Cleaning the exterior of old legacy lenses?

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by qball, Oct 2, 2010.

  1. qball

    qball Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 19, 2010
    What's the best method for cleaning the exterior of old legacy lenses?

    I picked up a huge lot of old hexanons, Yashicas, fujinons, minoltas, canons, etc. today and some are dusty or dirty, where as the lenses are fairly clean. All in all 63 lenses and over 40 old 35mm camera bodies and about a dozen rangefinder bodies. About 1/2 of the lenses were dirty and had fungus. It's a shame. Some of them were pretty decent lenses to start. Not worth getting restored I presume.

    For the lenses with good fungus-free glass, but dusty bodies, what's a good cleaner/solvent that won't "get inside" something that will evaporate, yet clean the dirt off the exterior of the lens bodies?

    Rubbing alcohol?

    Should I use a small paint brush, a soft tooth brush, or just a micro fiber towel?


  2. akulya

    akulya Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 21, 2010
    I'd use a cloth and a medium soft brush on the metal parts, rubbing alcohol might shift it, if not try acetone, methyl ethyl ketone almost certainly will. Be very careful not to get any solvent at all on a lens surface, as these solvents will probably wreck the coatings.
    It might also be an idea to try a bit of solvent in an inconspicuous location (as per stain remover instructions) just to see what it does to the paint!
    Sounds like a fun haul, Good luck restoring them!
  3. linkedit

    linkedit Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 6, 2010
    New Jersey, USA
    how did you get all those lenses???
  4. qball

    qball Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 19, 2010
    Ad in the paper. Guy wanted to unload like 30 years worth of collection.