I have the same problem with my Nikon N65 film SLR and I bought a vintage Super 8 movie camera where the rubber had turned to the consistency of gum on a side-walk on a hot summer day. On the a camera I carefully rubbed on a coat of talcum (which probably isn't the best thing to use on a camera but I was careful and it isn't something I do every day). I then took a small square I cut from an old terry towel and used friction and elbow grease to rub off the top layer of the rubber. I then took another square of the towel and dipped it in hot soapy water, squeezed out the excess and washed all that remained. I then took a small water-colour brushed (after I dried the surface of course), and dusted the surface of the rubber with talcum and let it sit overnight. This seemed to stop the derioration and clear off what had built up. The next day I took a very dry damp towell (if that makes sense) and wiped off the surface. It pretty much took care of that problem. That was the Nikon, it was only in the beginning stages, the Super 8 camera which had apparently hadn't been out of the case in 20 years. The Super 8 was so bad that I don't even know what had deteriorated, probably a rubber eye piece, that one was time consuming but basically I put the powder on carefully and just wiped big clumps off the metal eye piece. The powder just served to make it easy to clean up and kept it from turning into a 3 stooges farce with one thing sticking to the other and so on. Well, I hope this helps, I don't know why it works, maybe there's a chemist out there that can explain it to me. Good luck!!
Don't need to do so many steps, after the powder drys up and sweatstarts to sit in, beconmes sticky again. go to this youtude it can be totally solve within mmins.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1oIe3SrcugE
The rubber body of my praktica binoculars have also become very sticky. My guess is it's the use of lower-grade rubber and the surface begins to perish over time. My solution was to clean the affected parts with acetone (nail polish remover), rubbing it on with a cloth until the top (sticky) layer of rubber had been stripped off. If you do a thorough enough job the surface should dry off smooth with no stickiness. The downside is it makes the rubber absolutely matt. I'm planning to coat mine with some kind of silicon based product afterwards to seal it and make the rubber more pleasant to touch.
Purple Power Degreaser and Cleaner worked for me. Put binoculars vertical on a paper towel, spray them down, leave 10 to 15 minutes, wipe off the sticky junk with paper towels, repeat once or twice. Worked like a charm on my Bushnell 10*25. I wiped it down with alcohol as a final step (for whatever reason?).
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I'll assume its sweat and grime from handling over it's life time. You could purchase "Wax & Grease remover for ten bucks at an automotive after market store and remove it with a rag. We use it to remove adhesive residue on cars prior to paiting (removed stickers, pin striping, door moulds/strips all leave a adhesive residue.)
A less toxic product could be tee tree oil or eucalyptus oil
I recommend the wax n grease remover as long as the sales person agrees that it's not going to eat into your rubber or discolor it (which I highly doubt but wont hurt to ask) This product is a great thing to have around the house for those *sticky moments* u want to get rid of "1-2 quick wipes and its done"
Many cameras and binoculars are covered with a sprayed on thin layer of rubber which breaks down after about 5 to ten years. It becomes very sticky and can be scratched off with a fingernail. This leaves a messy surface which can be cleaned off with methylated spirits. Other solvents will work like isopropyl alcahol but avoid using solvents like cellulose thinners or white spirit as this can attack the underlying plastic on some cameras.
Simple use soft lint free cloth like old drying up cloth, you need about half a cup of methalayted spirits,can get this from any hardware store. poke finger into cloth dip into meths proceed to rub sticky coating off binoculars. you will need to keep changing to a new peace of the cloth as soon as it gets coated with the sticky black stuff off binoculars. keep dipping into meths eventually after say 6 rubs in a particular area you will see and feel a nice hard black plastic, continue all over effected area then finish off with any window cleaner polish until cloth remains clean.STICKY COATING IS NOW GONE IT WAS INFACT A COATING PUT ON THE BINOCULARS TO MAKE THEM NONE SLIP. job done. regards GER8
The same thing happened with my old Praktica Sport Zoom binoculars, and (in my case) found that the sticky coating could be removed by repeated rubbing with paper towels moistened with methylated spirit ("meths"). SAFETY FIRST: If you decide to try this method and have not used meths before, it is a very flammable liquid, and harmful by touch and inhalation, so please wear rubber gloves and do this outdoors or in a well ventilated place and away from sources of heat or fire. That said, it is cheap and readily available from DIY stores, usually in their painting section.
walmart sells vivitar,why not contact them for a source to replace them, sounds like vivitar is more of a toy than a quality binocular though. sounds like a sticky situation to me....good luck...firstname.lastname@example.org
Try it with rubbing alcohol first - just keep it away from the optics, and you may get lucky.
The only thing that ever seems to work with these is an abrasive cream cleaner (jif/cif or similar) - you just have to use lots of cream and be careful not to polish the optics - unfortunately the stickiness will come back quicker than before though.
I haven't tried myself, but i have heard that once you have carried out the cream cleaner routine, you can paint the unit - ask your hardware shop what sort of rubbery paints they have - ideally oil based and not acrylic. It wont last as long as the original finish or like quite as good, but it should stop the stickiness for a while at least.
Try and keep your binoculars out of the sun - most of the stickiness is either caused by that, or contact with a damaging chemical such as most insect repellents, or petroleum products.
Hope this helps :)