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02-16-2024, 01:50 AM   #1
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A problem often seen in older lenses. Is it haze?

Hi, this may not be related to Pentax.
However, this is a problem often seen in old lenses.
There doesn't seem to be as much information on this issue on the Internet as I thought.
I consider about it for a long time, but in the end I couldn't find an answer.
Please forgive me for asking questions here.

Recently, I bought a lot of old lenses on ebay.
I've found the same problem with quite a few old lenses, and I've failed to clean them.
It looks like it's on a glass surface, but it can't wipe off.
When light through the lens, it appears hazy, and the results taken with this lens show loss of contrast and sharpness.
Is this haze? Or is it some type of glass corrosion?
Is there a way to completely remove this problem?
(Please look at the attached photo)
I'm curious what you think.

Attached Images
   
02-16-2024, 02:10 AM   #2
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Hi nonism127 welcome.

I've also encountered this sort of glass surface or coating deterioration. I actually tried polishing the element from a generic 400mm f6.3 lens (these are prone to hazed rear elements) using a neighbours polishing wheel but the resulting iq was lousy. IME there's nothing to be done.
02-16-2024, 02:29 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by marcusBMG Quote
Hi nonism127 welcome.

I've also encountered this sort of glass surface or coating deterioration. I actually tried polishing the element from a generic 400mm f6.3 lens (these are prone to hazed rear elements) using a neighbours polishing wheel but the resulting iq was lousy. IME there's nothing to be done.
thank you for reply.
I've seen a lot of mostly negative posts about polishing.
So I'm hesitant to try polishing.
But, I've read post on other forums that say cerium oxide polishing is working.
(I still don't know if this works or not)

---------- Post added 02-16-24 at 02:30 AM ----------

I tried cleaning with hydrogen peroxide, isopropyl alcohol, Zeiss lens cleaner, and acetone, but not working.
I'm not sure yet, but hydrogen peroxide seems to have made this condition worse.
02-16-2024, 02:36 AM   #4
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It might be deteriorated glass/coating because of fungus, it also might be lens separation. In case the latter, how older the lens how better the fix. The old balsam is more easy to remove than the more modern glues.

02-16-2024, 03:08 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Henrico Quote
It might be deteriorated glass/coating because of fungus, it also might be lens separation. In case the latter, how older the lens how better the fix. The old balsam is more easy to remove than the more modern glues.
This problem occurs even on lenses without fungus, also appears to occur with non-glued glass elements.
In the first of my attached photos, you can see that the problem occurred partially on the front glass surface.
This lens also had no visible fungus.
02-16-2024, 06:07 AM - 1 Like   #6
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The first one looks like amalgam separation (elements separating), the second one looks like dead fungus residue to me.
02-16-2024, 07:13 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by nonism127 Quote
Hi, this may not be related to Pentax.
However, this is a problem often seen in old lenses.
There doesn't seem to be as much information on this issue on the Internet as I thought.
I consider about it for a long time, but in the end I couldn't find an answer.
Please forgive me for asking questions here.

Recently, I bought a lot of old lenses on ebay.
I've found the same problem with quite a few old lenses, and I've failed to clean them.
It looks like it's on a glass surface, but it can't wipe off.
When light through the lens, it appears hazy, and the results taken with this lens show loss of contrast and sharpness.
Is this haze? Or is it some type of glass corrosion?
Is there a way to completely remove this problem?
(Please look at the attached photo)
I'm curious what you think.
Are these lenses smooth to the touch or rough? If they arenít perfectly smooth and the damage is on the outside it could be the result of bad cleaning causing coating damage or even etching of the glass. If that the case youíre not going to rescue the lens Perhaps if you become a master at hand polishingÖ even then the optimal shape will have been discarded to have the smooth surface restored.

---------- Post added 02-16-24 at 09:14 AM ----------

Itís also possible some of these flaws lie further inside. Disassembly and inspection and cleaning of each element would be needed.

02-16-2024, 09:12 AM   #8
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Not sure how this relates but polishing is the way you figure telescope mirror surfaces and mere seconds of polishing can produce changes to the surface figure which are easily measured with Foucault testing. Plus I suspect any coatings would suffer as well.

Last edited by jgnfld; 02-16-2024 at 10:04 AM.
02-16-2024, 09:30 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by nonism127 Quote
Recently, I bought a lot of old lenses on ebay.
I am curious too. My guess is haze or fungus. I bought a mirror lens two years ago. It had a similar looking problem. The seller was a novice in lens issues and did not show or disclose the problem in the images he posted for the sale. I contacted him and told him of the problem. He ended up refunding me and asked me to keep the lens. I really did not need the lens but thought it was cool to have. I took a few pics with it to see if the problem would be visible in the images. I rally can't tell if it is the lens or the "haze" but the images are not sharp. The lens is a nice shelf display item but not a reliable optical instrument!!
02-16-2024, 11:02 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by ChristianRock Quote
The first one looks like amalgam separation (elements separating), the second one looks like dead fungus residue to me.
I think the first and second pictures both seem to have the same problem.
As you said, it looks similar to separation, but both are front lens elements without glued elements.

---------- Post added 02-16-24 at 11:04 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
Are these lenses smooth to the touch or rough? If they arenít perfectly smooth and the damage is on the outside it could be the result of bad cleaning causing coating damage or even etching of the glass. If that the case youíre not going to rescue the lens Perhaps if you become a master at hand polishingÖ even then the optimal shape will have been discarded to have the smooth surface restored.

---------- Post added 02-16-24 at 09:14 AM ----------

Itís also possible some of these flaws lie further inside. Disassembly and inspection and cleaning of each element would be needed.
Both have been cleaned and I was able to see the problem on the front element of the lens.
both lens glass surface are smooth. So I'm even more confused.

---------- Post added 02-16-24 at 11:06 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by jgnfld Quote
Not sure how this relates but polishing is the way you figure telescope mirror surfaces and mere seconds of polishing can produce changes to the surface figure which are easily measured with Foucault testing. Plus I suspect any coatings would suffer as well.
Yes, it seems too difficult to solve this problem through polishing.

---------- Post added 02-16-24 at 11:15 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by btnapa Quote
I am curious too. My guess is haze or fungus. I bought a mirror lens two years ago. It had a similar looking problem. The seller was a novice in lens issues and did not show or disclose the problem in the images he posted for the sale. I contacted him and told him of the problem. He ended up refunding me and asked me to keep the lens. I really did not need the lens but thought it was cool to have. I took a few pics with it to see if the problem would be visible in the images. I rally can't tell if it is the lens or the "haze" but the images are not sharp. The lens is a nice shelf display item but not a reliable optical instrument!!
After a long time of searching, it seems that many forums refer to this problem as haze.
But haze usually occurs in the internal elements of the lens, and is often caused by oil evaporation in the aperture.
However, in my case, I was able to find a problem with the single front lens.

---------- Post added 02-16-24 at 11:21 AM ----------

I'm still looking for a solution to this problem, but the possibility of "glass disease" seems high.
Haze also seems to eventually cause corrosion of the lens, finally reaching the state of ďglass disease.Ē
I think this is why it looks similar to haze.
I am afraid to collect old lenses because I have no idea how to prevent and solve these problems.
02-16-2024, 11:56 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by nonism127 Quote
I am afraid to collect old lenses because I have no idea how to prevent and solve these problems.
With great confidence I can say that all the old lenses Iíve ever owned that I bought without this problem didnít develop the problem later. I have had some lenses (newer as well as older) that had separation, fungus, and coating damage. The separation did happen after acquisition but the other issues were present at the time of purchase.

Coating damage wonít always have a feel to it. But at least if you donít feel it, the lens likely hasnít been scratched. Is it impacting images much?

As for buying old lenses - avoid eBay unless you get very good images and ask very clear questions. Japanese sellers are pretty clear if you learn to read details and ignore words like excellent and mint. Mpb and keh and Roberts all have generous return policies.
02-17-2024, 06:55 PM   #12
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lubricant fogging

Another source of weird lens yuckiness is that lubricants as they age can give off fumes that can produce a haze. Often this appears to be a uniform film, but it doesn't have to be. Lenses that have been exposed to heat are most likely to show this, but that is not a necessary condition. If there is also some faint fungus or coating decay, the haze can amplify the pattern of the underlying problem. Another problem I ran into with a Minolta MC 58mm f/1.4 (vintage c. 1970) that showed up as the lens aged was that the coating on one of the elements seemed to be breaking down. I did not have the tools to see whether there was fungus or oil involved as well, but it did look a bit like there was an oily film, which however proved to be impossible to remove with solvents. When I had my SRT-101, that was my least favorite lens (compared to the MC 100f/2 and 35 f/1.8), so it is possible that the coating was defective from day 1, but if so, it got much worse with time.
03-07-2024, 02:03 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
With great confidence I can say that all the old lenses Iíve ever owned that I bought without this problem didnít develop the problem later. I have had some lenses (newer as well as older) that had separation, fungus, and coating damage. The separation did happen after acquisition but the other issues were present at the time of purchase.

Coating damage wonít always have a feel to it. But at least if you donít feel it, the lens likely hasnít been scratched. Is it impacting images much?

As for buying old lenses - avoid eBay unless you get very good images and ask very clear questions. Japanese sellers are pretty clear if you learn to read details and ignore words like excellent and mint. Mpb and keh and Roberts all have generous return policies.
Yes, this issue has bad effects on the image result. It may be better to throw away the lens.
I own a lot of Japanese lenses, but I've never seen this problem with any Japanese lens.
I have only seen this problem with American and German lenses.
I'm not sure why. Is it a problem with the lens coating method?
Anyway, good storage conditions with appropriate temperature and humidity seem to be most important.
03-07-2024, 07:40 PM   #14
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Last month I was checking out A and FA20 lenses from Japan. All of the listings mentioned some kind of internal coating damage, so I didn't buy.
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