Fungus inside lens

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by pbryld, Oct 8, 2011.

  1. pbryld

    pbryld Member

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    So, I just found out one of my lenses is infected with fungus. Quite severe i think (?).

    It's on a Hasselblad 80mm T* lens.

    My question is: Is it absolutely impossible to dissemble it clean it by myself? Is it possible to be done by a repair man? I would really like to do it myself.

    I was planning on selling it, but now I guess it's close to worthless. Is it?
    It isn't visible through the viewfinder. Does that make a difference?


    Thanks in advance...
     

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    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 8, 2011
  2. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    Could you find someone that clean could it for you?

    Jeff
     
  3. Pumalite

    Pumalite Subscriber

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    Take a roll of film and look at it. It's probably O.K. That lens can last you 10 or 20 years.
     
  4. pbryld

    pbryld Member

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    Not really. I was hoping to be able to do it myself, if possible.
     
  5. pbryld

    pbryld Member

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    But its value is not that great anymore, correct?

    I'll run a film through it and see how the photographs are affected. Wouldn't you characterise the problem to be quite severe, though?
     
  6. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    There probably is enough fungus to have an effect on your pictures. Flare, loss of contrast, soft image.
    The lens is till going for over $300.

    The group you want to get at is held in by the inner spanner nut/ring. it's visible in the picture and is the smaller ring with two notches at 180 degrees.
    A cheap pair of pliers with the tips ground t fit the notches will work. If they fit correctly they won't mark anything. Slip and all bets are off.
    You may need a small suction cup to get the glass out. Clean it with ammonia and wipe the barrel out with it too.
    The fungus will just get worse if you leave it there.
     
  7. guitstik

    guitstik Member

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    Hit it with a UV light and use it as a soft focus lens short of a major CLA.
     
  8. chriscrawfordphoto

    chriscrawfordphoto Member

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    Fungus is a living thing that will spread to your other lenses. I had that happen and had to toss out 8 lenses. I don;t let a lens with fungus anywhere near my home now.
     
  9. APLJ

    APLJ Member

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    I opened up my 80mm for the first time just a little while back. Thankfully everything went really smoothly. I just opened it up and cleaned it out, really straight forward.

    Good luck!
     
  10. JPD

    JPD Member

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    I agree with you John. The lens should be cleaned, and ammonia kills the fungus. 24-25% white vinegar can also be used. Vinegar is a potent fungicide.

    Pliers can work, or you could make a tool by cutting a sheet of metal, and there's also spanner wrenches for lenses to buy on e*bay ( http://www.ebay.com/itm/New-Spanner-Wrench-3-32-Great-Tool-Lens-/200658548947 )

    Whatever works, as long as the tool fits both of the notches in the lens element retaining ring so you can unscrew it.
     

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  11. pbryld

    pbryld Member

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    Some great advice here! Thanks!

    I heard that I shouldn't clean this myself, as I will end up wiping off some coating on the insides of the glass. Is that true? Or can i clean it as described, make sure there isn't any dust (perhaps use a bit of compressed air) and put everything back together with no worries?
     
  12. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    Don't scrub the thing, tissue and lens cleaner or ammonia solution.
    Don't press the tissue flat, make a ball or wad about 3/16-1/4" and use a circular motion.
    It's going to take several applications, just take it easy.
    Older lenses have much softer internal coatings than newer, careful anyhow.

    BTW I've successfully removed inner coatings myself. intentionally(cough), right
     
  13. pbryld

    pbryld Member

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    I was thinking of using one of those cloths for glasses. I heard that using tissue paper can end up creasing because of some stiff fibers or something...
     
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  15. Copperrein

    Copperrein Member

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    Hello, I'm rather new, but I've done a few lens jobs.

    If you DO clean the lens yourself, you want to take every effort to document the way and order in which the lens comes apart so you can reverse the steps when it comes time to put it all back. I use small parts organizers to keep track of what parts come out during each 'step' in disassembly. If you have a digital camera...use good lighting and photo every step. Trust me on this...be as explicit as possible during disassembly so assembly is easy. What the others said about a spanner is good. If you can't get a hold of a spanner that works, modify some cheap pliers. Grind or use heat and hammer to flatten the jaws. Don't try to pull a cheap MacGuyver here, one slip and you risk destroying the glass.

    For the actual cleaning, spit works. The enzymes break down the majority of mold/fungus without harming the myriad of coatings found on lenses. THEN....set all the parts that showed signs of fungus in a sunny window for a week at least. You may think you got it all with the spit/cleaner...but trust me, there is a good chance spores are still lurking, waiting to breed more evil balls of filth after you put it ALL back together.

    Last of all.... google google GOOGLE! There are tons of people out there doing their own CLAs and you may get lucky. Someone may have posted a CLA for your exact lens. You can learn from their success or failure.

    One bonus of having a pro do it is you generally get some sort of guarantee. However...do it yourself and you gain much more in the long-run.
     
  16. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    If you use the micro fiber cloth, it still needs to have enough "cush" so as to not remove the coating.
    Try wadding a tissue or cotton ball inside the lens cleaning cloth.
     
  17. zsas

    zsas Member

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    I got a moldy enlarging lens that was easy to take apart, I cleaned it with a 50/50 mix of ammonia and hydrogen peroxide. I used cotton buds (organic cotton balls that said bleached white in peroxide).

    Then after cleaning the fungus and drying with cotton balls, I did a final cleaning with denatured alcohol. Lens looks great. Coatings stayed intact but, it wasn't a Hassy, so I make no claim this will work for you. The hardest part is getting the correct spanners.

    I did a ton of reading and was led to this process (the 50/50 for the fungus and denatured alcohol to get off the grease caused by the breakdown of the organisms). Seemed to work for me.

    Good luck!
     
  18. Pumalite

    Pumalite Subscriber

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    Sorry to disagree. Fungus in a lens is like Prostatic Cancer; it takes 20 or 30 years to kill you and you usually die from a heart attack first, or pneumonia. And the pictures continue to be good.
     
  19. sangetsu

    sangetsu Member

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    I have worked on dozens of lenses with fungus in them. The best way to prevent fungus is to expose the glass to sunlight from time to time. Fungus, like mold, doesn't tolerate direct sunlight or UV light.

    To remove the fungus, I use pure cotton swabs slightly moistened with lens cleaning fluid, and a small amount of toothpaste. Rub the lens with the cotton swab in a small circular motion without applying too much pressure. If the fungus has not fully etched the lens coating, this should remove it.

    The most difficult part of the process is getting the lens back together without having dust particles trapped inside. Very careful cleaning and a blow brush are necessary, as well as working in as dust free an environment as you can find.
     
  20. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    I'd agree with that statement with respect to "Fungus Damaged Coating" but if there is live fungus in a lens, I'd get rid of that right away.
     
  21. Katie

    Katie Subscriber

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    Fungus can spread to other lenses?
     
  22. brucemuir

    brucemuir Member

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    Yea it sure can.
    But the correct environment needs to be present in the first place for the spores to thrive.
    Damp dark humid places like some camera bags can even be bad news.

    IDK but I researched this once and read on a webpage (take it for what it's worth) that the spores are present all around us anyway. They just need the right environment before they can grow.

    Also I wouldn't use toothpaste an any Zeiss glass I own :smile:
    What about the spores inside the rest of the lens?
     
  23. EdSawyer

    EdSawyer Member

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    fungus doesn't spread between lenses. Spores exist in all the air all the time. They exist in all lenses. It takes the right environment for them to grow. If it grows on one it could grow on others in the same environment, but it doesn't "spread" like a communicable disease between humans.
     
  24. georg16nik

    georg16nik Member

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    If they have what to feed on, yes, they might spread to other lenses that use the same body. Some of the fungus feed on the deteriorated balsam that holds groups of lenses together, others feed on the deteriorated oil where there is a shutter unit between the lenses.
    Thats why its good to run most central shutters almost dry, with tiny scent of oil or graphite on critical pivots.
    The best prophylactic is to have Your lenses cleaned with alkaline solution every now and then. UV is not an option when acid environment is present inside the lenses.. as in most cases.
    Generally speaking, fungus or other types of bacterias are very intelligent, so once they are present.. You will need a lot of luck and mojo to save that lens.
    Cellulose triacetate films can develop bacterias relatively fast, when not stored properly. Thats another way to get Your camera infected.
     
  25. brucemuir

    brucemuir Member

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    Does anyone have the specs as to temp & humidity needed for these things to propagate?
     
  26. georg16nik

    georg16nik Member

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    if the pH is less than 7, even a slight humidity might boost growth.