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Lens body cleaning
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 18, 2010 1:44 am    Post subject: Lens body cleaning Reply with quote

What is the best cleaner to use on grimy lens bodies.I have 2 lenses that are in really nice condition but they haven't been cleaned, and they need it.
Is there any way to whiten the numbers and letters back up, they are discolored,on one lens.
The lenses came on cameras I bought.

Thanks for any help, Walter

PostPosted: Sat Jun 26, 2010 3:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Depending on the severity of the dirt/grime buildup, I have found rubbing alcohol/isopropyl alcohol to be an effective remedy. It is an excellent solution for removing greasy deposits from oils on fingertips, and does not normally require any additional cleaning methods, other than polishing with a dry cloth.

However, I have noticed in the past, that deeply engraved and painted markings on a lens body can have the paint softened by years' worth of uncleaned grime. While the anodized or other durable finishes of a lens barrel are largely unaffected by such normal handling, it's the deeply-engraved and painted numbers and other markings which collect contaminants from normal handling and operation. If these contaminants are left uncleaned for a long enough time, they can soften the paint used to highlight those engravings, and you run the risk of stripping the paint out of those engravings.

I have always used a commonly-available glass cleaner first, such as Windex, with cotton swabs. If that proves to clean the lens body but still leaves some grunge, I then move to using rubbing alcohol, carefully. If it appears that the alcohol will not strip paint from the engravings, then I continue, applying varying pressure to be sure I will not remove paint from the engravings. This has been a perfectly trouble-free method for my cleaning thus far. If the alcohol appears to be stripping paint, I immediately dry everything, then go back to using a glass cleaner several days later.

An easy test for how the chemicals will work is to use a wooden toothpick to pry some of the grunge out of an engraving. If it lifts paint out of the engraving, you'll know the paint has been softened by oils from fingers and general use. In this case, you should be prepared to clean it and then repaint the engravings. If the paint remains, which it will in most cases, you only need to continue with your cleaning methods until you have a lovely and shiny lens.

Use caution and do not flood your lenses with cleaning solution, exercise care, and you'll have your lenses looking as good as they can be.

PostPosted: Sat Jun 26, 2010 5:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Craig, Thank you. Very Happy

I will try Windex first, and then use acohol second if neccesary. I will test the numbers as you sugested.

PostPosted: Sat Jun 26, 2010 5:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd be careful with Windex... Ammonia is corrosive to brass, can remove softer lens coatings, and can make some clear plastics cloudy. Shocked