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dust or something else inside Nikon Mikron 6x15? easy to repair/clean internally? (1 Viewer)

mbb

Well-known member
Recently, I have bought a small, second hand Nikon Mikron 6x15 from 1997. It arrived very well packed/protected and with all accessories (original box, paperwork, caps...) and, at least externally, in good shape. They look really nice and I was very curious to try them out.
However, when I looked through them, I immediately noticed the 'veiled', dull image it gave. They gave a strange view: it looks as if the optics are sharp in essence, but the view is dirty/veiled, a bit coloured or mushy. I have gently cleaned the exterior lenses of the eyecups and objectives, with care, but that didn't help. (I expected that however, as those external glass surfaces were quite clean.) Looking from the rear of the binoculars, via the objectives at arms length towards a well lit uniform white surface, I could clearly see some dust or something similar inside the optics. :cry: I have attached some pictures to show what is visible that way.

Could someone help me identify the problem and potential solution?

Is this dust, or mould?
Is this something that could have happened recently/suddenly? (It seems like accumulated dust or deposition for dried up condensation or something similar, but I am no expert at all and I have never seen any dust or condensation inside(!) any binocular in real life.)
Would it be possible to have the binoculars optically perfect again, cleaning the internal surfaces of the lenses or do you expect to have some remaining deterioration of those glass surfaces or coatings?

Considering the price I have paid for these binoculars, having them restored by a professional might be comparatively expensive, and I would first need to find someone able to do this. Is this internal cleaning something that I could do myself? :unsure:
If these were waterproof and gas-filled roof binoculars, I would not even think about it to try it myself. However, considering these seemingly more simple porro constructions, I am wondering...
I hope of course that I wouldn't need to fully dismantle everything, all individual lenses and prisms, but maybe just detaching the two objective barrels, hoping for the dust to be located between the prisms and the moving objective group, at those two surfaces. At first sight, maybe it would be enough to unscrew the small cap between those two barrels (see last picture), but I don't know if that is correct, which tool to use (some splitted screwdriver? :unsure:), and if I would risk to ruine the binoculars' collimation. If it is easy to disassemble and reassemble, would it just require some cleaning with regular optics/binoculars cleaning fluid, as used for external eyepiece/objective surfaces?

Many questions. :confused:
Has anybody ever worked on such Mikron binoculars?

All help or experienced advice is welcome! :)

(I suppose many will say to just return the binoculars to the seller and ask for a refund, as I did ask before buying if the optics were still perfect, clean etc. We are actually in touch. He seems very honest about not having noticed the issue before shipping the binoculars, is annoyed about it himself, and we are looking for a solution together. Having the binoculars cleaned might be a solution: if we can have them easily cleaned, the better, as they would continue 'to live'.)
 

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dries1

Member
Looks like moisture has migrated onto the prisms, (internals). I would ask for a discount from the seller, or return them. But that depends what you paid for them, avg cost for cleaning in Europe? Here in the US about $200 average.

Andy W.
 

Binastro

Well-known member
Bad moisture and the beginnings of fungus.

It needs professional cleaning, but I would return it for full refund.
In addition it will need recollimating.
Micro binoculars I find hold collimation poorly.

Buy a new one is my advice.

This has happened over a long period of time.
It could possibly be restored as new by Corey.
Ask the price.

Regards,
B.
 

14Goudvink

Well-known member
As you are in Belgium you could ask dekijkerspecialist.nl for advice. I can highly recommend his work and he charges reasonable prices.

George
 

Bob_McBob

Well-known member
I'd be interested to see what the prisms look like under the covers, but realistically these are only $200 USD brand new, so I would probably just return them and get a new pair.
 

mbb

Well-known member
Thank you all for your fast replies!
I will also share this info back to the seller.

If recollimating would be needed, as mentioned by Binastro, I guess it is not an option to just try to do it myself.
$200 I am not willing to pay to have these binoculars cleaned: that is more than I have paid for them or would pay for, in total (bought and cleaned).

Binastro, you also confirmed what I had supposed: that this probably cannot just have happened suddenly, but must have happened/accumulated over time.

Binastro and 14Goudvindk, you both mention not only dust but also mould. Could you indicate where that mould is?
(Also for me to learn to recognize it and distinguish it from ‘just’ dust.) I thought to have read somewhere that, while dust can be cleaned, mould could irrevocably affect glass and/or coatings.
 

dries1

Member
It is curious, how a seller of binoculars does not even have the curiosity to look through the binoculars and tell that....hmm something is wrong here. Of course the impacted glass is an accumulation over time, likely stored in a high humidity environment with varying temperatures. Hey, if you did not pay much for them, get some tools, a clean table setting/white background, and take the prism covers off carefully, see what you have, what could go wrong?

Andy W.
 

Binastro

Well-known member
Basically, the binocular has little commercial value.

However, if it costs a small amount, self cleaning could be the answer and collimating just for one IPD.

My concern is that the coatings have been etched by the fungus or damp.
So even professional attention will result in a sub standard but usable binocular.
The prisms are definitely affected, but they may clean without coating problems, although I suspect there may be coating deterioration.

If the eyepieces are also affected they may need dismantling, but could be usable as is with small amounts of moisture problems.

Fungus varies so much that giving a one type description is not very useful.
The small black marks on the prisms are the beginnings of fungus.
There are other signs also.

Here the binocular seems to cost over £300 new, but for $200 a new one is much better than messing about with the sample in this thread.
Perhaps they can be bought at a good price from Japan or the U.S.

Regards,
B.
 

Foss

Well-known member
It is curious, how a seller of binoculars does not even have the curiosity to look through the binoculars and tell that....hmm something is wrong here. Of course the impacted glass is an accumulation over time, likely stored in a high humidity environment with varying temperatures. Hey, if you did not pay much for them, get some tools, a clean table setting/white background, and take the prism covers off carefully, see what you have, what could go wrong?

Andy W.
Some sellers operate with "plausible deniability" in mind rather than honesty and accuracy. Anything for an extra buck, right?
 

Binastro

Well-known member
Sometimes yes, but I have bought binoculars from ladies who know nothing about binoculars, perhaps inherited, and genuinely thought them O.K.

B.
 

dries1

Member
Some sellers operate with "plausible deniability" in mind rather than honesty and accuracy. Anything for an extra buck, right?
Foss, you are absolutely correct esp. when on the bay, and Binastro is correct with some sellers having no idea what they are selling. With optics, I have a list of questions I always ask, and when I receive no response, I move on.

Andy W.
 

14Goudvink

Well-known member
Binastro and 14Goudvindk, you both mention not only dust but also mould. Could you indicate where that mould is?
(Also for me to learn to recognize it and distinguish it from ‘just’ dust.) I thought to have read somewhere that, while dust can be cleaned, mould could irrevocably affect glass and/or coatings.
See Binastro's post number 10.
 

richard866945

Bino repair man
I refurbished one of these models on The Repair Shop a little while ago.
The optics look to be coated but the main haze etc is likely to be on the uncoated slopes
of the prisms and should be able to be removed with causing damage.
The prisms are held in place / adjusted by tiny grub screws and these MUST be released
before attempting to carefully remove each prism.
I would expect the work to take about an hour at £40 per hour plus postage.
Probably best not to try DIY as you would need a collimator.
 
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mbb

Well-known member
Thank you all for the helpful info!
I think I will send them back to the seller. He has agreed to take them back and refund them (I’ll just have to pay for the return shipment.) I sincerely think he wasn’t aware of the problem and is honest.

I refurbished one of these models on The Repair Shop a little while ago.
The optics look to be coated but the main haze etc is likely to be on the uncoated slopes
of the prisms and should be able to be removed with causing damage.
The prisms are held in place / adjusted by tiny grub screws and these MUST be released
before attempting to carefully remove each prism.
I would expect the work to take about an hour at £40 per hour plus postage.
Probably best not to try DIY as you would need a collimator.
Thank you a lot for the info and offer! Were I to live in the UK or if the Brexit wasn’t a fact (yet), I would probably have sent them to you, Richard, for repair. Apparently, now there would be import and VAT taxes twice: on both the shipment from the EU/Belgium to the UK for repair and again back from the UK after repair, based on the value of the binoculars. :rolleyes: That absurd fact would, in addition to the double shipment itself, render the repair much more costly, potentially more costly than the initial purchase, sadly enough.
 

richard866945

Bino repair man
Thank you all for the helpful info!
I think I will send them back to the seller. He has agreed to take them back and refund them (I’ll just have to pay for the return shipment.) I sincerely think he wasn’t aware of the problem and is honest.


Thank you a lot for the info and offer! Were I to live in the UK or if the Brexit wasn’t a fact (yet), I would probably have sent them to you, Richard, for repair. Apparently, now there would be import and VAT taxes twice: on both the shipment from the EU/Belgium to the UK for repair and again back from the UK after repair, based on the value of the binoculars. :rolleyes: That absurd fact would, in addition to the double shipment itself, render the repair much more costly, potentially more costly than the initial purchase, sadly enough.
It's interesting what you say about Tax and duty. I have not experienced the new rules yet but in the past, items from "abroad" were allowed in free of duty and tax as long as the parcel was marked "For repair and return." I'll have to see if I can get a ruling from the authorities.
 

mbb

Well-known member
It's interesting what you say about Tax and duty. I have not experienced the new rules yet but in the past, items from "abroad" were allowed in free of duty and tax as long as the parcel was marked "For repair and return." I'll have to see if I can get a ruling from the authorities.

Hi Richard,
I was wondering if you had got any response or ruling from the authorities regarding such additional costs (or cancellation of them) for repair and returns between UK and EU?
It might be of interest for some forum members.
I guess that it might require a ruling from both UK and EU, as it would involve two cross-border shipments, one in each direction.
If I am not mistaken, I think there is some kind of ruling between the EU and Switzerland regarding the shipment of (2nd hand) stuff cross border if the item was originally produced in the region of destination (thus returning), in which case no taxes (import or VAT) is due, but I don’t know where I had read that or how exactly to proceed with that. Anyway, such kind of ruling would be nice of course also between UK and EU. I guess there are many rulings that still have to be made and negotiated now... :rolleyes:
 
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Colombia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Colombia

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