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11-20-2010, 07:08 PM   #1
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How to tell early signs of fungus?

Hey all, I might just be a bit paranoid right now, but I'm not sure if I have fungus on my lens - how does it look in its early stages? What I'm seeing are many specks that're just specks, like dust, and then distinct from those, specks that seem to have 5 or 6 "arms" each, kind of like an asterisk. They're about the same size as the specks (not including the arms) and don't seem to be interlacing with each other. Is this early fungus ?

11-21-2010, 12:17 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by jaieger Quote
Hey all, I might just be a bit paranoid right now, but I'm not sure if I have fungus on my lens - how does it look in its early stages? What I'm seeing are many specks that're just specks, like dust, and then distinct from those, specks that seem to have 5 or 6 "arms" each, kind of like an asterisk. They're about the same size as the specks (not including the arms) and don't seem to be interlacing with each other. Is this early fungus ?
Sure sounds like it. Most fungus I've ever seen has an appearance like that of cotton fibers. Sometimes it has a distinct nucleus, sometimes not, it's just a hairy looking mess. Could also be dust though as all dust is not created equal. What you really want to watch out for is if the fungus is etching itself into the coatings inside the lens. It usually occurs (in those that I've seen and cleaned) on the front element, or the rear one. I've seen it on the middle elements as well but not as often.

11-21-2010, 12:46 AM   #3
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Bugger. Is there any way for me to get rid of it without high cost/risk of further damage to it? I'm currently keeping it at a pretty damn low humidity, about 33%/22 degrees celcius (aka turning up the heater, but this isn't a very economical solution; I'm looking into getting some silica gel + ziploc box or something. What will this due to the fungus though? I'm hoping that it'll kill it outright, but I've heard it just forces them into hibernation until conditions are favorable again. If this is the case, what about a few hours in the sun? Same deal?
11-21-2010, 01:07 AM   #4
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Expose it to UV light.

Take it out in the sunshine.

11-21-2010, 01:42 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by lmd91343 Quote
Expose it to UV light.

Take it out in the sunshine.
Will that kill the fungus, or just pause the growth? And same for keeping it at low humidity, will it kill it or simply prevent it from getting worse
11-21-2010, 02:13 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by jaieger Quote
Will that kill the fungus, or just pause the growth? And same for keeping it at low humidity, will it kill it or simply prevent it from getting worse
All about that:

Fungus and Camera Lenses

(BTW, in addition to what is suggested in the page, I've once treated a fungus attack on an old M42 lens by putting it inside an hermetic transparent plastic box with loads of naphthalene balls; they were killed in weeks but not removed; disassembling of the lens was necessary to do that.
11-21-2010, 06:21 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by jaieger Quote
Will that kill the fungus, or just pause the growth? And same for keeping it at low humidity, will it kill it or simply prevent it from getting worse
UV will kill the fungus. That means lots of sunlight. Go out and take photos. Keep your lenses in a clean, dry place. Don't store them in leather cases.

Killing the fungus does not mean the "webbing" and etching goes away. It will stay there after the fungus is dead. You need to take apart the lens and clean it to take that "webbing" out.
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