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11-07-2008, 06:57 PM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by istDL-K10D Quote
you can put them in godrej bureau locker. they are safe and will not allow fungus to grow.
just throw your bags. they are the root cause for your problem. leather at your place might not be dried properly. the residual moisture might have lead to your problem.

just store them covered in news paper (The hindu or similar). that way it will have free air circulation and the paper will absorb moisture.
do not use the bags that lead to this problem.
I'm sorry but what you suggest won't work. The fungal spores are everywhere. Wrapping gear in newspapers won't keep them dry, in fact there's moisture in the newsprint. Same like people keeping their gear in a clothes cupboard.

Get a proper electronic dry cabinet that runs on electricity. Just a few watts per month but it keeps your gear at a set RH, usually 40-45%.

11-07-2008, 07:01 PM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lloydy Quote
Would a microwave oven kill fungus in non metallic items such as leather or fabric bags?
No it won't.
11-09-2008, 07:12 PM   #18
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My suggestion is to do what I have done with great results. I use a large Pelican waterproof case. Inside I put all my camera gear along with a Eva-Dry de-humidifier unit. The Eva-Dry is about 4 X 5 X 1 inches and contains silica gel and a heater unit. It has a visible indicator to show when to "recharge" the silica gel. You can renew or "recharge" the silica gel by plugging in the Eva-Dry to a 120V outlet. It will be like new again and ready to absorb moisture again in a few hours. Keep the case with the de-humidifier closed when you are not using the equipment. The water proof feature of Pelican brand cases, also makes it air tight too.

My 2 cents worth...
11-09-2008, 10:49 PM   #19
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On a related note, is there an easy way to test whether equipment is free from fungus? I recently received a lens that was covered in fungus except for the lenses, which had barely been touched. After a good cleaning, I'm not sure whether I can trust it to play with my other lenses. Currently, it is quarantined in a zip-lock bag in a sock drawer, and my plan is to check in every week or two to see if anything grows back. Any better ideas?

11-10-2008, 04:33 AM   #20
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Answer: Electronic dehumifying Cabinet

..with a small heater, turn it on all the time, it consumes very little electricity.

Don't set it to be too high power, or the lenses and camera will be damaged in another way if the RH is too low - just read the mechanical meter on the front.
11-10-2008, 09:52 PM   #21
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Another look at the damage...

Thanks for all the support & advice everyone. After the initial panic subsided I re-evaluated the damage. The bad news is that, several more lenses had the same filament like growth (I am not sure if it really is fungus). The good news is that most of it was on the outer surface of the lens elements and cleaned out nicely with not too much effort. Only two lens (Sigma 24-135 and Pentax 35-70) are showing some infection on the inner sides. These have been exposed to the strong sun here for over 48 hours and hopefully that halted any further growth.

The Pentax 35-70 is easy to open, I did it once before to blow out some dust that got inside. So I will open it this weekend to clean out that inner lens surface. I will take pics and post them in case any one here is interested. The Sigma 24-135 is a relatively newer lens and I am not going to try & open it. If the fungus or whatever stops growing and doesn't show up in the photos then I will leave it as it is.

Regarding the electronic drying cabinets & dehumidifiers, none are available in my town - infact most camera stores haven't even heard of anything like it. Anyone know where I can source one in India and what the cost would be? The other option is to make one myself. I've seen some DIY ideas for dehumidifiers on the internet, and I think I can probably bang a contraption together to keep my equipment relatively dry.

Cheers
Teja
11-11-2008, 07:11 AM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by Teja Quote
Thanks for all the support & advice everyone. After the initial panic subsided I re-evaluated the damage. The bad news is that, several more lenses had the same filament like growth (I am not sure if it really is fungus). The good news is that most of it was on the outer surface of the lens elements and cleaned out nicely with not too much effort. Only two lens (Sigma 24-135 and Pentax 35-70) are showing some infection on the inner sides. These have been exposed to the strong sun here for over 48 hours and hopefully that halted any further growth.

The Pentax 35-70 is easy to open, I did it once before to blow out some dust that got inside. So I will open it this weekend to clean out that inner lens surface. I will take pics and post them in case any one here is interested. The Sigma 24-135 is a relatively newer lens and I am not going to try & open it. If the fungus or whatever stops growing and doesn't show up in the photos then I will leave it as it is.

Regarding the electronic drying cabinets & dehumidifiers, none are available in my town - infact most camera stores haven't even heard of anything like it. Anyone know where I can source one in India and what the cost would be? The other option is to make one myself. I've seen some DIY ideas for dehumidifiers on the internet, and I think I can probably bang a contraption together to keep my equipment relatively dry.

Cheers
Teja
Something else to possibly consider, but again probably not really available where you are, is ozone generating lamps.

Ozone is an unstable oxygen molecule that attacks many things that are carbon based. It can rapidly get rid of smells and disenfect things from bacteria and molds (fungus).

BUT be careful, it also attacks rubber and carbon based materials making them brittle by breaking the molecular chains, and adding oxygen at the breaks. Additionally, prolonged human exposure can lead to a build up of hydrogen peroxide in the lungs.


Having given the warning, it should still be considered if you can do it in a small enclosed area, and within that area have some air curculation (fan) and leave the lens with the covers all off.

Ozone lamps / generators have been used to take the smell out of old refrigerators, cars, hotel rooms etc...
11-11-2008, 07:56 PM   #23
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Good replacement for silicagel - Zorb-It packets

Zorb-It packets from http://www.zorb-it.com

I found this one net. Seems very good long term replacement for silica gel. No need to renew or replace or recharge as silica gel. According to them, Zorb-It will last forever in our camera bags absorbing more and more moisture. They ship it world wide and price is also reasonable.

I have not used it but members from US may testify its usefulness as Zorb-It is from US.

11-12-2008, 05:26 AM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by Teja Quote
Thanks for all the support & advice everyone. After the initial panic subsided I re-evaluated the damage. The bad news is that, several more lenses had the same filament like growth (I am not sure if it really is fungus). The good news is that most of it was on the outer surface of the lens elements and cleaned out nicely with not too much effort. Only two lens (Sigma 24-135 and Pentax 35-70) are showing some infection on the inner sides. These have been exposed to the strong sun here for over 48 hours and hopefully that halted any further growth.

The Pentax 35-70 is easy to open, I did it once before to blow out some dust that got inside. So I will open it this weekend to clean out that inner lens surface. I will take pics and post them in case any one here is interested. The Sigma 24-135 is a relatively newer lens and I am not going to try & open it. If the fungus or whatever stops growing and doesn't show up in the photos then I will leave it as it is.
Teja, I have cleaned several lenses off fungus, though storage in my environment is much easier, as it is by far not as hot and humid as it is in Southern India:
– exposing the lenses to direct sun light is a good idea. Remove the back lens cap too and wrap aluminium foil around the rear of the lens. This serves two purposes. Firstly it prevents to lens from burning anything beneath (Table, clothes etc.), secondly it reflects the sunlight back into the lens, improving the UV action.

- killing the fungus will obviously not clean the lens. If you have serious fungus inside the lens (the filamants you metioned sound very much like fungus growth), you need to take apart the lens and clean. If you do so, use alcohol also to clean out the mechanics.

- you could expose the lens to formaldehyde (sold as Formalin fluid) for a couple of days in a closed storage jar or whatever. Just be very careful, as formaldehyd is quite unhealthy. The advantage is, that the gas will penetrate the lens and kill everything inside, even in those spots, you are not able to reach mechanically for cleaning. Place the lens inside the container in a way, that it doesn't get into contact with the Formalin itself.

Make a formaldehyde test with a less valuable lens, as I don't know, whether it might interact with some of the plastics inside the lens.

For storage: make sure, that you don't use completely closed containers, unless you use some means of drying. I would opt for a unheated dryer anytime, as some of the lubricants in the lens become more viscous when very warm and will creep in all the unwanted places, like the diaphragm. I am not a fan of air conditioning, as it is an enormous waste of energy, but in such a case a room with air conditioning might be ideal. Just be aware, that an air conditioning system is a very good place for fungus growth itself, if there is no regular maintenance.

Ben
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