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lens fungus

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Post Options Post Options   Quote Cucoo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 October 2019 at 09:25
Re: fungus - can an infected lens really "spread it" to other lenses? Has someone actually had that happen?

I thought that the spores are always there - airborne all around us no matter what - and they just don't get to grow unless conditions are right. So - no storing lenses in dark and damp cellars and you're fine.

I'm asking because I've just bought a set of 3 lenses, I was interested in 2 of them and the 3rd one is the one with some fungus on it. So now I'm wondering if I should try to kill the fungus or just throw it out.
 



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SnowFella View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote SnowFella Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 October 2019 at 10:12
Only speaking from own experience here, had 2 second hand lenses turn up with fungus several years ago. "Treated" them both by taking them apart as much as I could to clean and then several hours worth of UV treatment, ie parked them out in bright daylight with front cap off.

Both have since lived among my kit and no other lens have since started growing fungus...and the 2 in question haven't got any more growth either.

That's not to say it could happen if the conditions were right, as you said the spores are always there so if I started storing my kit warm, humid and dark I'm sure it would spark back up again!
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Miranda F View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Miranda F Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 October 2019 at 12:01
I have heard it said that fungal spores are always around but they need the right conditions to grow, so that basis, if you have a warm dry cabinet there wouldn't be a risk.
But it seems to me that when fungus gets a hold it grows quickly, so on that basis the amount of spores around may well the chances of infection.

IME the biggest problem of fungal growth is when you get a lens wet and leave it in the bag for a while.
Miranda F & Sensorex, Sony A58, Nex-6, Dynax 4, 5, 60, 500si/600si/700si/800si, various Sony & Minolta lenses, several Tamrons, lots of MF primes and *far* too many old film cameras . . .
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Cucoo View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Cucoo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 October 2019 at 13:59
Thanks! That's my line of thinking too - keep your stuff dry and let it get some light and you will be fine
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balacau View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote balacau Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 October 2019 at 13:46
Regarding fungus, I had a filter which I didn't deal with properly after it got very damp during some night time pictures. It was dropped into a pocket in my bag and forgotten about. Three weeks later and it looked like a spider had been spinning webs all over it. Both the bag and filter were disposed of. Sadly as some will recall, its not the only experience I've had.

I've invested in a pencil torch for when I check my lenses over, so much easier to spot any tell tale signs now.

Would I buy a used lens that had fungus? No, not even if it was a SAL50F14Z on sale for £50GBP. There's just too much risk of the fungus spreading to other glass.
Understanding is a 3-edged sword. Your side, their side and the truth.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote jvandegr Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 October 2019 at 22:24
Just a little of my background - I'm an environmental scientist and I study natural hazards. One of the most critical issues I deal with after a flood ravages an area is the development of mold (fungus). It loves the stagnant air inside homes, especially those with poor circulation where humid air from showers, bathtubs, and kitchens loves to accumulate. I've read a few studies over the years that deal with fungus development on optics. Zeiss was one of the companies to confirm that when the relative humidity of an environment exceeds 60% for an extended period of time (usually several days or longer), fungus begins to grow on surfaces. Dark, poorly ventilated environments are most susceptible. Remember, a camera lens can temporarily trap humid air inside of itself and this environment may have a relative humidity that exceeds that of the ambient environment, at least for a little while.

All silicon dioxide based glass blocks 95% of UV radiation, so just bathing a lens in sunlight won't kill mold that is already established inside the lens (it may on the outside surface of the front element). A minimum of two hours of direct (unfiltered) sunlight is required to reduce a fungal colony, but this may not be enough to kill it, especially in porous materials which may include lens coatings. Glass made out of other materials, such as acrylic on aircraft windows, can even block 100% of UV radiation.

Fungal spores are present on every continent, wet and dry, cold and hot. This is a highly successful kingdom of organisms that doesn't go down without a fight. It's possible for it to spread from one lens to another, but stay focused on the environments in which the lens is used and stored. Keep it dry (30-55% relative humidity is ideal) and well ventilated. A little sunlight from time to time will help reduce any growth on the surface.

Good luck!
Jon Van de Grift
Geographer and Documentary Photographer
 



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Miranda F View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Miranda F Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 October 2019 at 16:06
Thanks for that. Appreciated.
Miranda F & Sensorex, Sony A58, Nex-6, Dynax 4, 5, 60, 500si/600si/700si/800si, various Sony & Minolta lenses, several Tamrons, lots of MF primes and *far* too many old film cameras . . .
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