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Category: New Questions

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Photography Question 
Shobin George
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 10/27/2005
 

Fungus in Lens


I have got a doubt, my friend has a Minolta Lens (70-300) to sell which has fungus. He told me that it can be cleaned or if you take photos no difference will be there etc. Is it okay to buy a lens having fungus? Will cleaning affect the clarity?

Please help with some suggestions soon.

1/18/2006 1:33:39 AM

 
Mark Feldstein
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 3/17/2005
  Greetings: So, there's fungus amongus? (sorry, bad pun). Yes, fungus on a lens may currently or potentially adversely affect its image quality. The reason is because the fungus, being a living, growing thing, attacks the coating on the glass of both the internal and external elements.

While it's possible to have a good camera repair tech. clean the external glass, what's going on internally may be another story. That requires disassembly and careful cleaning and reassembling. Yes, if the fungus is stopped soon enough, before it gets to the coating, there may be some hope for this particular lens. If not, then I'm afraid the lens should get its affairs in order and perhaps avoid close contact with its fellow lenses.

I should also note that if the fungus has damaged the coatings but has been stopped, it may not affect images in all situations, but determining which ones, especially outdoors, will be a matter of trial and error.

Take it light.
Mark

1/18/2006 6:42:09 PM

 
Denyse Clark
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 10/2/2002
  Hey Mark- Um, maybe a dumb question, but how does the fungus in a lens happen? I've heard other talking about it, but I don't do anything special with my lenses. They sit in my camera bag. Is there a precaution I should be taking?

1/18/2006 6:46:02 PM

 
Mark Feldstein
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 3/17/2005
  BTW Shobin, there are a lot of ways to protect your equipment from that dreaded problem. One way is to store your equipment in a moderately temperate environment with low humidity. You can store lenses in their protective cases, without filters on them. Filters trap moisture beneath them, promote condensation in some situations and consequently, growth media for fungi (or in the plural sense, fungus).

Also, using containers or porous packets of desicant gel is quite helpful. They'll absorb some moisture. The containers can be purchased at camera stores or places like http://www.keh.com. When their indicator dot changes color, put them in an oven for the recommended time and temp, and you'll be able to use them again.

As a basic rule of thumb, (and photography) if you store your equipment in an environment where you're comfortable, chances are your equipment will be too. :>)

Oh, and if your friend is trying to sell you that lens, ummmmmmmmmm, I wouldn't buy if it's got what you think it has.

I gotta go rinse my hands.
Take it light.
Mark

1/18/2006 6:50:43 PM

 
Mark Feldstein
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 3/17/2005
  Well, perhaps I should be a bit clearer after what Denyse asked. Aside from what I mentioned, there are a lot of things you can do to protect your lenses and other equipment from fungus / mildew attacking glass and other surfaces.

First, if you're shooting in a damp or wet environment, (you may have heard this before) use protection. There are covers made for shooting in bad weather or you can make one out of something like a plastic or zip loc storage bag.

If equipment gets wet, dry it off as soon as you can, a hair dryer set on low temp will help evaporate moisture that a soft dry cloth doesn't absorb. Remember though, too hot and you can dry out lens and camera lubricants or crack coatings. Yikes !

I prefer soft, breathable lens cases like pouches instead of hard cases and I store the lens with breathable front and rear caps along with a small tin of dessicant gel.

If you're looking for a rain hood, the best I've seen and used is the one made by Anne Laird. The small ones that'll work for most 35mm gear, run about $50 bucks. Worth it though.

Oh, and lastly, if you take your camera out to shoot on a cold winter day, one trick I've learned is that before going back to a room temp. space, put the body and lens(es) in a zip loc bag first. When you go back indoors, you'll see condensation forming on the bag rather than on the camera itself.

Okie dokie Denyse? ;>)
Take it light.
Mark

1/18/2006 7:00:34 PM

 
Denyse Clark
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 10/2/2002
  Silica gel, like comes in my shoe boxes? Boy, wish I had saved it along the way, I must have 100 pair of shoes :)

Ok, I'm a wuss and don't do much cold or damp weather shooting, so maybe I won't have to worry quite so much. I like the zip loc bag trick, and I'll remove my filters which I tend to lazily leave on.

Thanks mark.

1/18/2006 7:07:44 PM

 
Mark Feldstein
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 3/17/2005
  Yep Denyse !! What a great excuse to buy more shoes eh? LOL !!! (Don't tell my wife). I use some of my gear almost every day and try to use different bodies, etc., on different days so they get checked regularly. I don't even know if they still make the hard leather lens cases, and I think Hasselblad stopped making the clear plastic cases with the bayonet bases long ago. :<(

You're quite welcome, btw. As always, my pleasure. :>))
Take care
Mark

1/18/2006 7:32:36 PM

 

BetterPhoto Member
  Hi denyse;

First, let me say that I'm the king of the humidity damaged lense. Just ask anyone about my first question in this Q&A thing. I'm a weather spotter. My cameras are no strangers to the rain (cue music so Kerry can start singing). I've always tried to make sure my equipment was dry before I retired it from a call. In one season, I lost two lenses to fungus. Neither lense was salvageable due to the amount of fungus from rain seeping into them. most of my photographs are taken with a Minolta X700, which I've been extremely lucky with. In my gallery, you will see a photograph of the Hale-Bopp comet, which was shot with a 400mm Lentar lense. I believe I've also posted some shot with an Albinar zoom. Both of these lenses were trashed due to fungus. I left my case open during a storm in Florida. The Albinar was replaced with a Tamron, but I have yet to find a comparable lense to the Lentar.

The moral of the story: TAKE CARE OF YOUR EQUIPMENT!!!!

Have a great day, and keep shooting.

1/18/2006 8:08:32 PM

 

BetterPhoto Member
  Hi denyse;

First, let me say that I'm the king of the humidity damaged lense. Just ask anyone about my first question in this Q&A thing. I'm a weather spotter. My cameras are no strangers to the rain (cue music so Kerry can start singing). I've always tried to make sure my equipment was dry before I retired it from a call. In one season, I lost two lenses to fungus. Neither lense was salvageable due to the amount of fungus from rain seeping into them. most of my photographs are taken with a Minolta X700, which I've been extremely lucky with. In my gallery, you will see a photograph of the Hale-Bopp comet, which was shot with a 400mm Lentar lense. I believe I've also posted some shot with an Albinar zoom. Both of these lenses were trashed due to fungus. I left my case open during a storm in Florida. The Albinar was replaced with a Tamron, but I have yet to find a comparable lense to the Lentar.

The moral of the story: TAKE CARE OF YOUR EQUIPMENT!!!!

Have a great day, and keep shooting.

1/18/2006 8:08:33 PM

 
Samuel Smith
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 1/21/2004
  don't buy it shobin until it has been cleaned and repaired. cheap is a misnomer.
oh save those gel pacs.dessicant?
sam

1/18/2006 8:16:53 PM

 
Mark Feldstein
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 3/17/2005
  Sam mentioned;
"oh save those gel pacs.dessicant"

Or just do what Denyse does. When she needs to store a lens, she buys more shoes. :>))))))

One other things gang: Don't ever, EVER apply lens cleaner directly to the lens. It'll just pour into the barrel and likely need to be disassembled and dried, IF you notice it. So, just apply the cleaner to lens tissue and gently clean. Sorry I forgot to mention that earlier Denyse.
Mark

1/19/2006 6:55:50 PM

 
Denyse Clark
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 10/2/2002
  What was that Mark, you positively ORDER me to go buy more shoes? Well ok if you insist. (That's how I'll explain the 10 new pair... hahaha)

Well I feel pretty good, I don't think I expose my equipment to too many fungus causing conditions. Thanks for the info.

1/19/2006 8:15:55 PM

 
Mark Feldstein
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 3/17/2005
  OK Denyse: I insist and ORDER you to go out and buy (at least) 10 pairs of new shoes !!!

[Mention my name to your husband but please don't give him my e-mail address. lol !!!]

Have a great weekend.
M./

1/21/2006 10:43:15 AM

 
Samuel Smith
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 1/21/2004
  i myself would like to thank you mark for your very informative answers.i will admit at times I think they are a little long winded.now hang on mark ?
i am at fault wanting an easy answer to a lot of questions.and yet I have begun to realize that there are subjective answers to many.or opinions?"
i have been sent a timeout notice by a few.well sent!
and recently you seem to have a sense of humor.admirable in my opinion.
here and there I try to take a step back and see.
a picture or a photograph?
excuse my terminology, but take it light mark?
yeah

1/22/2006 6:18:07 PM

 
Mark Feldstein
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 3/17/2005
  Greetings Sam: Always good to hear from a fan. LOL !!! Thanks for your kind note. I know and admit to being long-winded at times. But you're absolutely right. I try to offer a bit of background answering a question here, with the intent of getting people to later think on their own or pass on the principles. Sometimes I guess it works, others....well, what can I say.

As for my sense of humor, I've always got that. I tend to take some things less seriously than others though. :>))

Thanks again !! Very much actually.
Be well.
And...take it light. (You just KNEW I'd say that right?)
Mark

1/22/2006 7:14:34 PM

 

BetterPhoto Member
  Hey Mark, just make sure I get three dessicant packs to keep your name out of it, or the whole site will tell him bout your orders. Sound fair? Gawd, I love blackmail.

1/22/2006 7:37:03 PM

 

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