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04-28-2016, 10:09 AM   #1
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Fungus on SMC-A 24 - to buy or not to buy?!

Hey friends

I have a good offer for a 24mm 2.8 A-Lens (65€). The seller sent me shots that show little fungus on the front glas (or even in?!?). I read a good stuff on this topic but u am not sure what I should do. Some tell putting the lens in the oven for an hour at 80 degree Celsius will kill the fungus. What would you do? Will this have impact on the quality of the photos? This lens is on my wish list for quite some time...
Thanks for any advice in advanced!

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04-28-2016, 10:17 AM   #2
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First, do not put it in the oven. The oil / grease will liquify and migrate in places you don't want it, like perhaps the aperture blades or lens elements or fog them with oily vapor.

Exposing the lens to UV light -- just sunlight or a UV lamp -- is said to kill fungus. If it is just the front element, those are often easily removed and cleaned. PF member dcshooter may have tips on that, but I've done cleanings just by using a few drops of dishwashing detergent and purified water, successfully in my eyes.

With the problem being on the edges, it may not even affect the image if the lens is used on an APSC camera.
04-28-2016, 10:30 AM   #3
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UV light really does nothing. As long as the fungus is not in a damp dark place, the fungus is already dead, and the spores are everywhere in the environment, so trying to "kill" it is kinda pointless.

What you really need to remove the front element (not difficult) and clean the back surface of it to remove the existing tendrils. The SMC coatings are generally pretty resistant to etching, but that looks like a rather heavy infestation, so it may or may not completely clean off. Still, at EUR65, it's a good deal even with the fungus.

Last edited by dcshooter; 04-28-2016 at 03:15 PM.
04-28-2016, 10:41 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by dcshooter Quote
UV light really does nothing. As long as the fungus is not in a damp dark place, the fungus is already dead, and the spores are everywhere in the environment, so trying to "kill" it is kinda pointless.

What you really need to remove the front element (not difficult) and clean the back element of it to remove the existing tendrils. The SMC coatings are generally pretty reisstant to etching, but that looks like a rather heavy infestation, so it may or may not completely clean off. Still, at EUR65, it's a good deal even with the fungus.
Yup. Killing fungus is futile. It is everywhere. The problem is letting it fester in damp and dark.

04-28-2016, 10:43 AM   #5
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Already a big thanks to you guys! Appreciate your insights!
Dcshooter has already helped me a LOT on my sticky aperture issue on my 50 1.4! Thanks mate!
Do you think I will be able to disassemble the lens to this point to remove it without killing the focus setup via the ring (this is hard to describe for a non native ) removing with the lighter fluid like the last time?

There is not any danger in having a lens with fungus in general? I read that it spreads to other lenses as well?! Sounds like science fiction to me though
04-28-2016, 10:43 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by dcshooter Quote
UV light really does nothing. As long as the fungus is not in a damp dark place, the fungus is already dead, and the spores are everywhere in the environment, so trying to "kill" it is kinda pointless.
+1 and thank you for posting that. If I have to read another "kill it, kill it with UV" post I think I'll barf.

Ordinarily I would pass on any lens with fungus, just because you would need to have it cleaned. However, this lens is not all that common so I might give it a shot. But calculate the cost of a cleaning into the price. And be aware that it is possible (not certain) that the fungus has etched the glass or coatings which is not economically repairable. Still it is around the edges so it might be OK.

I would tell the seller you are interested but need to get it cleaned and see how much they will reduce the price.

---------- Post added 04-28-16 at 10:46 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by i5_david Quote
I read that it spreads to other lenses as well?! Sounds like science fiction to me though
Yeah, be careful it will grow out of the lens, across your bag and into all your other lenses. When you open your bag it will be filled with white tendrils of fungus waiting to grab you and pull you in for digestion. LOL,
04-28-2016, 11:19 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by i5_david Quote
There is not any danger in having a lens with fungus in general? I read that it spreads to other lenses as well?! Sounds like science fiction to me though
The real issue is that if you have fungus growing in a lens you may have conditions in your lens storage that are conducive to fungus growth. So even without a "seed" lens, you might see rise of this in lenses you have. But you think it's related to the seed so it appears to have jumped...
04-28-2016, 11:32 AM   #8
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I have no fungus at all in my system. This is a lens I am about to buy. Or not.
And to me the seed lens theory is more like a Creepy fairytale. But you read all kind of stuff out there....
Has anyone more insights how to get rid of this fungus stuff on the lens?

The amount of fungus as seen in the pic above... is it to be considered as a small amount or already much fungus?

---------- Post added 04-28-16 at 12:26 PM ----------

I found this one here on the forums:
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/62-do-yourself/153858-how-remove-fungus-50mm-f1-7-lens.html

Is the 24mm A-Version similar to disassemble and to clean? I would think I could do this

04-28-2016, 12:52 PM   #9
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I will say this: fungus on the outer edges on the front element is the best place for it. It will probably have only a very very small effect on your images and only when shot at wide apertures. Removing a front element is not a big deal and should have no effect on focus. I would just buy it and see how it performs (assuming the price is right). I love my SMC-A 24 f/2.8 on my K-3
04-28-2016, 12:53 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by i5_david Quote
And to me the seed lens theory is more like a Creepy fairytale. But you read all kind of stuff out there....
Oh come on, it's on the internet, it has to be true.........................
QuoteOriginally posted by i5_david Quote
The amount of fungus as seen in the pic above... is it to be considered as a small amount or already much fungus?
Personally I would consider that amount as 'significant'. On the other hand I've cleaned much worse. If it was a 50mm f/2 I wouldn't even look twice but an 'A' 24mm I think I would take a chance on it. And I would send it out for cleaning. I've taken a lot of lenses apart and probably could do the job but would still rather have a pro do it. PM dcshooter and ask him for a quote before you go further.
04-28-2016, 02:39 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by i5_david Quote
I have no fungus at all in my system.
That is a debated point. You really can only say you have no active fungus infestation - you could have spores (and you likely do) in your lenses but the spores could be a type that doesn't thrive in a lens or you have had low enough humidity etc to prevent any growth.

Here's the Zeiss word on this:

Fungus on Lenses | ZEISS United States

The cigarette ash as a polish compound is something I had never heard before an internet search today.
04-28-2016, 07:37 PM   #12
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I must admit I know nothing about cleaning out fungus, but I have been looking at videos on how to do that, thinking maybe I should get a fungus-infested lens and clean it. The trouble is that the lenses I have been looking at don't seem to have much of a discount because of fungus. So I thought it was not really worth it. Why take chances getting a potentially damaged lens for $60, when I can get one in excellent condition for $100? I have been looking at 50 f1.4, and must admit I don't know anything about prices of the 24mm lenses...

---------- Post added 04-28-16 at 07:43 PM ----------

Here is k1000 with three lenses including a 24mm (although not sure which one) for $125 Canadian

Pentax K1000 et accessoires | cameras, camcorders | Laval / North Shore | Kijiji Mobile
04-28-2016, 09:04 PM   #13
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Offer him half that price and take a punt. If it's on the inside of the first element, may be cleanable. Risk is if the glass has been engraved by the fungi. That's not repairable. Commonly I find fungus wipes off easily. Once a lens I disassembled was engraved and only suitable for parts.
04-29-2016, 08:19 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by i5_david Quote
Will this have impact on the quality of the photos?
on ff or crop? size of the image area could be a factor, crop would have the lowest risk.

65 euro? seems like a bit too much of a gamble.
04-29-2016, 12:18 PM   #15
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thanks for your tips and posts you guys. I talked back to them and we are now at 50€.
I think I will take the plunge and will try to get the fungus out of this lens
The lens in really good condition goes here for about 200€ and more.

@osv: on ff. thought about trying it on astrophotography with the astrotracer feature. maybe this works!?
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