How do I clean my sticky camera?
April 27, 2014 11:21 PM   Subscribe

OK, so I recently spilled beer on my Fujifilm X100S. Doh! Luckily, the camera still functions fine. Unluckily, most of the manual control dials are now sticky and hard to adjust, including the focus ring, aperture ring, battery/card door and optical/digital viewfinder switch. It's kind of a mess. Help!

Assuming I don't want to spend big bucks sending it in for repair, is there a way to clean my camera using a solvent or some other method that doesn't require disassembly? The X100S is pretty tightly constructed, and I just know that tackling it with a screwdriver will end in sadness.
posted by flod to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (5 answers total)
Best answer: Probably not, the sugars and residue will need washing away with probable relubrication afterwards. Strip, clean and rebuild required, custom jigs and tools are almost certainly involved. Not a DIY project especially not the lens, if you have any great expectation of continuing to use the camera. Is it insured?
posted by epo at 12:22 AM on April 28, 2014

Best answer: Find a reputable repair service, and send it in for a clean, lube and adjust - around a half hour's to an hour's worth of labor. They'll disassemble and clean the components, and re-lubricate when they put it back together. It's not a difficult procedure, but will typically require some experience, education and special tools.

I would strongly resist the urge to soak everything with a tuner-cleaner (like WD-40) - such sprays typically do leave a residue, and worse, they'll wash away the lubricant the manufacturer put into moving components, and may damage dust or moisture seals.
posted by Slap*Happy at 7:04 AM on April 28, 2014

Best answer: I have a degree in photography and know a lot of photographers and technicians. This isn't a DIY thing - please take it to a camera shop for cleaning! They have special tools, cleaning fluids, good lighting, etc. it shouldn't be expensive. Good luck!
posted by jrobin276 at 2:21 PM on April 28, 2014

Best answer: If you feel you must try to do this on your own, my go-to solvent for this kind of thing is 91% isopropyl alcohol, from the pharmacy. It is gentle to electronics (no idea about lens coatings) and leaves no residue. Just don't go crazy with it; use it sparingly, and work slow.

Better to hire a pro, though.
posted by Scientist at 6:29 PM on April 28, 2014

Response by poster: Sounds like we've got a consensus going. I'll start looking into repair options. Thanks, everyone!
posted by flod at 6:33 PM on April 28, 2014

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