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02-05-2008, 11:32 AM   #1
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How bad if fungus on a lens? Easy to remove?

Hi!
I am watching a lens on ebay and the seller replied to my question say there was a bit of fungus on the lens.
Does that make the lens useless?
Thanks

02-05-2008, 12:01 PM   #2
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That will depend on how bad it is. To get a lens properly cleaned could be as much as $100.00 at a good repair shop. Light fungus may not impair the image quality but it will most likely spread over time.
The problem is that fungus can also be on the inside of the lens barrel and not easily visible. That will cause it to spread much faster and also be much harder to clean.

Fungus will also etch the glass over time. So you will then have a lens that is useless if that happens. Fungus is caused by spores that are in the air everywhere. All lenses could have those spores but fungus will only grow if the lens has been stored in a damp/humid place or somehow got water inside. So there is a concern that the metal or electronic components (if it's an A lens or auto focus) could be corroded or deteriorating to a degree.

Last I wouldn't store it near other lenses and wouldn't be overly excited about leaving it on the body for any length of time.

So if you are prepared to have it cleaned and the price is low enough, then it might be worth a try. I'd call a repair shop and ask how much they would charge for a cleaning before you bid.
02-05-2008, 12:41 PM   #3
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Original Poster
Thanks a lot for the info. I think I will just pass, specially since the seller took far angled pictures and didnt list that extremely important info about the fungus...not someone I will trust.
Regards
02-05-2008, 04:40 PM   #4
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<<edit>> nevermind I read it too fast.

but FYI for anyone else reading this: In the case of Sigma lenses - you can send it in and they'll give you a free estimate, if you don't agree they'll just send it back.

don't know what other companies charge for cleaning or just evaluating... i used to work for a photo lab/camera store and we usually charged a $20 deposit just to look at something.

02-05-2008, 05:48 PM   #5
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I just took an old 100-500 zoom into a local respected camera store and asked them about cleaning a small patch of interior fungus. Of course they were willing to send it out for me, but they said that the minimum charge would be $100.00 and if it entailed disassembling a sealed internal unit, it might double.
They suggested using it until the fungus became objectionable and then dumping it or selling it at a garage sale "as is".
I brought it home and put it away. I don't really need that much zoom range in the immediate future anyway.
Regards,
Brian
02-05-2008, 08:40 PM   #6
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A little bit of fungus along the edges shouldn't make any difference in regards to IQ. I have a small spot of fungus on my Tokina AT-X 400 f/5.6 that was there when I bought it off ebay. I try to keep it in a dry, sunny place (UV rays are said to stop the growth and sometimes actually reduce fungus).

Anway I have NO IQ problems because of the fungus at all. I won't even think about sending it in for repairs until it gets much worse or starts to affect IQ (hopefully never)
02-05-2008, 09:01 PM   #7
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There's an idea, take it to a hospital and have them give it radiation therapy.
02-05-2008, 09:35 PM   #8
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Will that destroy the fungus clawhamemr

I know an x-ray tech, I wonder if he'd do that for me
I wouldn't dream of asking him to do it with my one lens that's infected. Unless there's a really good chance of it working.

02-05-2008, 10:31 PM   #9
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kills most everything else, don't see why not *shrugs*
02-05-2008, 10:39 PM   #10
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Putting a lens with fungus in direct sunshine may retard (unlikely) but it will not kill the fungus if it is already there. If you can see it on the lens elements, you can be sure the fungus spores are in the lens barrel.

Radio therapy? Joke right? If a cockroach can survive microwave radiation, I seriously doubt a blast of x-ray will wipe out the fungus. Even if it did, you will still need to open the lens and remove the traces of the fungus, right?

As to fungus not having an difference, I beg to differ. Had an old Minolta 300mm f/4.5 junked due to fungus. Fungus will degrade contrast and sharpness leading to very soft images.
02-06-2008, 08:10 AM   #11
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Fungi within a lens

QuoteOriginally posted by palmor Quote
A little bit of fungus along the edges shouldn't make any difference in regards to IQ. I have a small spot of fungus on my Tokina AT-X 400 f/5.6 that was there when I bought it off ebay. I try to keep it in a dry, sunny place (UV rays are said to stop the growth and sometimes actually reduce fungus).

Anway I have NO IQ problems because of the fungus at all. I won't even think about sending it in for repairs until it gets much worse or starts to affect IQ (hopefully never)
FYI - Not all molds are sensitive to UV exposure. Hyphae typically are more sensitive to UV light than mold spores; however, this is all relative to the genera/species of mold. Some molds are more sensitive than to UV exposure than others.

Ultimately, the surest way to prevent mold growth (and this applies to a lot more than camera lenses) is to remove the source of moisture supporting the growth. Sunlight will have minimal impact if the lens is stored in a space with an elevated ambient humidity level, especially if the water activity is at the mold's minimal growth threshold.

If you do dry the lens and dessicate the hyphae, some spores will be viable: if moisture is reintroduced into the system and is available for a long enough period of time, the viable mold spores may germinate and growth will start anew within the lens.
08-30-2012, 04:13 AM   #12
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I wonder, since fungus is such a problem in humid climates, if manufacturing could use some type of inert gas during assembly, or some anti fungal material.
08-31-2012, 07:42 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by arnold Quote
some anti fungal material.
Like silver.
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