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12-27-2017, 04:58 PM   #1
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Best fluid for cleaning lens barrels?

I was doing a little work on an Industar-69 lens this evening. As part of a quick servicing job, I thought I'd clean it up externally too, as it was extremely dirty. Normally, I would clean mechanical parts and external surfaces with warm water and washing up liquid, and a soft-bristled tooth-brush. This time, stupidly, I used a cotton bud and a very small amount of 99.9% isopropyl alcohol. The focus distance markings on the Industar-69 are painted, and they started to come off while I was cleaning. Also, some of the "shine" appears to have disappeared from the barrel.

It's no big deal - the lens was super-cheap, and not in great condition anyway, so nothing lost... But I want to avoid this happening in future with better lenses.

So... my question: What are the most suitable solutions for cleaning dirty metal and plastic lens barrels with painted (but not engraved) markings? Am I right to continue using water and washing up liquid, or are there better choices?

Thanks in advance

12-27-2017, 05:22 PM - 1 Like   #2
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That was going to be my suggestion as to what to use, warm soapy water, rinse with warm water and dried with a cotton cloth.
12-27-2017, 06:35 PM   #3
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I generally just use ~70% rubbing alcohol (Isopropyl)

Very few things are harmed by it, in my experience. The only real exception is sticky, deteriorating rubber, which will just get stickier.
12-27-2017, 06:41 PM - 1 Like   #4
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I'd suggest water, with one of these:


Though in seriousness, I'd agree with photolady95 and yourself, warm soapy water.

12-27-2017, 09:34 PM - 1 Like   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
I was doing a little work on an Industar-69 lens this evening. As part of a quick servicing job, I thought I'd clean it up externally too, as it was extremely dirty. Normally, I would clean mechanical parts and external surfaces with warm water and washing up liquid, and a soft-bristled tooth-brush. This time, stupidly, I used a cotton bud and a very small amount of 99.9% isopropyl alcohol. The focus distance markings on the Industar-69 are painted, and they started to come off while I was cleaning. Also, some of the "shine" appears to have disappeared from the barrel.

It's no big deal - the lens was super-cheap, and not in great condition anyway, so nothing lost... But I want to avoid this happening in future with better lenses.

So... my question: What are the most suitable solutions for cleaning dirty metal and plastic lens barrels with painted (but not engraved) markings? Am I right to continue using water and washing up liquid, or are there better choices?

Thanks in advance
I use armor all cleaning wipes

Armor AllŪ - Cleaning Wipes, 25 ct.
12-28-2017, 08:04 AM   #6
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spit 'n sleeve.
12-28-2017, 08:42 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
This time, stupidly, I used a cotton bud and a very small amount of 99.9% isopropyl alcohol.
The focus distance markings on the Industar-69 are painted, and they started to come off while I was cleaning.
Also, some of the "shine" appears to have disappeared from the barrel.
But I want to avoid this happening in future with better lenses.

What are the most suitable solutions for cleaning dirty metal and plastic lens barrels with painted (but not engraved) markings?
Am I right to continue using water and washing up liquid, or are there better choices?
You have to use a chemically and biological clean liquid, like distilled water.
http://thkphoto.com/support/tips-techniques/how-to-clean-filters/
http://www.hoyafilter.com/support/tips-techniques/how-to-clean-filters/
Schneider Optics
https://www.schneideroptics.com/ecommerce/CatalogSubCategoryDisplay.aspx?CID=1111

"remember to apply the filter cleaner to the filter cleaning tissue before use. Never wipe a filter with a dry cloth!"
12-28-2017, 09:16 AM   #8
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I do not know if this is available worldwide but I get lens cleaning solution from my local Costco wholesale club. It is cheap, free refills and it cleans lenses, both the glass and any dirt on the barrel. I would think any other lens cleaning solution would work as long as you just use it sparingly on a clean cloth, preferable microfiber and dry the lens completely. I also use it on my K-5 (plastic) and K-3 (glass) rear monitor screens and it works great on them.

12-28-2017, 09:37 AM   #9
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For cleaning cameras and lens barrels, I use cotton buds (swabs) and saliva, then dry cotton buds. It works very well and leaves no residue. I don't clean with this method too soon after eating.

I've tried using surgical spirit (95% methylated spirit [Denatured alcohol], 2.5% castor oil, 2% diethyl phthalate, and 0.5% methyl salicylate) but that eats away at the paint in markings, especially the green rectangle Pentax uses on mode dials. When they get grimy I've found that a small amount of WD-40 instead of saliva does very well. Then I clean again with saliva; no smell is left.

Does anyone have direct experience of refilling engraved markings on lenses and can advise me how it's done?
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