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  1. #1

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    help, please. water in minolta zoom lens. what to do?

    hello,

    unfortunately i got water in my Minolta AF 100-200 zoom lens (fits on rather oldish Minolta 9000 AF small format camera). the only thing i've done so far is to keep it upright and well ventilated. and of course wiped the outside thoroughly dry with a rag. yesterday when i shook the lens, i was able to feel small water drops hitting my hand (today not anymore, i think).

    i don't know yet, if there is any damage. the aperture opening is rather small right now and it is hard to spot any dampness inside. i haven't dared to mount the lens onto the camera, because i'm afraid any present water could leak into the camera and damage it too.

    what should i do? is there any way (safe for the moderately technically skilled) to open the lens and help the drying process?. ... there are screws visible in the bayonet socket.

    what are the worst case scenarios? permaned fog/dampness inside (ruining every picture)? no more autofocus (i think i could live with that. i barely use it anyway). totally unusable??

    backstory:
    i kept my camera and 4 lenses in a small padded camera bag, which i put into my bigger every day/ non-photo bag. a bottle of water leaked and made everything wet. i checked the camera and the lenses and everything seemed fine (didn't open the lids though, because everything was dry on the outside), only the bottom of the seperate camera bag was a bit damp. i thought no harm done, only the bottom of the bag got contact with the water.
    now, some time later i wanted to use the zoom lens and found a puddle of water in the bottom lid (it was stored upright all the time). i can't remember the exact date when the spill happened, but it's possible that the water was inside the lens for maybe up to two weeks. i fear that the water entered the lens at the top and then made its way down throught the whole thing (does NOT sound good/ encouraging).

    does anyone have hints how i could save the lens and/or limit the damages?
    would be greatly appreciated.
    Last edited by phritz phantom; 06-21-2010 at 08:05 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  2. #2
    Matthew Thompson's Avatar
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    Seal it in a small tupperware for a couple weeks with a bunch of silica gel packets and hope for the best?

  3. #3
    Christopher Walrath's Avatar
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    Second Matt. That's the thing to do. And thoroughly (as possible) inspect it for moisture before using. If unsure, do without for another week with fresh packs.
    Thank you.
    CWalrath
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  4. #4
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    Often the recommendation when a camera or lens is dropped in the water is to keep it completely submerged and send it for a thorough cleaning. I'd contact whoever repairs Minolta lenses these days and ask what they suggest.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
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  5. #5

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    silica!!! that's genious! i would have never thought of that. i'll try to find some of that stuff tomorrow...
    the camera system is 20 years old or so, i'm sure they stopped supporting it a long time ago. there used to be a independent photo repair store in town, but it closed down a few years ago ... very much missed.
    Last edited by phritz phantom; 06-21-2010 at 08:02 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  6. #6

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    You still might end up with water spots. And the water might have loosened some hardened grease or small pieces of debris.

    Unless the lens is extremely valuable or has sentimental value, it could be less expensive to replace it than to service it.

  7. #7
    Andrew K's Avatar
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    you are probably going to need to get the lens professionally cleaned as the water will probably leave marks on the lens elements, and if it was salt water then you will need to get the salt residue cleaned form the lens otherwise it will rust..

    from the sounds of it you didn't get much water in it - PUT IT IN THE SUN AND DRY IT OUT AS FAST AS YOU CAN - or put it in front of a heater...

    I was a camera tech for over 15 years - I've had lenses come to me in buckets full of water (best thing to do if you drop a lens in salt water, or dirty water - rinse it in a couple of changes of fresh water and send it for repair ASAP)...if it's clean water then get the lens dry asap - this will cause less damage, and reduce the chances of the electronic parts suffering from rust etc down the track (yes ALL AF lenses have some degree of electronics in them - even if it is only a flexible PCB that tells the camera at what focal length the lens is zoomed to..)

    get the lens dry as fast as you can, and then see if there is any damage...
    A camera is only a black box with a hole in it....

    my blog...some film, some digital http://andrewk1965.wordpress.com/

  8. #8

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    thanks.
    luckily it was normal tap drinking water. not much luck with sun these days though. it's been pouring for a while now.
    i can clearly see drops and fog on the inside of the glass now. i guess it's a sign that there is some evaporation and drying taking place. but also the final proof that there is indeed moisture inside.

    so, trying to open the lens is out of the question, i assume after reading the posts. well, i'll see if i can find a optics technician who will check and clean it for me.

  9. #9

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    The best thing, as suggested is to send it for professional care.

    However, when I used to shoot sports our gear regularly got soaked (english summers!) and we never had time to get them seen to. Our trick was after drying with a towel to take everything off the lenses, caps filters etc and lay them near but not on a low heat source eg unlagged water pipe, radiator on low or an open airing cupboard. This would slowly dry the moisture/water. Silica gel will help.

    Wouldn't put in direct sun as different parts of the lens heat at different rates leading to evaporation and more condensation of the water.

    Slow is best. Just be grateful it wasn't salt water!

  10. #10
    Rick A's Avatar
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    Add fish, use for a display.
    Rick A
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