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.
One must find out what this cover material is made of, probably a synthetic leather imitation. I have seen (felt) this on a camera or two, with a black coating, so I would venture to say it is normal evaporative degradation. However, there must be some kind of gentle cleaner (diluted dish washing liquid), that can be wiped across it with a gentle bristle toothbrush in a circular motion, and then a water based
sprayed airbrush coating with everything else
masked off as best as possible. This might soak into the covering
and fortify it in some way. Just my 2 cents, don't take it as gospel. Thank you, I am a new member.
Yup.... mine too....same model bought about 10 years ago. Rubberized covering has been degrading for a while despite being stored on a shelf in my study between use and rarely being used outside. Very sticky and covered in fingerprints now.
Hard to believe that a company of Canons reputation would fail to check whether a main component of such sophisticated binoculars was actually stable or not. Hopefully it hasn't degraded to anything toxic but who knows? I think the least Canon could do would be to apologise for their error and confirm that the binos are still safe to handle
My IS binoculars have been getting worse and worse for years until this year they finally melted down till they felt like a melted blob of tar. Totally unusable. They even deposited goopy rubber onto my fingers.
I tried some of the on-line suggestions - which only made them worse - but I was determined to bring them back because they still worked so well.
It occurred to me that lacquer (the kind intended to finish wood and metals) has a reputation for being able to coat and dry over any previous finish, so as a desperate last measure, I decided to try using this to coat them. I simply covered the eyepieces with a couple of medicine bottle caps, cut a little piece of masking tape to cover the power button, and stood them on a small board. objective lenses down. I sprayed them with lacquer from a spray can (Rustoleum brand works well and sprays nicely). The lacquer dries quickly - in about 30 minutes if you don't spray too thickly. I gave them four coats and let them dry overnight. About a week later I gave them a final coat.
The results are excellent. The stickyness is completely gone and they feel and work great. Of course they look a bit different - somewhat shiny, and lumpy where the worst of the goopyness was - but frankly, I like the look - the well-worn feeling of old friends (after all, I have had them for over ten years!) and not having them look spiffy-new probably makes them less likely to be pinched. They still work as well as the day I got them.
One caution - avoid breathing in the laquer spray. Do it in a well ventilated space and maybe use a fan to blow away the over-spray. This whole job took about 30 minutes - not counting drying time.
Its the season for birds, and my binoculars are seeing a lot of use. The lacquer is holding up beautifully and my binoculars are a pleasure to use.
If you are devoted to the "matte" original finish of your binocs, then be aware that this appearance will change after this treatment, but in my opinion the somewhat glossy look on mine is kind of cool. I know that "flat" finish lacquers are available and might look a bit more like the original finish. In every respect except appearance, the binoculars work just the same as when I bought them over ten years ago.
Jeffbrew - That's great news. Thanks for sharing your specific situation and success with everyone.
As a side note, I don't feel comfortable using the lacquer over my entire binoculars. However, I'll strongly consider it for the problem area on mine, which is only the bottom under the focus knob (where my thumbs support the binoculars when I use them).