Lens Fungus

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by psychfunk, Dec 14, 2012.

  1. psychfunk

    psychfunk Member

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    I have a Nikon 35-70 F3.5 AI lens, which is pretty beat up, dented filter ring and all that, but optically sound.

    Except, I've noticed a small amount of fungus at the back of the lens. It doesn't seem to affect my images at all, but what I want to know is: what's the worst that can happen if I ignore it? And would it be better to simply replace the lens rather than have it cleaned?
     
  2. fstop

    fstop Member

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    keep it away from your non infected lenses

    putting it in sunlight might kill the fungus

    might be cheaper to replace than have it cleaned but then there is the problem of an infected lens floating around if you sell it.
     
  3. PentaxBronica

    PentaxBronica Member

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    You can usually clean fungus successfully. Only problem I've encountered is that it seems to have a fondness for the glue used to hold multi-element groups together, if it gets into those then there's nothing you can do to clean it.

    I'd get a quote from a professional to sort it out (they should be able to fix the filter ring too), then compare that to the replacement cost. Zooms are harder to work on than primes but can still be cleaned - I've worked on three so far, two had a single bloom on one element while the third was literally riddled (I had to remove and clean every single piece of glass). Dry storage and frequent use (exposing them to UV light) seems to keep it from reappearing.
     
  4. psychfunk

    psychfunk Member

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    My pictures don't look affected, and it does get used pretty frequently. My worry was that the fungus might grow, but if it gets exposed to light regularly -and it does, there's no front cap due to the dented filter ring not accepting one - is the fungus probably dead anyway?

    Do I need to bother doing anything at all?
     
  5. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Subscriber

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    I wouldn't use that lens, if you put it on your body, the the mold spores can migrate to the body, then you change lenses and the mold spores transfer to other lenses and then mold starts growing on those...

    Even if its cleaned you can't always be sure it is free of the spores... Sell it on eBay with full disclosure, or just throw it away, I wouldn't chance infecting your other equipment. Don't store it with the other equipment either...

    If you really want lots of moldy equipment and don't care, I have a macro lens for my Mamiya RZ67 that has some mold spores, I'll sell it for 1/4th the price :smile:


    ~Stone

    The Noteworthy Ones - Mamiya: 7 II, RZ67 Pro II / Canon: 1V, AE-1 / Kodak: No 1 Pocket Autographic, No 1A Pocket Autographic

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  6. psychfunk

    psychfunk Member

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    Too late, it's already been on a few bodies. I have been keeping it away from my other lenses though.

    My old Mamiya 645 80/2.8's aperture diaphragm is jammed wide open, and I actually use it as a paperweight :smile: I don't think I need any more dead Mamiya glass haha.
     
  7. BobD

    BobD Member

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    Be careful. Handling a fungus-infected lens can lead to jock itch.
     
  8. psychfunk

    psychfunk Member

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    Oh dear. I'll keep it away from my groups and elements then... :tongue:
     
  9. Excalibur2

    Excalibur2 Member

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    LOL to above replies.....How do you think the fungus got there in the first place? Spores are everywhere anyway, so just keep your equipment in a dry ventilated place and fungus will not start, grow or thrive. erm Has anyone noticed in the tombs of Egypt was anything ruined by fungus?
     
  10. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    That happen to me!:laugh:

    Jeff
     
  11. salan

    salan Member

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    It's funny how people seem to fall into two camps on this. Either 'it's the plague destroy it and everything around it'.
    or 'so it's a bit of fungus' so what?
    I have had a 200mm lens that I got for nowt because it had some fungus in it. I cleaned it and have had the lens for ten years now and no signs of any anywhere else or back on the lens.
    As has been said. The spores are around us every day (don't I know it, I am allergic to them!).
    I think each case has to be looked at and decided upon. If it was a bad infection and it was a 'common lens' and not expensive, then I would right it off. But if it was an expensive lens or rare, then I would get it cleaned/clean it myself.
    Alan
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 17, 2012
  12. PentaxBronica

    PentaxBronica Member

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    The spidery little lines or mat-like formations aren't the actual fungus anyway, they're what it leaves behind.

    I am not remotely worried about transferring spores between lenses, as others have said the spores are everywhere and short of only using your gear in a clean room you won't avoid them. Fungus is not contagious - people who say that one lens "infected" their other lenses are like the people who claimed that TV ruined your eyesight. It's more a case of people noticing that they needed glasses once they had a regular need to see something clearly from more than a metre or so, or in this case if you store all your lenses in less-than-perfect conditions then you will get fungus on all of them eventually. Lenses I have cleaned up and dry stored show no signs of re-infection two years after cleaning.

    Those old leather or leatherette lens cases have a lot to answer for IMO, the three lenses I have which had presumably lived in them from new all suffered from fungus. If you get your lenses slightly damp (say shooting on a wet day) and then stuff them back inside a case like that the moisture has nowhere to go. I use the Lowepro cases as the fabric is breathable, and don't do things like stuffing damp lenses back inside and zipping it up - if I've been out in the rain then the camera and lenses spend a few hours in a warm, dry room before they're packed away.

    I would still get a quote from a pro for dealing with it as it will affect the images eventually and the bill is likely to be less if you have it dealt with sooner. Plus they should be able to straighten the filter ring for you (they'll probably have to do this to get inside).