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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 07 May 2013 (Tuesday) 01:36
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Clean contacts

 
rexboggs5
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May 07, 2013 01:36 |  #1

What is the best way to clean the contacts on a lens and on a camera? I found a web page on it, and there were about 10 opinions, some directly opposed to each other.

So I thought I would come here for the good oil :-)

And should this be done regularly, or only when an error message appears?

Thanks.




  
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hollis_f
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May 07, 2013 04:42 |  #2

Those contacts shouldn't ever need cleaning if they're used regularly and not exposed to nasties (salt water is a real no-no). The continuous rubbing of metal against metal should remove any buildup of non-conducting corrosive materials (technically known as 'gunk'). If you should get gunk on your contacts (sufficient to give an error message) then a rubbing with a damp cloth should remove it. If it didn't then I'd use a small piece of fine sandpaper, remembering to use a rocket-blower to remove any dust caused before attaching the lens to tha camera.


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lazer-jock
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May 07, 2013 05:42 |  #3

I'd ignore the sandpaper suggestion. Although lenses are expensive, those contacts are not made of solid gold. Sandpaper will cut through the gold layer and leave you with a worse problem going forward. A damp cloth and a little bit of elbow grease is by far the better suggestion. Perhaps a bit of isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol on a Q-tip if the damp cloth just isn't getting it.


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Elfstop
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May 07, 2013 06:57 |  #4

I always heard that a pencil eraser was good...let's see..that's three responses and three opinions...




  
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SkipD
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May 07, 2013 07:06 |  #5

Elfstop wrote in post #15906046 (external link)
I always heard that a pencil eraser was good...let's see..that's three responses and three opinions...

A pencil eraser is NOT a good tool for cleaning gold-plated contacts. It's way too abrasive and will ruin the surface.

The best way to clean gold-plated contacts is with a soft but lint-free cloth slightly moistened with isopropyl ("rubbing") alcohol.

This is not an opinion but fact. I'm retired from a 39-year career in industrial process control system maintenance and have seen many gold-plated contacts ruined by the "eraser trick".


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hollis_f
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May 07, 2013 07:10 |  #6

lazer-jock wrote in post #15905930 (external link)
I'd ignore the sandpaper suggestion. Although lenses are expensive, those contacts are not made of solid gold. Sandpaper will cut through the gold layer and leave you with a worse problem going forward.

A gentle clean with fine sandpaper isn't going to remove all the gold layer, and it's only for when a damp cloth isn't enough.

Those contacts are designed to rub against other bits of metal thousands of times. They are not going to get broke by a little extra abasion.

Elfstop wrote in post #15906046 (external link)
I always heard that a pencil eraser was good...let's see..that's three responses and three opinions...

Yup, as long as you make sure none of those little bits of rubber end up inside your mirror box.


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hollis_f
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May 07, 2013 07:12 |  #7

SkipD wrote in post #15906064 (external link)
This is not an opinion but fact. I'm retired from a 39-year career in industrial process control system maintenance and have seen many gold-plated contacts ruined by the "eraser trick".

Were these gold contacts on things like circuit boards - which are designed to be re-inserted just a few times - or for things like lens contacts - which are designed to be grinded into other lumps of metal several thousand times?


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SkipD
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May 07, 2013 08:07 |  #8

hollis_f wrote in post #15906074 (external link)
Were these gold contacts on things like circuit boards - which are designed to be re-inserted just a few times - or for things like lens contacts - which are designed to be grinded into other lumps of metal several thousand times?

Both....

Roughing up the surface of the contacts with something like a pink eraser makes the contact surface area greatly reduced and this is not a good thing.


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Phototeacher
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May 07, 2013 08:28 |  #9

Alcohol, or an electrical contact cleaner (like "De-Ox it") and a clean cloth should do the trick. If the gunk is really bad, try using a piece of plain paper moistened with the alcohol instead of a cloth. It is not as abrasive as "sandpaper" and probably safer then trying the pencil eraser.




  
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SkipD
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May 07, 2013 09:22 |  #10

Phototeacher wrote in post #15906271 (external link)
Alcohol, or an electrical contact cleaner (like "De-Ox it") and a clean cloth should do the trick. If the gunk is really bad, try using a piece of plain paper moistened with the alcohol instead of a cloth. It is not as abrasive as "sandpaper" and probably safer then trying the pencil eraser.

I agree....


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Elfstop
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May 07, 2013 09:51 |  #11

Just kidding about that pencil eraser thingy...I always use a lens/camera eletrical contact cleaner.




  
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KirkS518
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May 07, 2013 16:30 |  #12

I use the Radio Shack version of De-Ox-It, sprayed onto a Q-Tip (cotton swab). I give it a once over with the rocket blower, making sure no fine strands of cotton are left behind. I sometimes use a paper towel if I don't feel like going and getting a swab.


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May 07, 2013 17:07 |  #13

I find this works best for me.


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rexboggs5
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May 08, 2013 15:14 as a reply to  @ trx125's post |  #14

Thanks for the suggestions, folks. I bought some isopropyl alcohol (70%) and that seemed to do the trick. The choices in my chemist were a $12 bottle or a 5c swab. I lashed out and bought 5 swabs :-).




  
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ROGERWILCO357
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May 08, 2013 19:21 |  #15

I would say Q-tip and alcohol or if sand paper is used something along the 2000 grit to be safe as a last resort..


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Clean contacts
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