Protecting the letters on camera buttons from rubbing off with use
Given the multiplicity of plastic buttons we have on modern cameras, how does one keep the letters and symbols on these buttons from rubbing off with use.
I recently came across a web article where an owner of an expensive camera accidentally wiped off paint from several buttons on his camera while out on a hot summer day for a photo session after spraying himself with mosquito repellant (or Sunscreen, not sure which of the two).
On my new D7K I am contemplating placing a strip (see photo 1: https://images.nikonians.org/galleries/showphoto.php/photo/352732) or a circular cutout (see photo 2: https://images.nikonians.org/galleries/showphoto.php/photo/352733) of scotch tape on the buttons.
Is this a good idea or the glue on scotch tape could actually make it worse by weakening the paint. What are other options to protect the paint? How do you (if you do) protect the buttons. Please post pictures.
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#1. "RE: Protecting the letters on camera buttons from rubbing off with use" | In response to Reply # 0JosephK Nikonian since 17th Apr 2006Sun 25-Dec-11 06:50 AM
It was very likely the mosquito repellent. DEET does bad things to plastics.
I spend most of the summer weekends on the beach photographing the volleyball competitions. Sunscreen does not seem to be a problem with the buttons.
My recommendation is to skip the tape and just wash palms of your hands and fingers after applying insect repellent (and sunscreen).
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#2. "RE: Protecting the letters on camera buttons from rubbing off with use" | In response to Reply # 1anujmehta Registered since 21st Dec 2011Sun 25-Dec-11 10:01 AM
Actually my question is more about protecting buttons against long term paint wear off with constant use, especially some commonly used buttons.
A friend suggested using a light coat of clear nail polish to protect paint.
As far as protecting the button paint from DEET or other chemicals is concerned clearly hand washing before camera handling is a good idea.
#3. "RE: Protecting the letters on camera buttons from rubbing off with use" | In response to Reply # 2km6xz Nikonian since 22nd Jan 2009Sun 25-Dec-11 10:46 AM
The ink comes off just as much, but over a longer period of time due to skin chemistry. For some, it is not a problem but for others, the button icons start to fade in a week or two. My D90 has several buttons with the ink gone completely but it took months to happen. My D7000 on the other hand has lost some parts of a couple button icons within the first week. My key caps for my new i7 processor laptop, purchased the same weekend as the D7000 last June, lost "e" and "n" ink within a week.
That has never happened to me before but my fix was applying adhesive stickers on the keys that added Cyrillic character. The set lasted 2 days and getting some tougher version has meant they still look like new since the end of June.
Since the buttons on the camera are rounded the material used for the keyboard caps probably would not work so I would give the clear nail polish a try but only on a test area not visible to see if the solvent in the polish attacks the plastic before committing all your buttons to that solution. Clear polish is tough and remains somewhat flexible, and is easy to touch up.
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