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Leica 10x50BA -Lens Blemish

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Old Saturday 16th June 2018, 19:06   #1
Merlin
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Leica 10x50BA -Lens Blemish

Hi
I would appreciate any advice.
I have a pair of Leica 10X50 BA and there is a blemish what would appear to be on the outside of one of the objective lens, it resembles an opaque 'bubble'. I have tried to clear with the normal cloths and cleaners but it has no effect, this makes the Binoculars unusable as the view is distorted by the blemish.
I would appreciate any advice and/or any information where I can have them examined/repaired.

Thanking you in anticipation

regards

Merlin
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Old Saturday 16th June 2018, 19:36   #2
Troubador
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If they are very recently bought as new, take them back to the dealer and ask for a replacement, if they are older or secondhand but within the warranty period, contact Leica UK, and if they are out of warranty contact:
http://binocular-repair.co.uk/

Gary Hawkins who runs this repair company has worked for Leica (and Zeiss) and is the official repairer for Zeiss UK. He knows Leicas inside out and is the right man for the job.

Good luck.

Lee
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Old Saturday 16th June 2018, 19:40   #3
Merlin
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Hi Lee

They are like me quite old and world travelled,

Thanks for the advice and info.

best regards
Merlin
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Old Saturday 16th June 2018, 22:20   #4
Binastro
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Hi Merlin,
Can we see a photo of the blemish?

It could be that the coating has lifted somehow and created a bubble.

Bubbles in glass are usually small and I have never heard of one developing.

Is it a foreign substance stuck to the objective?
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Old Sunday 17th June 2018, 08:09   #5
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To me, a possible explanation may be that there is stubborn grease on the front surface of the objective.
Baader Optical Wonder fluid might help.
I had this problem with the used Samyang 85mm f/1.4 lens, which otherwise looked as new. At first I made it worse, but the next day the fluid/grease had gone.

Or some oil on the internal rear surface.

A separated objective where the balsam has failed might have happened, but I am not sure this would be visible in normal use.

The coating layer is so thin, if it separated I think it would have to trap oil or water underneath, but I have never seen this.

Photos may help us see a likely cause.

Last edited by Binastro : Sunday 17th June 2018 at 08:13.
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Old Sunday 17th June 2018, 16:01   #6
dries1
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They can be repaired as Lee has provided that info, and as they are well traveled a cleaning and tuneup on other parts of the instrument would be beneficial. Subsequently, it will perform well for years.

Andy W.
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Old Sunday 17th June 2018, 16:59   #7
Merlin
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Hi Binastro

Thanks for your response and comments.
I have endeavoured to take a photograph but it reflects the light and shows a reflection of the 'camera/Ipad

It resembles an opaque oil slick.

Thanks for your help

best regards

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Old Sunday 17th June 2018, 17:00   #8
Merlin
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Hi Andy

Thank you for responding, given the use that these have had I think your advice is sound.

best regards
Merlin
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Old Sunday 17th June 2018, 21:52   #9
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lI can understand that this is disturbing, but a blemish on the objective surface would not make the binocular unusable. It would merely reduce the light throughput somewhat. You can focus on objects 3 m or 4 m distant but you can't focus on the objective surface.
Teardrops on ocular surfaces are not uncommon and as these consist largely of common salt, they are not soluble in organic solvents like alcohol or acetone. Try using a moistened cosmetic tissue or miccrofibre cloth and if that fails try saliva on a clean fingertip. The enzymes in saliva can be effective , when all else fails.

John
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Old Monday 18th June 2018, 14:45   #10
Merlin
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Hi John

Thanks for your response

Believe me they are unusable, the blemish creates a blurred and distorted image through that one lens.
I have tried many 'cleaners' including my finger tip without success.

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Old Monday 18th June 2018, 23:19   #11
ceasar
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I'm curious about one thing. Did this blemish appear overnight, so to speak, or did it start small and steadily become worse?

Bob
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Old Tuesday 19th June 2018, 02:33   #12
John M Robinson
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I bought my Ultravid BRs in 2008 or 9. Back then they came with a lifetime "no fault" Passport warranty. I used it one time when they were brand new to upgrade that old notchy focus problem, but no issues since. I know Leica downgraded their warranty policy since then, but your BA's might have it. I would send them into Leica hoping for a warranty repair, but at worst get a price quote to repair.
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Old Tuesday 19th June 2018, 09:26   #13
Merlin
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Hi Bob
It just appeared overnight.

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Old Tuesday 19th June 2018, 09:27   #14
Merlin
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Hi John

I think I will take your advice, thanks for your comments.

best regards

Merlin
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Old Tuesday 19th June 2018, 14:12   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Merlin View Post
Hi Bob
It just appeared overnight.

best regards

Merlin
Did you apply cleaning fluid or any other liquid directly to the lens?
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Old Tuesday 19th June 2018, 19:49   #16
Merlin
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Hi Pileatus

I have some lens cleaning fluid in a mini-aerosol which I applied and tried to clean with a Leica lens cloth.

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Merlin
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Old Tuesday 19th June 2018, 19:50   #17
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For it to create a distorted image suggests it is acting as a lens on a lens.

My chemist friend says that if it were salt, ordinary water is required.

Glass is pretty inert, and front elements are usually hard, although inside elements are fairly soft, especially newer exotic glass types.
But coatings are usually harder than the glass, although with age they can deteriorate.
My chemist friend also says that only certain acids affect the front type of glass. Glass beakers take ages to etch in the laboratory, even with acids.

I suppose Leica still has replacement objectives if this is needed, but they may know how to remove the blemish.

It could be, as suggested, be a globule of cleaning fluid or other foreign substance.

P.S.
Merlin,
I think it is the aerosol.

I saw the clever salesman use an aerosol in the camera shop that I visited daily, and where I was the unofficial optics guy.

Big mistake.
A whole lot of stuff came out of the aerosol can and deposit on the camera lens.
It took ages for him to get rid of it.
In short.
Don't use aerosol sprays on optics.

Last edited by Binastro : Tuesday 19th June 2018 at 19:55.
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Old Wednesday 20th June 2018, 12:14   #18
Merlin
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Thanks for that Binastro.

best regards

Merlin
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Old Wednesday 20th June 2018, 12:43   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Binastro View Post
I saw the clever salesman use an aerosol in the camera shop that I visited daily, and where I was the unofficial optics guy.

Big mistake.
A whole lot of stuff came out of the aerosol can and deposit on the camera lens.
It took ages for him to get rid of it.
In short.
Don't use aerosol sprays on optics.
This may or may not have been the cause of your problem, who knows, but is sound advice at all times. Never spray directly onto lens surfaces; always apply to cloth or lens tissue first, before applying to lens!

RB
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Old Thursday 21st June 2018, 12:38   #20
Merlin
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Thanks RB

best regards

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Old Monday 23rd July 2018, 14:05   #21
Merlin
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The saga of my Leica 10 x 50BA continues.
After five weeks I have been told that the lens have been in contact with something that has taken the coating off, however Leica will not and do not supply the spares to rectify this and I am told that I now have to send them to Leica - Portugal. This will obviously be at great cost and presumably for a substantial time, given my age I just might still be alive upon their return and if they are in working order.
Therefore I will probably buy a new pair of ZEISS or SWAROVSKY's at the Birdfair, I might also take my sandwich board and parade up and down by the Leica stand in the Optics tent just advising attendees of my Leica experience.

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Old Monday 23rd July 2018, 14:48   #22
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Hi Merlin,
It might be a bit hot parading in the sandwich board.
Sometimes one just has to cut ones losses.
A new binocular seems in order.

My cousin bought a Lancia car decades ago. It was rubbish. The dealer refused to deal with it.
So he listed all the faults on a board on the roof and left the car parked in good locations throughout the town.
The dealer was so ashamed he fixed the car.

However, it is not Leica's fault if something disolved the coating.
If it was just this, the binocular should work without coating, so something else has happened, perhaps even the glass eaten away?
Aerosol propellant shouldn't do this.

When spares are no longer available it is a shame, but any top quality objective might be suitable if it is a regular doublet and the focal distance known.
As you say, if they have a spare objective and charge for it, it will be very expensive, possibly more than the binocular is worth.

Does your household insurance cover this?
One could lose a no claim bonus, if a claim is made.

Last edited by Binastro : Monday 23rd July 2018 at 14:53.
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Old Monday 23rd July 2018, 15:05   #23
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Why not send it to Leica Portugal, as they likely have a spare lens, (that is where they were produced), then go to bird fair and get another glass. Upon the return of the Leicas, you can sell either, try to get something for your time.
Seems like Leica Repair is going in the wrong direction, almost like that other company that only makes low and mid range optics now and just wants to replace instead of repair, this way they can crank out cheap glass only, not high end glass that needs knowledgeable staff to repair. The new era business model.

Andy W.
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Old Monday 23rd July 2018, 15:29   #24
ceasar
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I don't know if Leica makes its own optical glass or not like Zeiss does.

As far as their binoculars go, none of them I have seen or had experience with, and that includes an old 8x20 Trinovid I own, is cheaply made. I also have an 8x42 Ultravid Blackline binocular made in Portugal which does not have the Ultravid's up to date optics in it but it can hardly be described as cheap. In fact, I think it is one of the classiest looking Binoculars ever made. Under Leica's policy this binocular had to be classified as a Demo by Camera Land because they took it to a Show even though the box was never opened. It still has an 11 year warranty from Leica.

I purchased all of them new and had them all registered with Leica after I bought them in the unlikely event that they needed to be serviced under warranty. I know from contacting Leica about my old Leitz 7x42 Trinovid BA that they have a record of all of them that I own.

Bob

Last edited by ceasar : Monday 23rd July 2018 at 15:51.
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Old Monday 23rd July 2018, 15:59   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dries1 View Post
Why not send it to Leica Portugal, as they likely have a spare lens, (that is where they were produced), then go to bird fair and get another glass. Upon the return of the Leicas, you can sell either, try to get something for your time.
Seems like Leica Repair is going in the wrong direction, almost like that other company that only makes low and mid range optics now and just wants to replace instead of repair, this way they can crank out cheap glass only, not high end glass that needs knowledgeable staff to repair. The new era business model.

Andy W.
Earlier this year, Leica completely refurbished my 7X42 Ultrvid BR (purchased 2004) due to a problem with internal glass in both scopes. I gladly paid shipping both ways. It was returned to me in better condition than when it was new.
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