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  • Lens Fungus

    What do we know about lens fungus?

    I have several older lenses that have suffered this problem, and I know I am by no means alone.

    My first notable loss was a Vivitar 100 ~ 300 mm zoom that became unusable several years ago. It wasn't a bad lens in its day (late1970's - bought from Dixons) but probably wasn't the greatest loss to photography.

    I also have a couple of Zuiko 50 mm lenses (both f1.4 and 1.8) that have become a little hazy with some spots, but thankfully I have another 50 mm f1.4 that remains crystal clear; for now at least.

    This is a problem that seems to afflict Zuiko standard length lenses, but is less prevalent in their wide angle optics. I don't have any Zuiko telephotos so I cannot comment on them.

    More recently I bought a 50 mm shift lens from Japan for my Mamiya RZ67. The lens body and front optics are in pristine condition, and perfectly usable, but there is a 'wipe mark' inside the rear lens group.

    At fist I thought this was a wipe mark on the outside of the rear element, but closer examination shows that it is definitely inside. This may be reachable by separating the two halves of the shift lens assembly.

    So, to sum up, how is it caused, can it be prevented, and is it contagious from one lens to another?

    More to the point, how repairable is lens fungus, and how long before it damages the lens element itself? Are there any specialist repairers in the UK who can deal with this?
    ---------------

    Naughty Nigel


    Difficult is worth doing

  • #2
    Re: Lens Fungus

    Fungi need humidity. I store my lenses in an airtight 'B&W' ('Peli' type) case with about 400 grams of activated silica gel. The silica gel has an indicator and as soon as it starts to 'turn' I reactivate it.

    You need lots of silica gel and it needs to be in an airtight container. The tiny sachets you get with many consumer items are useless because they're far too small and probably have long been exhausted by the time they are used.

    For removal of fungus look at post #12 here:

    http://www.l-camera-forum.com/topic/...gus-in-lenses/

    Forget exposure to UV/sunlight (unless the fungus is on the outside), 'normal' lens glass is not very transparent to UV.

    Jim

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Lens Fungus

      You've no doubt 'researched' the net, a quick hit revealed this from Zeiss

      http://www.zeiss.co.uk/camera-lenses...on_lenses.html
      Steve

      on flickr

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Lens Fungus

        I've just had an older 4/3s 70-300 lens cleaned of some internal fungus by Luton Camera Repairs and they sorted it out very well at a very reasonable cost.
        http://www.flickr.com/photos/flip_photo_flickr/

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Lens Fungus

          Thank you all for this information.

          I had done a search on the net but the information that I found was somewhat contradictory so I thought I would ask here.

          Luton Cameras did a really good job on our OM2 Sp a few months ago so I may give them a try with the Mamiya lens.

          It makes a change from politics anyhow.
          ---------------

          Naughty Nigel


          Difficult is worth doing

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Lens Fungus

            Since writing I have found some other information that might be of interest to others.

            Newton Ellis are based in Liverpool, and provide a comprehensive repair service for all types of cameras and lenses. They say that lenses can be cleaned successfully provided the fungus hasn't become too severe.

            Newton Ellis Camera Repairs

            I also found this blog from Ken Rockwell that discusses various age related problems in lenses and helps to put things into perspective.

            Ken Rockwell Blog
            ---------------

            Naughty Nigel


            Difficult is worth doing

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Lens Fungus

              Originally posted by Naughty Nigel View Post
              Since writing I have found some other information that might be of interest to others.

              Newton Ellis are based in Liverpool, and provide a comprehensive repair service for all types of cameras and lenses. They say that lenses can be cleaned successfully provided the fungus hasn't become too severe.
              I am happy with what Newton Ellis did on my lens, several years ago and with no further spread of the fungus.

              Harold
              The body is willing but the mind is weak.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Lens Fungus

                Also see this thread for some possible answers,

                http://e-group.uk.net/forum/showthread.php?t=27623

                I got a couple of small, airtight Pelican knockoffs and since baking the lenses have kept them in the cases with silica gel.
                It's the image that's important, not the tools used to make it.

                David M's Photoblog

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Lens Fungus

                  Originally posted by Harold Gough View Post
                  I am happy with what Newton Ellis did on my lens, several years ago and with no further spread of the fungus.

                  Harold
                  Thank you for that recommendation Harold. The fungus on the Mamiya lens is very slight at present so I will get it seen to over the next few weeks. The lens is otherwise pristine so it seems a shame not to do it.


                  Originally posted by David M View Post
                  Also see this thread for some possible answers,

                  http://e-group.uk.net/forum/showthread.php?t=27623

                  I got a couple of small, airtight Pelican knockoffs and since baking the lenses have kept them in the cases with silica gel.
                  Thank you also for this reminder David. I remember the thread now but had completely forgotten reading and contributing to it. Put it down to old age.
                  ---------------

                  Naughty Nigel


                  Difficult is worth doing

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Lens Fungus

                    You can kill the fungus by fumigating with ammonia. There is information on the internet.

                    Harold
                    The body is willing but the mind is weak.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Lens Fungus

                      This is what Luton cameras dealt with for me recently.

                      http://www.flickr.com/photos/flip_photo_flickr/

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Lens Fungus

                        Oooh nasty. Which lens is that?
                        ---------------

                        Naughty Nigel


                        Difficult is worth doing

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Lens Fungus

                          Originally posted by Harold Gough View Post
                          You can kill the fungus by fumigating with ammonia. There is information on the internet.
                          It's more involved than that. Check my previous post for the link to a Leica formulation that includes ammonia.

                          Jim

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Lens Fungus

                            It's the 4/3s 70-300mm lens. They cleaned it a treat though for 50 quid. Couldn't see any evidence after. Unfortunately it's gone back for another issue that became apparent afterwards so I've not been able to check out it's performance yet but I've no reason to believe it wont be back to normal from the way it looked.
                            http://www.flickr.com/photos/flip_photo_flickr/

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Lens Fungus

                              Originally posted by Phill D View Post
                              It's the 4/3s 70-300mm lens. They cleaned it a treat though for 50 quid. Couldn't see any evidence after. Unfortunately it's gone back for another issue that became apparent afterwards so I've not been able to check out it's performance yet but I've no reason to believe it wont be back to normal from the way it looked.
                              The body is willing but the mind is weak.

                              Comment

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