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  1. #1

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    M42 and K Mount Booty

    So my girlfriend called me this weekend saying she found a bunch of old lenses in a thrift shop. I asked her what they were, and turns out they were a Takumar 135mm 3.5, an Auto-Takumar 35mm 3.5, and an SMC Pentax 50 1.7. All for $10.

    They were in a pretty fowl camera bag, and they all have fungus in them. Any tips on cleaning them up? I probably won't use them for any serious work unless I can get the immaculately clean. I have asked a few repair folks on the web and they all said it would take around 6 hours per lens and would cost anywhere from $100-200 per lens. That seems much more than I am willing to pay for these old lenses. Is this commensurate with your experiences?

    Thanks!

  2. #2

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    Unfortunately, it's not easy nor cost effective to clean fungus. But if any of those lenses does not seem to be badly afflicted, the lens might still be useable even not cleaned. I once picked up a Sigma 600mm f8 mirror lens for $20 because it had lots of visible fungus - but the image quality was fine and it was totally useable. Now that was a long tele (with miniscule depth of field) so that may be better than you can expect with those, but in any case, it's worth checking them out.

    I wouldn't spend that sort of money on those lenses though, as clean examples could be picked up for $20-40 each without too much difficulty.

  3. #3

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    Pretty much as I figured, doug. I guess I hoped someone had a magic home remedy akin to licking warts to make them go away :-)

    Thanks for the confirmation. Is there anything I can do to at least stop further damage, but not necessarily remove the existing damage?

  4. #4

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    Not that I know of. And I wouldn't store them near your good lenses, either.

  5. #5

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    Desiccant pouches/Silica Gel pouches, the kind you get with new shoes, are good for absorbing moisture (moisture that causes fungus) in camera bags. Just remember to change them for fresh a couple of times a year or dry them out on a radiator to keep them absorbent.

    This should stop the fungus from getting worse. I have a couple of M42 mount lenses with fungus that are totally useable and don't seem to have gotten any worse over the 3 years they have been kept in pouches with silica gel.

  6. #6
    Rol_Lei Nut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brofkand View Post
    Pretty much as I figured, doug. I guess I hoped someone had a magic home remedy akin to licking warts to make them go away :-)

    Thanks for the confirmation. Is there anything I can do to at least stop further damage, but not necessarily remove the existing damage?
    A classic remedy is to place them on a sunny windowsill for a long time (days, weeks, months?), where the UV *should* kill off the fungus.

    That brings up the argument of how UV-transparent various lenses really are, but nothing to lose trying.
    I have 3 lenses on my windowsill at the moment...
    M6, SL, SL2, R5, P6x7, SL3003, SL35-E, F, F2, FM, FE-2, Varex IIa

  7. #7
    Christopher Walrath's Avatar
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    Wirelessly posted (BlackBerry9000/4.6.0.167 Profile/MIDP-2.0 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 VendorID/102 UP.Link/6.3.0.0.0)

    Try putting then in the freezer along with some empty ziploc bags. In the freezer because refridgerated air will remove all of the moisture as by absorbing into the refrigerant and dispelling through the system's drier. So that will remove moisture.

    The bags so that after a couple of days you can put the lens into tempered bags. Then move them to the fridge a day later, IN THE BAGS. The air in the bags will raise in temperature very gradually thus fighting condensation. Then from the fridge to room temp IN THE BAGS a day later. Let them sit for another day and take them out. Moisture should be 99.99% removed.
    Thank you.
    CWalrath
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    "Wubba, wubba, wubba. Bing, bang, bong. Yuck, yuck, yuck and a fiddle-dee-dee." - The Yeti

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by brofkand View Post
    So my girlfriend called me this weekend saying she found a bunch of old lenses in a thrift shop. I asked her what they were, and turns out they were a Takumar 135mm 3.5, an Auto-Takumar 35mm 3.5, and an SMC Pentax 50 1.7. All for $10.

    They were in a pretty fowl camera bag, and they all have fungus in them. Any tips on cleaning them up? I probably won't use them for any serious work unless I can get the immaculately clean. I have asked a few repair folks on the web and they all said it would take around 6 hours per lens and would cost anywhere from $100-200 per lens. That seems much more than I am willing to pay for these old lenses. Is this commensurate with your experiences?

    Thanks!
    Best to use them, and keep in a dry place.....they wont get worse and lenses with mild fungus can still give excellent results, best if not on the rear element.
    Also I would have a go at cleaning them yourself, as some fungus can permanently etch the glass.....you can start by using cheap lighter fluid, if that doesn't work...then face cream left for 24 hours or isopropyl alcohol next.

    Also I don't worry about putting some of my lenses with fungus with others as fungus is everywhere anyway, just don't give it the conditions to thrive or start...most fungus hate dry conditions, fresh air (movement of air by use) and light.
    Last edited by Excalibur2; 06-15-2009 at 02:48 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  9. #9

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    How would I go about taking apart the lenses to clean them? Are there any chemicals I should steer clear of as to not remove the coatings from the lenses?

    I've taken apart my share of Polaroids, TLRs, and computers, but never a lens. I have the mechanical background to kind of feel my way around once I begin, but I have no idea where to start.

  10. #10
    clayne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brofkand View Post
    How would I go about taking apart the lenses to clean them? Are there any chemicals I should steer clear of as to not remove the coatings from the lenses?

    I've taken apart my share of Polaroids, TLRs, and computers, but never a lens. I have the mechanical background to kind of feel my way around once I begin, but I have no idea where to start.
    http://www.manualfocus.org has some decent people and tips on it for this sort of thing. Simple lens are fairly easy to get into - but use a junker first (which you probably have).
    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



 

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