How to Clean the Lens on a Folding Camera

You inherited or bought a perfect condition folding camera. It's perfect except!! The lens is grubby on the inside. I can help.

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How to Clean the Lens on a Folding Camera
18 Steps
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1
Find a clear space and grab a piece of white paper. Set up the camera and have a look at it. Most are the same but some do not have a front glass assembly. This one does.

Find a clear space and grab a piece of white paper. Set up the camera and have a look at it. Most are the same but some do not have a front glass assembly. This one does.

2
Locate the tiny screws holding the Ring on the front lens. If yours doesn't have a front skip to the back part.

Locate the tiny screws holding the Ring on the front lens. If yours doesn't have a front skip to the back part.

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3
Set up your paper. Doesn't really matter about your squares as long as you don't lose any of the tiny screws. Unscrew the Ring and put the screws safely on this paper

Set up your paper. Doesn't really matter about your squares as long as you don't lose any of the tiny screws. Unscrew the Ring and put the screws safely on this paper

4
You can now see the brass lens ring. Unscrew this gently with your hands or your rubber mat. Don't use a tool that will scratch your glass. It's lasted 80-100 years don't ruin it now

You can now see the brass lens ring. Unscrew this gently with your hands or your rubber mat. Don't use a tool that will scratch your glass. It's lasted 80-100 years don't ruin it now

5
Remember lefty loosy righty tighty. If my case I have a middle pane of glass. Clean this side with ear cleaners . Give it a good polish

Remember lefty loosy righty tighty. If my case I have a middle pane of glass. Clean this side with ear cleaners . Give it a good polish

6
Don't wipe the light grease off the thread of the metal. Polish only the glass

Don't wipe the light grease off the thread of the metal. Polish only the glass

7
Close your camera and turn it over. Here is the back lens. Hello!! To all the ppl who are joining us. :-)  the notches are for a lens wrench. But we dont have $30 to waste so...

Close your camera and turn it over. Here is the back lens. Hello!! To all the ppl who are joining us. :-) the notches are for a lens wrench. But we dont have $30 to waste so...

8
Grab your rubber mat, place it gently on the ring and encourage it to turn left. Support the camera or you will damage the closed bellows. Try not to touch them. Put your lens to one side

Grab your rubber mat, place it gently on the ring and encourage it to turn left. Support the camera or you will damage the closed bellows. Try not to touch them. Put your lens to one side

9
Inspect the shutter but DON'T TOUCH. If they are gummed up gently use a cleaner with a cotton bud but really if the shutter is working leave it in peace. These are horrible to pull apart . Hard to fix

Inspect the shutter but DON'T TOUCH. If they are gummed up gently use a cleaner with a cotton bud but really if the shutter is working leave it in peace. These are horrible to pull apart . Hard to fix

10
Open the shutter (open the camera to achieve this. As wide as the aperture goes. Polish the under side of the inner glass

Open the shutter (open the camera to achieve this. As wide as the aperture goes. Polish the under side of the inner glass

11
Polish your rear lens element. Make Sure it is all shiny and screw it back into place

Polish your rear lens element. Make Sure it is all shiny and screw it back into place

12
Neat !! Most of you are now Finished. The rest of you.. Close the back and flip the camera over.

Neat !! Most of you are now Finished. The rest of you.. Close the back and flip the camera over.

13
Polish both sides of the lens element

Polish both sides of the lens element

14
And screw back into place. Now don't tighten up hard!! Just finger tight.

And screw back into place. Now don't tighten up hard!! Just finger tight.

15
Locate the holes and line up using the infinite mark as our reference . We want the inf notch to line up with the red marker. If it doesn't the untwist the lens until it does

Locate the holes and line up using the infinite mark as our reference . We want the inf notch to line up with the red marker. If it doesn't the untwist the lens until it does

16
See the stop must be on the opposite side of the marker and the marker lined up with the inf mark. Keep shifting the lens looser until this occurs.

See the stop must be on the opposite side of the marker and the marker lined up with the inf mark. Keep shifting the lens looser until this occurs.

17
Screw your lens ring back into place.

Screw your lens ring back into place.

18
Grab your re-spooled 120 Film and off you go with your shiny antique. Happy shooting

Grab your re-spooled 120 Film and off you go with your shiny antique. Happy shooting

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