also keeps the lens clean and dust-free if there is a provision to screw it. otherwise, just use 3m double side grey tape to fix the filter.

 

Chulbulee

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Spray little quantity lens cleaner sprays on a cloth which comes with spectacle. Then gently rub it on the lens.
Mate, spectacle lenses are least expensive and the cleaner liquid is NOT made for cleaning projector lenses. Fine dust, smoke (ever from agarbattis), salt (coastal areas) get coated resulting in blurred images. Like most used a blank CD in CDROMs, just to protect the lens, I suggest a plain glass cap, or lens cap (easily available from any old camera shop, he will be happy to sell and earn). If the cap cannot be screwed on, use mustard sized araldite on diagonally opposite sides, so that with least pressure, you can put the cap on.
 

srinivas38

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Last edited:

jbkar

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I always put the lens cap back in place when not in use. In the las five years I have felt the need to clean the lens only twice. Of course in costal or other very dusty areas the need may become more frequent. Good to learn using polarized lens. Will try it and post my experience here
 

SRI 420

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I always use a circular polarizer filter attached in front of the projector lens. It helps in improving the contrast and also keeps the lens clean and dust-free if there is a provision to screw it. otherwise, just use 3m double side grey tape to fix the filter.

This seems to be a better solution.
 

zendya

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I always use a circular polarizer filter attached in front of the projector lens. It helps in improving the contrast and also keeps the lens clean and dust-free if there is a provision to screw it. otherwise, just use 3m double side grey tape to fix the filter.

Hi @rrunner How have you attached the circular polarizer? I have Optoma projector whose lense outer dia is about 90mm and I am not finding any of that size. Wondering if lens for yours is small to be able to fit a 58mm polarizer.
 

rrunner

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Hi @rrunner How have you attached the circular polarizer? I have Optoma projector whose lense outer dia is about 90mm and I am not finding any of that size. Wondering if lens for yours is small to be able to fit a 58mm polarizer.
I used 3m grey color automotive tape. Try getting polarizer plastic film instead if your lens size is large.
 

Silencer

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These days, most manufacturers' lamps are powerful enough to shine through normal dust accumulation. I also recommend IPA if there is a need at all. I don't touch the lens with anything.

Most projector owners know how delicate the equipment is and maintain them with utmost care. But dust will find its way no matter how careful you are.

In my opinion, unless it is really bothering you like blurry images ( highly unlikely ), don't touch the lens.
 

ankitbhargava

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rrunner

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rshri

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These days, most manufacturers' lamps are powerful enough to shine through normal dust accumulation. I also recommend IPA if there is a need at all. I don't touch the lens with anything.

Most projector owners know how delicate the equipment is and maintain them with utmost care. But dust will find its way no matter how careful you are.

In my opinion, unless it is really bothering you like blurry images ( highly unlikely ), don't touch the lens.
This is absolutely correct. The fact is - Dust over the lens gets focused out when image gets focused on screen. So, it hardly makes any perceptible difference in image quality. It's no accident, projectors are designed this way. As an experiment one can try bringing a thick thread near projector lens, when a movie is playing. You will then notice that thread almost disappears when its almost placed over lens.
So rigorous cleaning is not worth the effort. This puts unnecessarily pressure on lens assembly, and one can end up doing more harm then good if not careful. I have heard of projector lenses having special coatings that get wiped out when liquid cleaners are used (Not 100% sure it's true though).
Real problem is dust inside the projector/ optical assembly that can show up as blurs or contrast loss on some areas in projected image. That can cleaned only after opening projector/optical assembly in a 100% dust free environment. Not something you can do at home.
In my case, after every month or so, I just brush my projector lens ( and surrounding area) very lightly with folded clean microfibre cloth. It doesn't makes any difference to picture quality though, and just gives me mental satisfaction that there is no excess dust there. Plus, my lens cap is always on when projector is not in use.
 
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