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07-25-2015, 05:28 PM   #1
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Fungi on 18-135mm kit lens

Hello there,

Please help. I'm here in the Philippines, and there's nowhere I can find a good shop to cleanup or repair my 18-135mm kit lens.. the fungi got inside and they're almost gross. I can still use it though but I'm afraid it will spread.
Could anyone give me a link on how to clean this specific lens model? Or a good shop probably somewhere near here to where I can send this lens for a cleanup? Thank you!

07-26-2015, 12:01 AM   #2
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How does that stuff get inside a recent-vintage and also WR lens in the first place? I thought it was a problem with only older lenses that had been left lying around for ages.
07-26-2015, 03:06 AM   #3
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The spores are always there, in order to prevent them the lens would've had to have been assembled inside of a clean room with heavy filtration (too expensive to be feasible). The spores grow when conditions are right for growth (humid + appropriate temp. range + dark). Moisture can get into the lens, the weather sealing just helps keep a lot of it out. Remember, weather resistant not weatherproof. That should explain how the fungus got in, pathdoc.

Now as for the problem at hand, I'm not aware of any facilities in the philippines. However the lens could be sent to the authorized Ricoh/Pentax repair facility for SE Asia obviously with the appropriate payment to have the lens cleaned, tested, and repaired if necessary.
07-26-2015, 09:49 AM   #4
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Try to call or visit the pentax service center in robinson's galleria (02-6375028). They can do minor repairs of lenses. You are out of luck if it is seriously damaged, as they don't order parts from japan, and they are not capable of calibrating lenses and flashes. You can also try to visit hidalgo street in quiapo. There are still a lot of camera repair shops there.

07-26-2015, 09:49 AM   #5
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You might try leaving the lens under a strong UV light or sunlight for about a week. Some people swear by this but I never tried it myself.
08-09-2016, 02:42 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by bebotette Quote
Hello there,

Please help. I'm here in the Philippines, and there's nowhere I can find a good shop to cleanup or repair my 18-135mm kit lens.. the fungi got inside and they're almost gross. I can still use it though but I'm afraid it will spread.
Could anyone give me a link on how to clean this specific lens model? Or a good shop probably somewhere near here to where I can send this lens for a cleanup? Thank you!
Hi,
I know it is quite an old thread, but, nevertheless, it might be quite actual for many Pentax users. Therefor, I would like to respond on the subject because I have solved the problem in a rather simple way.
I live in the tropics and have had huge problems with fungus always, but in particular with the 18 - 135 mm (WR) lens. As for many of you, this stroke me as odd because of the fact that a weather-proof lens would be supposed to have less problems with fungi than other lenses. However, the opposite is true. Weather-proof lenses, especially those that extend and retract while zooming in or out, are more sensitive to fungi simply because the air that is sucked in while zooming is contamiminated with micro-particles like, fungi. Now, once those particles come in, they never get out. Thus, the procreation of these species within the lens is a never ending story.
The solution in case the fungus is allocated on the back of the front element (probably the case with all of these lenses living in humid environments) is to simpley open the front element of the lens.

The front has this ring on which the tecnical specs of the lens are written, and you have to peel this ring off. I did it (very carefully not to touch the glass) with a small knife. The ring is fixed in 3 locations by a little glew, but with some patience and care, you can easily manage to get the ring lose and take it off. Once you have the ring off, you will see 3 tiny screws that you will have to remove. When I say tiny, I mean tiny!!! Be careful not to lose them. I did my job on a white towel, so I could see any parts falling off and avoid eventual parts like screws falling and jumping to the floor, where they would most certainly never be found again!
Taking off the screws off this second ring, you will have to turn the ring a little bit counter clockwise to get it free and to be able to take it off. This second ring is actuallly the front optical element of the lens.
Taking this element out of the lens will simply enable you to clean off the fungus on the back of it, where in my case the main problem was located. It will also give you the chance of cleaning the front of the second element (in my case there was no problem there, but I cleaned anyway).
Putting it all back together is simply doing the inverse. The tiny screws, I got back in place by putting a little glew on the tiny screwdriver to be able to get the screws back in place.

Be careful with dust though. I re-opned the lens twice to close it again with the minimum of dust (a lesser problem though in comparisson with the fungi).

For a (cheap) lens like this one, cleaning it yourself is way better than paying a lot of money to service peolple. In my case, living in Brazil, I didnīt have any service available, so there was no option anyway.


Good luck!
08-09-2016, 11:10 PM   #7
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1. Do you happen to film the process? If so that would be so great!
2. What kind of solution did you use to clean the fungus out? And did you use cotton buds or the magic fiber or anything? Was the fungus a bit stubborn to remove?

BTW, thanks for the very good response
08-10-2016, 05:56 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by bebotette Quote
1. Do you happen to film the process? If so that would be so great!
2. What kind of solution did you use to clean the fungus out? And did you use cotton buds or the magic fiber or anything? Was the fungus a bit stubborn to remove?

BTW, thanks for the very good response
Sorry, I didn't film or photograph the process, but believe me, there is nothing to it. It is all very simple and intuitive.

Answering your question about the fungus and about how I removed it; well, the fungus looked pretty dramatic from the outside, but it was not stubborn at all to get it removed. I used a very soft cotton cloth. A cloth that I always carry with me when shooting for the eventual necessity of having to clean my lens. Before I cleaned out the fungus, I cleaned this cloth three times in boiling water. The first time with a little neutral soap to be sure not to have any fat on the cloth, the second and third times in clean water to get all soap out. Then, with the cloth still humid (not wet), I easily cleaned away the fungus. No big deal really.

As I had the lens open, I also cleaned the inside to be sure not to have any fungus left on parts where you cant see it. Before I closed the lens, I blew in warm air with a hairdryer to be sure not to leave any humidity inside, while at the same time blowing away the inevitable dust particles that had come in. I blew into the lens from underneath, so with the open lens looking downwards, to minimize new dust coming in. The blowing / closing action should be as fast as possible to minimize dust.

Today, looking at my lens and having taken some test shots, I know I did a good job. The lens is perfect. Like it were new. Whereas before the cleaning, it was totally worthless. The fungus agglomerations had become so dense, they were destroying contrast and definition in several areas within the photo.

Well, I hope my comments are helpful, and please, do not hesitate to ask in case you have any further questions or doubts.

08-10-2016, 11:34 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Compaan Quote
Sorry, I didn't film or photograph the process, but believe me, there is nothing to it. It is all very simple and intuitive.

Answering your question about the fungus and about how I removed it; well, the fungus looked pretty dramatic from the outside, but it was not stubborn at all to get it removed. I used a very soft cotton cloth. A cloth that I always carry with me when shooting for the eventual necessity of having to clean my lens. Before I cleaned out the fungus, I cleaned this cloth three times in boiling water. The first time with a little neutral soap to be sure not to have any fat on the cloth, the second and third times in clean water to get all soap out. Then, with the cloth still humid (not wet), I easily cleaned away the fungus. No big deal really.

As I had the lens open, I also cleaned the inside to be sure not to have any fungus left on parts where you cant see it. Before I closed the lens, I blew in warm air with a hairdryer to be sure not to leave any humidity inside, while at the same time blowing away the inevitable dust particles that had come in. I blew into the lens from underneath, so with the open lens looking downwards, to minimize new dust coming in. The blowing / closing action should be as fast as possible to minimize dust.

Today, looking at my lens and having taken some test shots, I know I did a good job. The lens is perfect. Like it were new. Whereas before the cleaning, it was totally worthless. The fungus agglomerations had become so dense, they were destroying contrast and definition in several areas within the photo.

Well, I hope my comments are helpful, and please, do not hesitate to ask in case you have any further questions or doubts.
You are indeed very helpful. Thank you for a very generous response! I will come back to you after me trying to do the same process
08-11-2016, 05:57 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by hjoseph7 Quote
You might try leaving the lens under a strong UV light or sunlight for about a week. Some people swear by this but I never tried it myself.
This is something that can be done easily. Or even leave it in the sun (just make sure it is not focused, so it doesn't cause a fire!!)
There are some blogs online and websites that write about how to kill fungus in a lens. But the problem is that even if fungus is killed, it will still leave something behind.
Maybe you can find a lens shop that is not official Pentax and can still fix the lens for a lower price.
Or sell it for a low price (please mention the fungus in the ad), and buy another used copy without fungus.
08-11-2016, 06:08 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by bebotette Quote
You are indeed very helpful. Thank you for a very generous response! I will come back to you after me trying to do the same process
Good luck!
01-04-2018, 05:45 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Compaan Quote
Hi,
...

The front has this ring on which the tecnical specs of the lens are written, and you have to peel this ring off. I did it (very carefully not to touch the glass) with a small knife. The ring is fixed in 3 locations by a little glew, but with some patience and care, you can easily manage to get the ring lose and take it off. Once you have the ring off, you will see 3 tiny screws that you will have to remove. When I say tiny, I mean tiny!!! Be careful not to lose them. I did my job on a white towel, so I could see any parts falling off and avoid eventual parts like screws falling and jumping to the floor, where they would most certainly never be found again!
Taking off the screws off this second ring, you will have to turn the ring a little bit counter clockwise to get it free and to be able to take it off. This second ring is actuallly the front optical element of the lens.
Taking this element out of the lens will simply enable you to clean off the fungus on the back of it, where in my case the main problem was located. It will also give you the chance of cleaning the front of the second element (in my case there was no problem there, but I cleaned anyway).
Putting it all back together is simply doing the inverse. The tiny screws, I got back in place by putting a little glew on the tiny screwdriver to be able to get the screws back in place.
....
Good luck!
Thank you so much!!!
Worked as a charm
01-05-2018, 07:26 AM   #13
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Also thanks front element is clean now my only problem is the back element is the main problem area and seams that part isnt as easy to get to.
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