Cleaning Epson V700 Flatbed Scanner Glass

Specifically, the inside (or bottom) of the main glass. Because, as anybody who has used a scanner critically knows, the inside of those things out-gases (from the plastic) and deposits thin layers of gunk on the bottom of the glass.

You do also have to clean the top of the glass, but that’s easy; normal glass or lens cleaning techniques (so, Windex, water and ammonia, alcohol-based lens cleaner, with suitable soft cloth or paper).

Ammonia, in your own mix or in Windex, is corrosive to electronics, so be careful what you spray around where!

It’s easy to Google up posts all over about the process in general, like here.

The bottom of the glass is no harder—once you get to it.

The basic process is:

  1. Unplug everything
  2. Remove the scanning lid and set it carefully aside
  3. Remove the four plastic plugs over the screws that hold the top on
  4. Remove the screws that hold the top on (small Phillips)
  5. Lift off the top
  6. Clean the bottom of the glass, as above

The problem is those little plugs. Well, they’re not actually that big a problem, but it’s not obvious from the outside how to do this.

If your scanner is out of warranty, it doesn’t matter too much; the failure mode is gashing up the plugs and the top of the housing, which are purely cosmetic issues. If however your scanner is still in warranty, clear evidence that you’ve been inside could void your warranty.

So, here’s one of the plugs, in place:

One of 4 plugs covering the screws that hold the top on to an Epson V700 scanner

Those scratches were made by me, with a small (jeweler’s) flat-blade screwdriver, trying to find the point to pry the plug out. Ruined the screwdriver, too, by the way, but this was one of the vestigial ones from an old set and I was rather expecting that, using such a small thing as a pry-bar.

There is, it turns out, a better way! (This is my shocked face.)

Note the wide “V” on the plastic cap. With the scanner on the desk in front of you so that the top opens away from you (I think of this as the “normal” position to use a flatbed scanner in), that “V” is pointing down (meaning the wide side is away from me).

Here’s the cap off, and what a cap looks like from the bottom:

Cap off, both sides, and screw in well

Note the top cap is well and truly messed up; that’s the first one I got out, before I knew how to do it reasonably cleanly.

Now, look at the bottom cap (also oriented so the bottom of the “V” is towards us, wide end away).  See that big gap at the top?  Yeah, turns out if you pry there it’s much easier to get the pry-bar in and much easier to get the cap out, doing almost no damage.  Not none, if you’re in warranty you should still think about that. I tried the “duct tape” thing frequently cited on the web, but it did nothing at all with mine.

So: Put your narrow pry-bar in at the wide part of the “V”, and pry there.  Comes right off!

There’s something slightly weird about the front left corner, that was the hardest bit to get off and get on. I found the top went on much better if you put the left side down first.

But my glass is all much cleaner now.

First Good Flash I Owned

Now, the old Braun flash I remember fondly is the RL-515.  This was the flash I learned to do bounce flash with (at the behest of the editor of Carleton’s Alumni Magazine, for whom I was the primary photographer at the time—Jane Kellogg maybe?).

Powerful enough to bounce the flash off the ceiling in most institutional rooms and expose Plus-X (ASA 125)  at f/5.6. Recycled in 1-2 seconds to full power.  Being able to shoot the slower Plus-X rather than the grainier  Tri-X, and being able to bounce (producing softer and more suitably located lighting) really set my pictures apart from others in the early 1970s.

Fully manual, of course; it had two power settings, and two reflector positions (normal and wide), but after that you were on your own.  To bounce, you estimated the distance the flash traveled, figured the aperture for that, then added some more exposure (generally 1-2 stops) to account for the reflectivity of the bounce surface and the diffusion of the beam. Then you made up for any miscalculations in the darkroom.

It was a monster—square flash head about 3×3 inches, an L-bracket to attach it to the base of the camera, and a separate battery pack that hung over your shoulder. Note it’s set up to go on the right side of the camera; in those days the right hand was the support hand, with the adjustments (aperture, focus, zoom if you had it) being done with the left hand.  The hand positions are the same today, but with the conveniently-located control buttons and wheels, the right hand also controls exposure and AF trigger and things.  (Not everybody does things the same way, either than or now.)

Braun RL-515 Flash
Braun RL-515 Flash

I owned two of them at various times (the first perishing in a friend’s car fire!).

What that pack contained was a weird historical relic: a 510V primary dry-cell battery.  (Eveready 496, NEDA Listing 741)! Even in the mid 1970s they were expensive, I remember paying $35 (which was about what four 100-foot rolls of Plus-X cost, about 75 rolls of film). But that was the only flash I ever had with that speed of recycling, and I don’t think I’ve ever had a more powerful one either.

Eveready 479 510V dry-cell battery
Eveready 479 510V dry-cell battery

I wouldn’t wonder if the 510V rechargeable packs for various flashes derived from this and thus were electrically compatible with it. I don’t think there’s much chance of finding any of the actual dry-cell batteries at this late date!  (Huh; I do find a place claiming to have them for sale—for $200;

My Sunpak 555 with Quantum Battery 2 was a better flash than this, because of the ability to work with OTF flash exposure control in modern cameras (I used it with Olympus OM-4Ts and many different Nikons). None of the others I owned even came close, especially the Honeywall Auto-Strobonar 892s.

These Have Gotten Cheaper


I got mine (long gone) in 1973 for $250, with a 50mm Summicron collapsible lens.  It was quite old then (I seem to recall that I once looked up my serial number and determined my M3 was made in 1954; same vintage as me).

But inflation since then has been a lot; a random online calculator says my $250 is now worth $1391 (and looking deeper into the ebay search, that bottom guy is an optimist).

Loadout for Photographer’s Vest

Hmmm; what should my normal collection of stuff be?  (Current vests aren’t quite perfect, and the most perfect one has annoying problems like the pen pockets aren’t big enough for actual pens.)  Thinking of modifying or replacing the vest I’ve been using (it’s 25 years old or so, anyway!).

This is complicated by the fact that I use the vests for both photojournalism projects and video projects.

(This is the brainstorming phase; I’m wondering what I’m missing, but even the White Knight couldn’t carry all this on his horse.)

  • ballpoint pen (space pen?)
  • sharpie
  • color sharpie
  • flashlight (good one, but little) (emergency as well as seeing clearly in dark spots)
  • notebook (stenographer’s?)
  • rocket blower (remove dust from lenses etc.)
  • lens tissue or PecPads (never touch a lens with the same thing twice)
  • big microfiber cloth (not for lenses, but screens and things)
  • lens cleaning fluid (Eclipse? Kodak?)
  • lens cap (standard place to put the lens cap from the camera in use)
  • body cap (camera should never be left uncapped) (for each mount)
  • rear lens cap (spare) (for each mount)
  • fresh batteries (camera-specific, AA)
  • dead batteries (keep them separate from the fresh!) (but can mix kinds)
  • tape (narrow, wide, colors, dark, white) for marking and labeling in addition to holding
  • badge / pass / id needed for venue access
  • keys (somewhere safer than belt hanger)
  • phone (has apps, too)
  • lenses (at least fast wide and fast medium telephoto)
  • flash (for photojournalism gigs)
  • digital sound recorder (for video gigs) (and remote)
  • monitor earphones
  • lavalier mike
  • memory cards (possibly multiple kinds, for still, video, sound)
  • polarizing filter (sized for main lenses)
  • neutral density filter (sized for main lenses)
  • step-d0wn rings (to put filters on smaller lenses)
  • mini / clamp tripod, or beanbag, or both
  • radio (depends on what the crew is using)
  • gloves (warmth, protection)
  • gray card (for white balance)
  • tape measure (more for studio photos and video than photojournalism)
  • cable ties, to fasten things (6)
  • tools?  I haven’t routinely carried tools; what might be useful?
    • hex key for tripod tension adjustment
    • very small Phillips for batteries in flash triggers
    • generic #2 Phillips (stubby)
    • generic medium flat-head (stubby)
    • wrenches?
    • knife (don’t leave home without it)
    • trauma shears (might replace knife)
    • pliers
    • diagonal cutters (or just use the trauma shears)
  • kleenex
  • lip balm
  • ibuprofen, aspirin, etc. Antacid?  Decongestant?
  • small bandaids (little nicks and cuts, don’t want to bleed on the cameras)
  • earplugs (noisy locations; music)
  • wet wipes (3)
  • pre-moistened lens cloths (for glasses; or lenses if desperate) (3)
  • deoxit (contact cleaner cloths) (1)
  • additional glasses (dark, for example)
  • water bottle
  • emergency food (protein bar?) (2)
  • mousetrap 🙂
  • trash (need designated place, don’t just drop stuff, can’t count on venue)

Clearly some of this stuff could live in the big toolbag that sits at home base, rather than in pockets I have with me at every second.

I may edit this post over time, since I’m still thinking about this.