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10-02-2013, 01:47 AM   #1
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Best way/product to remove sticky stuff from zoom ring?

Obligatory "I wasn't sure which forum this goes in" statement

So I have this beautiful, used FA J 18-35mm that came from Adorama. The lens arrived with some kind of stock identifying sticker applied to the zoom ring, likely used by Adorama's Used department. I think they had the lens for a while; either the sticker was removed and re-applied or over time the adhesive began to relax and the sticker slid from its original position. After I removed this label there was still a ton of residue left behind. What is the best product to use when cleaning off this goo?

I have Goo-gone, and I've used it before, but never on rubber like you find on the zoom ring of a lens. My fear is that the stuff will somehow compromise the rubber; maybe not immediately, but rather soak into the rubber and degrade it over time. Also, Goo-gone is like... well I don't know what it's like. It has virtually no surface tension, so even a tiny drop seems to go everywhere.

Luckily, the sticky stuff isn't butted up against any seams or places where parts meet. It's close, but there is some working room if I'm careful and take my time. My fear is that whatever I use will get inside the lens.

It's worth mentioning, the FA J 18-35mm is a surprisingly nice lens. It's got a plastic mount (boo!), but man, is it light! It's also pretty small, but it packs strangely in a bag with its wide-angle hood reversed on the end. It's got adequate sharpness for the camera I'm using it on, an IR-converted K200D, and it did exactly what I was hoping for IR photography: I needed the wide focal length afforded by my 18-55mm kit lens (which works surprisingly well for infrared) but better corner sharpness. The kit lens is quite sharp in the middle, but the borders and corners in infrared with that glass is pretty bad. I had a theory that a film-era lens would do better because of the way rays of light behaved at the extreme edges of glass elements. The FA-J did exactly what I was hoping for. I had to laugh when I saw the way it was listed at Adorama: "Penatx FA 18-35" - Incorrectly spelled brand name and incomplete series lettering. You have no idea how many times I searched for this thing, only to get results for the new, crazy Sigma 18-35mm f1.8. I wonder if anybody else missed this thing because they weren't searching for a "Penatx" lens!

10-02-2013, 01:51 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by LowVoltage Quote
product to remove sticky stuff from zoom ring?
Alcohol
10-02-2013, 05:18 AM   #3
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or Methylated Spirits
10-02-2013, 05:21 AM   #4
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Try a cotton swab (Q-tip) with lighter fluid. Should clean the crud off & leave no residue.

10-02-2013, 05:38 AM   #5
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It is annoying, the way those are so sticky and thoughtlessly placed.
Sometimes not even Goo Gone or alcohol will clean up the residue.

One hot evening I bought a big can of Foster's .
Trying to open it at home, there is a big goopy price sticker right across the opening!
10-02-2013, 06:00 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by wombat2go Quote
there is a big goopy price sticker right across the opening!
But I'm sure you found a way...
10-02-2013, 06:07 AM   #7
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And while I'm having a grizzle on LowVoltage's nickel,
After 60,000 years of civilization, what pack of bozos thought of the idea that every piece of fruit and vegetable has to have a sticker?
Particularly, the tomato and the pepper (capsicum) it is necessary to fool around trying to peel it off, then eat the residue, or else sharpen the knife and try to perform surgery.
10-02-2013, 07:08 AM   #8
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I'm disappointed that this wasn't about old Sigma lenses that get sticky.

Does anyone have any advice on that?

I just acquired an old Sigma 28-70/2.8 MF lens, with sticky surface that happens to some of those older Sigma lenses. It doesn't cause problems, it's just unpleasant.

Does anyone have any advice on removing/repairing that issue?

10-02-2013, 08:18 AM   #9
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A very good solvent for this sort of problem is Eucalyptus Oil. Freely available in Australia. Not sure if it can be bought in other parts of the world. It is also excellent for removing bugs from automobile paintwork and chrome or plastic bumper bars. And believe it or not, removing chewing gum from hair. As with all these things test it first small area before applying.

Last edited by Bruce Clark; 10-02-2013 at 08:19 AM. Reason: spelling error
10-02-2013, 06:06 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by wildman Quote
Alcohol
QuoteOriginally posted by GibbyTheMole Quote
Try a cotton swab (Q-tip) with lighter fluid. Should clean the crud off & leave no residue.
The alcohol took care of some of the wetter residue but left some dried-out crud. Lighter fluid took care of the rest. Thanks peeps!

QuoteOriginally posted by thornburg Quote
I'm disappointed that this wasn't about old Sigma lenses that get sticky.
Yeah, and what about this? I have a Sigma 28-105mm 2.8-4 Asph. that is so far still great looking, but some of the lenses from the previous generation look... slick.
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