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08-26-2016, 02:49 PM   #16
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They sell some wipes in the automotive department usually some orange scent or something. Bucket of scrubs is what mine calls them. I do auto glass and this is the only thing that cleans up the glue I use. If there is something around the house that need scrubbed, it is the first thing I grab. They work awesome. I've seen them in walmart. Made for cleaning hands so no gloves needed. Here's amazon link.

08-26-2016, 03:02 PM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
Mild detergent in water?

I've worked for two very well known rubber (tire) manufacturers over the last 19 years, any solvent that dries out the rubber will cause the long chain polymers to break down. Old rubber lens grips are probably far along in that process, the next good cleaning could be its last.
QuoteOriginally posted by dcshooter Quote
The best solution would be to try to find some way to seal it
Rubber tends to get deformed with use, to seal it you need to use something equally flexible with similar physical properties, namely liquid rubber. Except liquid rubber is much less durable than vulcanized rubber. Mild detergent (to emulsify any oils or other "sticky" residues) and water should provide the greatest net benefits. Rubbing paraffin wax on the rubber will help to keep the outer layer of rubber fresher and probably slow down deterioration, but won't do anything to repair damage already done.
08-26-2016, 05:54 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mark2100 Quote
I got the same lens in an auction lot the other day, with the same problem. Since it was basically a free lens, I soaked a couple of paper towels with 91% isopropyl alcohol and went to town. It turned the towels black. So about 8 soaked towels later, the black stopped coming off, and no more sticky on the lens. I was careful not to get any alcohol inside the lens, but not careful enough to not wipe off most of the ft/meter scale, which I can no longer read. A fair trade though imo. It is a sharp little lens, but seriously doubt I'll be pulling out any flash and need to know distance.
Since Mark2100 has solved the exact same problem with the exact same lens's sticky rubber grip, by using isopropyl alcohol, that really seems like the way to go.

Before reading his account, what I would have recommended would have been a cleaning with "Drive Wheel Cleaner" which is designed to clean, and to partially recondition, tape recorder capstan rollers and record turntable idler drive wheels. I have a bottle of this stuff on hand, but unfortunately it doesn't seem to be available right now from the vender I got it from. Those rubber rollers can also be cleaned with alcohol, but doing that too often tends to dry out the rubber, and getting dry and hard is how those rollers degrade over time. In this case, however, drying out the stickiness, as well as cleaning, may be exactly what you want, making the isopropyl ideal. If later, the rubber seems to become too dry, then some kind of rubber reconditioner might be used sparingly. If you can't find the kind of rubber roller cleaner used in audio equipment, they still make the kind of cleaner used for cleaning and reconditioning typewriter rollers.
08-26-2016, 06:54 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by 1wild1 Quote
usually some orange scent or something
It is Limonene which I suggested in my post No.5
There is nothing better. Every household should have a small bottle of it for a multiple of cleaning solutions. It works wonders on a lot of things and is completely safe.

08-28-2016, 10:38 AM   #20
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Thanks for all the great responses. I hit it with some Goo Gone and that seems to have done the trick. I sold the lens on eBay last night, will ship it out in the morning and the buyer won't have to worry about sticky fingers when he gets it.
08-29-2016, 05:14 AM   #21
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I'm surprised no one mentioned Eucalyptus oil. Best stuff for removing glue remains from sticky labels.
08-29-2016, 05:57 AM   #22
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If this is an older Sigma lens with the Zen finish you are just one of many with this problem. Two of mine had it and since the inner glass had other issues such as element separation etc I eventually wound up tossing the lenses. I used acetone to dissolve the rest of the stuff, but you have to be careful to get it all off. Otherwise it will find a way into moving parts jamming them up. I tossed my 70-210 and APO 400 f5.6 because of the issues they had after sitting for several years. If you know how to disassemble the lens I would go that route and then clean the Zen finish off the tubes. . If not sending it out to be removed would be an option, but is probably not worth it. My 70-210 f4-5.6 was not that great anyway. Tossing the 400mm APO hurt. But it was not worth the cost or repairing as internal elements had separated too.

I recently saw an older Nikon SLR N6006 with a Sigma lens on it at a flea market. It actually still had a good battery in it and the autofocus worked too. It was $60 US but the zoom was a Sigma with Zen finish that had degraded to goo and I passed on it.

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