This may seem pretty basic if you know the little secrets already, but if you do not, it will help you get your lenses looking like new in no time. If you shoot a lot, this should be part of your regular maintenance. On Monday’s fishing trip, we were occasionally sprayed with sea water, which is really not good for metal, and when it dries, it leaves an unpleasant looking white residue on your rubber focus rings. This can also happen from regular wear and tear, sweat and general use. It makes the lens rings look all grimy. Most people are tempted to use some type of cleaning alcohol, but I prefer to use:
1. Armor All, because it helps treat the rubber and gives it more of a shiny look, instead of drying up and leaving a faded look.
2. You will be tempted to spray it right on the rubber. Do not do this, you do not want it penetrating the seams and getting inside the lens.
3. You will also be tempted to spray it on a rag or cleaning cloth. This is fine for the body of the lens, but it will not help clean the grooves of the rubber lens rings.
4. Use Q-Tips, dip them in a cap full of Armor All and gently clean parallel to the rubber grooves. Go all around the lens in each and every groove.
5. Do not redip the Qtip, throw it away when it gets dirty and use a new clean one. Never dip a dirty Qtip back into the Armor All.
6. If you have “L” lenses, look for the rubber seal at the base of the lens. You should consider cleaning this off as well. It is the weather seal and helps prevent dirt and grime from getting inside. If you do it right, your lens will look as good as new!