Brush the grime out of your classic lenses' teeth

30 Dec 2014 06:36

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Classic lenses and other camera equipment can be mechanical works of art. Unfortunately, their elegant knurling and fluting can get…kind of grubby. How to clean their teeth without scratching the shiny surface or abusing recessed paint? A "sonic" vibrating toothbrush works great. Use one reserved for the purpose, rinsed and dried or, for stuck-on dirt, dampened and shaken almost dry before being brought near the lens. The bigger kind incorporating the moving magnet and soft pivot in the swappable heat costs less (perhaps as a price-discrimination device, as it's bigger, and probably harder to make, but funny-looking), as the pivot wears out eventually.

This is for tough fairly modern finishes on metal camera stuff. Use extra care for antique and very valuable items. Wipe off grit and other spatter with a clean, lightly soaped, wrung-almost-dry cloth before beginning and periodically throughout the process, and brush only the body of the lens-not near the glass or other openings. Best to keep caps on to protect the ends. Be extra-gentle on paint accents such as numbers in recesses: better to get them almost-clean than partly knocked-out. Allow to dry thoroughly in a well ventilated place to get out any last traces of water (which should be no more than from, say, sweaty hands in the first place).

Don't put toothpaste on camera stuff!

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