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08-22-2011, 12:17 PM   #1
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Lenses and fungus

One of the big topics with lenses is how to avoid fungus.

On one of the threads, someone said one of the best ways to avoid fungus is to use your lenses regularly since it exposes them to light, which is a hostile environment for fungus.

I was thinking, in that vein, why not take each lens out at least once a week, and let it rest on a windowsill or something (secured) so that it gets a few hours of light periodically (if not being regularly used). I'm wondering if that would go far to help reduce the likelihood that fungus would show up.

Any insights?

Thanks.

08-22-2011, 12:23 PM   #2
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I just leave a big bag of desiccants on top of my lens bag while it's open when I'm home. I think it's direct light that kills the fungus, so you would have to make sure the light enters the lens.
08-22-2011, 12:26 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Spodeworld Quote
One of the big topics with lenses is how to avoid fungus.

On one of the threads, someone said one of the best ways to avoid fungus is to use your lenses regularly since it exposes them to light, which is a hostile environment for fungus.

I was thinking, in that vein, why not take each lens out at least once a week, and let it rest on a windowsill or something (secured) so that it gets a few hours of light periodically (if not being regularly used). I'm wondering if that would go far to help reduce the likelihood that fungus would show up.

Any insights?

Thanks.
Yes, that helps.

Remember fungus needs humidity (RH65%+) and darkness to develop. If you manage to prevent either one of those factors then you could avoid fungus.
08-22-2011, 01:22 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by JinDesu Quote
I just leave a big bag of desiccants on top of my lens bag while it's open when I'm home. I think it's direct light that kills the fungus, so you would have to make sure the light enters the lens.
I have desiccants too, but I always wonder how effective they are if they are not in an air tight case.

08-22-2011, 01:31 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Spodeworld Quote
I have desiccants too, but I always wonder how effective they are if they are not in an air tight case.

They aren't half bad inside a room (I have one where the water is absorbed and turns into a goo on the bottom of the bag so you can see the effects) - generally my room is very dry so you barely see anything, but when it rains, you see some change. So I leave it right on top of the lenses to keep it as dry as my room can be.

So it all depends on how humid your room gets. I'm in the northeast, so winter months are relatively dry, and this summer's been ridiculously dry for some reason. Perhaps more south of me, I would entertain lining them up on the windowsill.
08-22-2011, 01:57 PM   #6
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Just from my limited observations so far when buying second hand lenses (I am making it habit of asking where they were stored - mostly as matter of interest)...
  • I'm now reluctant to buy lenses from somewhere that is relatively humid (had a very bad run with old lenses from Auckland).
  • Lenses stored in garages usually don't fare well
  • Lenses that have been stored in upper cupboards in side house seem to be better off.

Last edited by kiwi_jono; 08-22-2011 at 02:03 PM.
08-22-2011, 03:25 PM   #7
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If you have one of those bins that are transparent and place them on a side of the house by the window or where it gets sun then that would also help.
If you notice the boxes that the lens come in brand new..they have a window to let the lens breathe and avoid moisture.
Letting them on the window sill is ok but if you do have a bin instead that is transparent or semi-transparent that the Sun's rays can penetrate or UV can penetrate then you won't even have to take them out on the sill.
09-06-2011, 11:16 AM   #8
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Would desk lights, like the small but very bright ones that we tend to have on our work desks, substitute for sun light once in a while (rainy day...cloudy days)? Or, is it ineffective as a means to combat fungus? I was wondering since I work from home sometimes, and today it is raining and the light on the desktop is quite bright. Just wondering if I can make the light do dual duty

Thanks

09-06-2011, 12:44 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Spodeworld Quote
Would desk lights, like the small but very bright ones that we tend to have on our work desks, substitute for sun light once in a while (rainy day...cloudy days)? Or, is it ineffective as a means to combat fungus? I was wondering since I work from home sometimes, and today it is raining and the light on the desktop is quite bright. Just wondering if I can make the light do dual duty

Thanks
Any light is good to prevent fungus. Not sure what you meant by "combat". Once you have fungus in your lenses, light only can help to slow down or at best stop the progression but won't be able to eradicate it.

You can only clean the fungus by dismantelling the lens and clean the infected elements with appropriate solutions such as 99.9 Isopropyl alcohol for instance.
09-06-2011, 12:51 PM   #10
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According to the internets, fluorescent light is better than incandescent for killing fungus because of the wavelengths emitted.

I'm of the idea that fungus just doesn't like light. Your desk light should do.
09-06-2011, 03:50 PM   #11
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er, FWIW

I work with different fungi in our lab. Light is not a deterrent for ALL fungus, only some. Keeping your humidity down IS a deterrent for all, AFAIK.
As for weekly exposing on a sill or such - it seems to me to more likely expose your lens to more spores than otherwise.

I suggest simply keep them dry and keep them clean.
09-06-2011, 04:59 PM   #12
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Sunlight consists of different wavelengths of light but the one that fungus doesn't like is UV (Ultra-violet)..so if you can probably procure those lights that emit UV or those so called "black lights", then you should be good!
09-06-2011, 07:53 PM   #13
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If you have a pet snake / turtle in a terranium that will have a UV lamp. (UVA and UVB wavelengths)
Suggest removing the light from the tank rather than putting the lens in there of course.

The UV lights aren't cheap compared to normal flouro lights, but much less than a lens may be worth.

Or you could take all of your lenses with you to the tanning salon, just don't make the mistake of ordering the SPRAY TAN instead of the TANNING BED.
09-06-2011, 08:19 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by steve1307 Quote
If you have a pet snake / turtle in a terranium that will have a UV lamp. (UVA and UVB wavelengths)
Suggest removing the light from the tank rather than putting the lens in there of course.

The UV lights aren't cheap compared to normal flouro lights, but much less than a lens may be worth.

Or you could take all of your lenses with you to the tanning salon, just don't make the mistake of ordering the SPRAY TAN instead of the TANNING BED.
Instant Sepia filter right there.
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