Properly maintaining and storing the spotting scope will result in the spotting scope providing you with reliable service and quality. If the spotting scope is not properly maintained and cleaned, you might end up damaging it. Damages can be repaired but will cost you a lot of money, and sometimes even lead you to replace the spotting scope altogether.
The lens is the most sensitive part of any spotting scope. It can accumulate dirt, dust or mud from your outdoor excursions with the spotting scope.
This article will show you some simple processes to help you better understand how to clean and maintain your spotting scope properly.
How to Properly Maintain Your Spotting Scope?
Here are some useful tips that will help you maintain and take care of your spotting scope properly.
Always make sure your spotting scope has not incurred any damages. It could have damages like cracks in the lens or dents on the body. Inspecting the scope for damages is something that should be a regular thing before you start using it.
Try to inspect each and every component or part of the spotting scope. Make sure they are in the proper place and are working as required. When a spotting scope lens is wearing out, it shows signs of cracks. Have this kind of issues fixed before using a spotting scope, and save it from further damage.
Cleaning the spotting scope lenses:
Do not clean lenses with a hard brush as they can damage the lens. Always try to use an ultra brush to clean your spotting scopes lenses. Wipe away the dust particles that have gathered on the lens. Start wiping from the center of the lens with the ultra brush and move towards the edge of the lens. This gentle movement will help you make sure that the lens surface does not get scratched. Avoid applying any pressure when cleaning the lenses, as you may crack them.
Cleaning the spotting scope outer surface:
The outer surface of the outer scope can be cleaned gently by using a microfiber cloth. The lens should not be cleaned with this cloth though, as it is not the right material to clean lenses. Make sure any dirt, dust or mud on the body is wiped clean. Try to clean your spotting scope outer surface before and after you use it.
Using an anti-fog cleanser for cleaning a spotting scope:
Liquid cleaners or cleansers can be used to clean both lenses and the outer surface of your spotting scopes. Anti-fog cleansers are the best choice for this purpose. They will not harm the outer surface of the lens of the scope.
Cleaning the corrector plate:
The interiors of a spotting scope might seem well protected. But they aren’t airtight as you may presume, and dust inserts and gathers inside them. Layers of dust gather inside the interiors sometimes and damage the lenses inside. To clean the insides you might need to open the corrector plate. If you are not sure how to open a corrector plate, it is advisable that you approach a professional for this.
Disassembling the spotting scope for cleaning:
You some times may need to disassemble a spotting scope to clean it in and out. The spotting scope should be disassembled and cleaned in a completely dust-free environment. If you clean it in a dusty environment, then there is no use of cleaning it, as dust will eventually gather on it after cleaning.
Start with carefully unscrewing the screws. Keep count of how many screws you have unscrewed from the scope. Then carefully remove all the screw pads. Alchohol can be used to clean the screw hole. When reinserting the screws add a bit of grease.
The viewing tube should be removed from the axis. If you find any dust on the viewing tube, use a spray hose t clean it. A spray hose will help you blow away the dust without making it messy.
The focal length can be adjusted as well by disassembling the screws that hold the lenses. Always keep in mind the position of the screws you have unscrewed, so that you can avoid damage.
Things to keep in hand during disassembling and maintenance are:
- Cotton swabs.
- Ultra brushes.
- Soap to help clean up grease.
- Tongs to help you pick up tiny screws.
- A set of extra small screws. A magnetic screwdriver.
- Some alcohol of any kind.
- A soft towel.
- Napkins or toilet paper.
Storage of the spotting scope:
After some proper cleaning, you might want to store the spotting scope properly. The lens covers should be back in place. Make sure all the components are in the right place. Try to store the spotting scope in a dry humid free area. Moisture causes damage to the spotting scope and its lenses. Always try to face the reflectors downwards, as to prevent them from gathering any type of dust. The lens will dew up when used in warmer air, so allow it to dry up before putting on the lens covers. Separately sealed containers can be used to store extra lenses, eyepieces, and accessories. If you use the spotting scope on a regular basis, dust will hardly collect on it. You should handle the spotting scope as delicately, as you would handle an egg.
Some things to consider for spotting scope maintenance
When you buy a spotting scope it is kind of like a long time investment of sorts. You must make sure all the components or parts of your spotting scopes are being maintained properly so that they last for a very long time and also provide you with proper service.
Here are some things you must highly consider when you want to properly maintain a spotting scope.
The overall cost of products used for maintenance:
Maintaining a spotting scope properly can be a bit costly. It is advisable though to use the highest quality products to ensure proper maintenance of the scope. Ultra brushes and anti-fog cleansers are the most common products used for the maintenance of a spotting scope.
Try avoiding fake products readily available in the market. Never go for the cheaper option when buying products for spotting scope maintenance. The overall performance of the spotting scope will be harmed if you use low quality and fake products. The manufacturers sometimes can give you a clear idea of where to find the right high-quality products for spotting scope maintenance.
Make a budget every month for the products you need for maintaining a spotting scope. That way you will have a clear idea about the products that you have run out of stock and keep maintenance costs within your budget.
A proper schedule for maintenance:
Maintain a time table, which you will stick to for the rest of your life when maintaining a spotting scope. A proper timetable or schedule for clean ups and maintenance will prevent dirt and dust from forming on the spotting scope.
Do not follow a haphazard or random schedule, as you may not remember when you last cleaned the spotting scope.
No water inside the spotting scope interiors:
After cleaning with water, make sure no water has stayed inside. The water may cause the lenses to fog up and thus hamper the spotting scopes performance. It may also damage the spotting scopes interiors.
Let the spotting scope fully dry up after cleaning. You could use a hair dryer to make the process quicker.
Being careful when disassembling a spotting scope:
When disassembling a spotting scope be completely sure what you are doing. If you have no idea about spotting scope parts, it is a better idea to take it to a professional.
When disassembling make sure you don’t apply any kind of pressure on the parts if they are hard to unscrew. Some screws are very delicate and break off if too much pressure is applied on them during unscrewing.
Avoid pounding, if the spotting scope is a bit old. Old spotting scopes usually have parts not available anymore in the market. Pounding on them might damage them, and later you might have a hard time finding a replacement. Adequate force must be applied always.
Conclusion of maintenance your spotting scope
It hardly takes a few minutes to clean up and properly maintain a spotting scope. Those people who complain that their spotting scopes are not working properly are the ones who hardly take care of their spotting scopes. You might have a very busy schedule, but cleaning and maintaining a spotting scope can be done in between other tasks. Always try to keep in mind the tips, tricks and considerations mentioned this article. They will better guide you in understanding the basics of cleaning and maintaining a spotting scope.