...on a different note, I've always been wondering but I never tried to find anything about it: what happens if you use fungi-infected lenses? the image quality degrades? in which aspect? sharpness, contrast, resolution? is it local or does it affect the whole image? would I get strange and intriguing results or is it just simple and boring IQ degradation?
ps: I love strange and intriguing results that are created by problematic lenses - I hunt them down and add them to my collection.
Obviously, it'd depend on the type and level of infection. A low concentration of those spidery strands probably won't do much if anything. On the other hand, for a severe infection I'm guessing that it'd give kind of a blooming, soft-focus effect. Really, it should do the same thing as haze or vaseline on a lens combined with the sort of scratches sandpaper would create.
I'd love to see a real practical image comparison though! Someone should make up a test; it'd actually be a pretty valuable resource. And not just for fungus but different types of haze and scratches, coating damage, etc.
I've seen pics done that way for creative reasons. It looks rather like blurred light covered with dust and spider webs.
In the lenses that I have cleaned, the fungus was dead; it does not grow in the warm/dry environment where I keep my lenses. Certainly there will be spores, but spores are all over the environment anyway.
Originally Posted by Ian Grant
If you cannot secure a dry/warm environment, then the more common solution is to store equipment sealed with desiccant but throwing some mothballs in there might not be a bad idea if the 1,4-Dichlorobenzene (in many newer mothballs) does not affect lens coatings itself
I'd be worried about the older mothballs with napthalene:
Quote from Micro-Nikkor 55mm f/2.8 manual:
Also, do not store in direct sunlight, and keep it away from naphthalene
Last edited by ic-racer; 06-30-2010 at 06:20 PM. Click to view previous post history.
The fungus taking lenses I have used (prior to cleaning) produce lots of flare in sunlight. In overcast settings the flare is less pronounced.
The enlarging lenses I have cleaned, that have residual damage to the coating, will perform OK when they are stopped down and negatives are masked around the edges appropriately (usually only a problem with glass carriers).
If I were looking for a 'budget' enlarging lens will take a fungus damaged but cleaned Componon or Rodagon any day over a Voss, Componar, Rogonar, EL-Omegar, etc.
Last edited by ic-racer; 06-30-2010 at 06:23 PM. Click to view previous post history.
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That's basically a airtight container fitted with hygrometer. Depends on how humid your local climate it may/may not do the job. I used to use airtight box with silica gel. But in where I lived it was so humid that I had to change the silica pouch every 3 days. Dry box was the only answer and the price is nothing compared to your photography gear.
Originally Posted by magkelly
Be really careful of fungus, the hyphae can give permanent damage to lens coating.
I tried fungus infected film once by accident, the result was awesome. However it's pretty hard to repeat the infection.
Originally Posted by thicktheo
Really? What was the effect? I have a box of Plus-X 4x5 sheets from the late seventies that I'm sure have suffered, at the very least, moisture damage.
Originally Posted by MFstooges
The print came out like vintage photograph but sharper. Kinda scary effect with fungus hyphae here and there. So sad that I lost them when I relocate.
Originally Posted by tbeaman
It was 35mm that I had and tried to repeat the effect with no luck. I would assume it's easier to infect sheet film or 120.
Oopss sorry... not to sidetracked the thread
I work in optics and even within the industry there is a difference of opinion about fungal spores. One bench engineer refused to allow me to bring a lens into the factory when I told him it had fungus in it - lest it contaminate the environment. Other, equally well qualified colleges reckon that is total rubbish - the spores are everywhere, it is the conditions that cause the growth.
What I can say is this: I have never seen any fungal growth on any optics we work on in the UK. Not once. Never. That is because all the optics we work on are kept indoors at 'normal' room temperatures and humidity. Also, all the 'balsam' in our optics is synthetic - so no nutrients for organic life forms. Obviously I have seen fungus on camera lenses outside of my job - usually ones badly stored in a loft or garden shed or garage.
Equipment we ship to India and Pakistan often has problems.
The reason is that to get fungal growth you need the right (wrong?) conditions - that is high (ish) humidity and a bit of warmth. Dry, cold lenses do not get fungal or mould growths. Also - the fungus needs a source of nutrients. This can be the canada balsam between the elements (in which case you are in big trouble) or the (damp) layer of grime on the lens surface.
So, keep the glass clean, cool and dry and it shouldn't be a problem.
If you are in a hot humid place - well humidity is the easiest thing to control - silica gel is your best friend.
I don't think killing the fungus is likely to be so difficult if it is on the surface of the elements. Lots of things would do the trick. I've got a formula somewhere for a fungus killer which contains Hydrogen Peroxide and Ammonia. I bet dilute bleach would do the trick, too. But really, unless you are unlucky enough to live in an environment that promotes fungus growth, I don't think you need special spore killing mixtures - once it's taken out of that damp loft, cleaned thoroughly and placed in a cool, dry place in a bag with a silica gel packet in it the fungus growth will cease. Alas - if it has etched the glass then that can not be rectified.
If the fungus is in the balsam - you can't do much other than to get as much UV light through it as possible.