Will it hurt a lens if it freezes ?

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by Timothy, Jun 6, 2006.

  1. Timothy

    Timothy Member

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    Does anyone here know if it might hurt an enlarger lens to freeze it ? I am wondering if it might damage the glue holding the elements together.

    Tim R
     
  2. naturephoto1

    naturephoto1 Subscriber

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    Tim,

    Perhaps others know better. I would presume the adhesives holding the elements together in an enlarging lens would be the same or very similar to those in our taking lenses.

    I know that many of our taking lenses in the different formats are used and should be designed to take freezing and colder temperatures.

    Are you planning on intensionally freezing the lens?

    In any case when our cameras and lenses get cold, it is normal practice to let them warm up slowly as allowing them to equilibrate to ambient temperature in their cases or in something like a zip lock bag. As much as possible, we want to stop condensation from forming on the equipment and lenses.

    Rich
     
  3. George Papantoniou

    George Papantoniou Member

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    I wouldn't freeze my lenses... I don't even freeze my subjects.
     
  4. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Out of curiosity, why would you want to freeze an enlarging lens? Is it stuck to a lensboard, and you want to mount it on another enlarger?
     
  5. Timothy

    Timothy Member

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    Well the reason I have been thinking about, it is to prevent fungus. I have a thing on the wall in the darkroom to indicate relative humidity and it shows over 50 percent most of the time. I even leave the exhaust fan going just to circulate the air but there are limits to how much you can do that. I thought that occasional - say, one or two days a month, freezing of the lens in a ziploc bag would be an effective way to prevent any fungus from forming.

    Tim R
     
  6. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Better than that, leave it on an open windowsill occasionally. The UV exposure will kill fungus.
     
  7. srs5694

    srs5694 Member

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    Another few possibilities for fungus prevention in enlarger lenses:

    • Remove the lens from the enlarger after every session and store it in a room with lower humidity, if you've got one.
    • Remove the lens from the enlarger after every session and store it in a box with some silica gel.
    • Put a dehumidifier in your darkroom to control the humidity. This should also help control paper curl and speed up the drying of film and paper.
     
  8. pnance

    pnance Member

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    Freezing could give you the reverse effect, during warm up moisture will condense on the lens (even internal parts) unless prior to freezing you had desiccated the lens and placed it in a impermeable bag which couldn't be removed until after reaching room temperature.
     
  9. tommy5c

    tommy5c Member

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    you might even be able to make a UV box with a growing lamp to keep your lenses in if the window is impractical.
     
  10. PhotoJim

    PhotoJim Member

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    Freezing the lens isn't likely to help much. The spores survive freezing just fine.

    Dehumidification while you aren't using the darkroom is probably the best bet.
     
  11. firecracker

    firecracker Member

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    I live in humid Japan, and my camera and lens storage cabinet has 50 percent humidity all the time, but it's not bad.

    If it goes up to and stays around 80 percent, I will be a bit worried about the fungus.

    The best thing you can do is not to leave the enlarging lens(es) in the humid and dark environment all the time. If you have already seen a sign of fungus growing inside the lens(es), you will need to get it clean soon.
     
  12. joneil

    joneil Member

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    I have my darkroom in my basement. It can get damp down there, so years ago I bought a de-humidifier, which is about ten feet away from the door to my darkroom. Never a problem with fungus.

    Back to freezing lenses, strickly from an academic point of view, while I have never intentionally set out to freeze a lens, over the past 25 years, I have used telescopes (refractors & reflectors), binoculars, and cameras in sizes from 35mm, 120mm and large format outside, at night, in cold Canadian winters, sometimes at -20C.

    While I have had the grease and/or lubricant used in the mechanical part of the lens or mount or shutter get sticky in the cold, I've never, ever had any optical problems with any lenses. In fact, come to think of it, I even left a microscope in the car overnight one winter, and it froze up real good too, but it still works fine to this day - and it's a 85 year old microscope too!

    The only thing I ever had "die" on me in the cold was batteries, even the meter once died in my Nikon FM because the cold killed the battery. But I could still shoot just fine.

    Try doing that with digital. :smile:

    joe
     
  13. jhorvat

    jhorvat Member

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    keepint the lens in a CLOSED box with a few THymol crystals should prevent fungus growth.