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  1. #1
    hoffy's Avatar
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    Fungus in and on a body

    Howdy all,

    A few weeks ago I was gifted a Minolta XE-1. The camera had been stored for the last ten years and was the previous owners fathers pride and joy (until he passed away. The guy I got it off wanted to ensure that it got used.).

    Tonight I started going through the kit and noticed that the body appears to have quite a bit of fungus. Attached to it was a 50 F1.5 and from my inspections, this actually appears to be quite fungus free. (I couldn't see anything that I would regard as lens fungus).

    In the body, the worse fungus is in the main mirror chamber. When you actuate the shutter, you can see the fungus draws a line on either side that lines up with the mirror. The film compartment appears to be clean.

    Apart from this and a fogged 500 F8 Tamron, the kit looks in very good condition.

    I have dealt with lenses and fungus, but to me, this looks a bit more hard core.

    Should I:

    • Try and clean the interior and exterior myself?
    • Take it in for a CLA.
    • Write off the body


    I must admit I am feeling a little disappointed, not with the previous owner (heck, these things happen), but because I was rather keen to get out there and use it.

  2. #2
    clayne's Avatar
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    XE-1 is a nice body. No reason to let it just succomb. I wouldn't bother trying to clean the mirror on your own (although you might not have much to lose here), but in general I'd expect any of the typical mold killing regimes (vinegar/bleach [might be iffy]) to work out here. However since the interior might have fungus/mold, you might just consider getting it CLAed for a reasonably price. Since you were gifted the camera, I'd just count it as the cost of ownership.

    Seeing as the camera was once someone else's pride and joy, I'd impart the same level of respect to it: don't write it off.
    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

  3. #3
    hoffy's Avatar
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    Yes, you are right. Funds are a bit tight this month (I have spent enough on film gear), so I might put it to the side and then organise the CLA next month.

  4. #4
    lns
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    Seriously, I'd get rid of it immediately. Certainly don't store it around any of your other camera equipment.

    -Laura

  5. #5
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    I had a Praktica lens on an MCC camera we got given that had fungus. I tried almost sulfuric acid to remove it. In the end I found another lens. That is why I always clean my gear & store it without filters. All it takes is some salt water & stuff starts growing in the dark.

  6. #6
    clayne's Avatar
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    Fungus in and on a body

    Quote Originally Posted by lns
    Seriously, I'd get rid of it immediately. Certainly don't store it around any of your other camera equipment.

    -Laura
    Urban legend.
    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

  7. #7
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    I'd not let it be near my gear for a while. I don't really know how to get rid of fungus that can grown on camera gear, other than give it some sun, and find a way to chemically clean it. The fungus spores will probably remain in the camera, and spores are typically environmentally resistant (that is, only extreme temperature and extremely noxious chemicals can destroy spores). I'd clean it, use it, and after quite a bit of use, I might start to feel it safe to keep with my other gear (assuming the remaining spores have shaken out).
    Film and digital; best of both worlds. JapanesePhotos.Asia.

  8. #8
    hoffy's Avatar
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    Yes, that is my plan. The gear that it comes with is one kit and will be stored separately. I have had lenses cleaned of fungus in the past and not had a problem with it returning. I might, though, get someone who knows what they are doing to have a look.

    Cheers

  9. #9
    clayne's Avatar
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    I assume you've been here:? http://www.mypentax.com/Fungus.html
    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

  10. #10
    hoffy's Avatar
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    Thanks clayne, yes I have seen that article.

    Just a bit of a side note. I had a camera looked at by a local gent, who was a trained Leica repairer. I was shocked and then suprised that he actually uses household Window cleaner on lens elements (in Australia, the common brand of Windex). He doesn't spray it on like you were doing your windows. Just a tiny dab enough to make a soft cloth damp was all that he used. Apparently it is the best thing to help preventing fungus re-appearing.

    So, yes, I will be taking the camera to him.

    Cheers

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