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08-25-2016, 02:21 PM   #1
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How can I get the sticky residue off my rubber lens grip?

So I've got this Sigma UC 70-210mm AF zoom lens and it's in great shape except the rubber grip has this sticky residue on it. It's not dirty but it just feels yucky like a three-year-old kid has been handling the lens after eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. I think the rubber is actually beginning to deteriorate. Is there any way to clean it off? I tried using an alcohol prep pad, since isopropyl alcohol is a reasonably good solvent that evaporates quickly and leaves no residue but that didn't seem to touch it. I really don't want to use anything that might work its way inside the lens and gum up the works. Suggestions are greatly appreciated.

08-25-2016, 02:42 PM   #2
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I would try a little Goo Gone, available everywhere. Put a bit on a cotton swab and work a small area to see if A- it cleans off the stickies (it should, nicely), B- It doesn't deteriorate the rubber grip!

08-25-2016, 02:44 PM   #3
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I would suggest a dab of Avon Skin So Soft oil on a cotton swab; it won't harm the rubber, & I've removed sticky residue with it. Of course Avon doesn't suggest this use!
08-25-2016, 02:52 PM   #4
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Plus one for the Goo Gone

08-25-2016, 07:11 PM   #5
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I think Limonene would do it have used it for this purpose. It is also very good for removing sticky label residue from any surfaces.
08-25-2016, 07:16 PM   #6
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Mild detergent in water?

08-25-2016, 08:55 PM   #7
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I have read somewhere that a certain vintage of Sigma's just does that. It is not coming off because the rubber is deteriorating as you surmised. I suspect you would have to replace the rubber to really resolve the problem.
08-25-2016, 09:12 PM   #8
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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.

08-25-2016, 09:54 PM   #9
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The main culprit to this problem is DEET found on mosquito repellent. It dissolves the material at a molecular level. At best, a lot of ʻelbow greaseʻ with the Goo Gone mentioned by others and tons of patience. For anyone needing mosquito repellent, I highly recommend Picaridin based mosquito repellent. It is less toxic but effective enough and doesnʻt mess up plastic and rubberized surfaces.
08-25-2016, 10:20 PM   #10
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I second the use of ethanol or isopranol plus elbox grease. I have a Sigma with this "feature" back from the film days. Disgusting. Sticking glue everywhere. I got it off, however. Most probably, you cant avoid rubbing of the meter / feet scale. Since it is a pretty standard zoom in my case (not fast, not wide enough for my current taste), I dont use it anymore. Moreover, I probably wont buy Sigma ever again, although I know they changed the formula.
08-25-2016, 10:28 PM   #11
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Goo Gone instructions warn not to use on rubber.
08-26-2016, 03:03 AM   #12
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Whiteboard cleaner.
08-26-2016, 07:20 AM   #13
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That is not residue on those old sigma grips. It's the grips themselves.

As you suspected, they are made of crappy rubber, which degrades over time, and they can't be "cleaned" without removing a significant portion of the rubber. Goo-gone, etc. are just going to further dissolve the rubber. The best solution would be to try to find some way to seal it - perhaps pull them off and spray them with a very thin layer of some clear plasti-dip? the other way might be to apply some talc to it, but it will make the grips lighter in appearance.
08-26-2016, 09:54 AM   #14
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I have had problems with old rubber going soft and sticky, not just lens grips, but satellite decoder remotes, and the sponge rubber in measuring instrument cases. My Pentax ME super's light seals turned to sticky goo, just as well they can be replaced.
As for lens grips, a less loved donor lens with good rubber would be my fix.
08-26-2016, 02:16 PM   #15
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Another option, accessory lens grips, check out this e-bay link

Lens creep solution | eBay

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