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Canon 10 X 30 IS Binoculars - sticky Rubber Coating


I have a 10 X 30 IS binocular [serial number deleted for privacy].  The rubberized coating is disintegrating and has become very sticky.  I see others have had this problem with other high end models.  How do I improve the condition or get them repaired?  They work perfectly but are very uncomfortable to use.


The guy was JeffBrew. See his post. The spray is a clear acrylic in a pressurized can. Bought at the local hardware store.

My guess is that the sticky stuff is from a "soft touch" thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) layer that is breaking down.  By using the rubbing alcohol, I was able to remove that entire layer, so it is not possible to get sticky again.

By far the best solution so far..... the rubbing alcohol or isopropyl alcohol gets rid of the problem rather than just covering it up. I used a tooth brush followed by a rag...... the toothbrush and alcohol seems to wear away the rubber which gets caught in the bristles and a follow up with a soaked rag gets rid of the last of the stickiness. Quite hard work but you do end up with shiny non-stick binos as in your photos. Brilliant!

Very nice job - looks better than my “quick fix” lacquer job (that is still working fine).

One suggestion for your excellent removal process. I think the job could be speeded up and simplified by softening the coating as much as possible before wiping it off. I would try brushing the alcohol on with a small brush and let it sit for a few minutes. If you did this a few times, I suspect the coating would become quite soft and easier to remove.


Rubber coating-stickiness has been around since it was first used on cameras decades ago. I'm a collector and have seen a lot of it.

I have used isopropyl alcohol numerous times on "old" cameras to remove stickiness an/or remove the rubber coatings altogether. It is less noxious than other solvents, less likely to remove markings on equipment,  and not messy like some solvents.  Try it.


Me too -- 12 x 36 IS II, about 10-15 years old, lightly used, and stored in a dry closet out of the case.  The outer coating is sticky, deteriorating, and marring my clothes.  I'm disgusted.  Canon should be ashamed, and offer to fix for free.


Many thanks for the suggested fixes.  I'll try one soon and report back.

This is NOT just a Canon problem. I am also familiar with it on Nikon cameras. Probably more that I have not handled myself.


I notice that some folks are successfully removing the "sticky tar" coating by arduous rubbing with alcohol. My binoculars with the lacquer coating that I put on them are holding up beautifully (functionally speaking) after over a year of use, so if you are OK with the new look that this treatment gives them, I recommend this (see my previous post for details) as a fix that takes but a few minutes of time and holds up very well. 

The process of removing the coating entirely takes a bit more time and labor, but I'm sure it is more appealing to some owners. My suggestion to them for speeding up the process is to use a fine grade of steel wool with the alcohol which will help greatly in removing the tar and should leave the binoculars with a nice finish. 

Good info, Jeff. Thanks for the update. Just to bring my situation up to date, after rejecting Canon's offer to "repair" (replace) mine for a nominal fee ($250!) going on a year ago, I have continued to keep them usable and without further deterioration by dusting them with a coating of talcum powder and then wiping it off an hour or so later, repeating the procedure once every couple of months as needed. This procedure has to be initiated, of course, before the coating has dissolved into a complete goopy, sticky mess but, at least in my case, retains much of the pre-breakdown grip texture that I prefer to the smooth, uncoated surface. Btw, the binocs themselves are still performing as new, and I am continually (and pleasantly) surprised at the long battery life of the IS electronics.

Happy holidays, everyone!!!


Yeah, this is a common complaint. I found someone on E-Bay who would re-cover my binocs for about $400, nearly the cost of new 10 x 30 IS binocs. So, having nothing to lose, I painted them with Plasti-Dip. That was at least 5 years ago. Sure, they look like doo-doo. But after over 5 years, they're still not sticky and still work fine. I cleaned off about 1/2 the binocs with isopropyl alcohol, but painted the whole unit (including the goopy sticky half) with Plasti-Dip. Both halves look the same today, so it appears unnecessary to clean off the sticky goop. Good Luck!