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  1. #1

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    Does this lens need cleaning?

    This is a Topcor 58 1.8, from a Topcon which I recently pulled form a cupboard after about 15-20 years.

    I've taken a few shots with it (about 8 from a roll of film, before I changed cameras), which seemed OK - although I haven't looked that closely. But I've noticed that the lens has some white cloudy areas inside it (I've indicated what I mean in the image), which I thought at first were just reflections. I'm not worried about the dust (of which there is lots), but I'm wondering what these areas are and if I should/can do something about it?

    This is never going to be my main camera or lens, so it's not a huge issue. But it would be nice to get the most benefit from it, if possible.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Mustafa Umut Sarac's Avatar
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    Beware , if it is fungus , it spreads to all of your other lenses in the home. Its not worlds most expensive , best lens. You can replace it from ebay if it is important. Throw it. No risk you needed. Check your all other lenses also in all possible way , was the cloud there before ? Where are you living at ?

  3. #3

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    To me, they look like unevenly deposited haze from old lubricant inside. If you look REALLY closely, do you see any web/tentacle like structure growing out of the whitish area? If it's fungus, you'd often see these growth....
    Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?

  4. #4

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    Thanks for the replies.

    The lens and camera were in a cupboard London. I'm keeping them wrapped in a bag separate from the rest of my kit.

    I've no idea how long this has been there, I've only just pulled the thing out of a cupboard a couple of weeks ago.

    There doesn't appear to be any web/tentacle like structure (sounds like something out of Alien). It's more like opaque cloudy/milky bits, on a piece of glass inside the lens (it doesn't appear to be on the inside of the outer lens).

  5. #5
    David Lyga's Avatar
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    I do not want you to break this or ruin this but, for me, this would be a simple matter of removing the front ring (should screw off) and then unscrewing the metal ring that holds the element in place. Then I would use straight ammonia water and an ultra clean soft tissue and wipe it clean. Most likely the fungus (or most of it) would come off. I do this sort of thing every day.

    With due respect, Mustafa, I have not found that to be the case with fungus spreading to other lenses. Fungus grows in dark, moist environments and if it is not too advanced, can be washed off. If left to grow thickly, it can etch into the glass. Still, in those cases many days in bright sunlight (by the window) can lessen this annoyance. - David Lyga

  6. #6
    ic-racer's Avatar
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    I'd try cleaning it like David posted. A Topcor lens like that is not so easily replaced in the USA. As David posted, fungal spores are everywhere, they just need the correct conditions to grow.

  7. #7
    David Lyga's Avatar
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    And, removing the elements, especially in normal lenses, is quite easy. What I do (as frugal as I am out of necessity!) is this. I take a tiny bit (1" x 1") of duct tape and fold it over a couple of times to make a tiny square. I do this twice to have two squares. Then I carefully place each square about 180 degrees apart on the metal logo ring around the front element. Then with a blund pair of scissors I carefully place each knife on a square and apply a bit of pressure and turn counter clockwise to unloosen the logo ring.

    I do not remember if this specific lens is done this way as some lenses allow one to turn (by hand) the entire front metal housing (with the filter thread). If it does not turn by hand then do what I said with the scissors. I wish you were in Philadelpha: I would do this for you. - David Lyga

  8. #8

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    ... and something my wise mentor told me. If you have to apply more force than a light "umph", something is wrong. Never apply too much force!

    When I take my lenses apart, I always use a black marker and write a small dot ON THE LENS to show which side is top before taking out the lens out of place. It's really easy to accidentally flip them and not being able to tell which side is which.

    If you are not comfortable with this, please don't try. It's really easy to mess it up. I only do this on lenses that if I mess up, I don't have to cry.
    Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?

  9. #9

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    Thanks everyone.

    I'll have a look at the lens and see if I feel confident about opening it. Otherwise, I have another lens which needs fixing, so I will take it to my maintenance guy at the same time.

    By the way, I have only been able to find 'cloudy' amonia so far. Would that have been OK to use?
    Last edited by Roundabout; 01-30-2013 at 03:46 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  10. #10

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    Well, I found this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHr4YxbM_9Q which I don't think is exactly the same lens, but looks like enough hassle for me to get a professional to do it.

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