Today I decided to drag out my lenses and give them a clean.
They really didn’t need much in the way of cleaning, as I always keep them clean, and generally give them a clean after use if the nature of the shoot warrants it.
When I looked at one or two of my lenses, I discovered that the black rubber focus or AF stop ring was almost grey due to either dust, scuffs or both. The textured surface of the control rings on lenses, as well as the material from which they’re made, makes the use of a blower or dust brush ineffective at cleaning them.
I decided that in order to get into the grooves of the rubber rings, I needed to scrub, so I opted for a soft-bristled toothbrush, which I dampened and then used to scrub ‘along the grain’ of the rubber rings.
I found that did a good job of restoring the rings to their black colour, and makes them look as good as new.
As for my technique for cleaning the optical surfaces of my lenses, I firstly use a rocket blower to blow off any surface dust, and then I use a soft-bristled brush to physically wipe off any remaining surface dust. Finally I use a LensPen, which has a soft, carbon-tipped, triangular-shaped cleaning pad which effectively cleans the glass and gets into the nooks and crannies where the edge of the glass meets the barrel assembly.