Erasing pencil marks from groundglass : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

Dear Friends,

I recently purchased a used view camera whose groundglass has markings in pencil. I would like to erase these markings and customize the groundglass with my own markings, but I am afraid to use a pencil eraser for fear of marring or leaving residue on the groundglass. Should using a pencil eraser indeed prove not advisable, then what is the safest way to remove the pencil markings? lens cleaning fluid? tap water? alcohol?

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

Frank Diaz

-- Francisco Diaz (, September 12, 1999


I guess it depends on the ground glass, Frank. It it's a plain Jane piece of ground glass, take it out and use the pencil eraser. Then wash it in hot soapy water. It's just a piece of glass like in a window. You could try Windex if you like. Just be careful not to break it or cut yourself. I have used lighter fluid to remove the pesky adhesive left by tape on mine and it caused no problems.

IF however, you have a fancier g.g. made by SINAR oe someone, with all manner of marks on it - then I'd suggest you contact Bob Salomon of H.P. marketing or the manufacturer of that particular g.g.

-- Sean yates (, September 12, 1999.

Assuming the marks are on the smooth side of the groundglass (AND THAT THERE ARE NO MANUFACTURERS INDEX MARKINGS ON THAT SIDE OF THE GROUNDGLASS) you can safely use an eraser or solvents like alcohol, nail polish remover or lens cleaning fluids to clethe smooth side only of your focusing glass.

-- Ellis Vener (, September 12, 1999.

The abrasive nature of a pencil eraser will affect the 'tooth' of the ground glass, and it will be noticable. (in effect, you are 'polishing' areas of the ground glass slightly). It will still be just as usable as it was, but you will have areas that are less groung than the surrounding areas.

-- Ron Shaw (, September 13, 1999.

You can safely use soft solvents but no mechanical means. Then wash it with soap and rinse. Marks can be drawn with a thin permanent marker on the smooth side.

-- Paul Schilliger (, September 13, 1999.

I would try something like rubbing alcohol on a cotton swab. My pro shop used this to remove grease smudges from my 6x6's mirror with no problems (and it's silvered on the front side). I wouldn't use the eraser (might leave smudge pencil marks, making it worse).

-- James Chow (, September 14, 1999.

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