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  1. #1

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    Radioactive lenses.

    This is a camerapedia article on radioactive lenses. I don't know how truthful it is, but there was alot of Kodak lenses that supposedly were.

    http://camerapedia.wikia.com/wiki/Radioactive_lenses
    W.A. Crider

  2. #2

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    Pentax Takumars were, for sure. But you won't die from it.

  3. #3
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    Thorium dioxide was used to help increase the refractive index of elements (usually 1) in older designs before newer designs and glass formulations came about. It won't harm you and any yellowing of surrounding elements (this is ionization) is easily reversed with a black light on the lens for 7-30 days (depending on where the thoriated element is [usually in the rear group]).

    Some older Nikkors were radioactive (my coveted 35/1.4 for instance), older 58mm Rokkors (58/1.2), Takumars, and the Kodak Aero-Ektars. Plenty of others too.

    Many older designs utilizing radioactive elements are also, when designed well, kick ass lenses. Nothing to do with the thorium though.
    Stop worrying about grain, resolution, sharpness, and everything else that doesn't have a damn thing to do with substance.

    http://www.flickr.com/kediwah

  4. #4
    AgX
    AgX is online now

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    The bigger problem is at the production side/site.
    Kodak now has such a problem.

  5. #5
    IloveTLRs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by clayne View Post
    ... It won't harm you and any yellowing of surrounding elements (this is ionization) is easily reversed with a black light on the lens for 7-30 days (depending on where the thoriated element is [usually in the rear group]). ...
    The yellow in my 55/1.8 made a great yellow filter for B&W
    Those who know, shoot film

  6. #6

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    There is more radiation in most basements
    Mark
    Mark Layne
    Nova Scotia
    and Barbados

  7. #7
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    If it doesn't fog the film I'd imagine you're going to be OK.

  8. #8

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    Typical WIKI. Incomplete, some assertions possibly (probably?) false.

    Re incomplete, I've had a small pile of radioactive lenses that showed radiation damage (yellowing) that I cleared by setting them lenses to bask under a UV-B bulb. None mentioned in the WIKI. Three TTH tessar type process lenses, One Schneider Repro-Claron.

    Re possibly false, I have two 101/4.5 Ektars, one made in 1946. I haven't treated them with UV-B for radiation damage 'cos they show none. I wonder about (a) "Lenses Tested Radioactive (by the author)" and (b) Camerapedia's adherence to Wikipedia's rules. It could be that despite its name Camerapedia doesn't fall under the Wikipedia umbrella.

    Re Wikipedia's rules, as I understand 'em Wikipedia allows nothing that hasn't been posted on the 'web. "I measured it" isn't allowed, neither is citing anything published on paper and not available on the 'web. Stupid, IMO.

    Re Camerapedia in general, I'm somewhat of a specialist on a few topics -- I'm coauthor of the definitive, so far, account of Boyer lenses -- and was so offended by the garbled hash about Boyer lenses an illiterate fool put up on Camerapedia that I signed up and rewrote the mess. IMO Camerapedia is pretty worthless, mainly gets in the way. WIKI of the idiots, by the idiots, for the idiots.

  9. #9

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    There are many radioactive sources which people contact every day. Some examples are granite counter tops, Coleman gas mantles and the famous black sand beaches in Hawaii.

    Just don't sleep with the lens under your pillow.
    A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.

    ~Antoine de Saint-Exupery

  10. #10

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    Personally I'd say screw the radiation. Isn't it more the fact that the lenses were purported to be better with the thorium oxide which is why they used it in the first place.
    W.A. Crider

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