Is Eclipse just plain old pure methanol??

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Vernon t, May 26, 2005.

  1. I don't want the eclipse people to get cheated out of sales revenue...but B&H and other suppliers can't ship eclipse.


    Methanol is likely quite cheap at a pharmacy supply or other chemical retailer?
     
  2. Steve S

    Steve S

    Feb 1, 2005
    SE Florida
    I"ve read on DPR that you can't use just straight Metha

    the Eclipse ppl must add something else to it.
     
  3. Larry Gleason

    Larry Gleason

    373
    Jan 26, 2005
    Careful. I don't remember the details of a discussion on this subject but I do remember that it was not wise to use anything but Eclipse. I got mine from Adorama and they do ship-

    http://www.adorama.com/CPECS.html?searchinfo=Eclipse&item_no=1
     
  4. Greg

    Greg

    909
    Apr 5, 2005
    Fayetteville, TN
    Oh, let me jump in on this. may not be related but eclipse sure sounds like a product I used 15 years ago.

    At that time I worked for a mapping firm that had 4 map grade cartographic cameras. ($200K each back then) these cameras and lens filters were exposed to oil and exhaust gases from the aircraft engine.

    The manufacturer (Carl Zeiss of West Germany) recommended using ether, (CH3CH2)2O.. yup, the same stuff that puts you out. cleans very well, dries immediately, typically doesn't streak and they said would not deteriorate the coatings on the lens or filters. Since filters were $2,000.00 each (darn near 8 inches across and optically flat to within 5 microns) We sure didn't use Windex. And no we didn't carry it on board our planes for obvious reasons.

    Well, to end the story, the druggies started using it to manufacture illegal stuff and freebase (and burn themselves up, remember the Richard prior story) so the pharmacies stopped selling it.

    Just wanted to share as I bet no one on this forum had ever heard of user ether as a glass/filter cleaner.

    Now for the disclaimer... I'm not recommending or suggesting that anyone try this on their lenses or filter.
     
  5. Hmmm....to answer my own question after a bit more searching.

    The OSHA required MSDS(material safety data sheet) for business using Eclipse I found says it's principally methyl alcohol .

    If it is 90 or 95 or 99.99% methanol it may have some additive, but I find that intuitively doubtful. I cannot imaging that 99% methanol with some other additive would be safer that 100% pure methanol. That would make no sense.
    Nothing obscures perfectly adequate ignorance like facts do. Anybody got some factual data???
     
  6. I heard about ETHANOL... what's the difference ?
     
  7. Methanol's one carbon.
    Ethanol's two.
    Propanol's three with several isomers.
    Then it starts getting more complicated.

    Ethanol makes you intoxicated.
    Methanol makes you blind.

    To way oversimplify....things that are soluble in one are soluble in another alcohol.
    Presumably camera sensor structures are insoluble, lest they dissolve!

    They are very volatile, evaporating into the atmosphere. Anything non-volatile dissolved in them gets left behind after the alcohol has dispersed into the air.

    Eclipse, per it's MSDS is mostly or wholly methanol. Pure methanol, without dissolved solutes, would disperse totally, leaving nothing behind.
    Pure alcohols are, hence, great cleaners. A Sharpie, on the other hand, is an alcohol with dissolved inks, ergo not a very good cleaner.
     
  8. So, I'm chugging through this, thinking of how this relates to Isopropyl 90% vs. 99&, and how easy it is to see the difference there. And then I come to the quote above.

    I fell off my chair, broke all my arms and legs from floppy around LMAO. I can just see it now...

    "But, but, but, Mr. Nikon Service man, MOST of the stuff in a Sharpie is just like Eclipse......" :wink:

    Seems like fodder for a great cartoon.........

    By the way, I have used Eclipse the last couple of years myself and it seems to work quite well. The only issues I have ever created were having a swab too wet, leaving too much liquied behind.
     
  9. Chris101

    Chris101

    Feb 2, 2005
    Arizona
    One of the main features of Eclipse is that it is ultra-filtered, and stored/shipped in a particle free container.
     
  10. PJohnP

    PJohnP

    Feb 5, 2005
    Some simple info on the methanol debate...

    Most methanol in the pharmacies is 80% or 90% methanol (there's even a 95% grade ins ome spots). The primary contaminant is water, but there are C3, C4, and C5 alcohol, aldehyde, and ether contaminants. "Wood" alcohol in the pharmacies isn't filtered, the contaminants are quite possible to leave traces on the sensor.

    The upshot is that ultra-purity methanol in the Eclipse is a better bet for cleaning a high-integrity photo sensor. The "savings" with pharmacy methanol are illusory. A $1K to $5K camera needs a bit better cleaning approach than whatever's on the biggest discount at Walgreens or Costco.

    FWIW, I've worked extensively with facilities making high purity solvents as well as bulk chemical plants making alcohols, focusing on product quality issues, so this is first hand knowledge, not internet rumour and conjecture.



    John P.
     
  11. Thanks, John. Needed something definitive here.

    Glad I know you so I know I can rely on this. And represent to everyone else that they can rely on it, too.

    Mike
     
  12. PJohnP

    PJohnP

    Feb 5, 2005
    Mike :


    Glad to help, and thanks very much for the compliment and the trust.

    The tough point for all of this relates to the degree of purity of various materials. That's just not captured in an MSDS to the levels of leaving streaks on a DSLR sensor. MSDS's are not quality control documents, but instead offer up potential hazard information. Traces of isopentanol (isoamyl alcohol) don't change the MSDS for isopropanol (IPA), but they might have some significant effects on our sensors. Can't say for certain, but then, nobody's letting me running control experiments with various solvents on their cameras to make a more scholarly determination ! And nobody's making the offer... :lol: :shock: :lol:

    Could someone get methanol or isopropyl alcohol from a supermarket or a drugstore and use it successfully ? Possibly. But the quality control used for a topical antiseptic compared with that for a sensor cleaning fluid is just leagues apart. The reproducability of one chain's methanol or IPA vs. another's is also very questionable, at least with respect to sensor cleaning. I'm quite sure you could swab a skinned knee equally well with one or the other. I wouldn't be too comfortable swabbing, say, your camera sensor with drugstore methanol.

    As I noted, the expense differential for cleaners when looking at a camera cost for a D2X or D2Hs really doesn't seem so large.

    IMO, anyway. 8)


    John P.
     
  13. PJohnP

    PJohnP

    Feb 5, 2005
    Mike :


    Glad to help, and thanks very much for the compliment and the trust.

    The tough point for all of this relates to the degree of purity of various materials. That's just not captured in an MSDS to the levels of leaving streaks on a DSLR sensor. MSDS's are not quality control documents, but instead offer up potential hazard information. Traces of isopentanol (isoamyl alcohol) don't change the MSDS for isopropanol (IPA), but they might have some significant effects on our sensors. Can't say for certain, but then, nobody's letting me running control experiments with various solvents on their cameras to make a more scholarly determination ! And nobody's making the offer... :lol: :shock: :lol:

    Could someone get methanol or isopropyl alcohol from a supermarket or a drugstore and use it successfully ? Possibly. But the quality control used for a topical antiseptic compared with that for a sensor cleaning fluid is just leagues apart. The reproducability of one chain's methanol or IPA vs. another's is also very questionable, at least with respect to sensor cleaning. I'm quite sure you could swab a skinned knee equally well with one or the other. I wouldn't be too comfortable swabbing, say, your camera sensor with drugstore methanol.

    As I noted, the expense differential for cleaners when looking at a camera cost for a D2X or D2Hs really doesn't seem so large.

    IMO, anyway. 8)


    John P.
     
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