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How to clean fungus ?

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coyote1086 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote coyote1086 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: How to clean fungus ?
    Posted: 21 April 2011 at 18:51
I remember I read a post that some experts here suggested to use some kind of solution to clean fungus in the lens. I tried to search for it but unable to find it probably due to using the wrong wording. I found Bob J's post and he seemed to use alcohol alone.

Can anyone suggest what is the proper way to clean the fungus ? I read a lot of people writing on the internet using different kind of solutions : bleach, H2O2, ammonia, alcohol ... etc, I am just not sure who to trust and whether mixing these will release any toxic substance.

My story : I recently bought a M42 Isco Gottigen 135mm F3.5 lens from craigslist, during the inspection under bright sunlight and aperture wide open, I can only see dusts and dirty stuff. And it can focus to infinity with my cheap adapter and the image looked pretty sharp. So I paid the seller. Then later on when I did another inspection at home with aperture closed, and dimmer lights, I can see some strange stuff on the inside element, some discoloring around those stuff, I think they are fungus. The lens looks solid (I see no screws) and I had no idea how to open it up, I thought there goes $60. Then as I was still trying, I suddenly able to turn the front tube and took it out, there exposed some screws to the focusing ring (not helpful). And finally I tried to turn the front thread and it started to loose and voila, I was able to take the front glass out. But the fungus is in inner front glass, there is another rim to turn and then I turned the lens up-side-down, and the rim and the 2nd front glass fell out. Now I can deeply clean the front glasses, also, I can clean the inside of the rear glass (which seems to have fungus as well) through the aperture as well.

Thanks for reading.
 



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waleskeg View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote waleskeg Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 April 2011 at 18:57
I w ill let others comment about the cleaning procedure however this I will say - keep that $60 piece of glass away from ***any*** of your other glass.
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coyote1086 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote coyote1086 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 April 2011 at 19:14
Thanks, it is nowhere near my other glasses. And it's been on my A700 for a total of less than 10 minutes. Should I do anything to my A700 ?
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kevinbm View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote kevinbm Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 April 2011 at 19:32
My advice would be:

1. Place in plastic bag
2. Bin it.

Fungus almost always comes back no matter how well a lens is cleaned.
All the best

Kevin

Sony NEX-5
Nikon D4, D800 + glass

http://www.japonica-enterprises.co.uk/about.html
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5thElefant View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote 5thElefant Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 April 2011 at 19:47
Vinegar. Clean it up expose to sunlight for a few days.

You'll encounter fungus spores in all kinds of places. I'd bet a cleaned lens is less of a risk than many things you encounter on a regular basis.
Simon α900|A7|RX10|DXO
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fem2008 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote fem2008 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 April 2011 at 23:00
I remember someone using dry-erase board cleaner and saying it worked great. I can't remember the exact post though.

If the mold has not started attacking the coatings and etching it, you can clean it with pretty much anything. The question is, did you really kill it and get rid of all traces of spores in all the nooks and crannies in the lens barrel?   Who really knows!

[Edit: the following seems lengthy and a lot of effort, but it's real easy, especially that a lot people may already have the equipment and perhaps don't know it, like in humidifiers, and air purifiers]

Mold spores can be dormant for a long time. There is a lot of debate about the effectiveness of using bleach and other chemicals to kill mold in places like bathrooms, and a lot of experts say that that only masks the problem for a while.

One way to kill mold spores, or at least limit it's ability to multiply, is exposure to UV-C. Strong sunlight for several days is one way, but normally UV-C does not reach the earth's surface in very significant amounts, and you are never sure of the correct dose (just don't accidentally start a fire with the lens!). The other way is exposure to Ozone or artificial UV light from a germicidal UV lamp.

I have a small germicidal lamp (G4T5) that was part of an EPROM eraser. I use it to expose used lenses that I buy. I had one starting to show fungus and exposed it and then cleaned the fungus and it never returned. I prop the aperture open and expose one end of the lens for 15 minutes and then turn the lens around and expose the other end. I do the whole thing inside a cardboard box and place the lid on top while the light is on. I just plug and unplug the power adapter to control the light. You can buy germicidal lamps form a lot of sources and most can be used in standard fluorescent fixtures.

The important thing to keep in mind is that the UV light destroys DNA, which prohibits the mold from reproducing. So, If I don't get it all cleaned out and or it's behind a lens element, at least it can't multiply and eventually dies. Also, always wash your hands really good after handling a lens with mold and before touching other equipment, as this is normally how the mold spreads.

Some caveats:

1- UV-C is really harmful to the skin and can cause burns and skin cancer. it is really dangerous to the eyes and can cause permanent damage very quickly. So, do not look at the light and cover exposed skin. Glasses like ones used in tanning booth help protect the eyes if you need to check things are working (some sunglasses work as well if used for a brief moment to look indirectly at the light).

2- The amount of time required depends on the lamp power and proximity to the light. I place mine almost against the lens surface. Some lenses may require more or less time. You can research dose amounts online. Numbers I have seen for mold are around 36000 to 330000 uWs/square cm. Lamp outputs vary, but a 6", 4 watt lamp will roughly put out about 50000 uWs/square CM over 1 minute at 6" distance.

3- UV_C can deteriorate plastics, rubber, and foam materials quickly, so do not over do it.

[Edit: don't forget to remove any UV filters before doing the UV treatment ]

Edited by fem2008 - 17 May 2011 at 21:35
 



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neilt3 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote neilt3 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 May 2011 at 21:21
good advice on the u.v lamp,i use a 4 watt tube from a fish pond steraliser in a battery powered fluorescent tube unit in a cardboard shoe box lined with aluminium foil.
i think the post you refer to is this one;
Originally posted by LECHER LECHER wrote:

A friend of mine bought a used Beercan from Craig's List, last week. The seller discribed the lens as "Dirty, Really Dirty, But Dirt Cheap". So he paid his $30.00 and bought the lens. He got the lens and it was dirty, it had fungus on 6 surfaces.



He brought it to me and I really didn't know how to tell him he got screwed, so I didn't. I offered to help him and proceded to start with the familiar alcohol/peroxide treatment. Well I didn't buy any peroxide lately and my 14 year old was using it on his pimples so I had very little left.



I was cleaning my Whireboard last night and noticed an oddly familliar smell. So I looked at the ingredients, Hmmmm, 1-propoxy and 2-propanol. So I tried it on the Beercan. Sh*ts and Giggles, it worked. I sprayed this stuff inside the barrels and used a microfiber cloth with it on the glass. I cleaned this thing out and up and off and on for about an hour. Put it back together and took some beautiful shots with it this afternon. I am really amazed at the ease it took to get the fungus off and we are not talking small patches, either. Inside the back element of the front group was 70% covered with fungus and now, I can't see one strand, even with a loup.



Sanford Expo/2, whiteboard cleaner for dry erase surfaces, is a great acidental fungus cleaner. I guess sometimes you still get to be excited at new discoveries.



see my photostream on flickr;
http://www.flickr.com/photos/neilt3/
C & C welcome.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote fem2008 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 May 2011 at 21:34
Thanks, Neil. That's the one.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote jybriend Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 May 2011 at 21:41
>The important thing to keep in mind is that the UV light destroys
>DNA, which prohibits the mold from reproducing.      
Well disturbed DNA is a real problem. I did expose a 85mm
rokkor to UV light the other day and last night
two dogs came out of my lens... Not that they
are not nice, but they glow in the dark and it gets
difficult to sleep.

JYB.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote fem2008 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 May 2011 at 22:12
Originally posted by jybriend jybriend wrote:

>The important thing to keep in mind is that the UV light destroys
>DNA, which prohibits the mold from reproducing.      
Well disturbed DNA is a real problem. I did expose a 85mm
rokkor to UV light the other day and last night
two dogs came out of my lens... Not that they
are not nice, but they glow in the dark and it gets
difficult to sleep.

JYB.



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Post Options Post Options   Quote Pete Ganzel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 May 2011 at 05:08
Originally posted by fem2008 fem2008 wrote:

I remember someone using dry-erase board cleaner and saying it worked great. I can't remember the exact post though.

If the mold has not started attacking the coatings and etching it, you can clean it with pretty much anything. The question is, did you really kill it and get rid of all traces of spores in all the nooks and crannies in the lens barrel?   Who really knows!

[Edit: the following seems lengthy and a lot of effort, but it's real easy, especially that a lot people may already have the equipment and perhaps don't know it, like in humidifiers, and air purifiers]

Mold spores can be dormant for a long time. There is a lot of debate about the effectiveness of using bleach and other chemicals to kill mold in places like bathrooms, and a lot of experts say that that only masks the problem for a while.

One way to kill mold spores, or at least limit it's ability to multiply, is exposure to UV-C. Strong sunlight for several days is one way, but normally UV-C does not reach the earth's surface in very significant amounts, and you are never sure of the correct dose (just don't accidentally start a fire with the lens!). The other way is exposure to Ozone or artificial UV light from a germicidal UV lamp.

I have a small germicidal lamp (G4T5) that was part of an EPROM eraser. I use it to expose used lenses that I buy. I had one starting to show fungus and exposed it and then cleaned the fungus and it never returned. I prop the aperture open and expose one end of the lens for 15 minutes and then turn the lens around and expose the other end. I do the whole thing inside a cardboard box and place the lid on top while the light is on. I just plug and unplug the power adapter to control the light. You can buy germicidal lamps form a lot of sources and most can be used in standard fluorescent fixtures.

The important thing to keep in mind is that the UV light destroys DNA, which prohibits the mold from reproducing. So, If I don't get it all cleaned out and or it's behind a lens element, at least it can't multiply and eventually dies. Also, always wash your hands really good after handling a lens with mold and before touching other equipment, as this is normally how the mold spreads.

Some caveats:

1- UV-C is really harmful to the skin and can cause burns and skin cancer. it is really dangerous to the eyes and can cause permanent damage very quickly. So, do not look at the light and cover exposed skin. Glasses like ones used in tanning booth help protect the eyes if you need to check things are working (some sunglasses work as well if used for a brief moment to look indirectly at the light).

2- The amount of time required depends on the lamp power and proximity to the light. I place mine almost against the lens surface. Some lenses may require more or less time. You can research dose amounts online. Numbers I have seen for mold are around 36000 to 330000 uWs/square cm. Lamp outputs vary, but a 6", 4 watt lamp will roughly put out about 50000 uWs/square CM over 1 minute at 6" distance.

3- UV_C can deteriorate plastics, rubber, and foam materials quickly, so do not over do it.

[Edit: don't forget to remove any UV filters before doing the UV treatment ]


Does UV radiation sufficient to kill mold spores actually pass through glass?

Pete
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Post Options Post Options   Quote fem2008 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 May 2011 at 00:31
Originally posted by Pete Ganzel Pete Ganzel wrote:



Does UV radiation sufficient to kill mold spores actually pass through glass?

Pete


Good question. It should, on most lenses. The reason I say that is, if it doesn't pass through, then there is no need to use UV filters. Also, some cameras are geared to UV photography and it seems that a lot of lenses can pass sufficient UV to work properly. I am sure that some lenses will do better than others, but it would be hard to tell exactly which ones.

Anyway, this is not a substitute to a good cleaning, but a good insurance. When I disassembled the lens with mold, I exposed the parts to UV, even after cleaning, to ensure an residual mold spores are killed. There are instances where lens groups cannot be taken apart, so there is no choice but use this method.

Regards,

FEM
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Pete Ganzel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 May 2011 at 03:13
Originally posted by fem2008 fem2008 wrote:

Originally posted by Pete Ganzel Pete Ganzel wrote:



Does UV radiation sufficient to kill mold spores actually pass through glass?

Pete


Good question. It should, on most lenses. The reason I say that is, if it doesn't pass through, then there is no need to use UV filters. Also, some cameras are geared to UV photography and it seems that a lot of lenses can pass sufficient UV to work properly. I am sure that some lenses will do better than others, but it would be hard to tell exactly which ones.

Anyway, this is not a substitute to a good cleaning, but a good insurance. When I disassembled the lens with mold, I exposed the parts to UV, even after cleaning, to ensure an residual mold spores are killed. There are instances where lens groups cannot be taken apart, so there is no choice but use this method.

Regards,

FEM



Hmmm.

The short wave UV necessary for killing anything I don't think will pass through the glass in lenses (Unless they are quartz). The UV filters used in photography are intended for near violet, not short wave, though they will block that too. Recommending a dangerous fixture that has no real effect is a little reckless IMO.

Pete

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Post Options Post Options   Quote fem2008 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 May 2011 at 17:42
Originally posted by Pete Ganzel Pete Ganzel wrote:

Originally posted by fem2008 fem2008 wrote:

Originally posted by Pete Ganzel Pete Ganzel wrote:



Does UV radiation sufficient to kill mold spores actually pass through glass?

Pete


Good question. It should, on most lenses. The reason I say that is, if it doesn't pass through, then there is no need to use UV filters. Also, some cameras are geared to UV photography and it seems that a lot of lenses can pass sufficient UV to work properly. I am sure that some lenses will do better than others, but it would be hard to tell exactly which ones.

Anyway, this is not a substitute to a good cleaning, but a good insurance. When I disassembled the lens with mold, I exposed the parts to UV, even after cleaning, to ensure an residual mold spores are killed. There are instances where lens groups cannot be taken apart, so there is no choice but use this method.

Regards,

FEM



Hmmm.

The short wave UV necessary for killing anything I don't think will pass through the glass in lenses (Unless they are quartz). The UV filters used in photography are intended for near violet, not short wave, though they will block that too. Recommending a dangerous fixture that has no real effect is a little reckless IMO.

Pete



Hi Pete,

If the proper precautions are taken (like placing in a box and using a cover before energizing is anymore reckless then using a toothbrush sterilizer. The UV lights are used in aquariums, ventilation filters, air humidifiers, EEprom erasers (not very much anymore due to flash memory), and toothbrush sterilizers.

As far as glass transmittance of UV light, well you are right about quartz. But, fused silica glass will also transmit UV light in the region of interest (250 - 300nm), depending how it is made. All glass manufactures (Hoya, Dow, Schot) make Silica and quarts glass transmissive to UV, Some down to 180nm.   Polycarbonate lens elements will not pass the UV light, but acrylic will. So, it highly depends on the glass used. Also, if you search the forums about UV photography, you can see that some standard lenses are used successfully, especially older ones.

Like I said, there is not guarantee that it will pass and you can't tell the type of glass you have. I am sure modern coatings also will have an effect, but most lenses afflicted with mold problems are older. So is it useless? Definitely not. Here is why:

1- Mold starts on the surface (e.g. lens housing, lens surface, etc.) the UV will definitely kill that.
2- If you take a lens apart for cleaning, will you be be able to clean every surface with fungicide or mildewcide? The answer is no. Actually, ,most internal surfaces go uncleaned, unless you completely wash down every surface and remove the existing grease, anti-diffusion compounds, etc. Cleaning the glass elements alone is recipe for the fungus to return (if the humidity conditions allow). Exposing the parts to UV will help stop that.

3- Can you take apart every lens group for cleaning? The answer is no. Will UV work on stopping additional growth inside? It depends. It has worked on one of mine so far, but there is no guarantee, I admit. Even if the UV transmittance is very weak; if the UV source is very close and the dose is long enough, it will work and be better than nothing.

[Edit] 4- Forgot to mention an important aspect. The UV lamps produce a healthy dose of UV-A and UV-B as well which are very important in limiting fungal growth, and those wavelength are more readily transmitted through glass.

In end, this is definitely not for everyone, but is not a waste of time either. I worked in the ventilation and indoor air quality engineering field for a while and seen the effectiveness of this method in tough cases, so I am convinced that it will help.

Best regards,

FEM

[Edit] Some older lenses with yellowing problems due to radioactive glass (e.g. some of the older Rokkors and Super Takumars) have had the yellowing reversed (reportedly) by exposing to the Sun for some time. Surely there must be some penetration of UV light for that to work (perhaps not necessarily in the 250nm range but certainly in the 300-400nm range). I'll have to try it on my 58 1.2 one of these days.




Edited by fem2008 - 20 May 2011 at 20:34
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