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11-02-2012, 09:04 PM   #1
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Lens Fungus........ can it be removed/stopped?

Ok, so today I picked up a few lenses etc off ebay, most are pretty good, there's just two that have minor issues:

one is a Pentax-A 28mm F2.8 that has fungus, it doesn't seem to affect images, but I haven't looked at the images on teh PC screen (only the camera LCD so far)

Are there any methods to remove the fungus? or do I live with it?





The other lens is a 70-210 F4 that the focussing ring seems to have some play independant of the small focus scale.
It focuses fine, it's just annoying.

11-02-2012, 09:07 PM   #2
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I should also ask, is there risk of it spreading to other lenses if the infected one is stored with other clean ones?
11-02-2012, 09:12 PM   #3
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There is no risk of it spreading to clean lenses, all lenses have the spores to grow fungus, they are everywhere. As long as you don't give them a cool, damp and dark place to grow into fungus, it won't grow.

The only way to remove it is to disassemble it and clean it, otherwise all you can do is keep it in a dry place so it won't grow. Depending on where in the lens it is cleaning it can be quite easy.
11-02-2012, 09:23 PM   #4
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Others will be able to offer more expert advice than I, but there are probably several elements to this issue: kill the fungus, clean up the fungus, restore the lens, stop any fungus from happening again.

You can kill lens fungus a number of ways, ranging from exposure to UV light to using certain liquid solutions to using certain fungicidal dry sachets to simply killing the fungus by drying it out. Once dead, cleaning it up might be as 'easy' as cleaning dust or dirt or oil from the lens surface, using regular lens cleaning tools. Restoring the lens might be a challenge if the fungus has extensively damaged the lens coatings. Stopping it from happening again may be as simple as just keeping the lens in a dry, cool environment.

The risk of fungal spread is always there, I think, since it is a spore dispersal thing. But if the environment is not suitable for fungus to thrive (remember dry and cool), it will neither grow or spread.

11-02-2012, 11:03 PM   #5
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On another forum, 'manual focus', I think, I saw a comment that Pentax lens coating are less susceptible to etching type damage from fungus than some of the other big brands. Hpe it is not too advanced so this is not a problem.

Did you know when you bought, or was this a nasty discovery on arrival?
11-02-2012, 11:05 PM   #6
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couple things here: the fungs cannot be removed only by disassembling it.
Fungs is lens cancer.
11-02-2012, 11:19 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by tim60 Quote
Did you know when you bought, or was this a nasty discovery on arrival?
It was an ebay "cleaning out my cupboard sale" from s person who's not really photographically minded.

They did their best with the description, but they didn't actually know what they were looking for.
11-02-2012, 11:27 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by hks_kansei Quote
It was an ebay "cleaning out my cupboard sale" from s person who's not really photographically minded.

They did their best with the description, but they didn't actually know what they were looking for.
I have successfully bought about 13 Taks and a few accessories, but I always avoid sellers who have poor (or equivocal) descriptions or poor pictures. But I have got most at below the average price, often when there is some oddity in the listing - like closing in California at 8pm Christmas Eve, etc.

11-03-2012, 02:39 AM   #9
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I'm not an expert on this, but I think the fungus actually eats the lens coating - so you could dismantle the lens and clean the affected elements, but you may also remove the lens coating in the process.
11-03-2012, 04:34 AM   #10
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UV desk lamp (used by folk with SAD), caps off, couple of days should kill off any small amount of growth leaving you with dust...
11-03-2012, 03:23 PM   #11
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Hi,

Where are you as I have had fungus removed here in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia quite successfully.

Regards.
11-03-2012, 05:41 PM - 1 Like   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by DaveHolmes Quote
UV desk lamp (used by folk with SAD), caps off, couple of days should kill off any small amount of growth leaving you with dust...
This should work.

Regarding the general issue and some of the comments above:
  • Risk for developing fungus can be made worse by environment
  • Fungus is hard, though not impossible, to eliminate
  • Fungus, by itself, can etch a lens
  • Attempts to remove fungus can also damage a lens
  • While all lenses might contain fungal spores, not all fungal spores are capable of germinating and living on what is essentially a sterile, unfriendly surface. Lens fungi are specialists. They are a "pathogen" and should be considered to be contagious and capable of producing "disease" in other lenses.
In regards to that last point, the analogy I like to make is that of Trichophyton (the cause of athlete's foot). Fungal spores are everywhere. Trichophyton spores come from infected people's feet. Want to avoid athlete's foot? Avoid sharing foot space with infected feet. Want to avoid lens fungus? Don't put your lenses in close proximity to a known source of infection.

In regards to cleaning. I have sent back or been refunded on three lenses in the last year that had fungus damage. One had visible fungus on the internal elements. The other two had been "cleaned" and put up for sale as being in like-new condition. Of those two, one had visible etching and the other had been badly scratched from scouring during the cleaning process. All three likely still harbored fungal spores capable of establishing on the glass of the lens in question or one of its neighbors on the shelf.

Bottom line...
  • If you have an infected lens, be aware of the risk
  • If you clean an infected lens, be aware that the infection may recur
  • Cleaned or not, please do not resell an infected lens or if you do so, be honest with the buyer

And lastly...Buyers should be aware of and refuse to accept infected glass regardless of cosmetic condition or rarity of the lens. This may seem harsh, but you would not knowingly buy moldy bread or cottage cheese would you? Know how to evaluate for fungus and do so immediately on receipt of any camera or lens.


Steve
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