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10-11-2013, 06:59 AM   #1
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Fungus???

God help me. I just moved to super humid cambodia and had no dehumidifier and couldnt find one here. I have been keeping my limiteds in a nylon antitheft bag, inside a camera bag, in their pouches (I know, but I dont really have a choice). I have been relying on silica packets which I have been replacing once a week. I have only been here two weeks exactly.

I am now afraid my lenses have something bad going on. The photo attached is my FA31 (MIJ so a bit older) it doesnt look as bad to the eye (the specs are likely grime and on the outside element but the swirly stuff looks like it is inside... WTF is this? My FA77 almost looks like it has a fine haze inside.

Could this just be trapped moisture or something or is it dreaded fungus and haze....I will cry if so..........

What can I do, anything???

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10-11-2013, 07:15 AM   #2
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Yep! That's fungus alright!

I don't wish to put you at risk of an AMI now but i'd suggest you to RUN, don't walk, to a reputable shop for cleaning before them fungus trails eats into the coating and leave irreversible damage..
10-11-2013, 07:20 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by SyncGuy Quote
Yep! That's fungus alright!

I don't wish to put you at risk of an AMI now but i'd suggest you to RUN, don't walk, to a reputable shop for cleaning before them fungus trails eats into the coating and leave irreversible damage..
+1, That's a bad one, might be a little late...Only 2 weeks!
10-11-2013, 07:21 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by SyncGuy Quote
Yep! That's fungus alright!

I don't wish to put you at risk of an AMI now but i'd suggest you to RUN, don't walk, to a reputable shop for cleaning before them fungus trails eats into the coating and leave irreversible damage..


I doubt ill find anywhere to do that here....I cant believe this happened so quick. It has been so damn humid. F@#@@##K

There goes 4 limiteds....

When I look through the lens its pretty clean and this is just a tiny portion of the side but OMG

10-11-2013, 07:30 AM   #5
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If you can't send the lenses for professional cleaning, try this to slow down the fungus: 1) Uncap the lenses and point them towards the sun for a few hours. Fungus generally doesn't like heat and light. 2) Store the lenses in a sealed airtight box with the silica packets.
10-11-2013, 11:22 AM   #6
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Hopefully the sun is shining over there. Point them at the sun, for a whole day if necessary (not that long that plastic parts start to melt).
Everything alive inside will die :P
10-11-2013, 09:39 PM   #7
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Get them in the sun pronto!
Sometimes I am very grateful to live in a dry climate.
10-11-2013, 11:40 PM   #8
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Thanks for your comments. Ok so it doesnt look like my fa43 and da15 are affected but it is hard to tell.

The fa31 (which didnt look nearly as bad as the photo above) and my fa77 I put in the midday SEasian sun for about 20+ minutes. they were very hot at that point so I figured that was enough for one day.

That definitely diminished the "haze" inside the fa77 which I am starting to think was condensation from leaving an AC room to go outside, although that was over a week or so ago. I am hoping a few more light baths will maybe get rid of it. When I do the flashlight test its pretty evident but def looks more like a fine haze than the fa31

The FA31 you can still see a tiny bit of what seems like fungus around the extreme edges of some element inside, it doesnt extend nearly as far as it looks in the photo maybe a couple mms, this also seems to have dimished a bit but its def fungus I would say.

I spent so long saving and trading up to collect these it breaks my heart but maybe I can salvage them. They should definately be useable at least. Both the 77 and 31 are older MIJ so they could very well have had a touch of these symptoms before I arrived and then just gone nuts in the humidity

Now I have a ziplock and some silica gel where I have temporarily put the lenses, maybe its better than in the pouches (with silica) in my camera bag? In the meantime I will see if there is anywhere I can ship them to get cleaned

Does anyone know what the prospects are for cleaning this stuff? I know fungus can etch the glass but maybe not so bad if its fresh?


Last edited by Deimos; 10-11-2013 at 11:53 PM.
10-12-2013, 01:58 AM   #9
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I may have found a local shop that can do lens cleaning. A little weary about handing over my Limiteds to a shop that doesnt sell Pentax but it seems like my best option at the moment.

Maybe they will also have proper storage solutions. Fingers crossed..
10-12-2013, 02:27 AM   #10
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Sealing lenses in bags, unless they are absolutely 100% moisture free (which is very hard to do), is a bad idea. If they have some air circulation they will fare much better.

I was in Cambodia & Vietnam for two weeks and it was extremely humid. My lenses were in my backpack (but not sealed in bags) when I was out and left out with no caps when I was in the hotel, and I had no problems. Of course, if you live there you don't have an air-conditioned hotel room, but perhaps you have something similar available for storage?
10-12-2013, 02:38 AM   #11
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Oh a nightmare I don't want happening to me as I'm going this month to the Philippines for about 1 month. I will only bring 3 of my lenses with me. Will I bring the limiteds? hmmmm.

I hope they can help you with your problem.
10-12-2013, 02:43 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by tzrenz0 Quote
Oh a nightmare I don't want happening to me as I'm going this month to the Philippines for about 1 month. I will only bring 3 of my lenses with me. Will I bring the limiteds? hmmmm.

I hope they can help you with your problem.
I think a part of the issue is the condensation that likely occurred when I left a cold AC hotel room for the 99% humidity outdoors. So watch out for that. Maybe bring them out in a camera bag and give the bag time to come up to temperature
10-12-2013, 03:12 AM   #13
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Not going to live in a hotel though and no air conditioning, do anyone has advice when travelling with gears in very humid countries? I am from the Philippines, I don't want my priced lenses be victims of darn fungus.
10-12-2013, 11:06 PM   #14
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After the sun bath and putting the lenses in a ziplock with all of the silica gel packets I have, they look quite a bit better, barely noticeable even with a flashlight.

I still want to get them cleaned so that it will prevent future issues. Now I am trying to decide if I should try to get them cleaned locally or ship them to Eric in the US, who I know will do a good job.

Does anyone know if taking a lens apart and cleaning it is the same for all manufacturers or if special skills are needed for each brand? I am a little worried about having a camera shop here that doesn't deal with Pentax take my lenses apart.
10-13-2013, 06:19 AM - 1 Like   #15
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The 31 still works...

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