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06-15-2012, 11:45 PM   #1
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FA77 - Fungus? A story from India

Hi guys. I need assistance or advice!

I have a FA77 that lately have caused me some head ache.

Background. I am from Denmark and currently on a longer bicycle trip in the tropics - currently in Kerala, India - and have the lens with me. Lately the pictures from the lens have come out soft and lacking in contrast (in the right circumstances it still do fine). I thought it needed a good clean, that somehow I have transferred some oily substance to the front element. So yesterday I cleaned it using a lens pen and when that did not help I had a proper look through it. And watching at the right angle it seems like it is one the glass elements inside that is dirty - not the rear or front element.

This filth does not look like the pictures I have seen of fungus but more like your regular fingerprint on the front glass.

I have owned this lens for maybe 4-5 years and it has never been taken apart.

What do you think. Is it fungus? And if yes, what the h*ll do I do?
I am spending the day surfing the net, but it does not seem like Pentax is present at all in India. Next option would be to find a repair centre somewhere in India that can take care of it. If that is not possible I have 2 options:
- Send it back for service. But then I would have to do without the lens for the rest of the trip and I would hate that.
- Use some international lens service and have it sent out. Which are there?
- Buy the tool to see if I can fix it myself. I have taken lenses apart before but never an AF lens. How big is the difference? What with AF adjustment - the lens interfaces very well with my K5 now.
And what would I use to clean the elements with? Something I can buy in India!

OK. sorry for taking your time. I must go looking at the Indian photo forums to see what I can find.

06-16-2012, 12:56 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by H. Sapiens Quote
Hi guys. I need assistance or advice!

I have a FA77 that lately have caused me some head ache.

Background. I am from Denmark and currently on a longer bicycle trip in the tropics - currently in Kerala, India - and have the lens with me. Lately the pictures from the lens have come out soft and lacking in contrast (in the right circumstances it still do fine). I thought it needed a good clean, that somehow I have transferred some oily substance to the front element. So yesterday I cleaned it using a lens pen and when that did not help I had a proper look through it. And watching at the right angle it seems like it is one the glass elements inside that is dirty - not the rear or front element.

This filth does not look like the pictures I have seen of fungus but more like your regular fingerprint on the front glass.

I have owned this lens for maybe 4-5 years and it has never been taken apart.

What do you think. Is it fungus? And if yes, what the h*ll do I do?
I am spending the day surfing the net, but it does not seem like Pentax is present at all in India. Next option would be to find a repair centre somewhere in India that can take care of it. If that is not possible I have 2 options:
- Send it back for service. But then I would have to do without the lens for the rest of the trip and I would hate that.
- Use some international lens service and have it sent out. Which are there?
- Buy the tool to see if I can fix it myself. I have taken lenses apart before but never an AF lens. How big is the difference? What with AF adjustment - the lens interfaces very well with my K5 now.
And what would I use to clean the elements with? Something I can buy in India!

OK. sorry for taking your time. I must go looking at the Indian photo forums to see what I can find.
I personally suggest not to try any experiment on it. If by any chance you are coming to Bangalore, I can help you get it cleaned.

Parts of kerala are very humid and possibility of fungus can not be denied. Share some pics if possible.
06-16-2012, 04:41 AM   #3
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If you use it in bright sunlight often then you should be fungus free. UV light kills fungus, making it very difficult to grow inside a lens that's used often. Try keeping it in direct sun for a while to kill the fungus if that's the problem. If not, then not sure what it could be.

I wouldn't try taking it apart really, AF lenses have a lot of annoying stuff that gets in the way and makes it even more difficult and risky.
06-16-2012, 08:43 AM   #4
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Thanks for replies. I use the lens often, but it has spent a lot of time in the tropics now and it does stay in the bag . If it is not fungus or moist somehow, I don't know what it is. It is quite damp and cloudy at the moment. Next time the sun comes out I will let it fry for a while.

I am coming to Bangalore, Yusuf. I will be pm you later if I don't get a solution.

08-24-2012, 04:50 AM   #5
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For reference! I met up with Yusuf in Bangalore and I went to this lens repair guy. I expected it would be a small shop, but it is a private home and Mr. K. P. Thomas was not in. I was close to giving up but after a couple of days I met up with Mr. Thomas and in one day he serviced my lens. He did not think it was fungus but it could use a cleaning. I still don't know what was up with that lens, my best bet is must be some residue from when the lens was made but why it has not bothered me before I don't know. This was how it looked - it is hard to see but it was clearly on one of internal elements:



Do you have an opinion on this?

Anyway, if anybody need service of a Pentax lens in Bangalore, India it is worth going. For more advanced repair jobs that need spare parts I doubt if Mr. Thomas can be of help. This job he did fine and at a very low price compared to what I would have paid back home. However, it might be a good idea to make arrangements before showing up. If for nothing else, then because getting around in Bangalore is a pain!
11-07-2012, 10:22 AM   #6
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For reference in case some one finds this thread and considers going the same route: This lens fell apart today. Totally. I cannot say if it is because of Mr. Thomas' job or not, but it might be worth considering if it is worth it...
11-07-2012, 11:17 AM   #7
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This is a sad story! I seem to remember reading a similar story about an FA 77 coming apart. If memory serves, there is at least one small screw that is easy to strip or not tighten enough when reassembling the lens.
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