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TP: Protect your Lenses from Fungus

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hamzah View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote hamzah Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: TP: Protect your Lenses from Fungus
    Posted: 23 November 2007 at 21:49
Also read TP: How to identify fungus


I always hate when I hear people not using Skylight or UV filter for protection. Poor care and storage is one of the biggest reason of getting fungus. Leaving lens open front or rear cap and especially in cold and wet place. Please take care of your equipment and get serious.

This is how I store my 32 lenses:

1. Leave the filter on the lens permanently.
2. Leave the front and rear lens cap.
3. Wrap the lens in the clear plastic bag.
4. Face the lens up side down (front element up) in the lens case.
5. Leave a slica gel in the case for absorbing moisture.
6. Close the case and store in the cabinet.

Never leave the lens on the body if you are not using it for long period of time. Cap down both body and lens and store properly in there cases.



Edited by brettania - 27 November 2007 at 05:12
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bluntman View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote bluntman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 November 2007 at 00:42
Is fungus a problem up here in Canada? I thought it was only a problem in humid climates.

Edited by bluntman - 24 November 2007 at 00:43
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hamzah View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote hamzah Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 November 2007 at 01:33
Originally posted by Asher Asher wrote:

I don't use filters because they DO affect the quality of the images. If you spend big $$ on filters maybe they don't have such a profound affect but then how do you protect the expensive filter?


If you don't use filters you've to clean your lens more often which will get you micro-scratches and cleaning marks. You'll cause more damage by cleaning your lens. It will also reduce the re-sale value. Sand and salt water is really bad. Also accidents do happen. There is always a 1% chance of damaging the lens. Imagine if you get water splashes on the front element of your lens, it can easily get inside the lens through front element and later you'll see fungus growing inside the lens.

Too many risks of not using lens filter!

If you really love your lens then buy a high quality B+W or Hoya multi-coated filter. High quality filter will not degrade the picture quality, infact it will improve the picture by removing haze. Its cheaper to replace the filter than lens.

Lens is a collection of many elements adding 1 extra element (filter) will not make any difference.
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hamzah View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote hamzah Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 November 2007 at 01:52
Originally posted by bluntman bluntman wrote:

Is fungus a problem up here in Canada? I thought it was only a problem in humid climates.


It depends where you live. I live in Toronto, Ontario but not nearby lake. I know that people who live near by lake, waterfall, river, sea, beach or coatal areas have greater risk of getting fungus. I know tropical countries like Singapore, Malaysia, etc., also middle-eastern countries have very high humidity rates. It can simply lock your camera. Even Pro-SLRs stop working in places like rain forest. The only thing works is a manual film camera.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote mee Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 November 2007 at 04:15
Wrapping lenses in plsatic bags leaves condensation on the inside unable to evaporate thus enhancing fungus developement if left uncheck. I wrap my lenses in fibercloths before storing them. Lenspen did the job of cleaning the glasses though I have UV or Skylight 1B filters on eversince the minute I own them.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote stiuskr Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 November 2007 at 05:32
I wasn't really paying attention, but I saw on a TV yesterday that Zip-Lock (I think) is now making resealable bags that have a built in one-way valve that you can apply vaccum to with a hand held vaccum pump. This in combination with a fresh gel pac would make for excellant lens storage pouches.

EDIT: shows how much attention I pay to TV. It's not Ziploc, but comes from Reynolds and is called the Handi-Vac. Here's a link to the webpage for the product. Will have to go search the food stores tomorrow and see if they're available here.

Edited by stiuskr - 24 November 2007 at 05:41
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DavidB View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote DavidB Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 November 2007 at 05:39
I was on a 200+ mile sailing race this summer (Great Lakes of Canada) when I took my 7D and 200 f2.8 out of a small case I had stowed in a locker, and tried to take a photo of a freighter. It was bad, foggy.

I looked through the frront of the lens and just about croaked... there was fog between some elements. I imediately thought of fungus, as I realized the case I had the camera in was quite sealed (thinking this was good on the water).

Fortunately, out in clear air for a while, the lens quickly cleared.

It was a wakeup call, I can see why members in tropical climates worry about this.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote brettania Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 November 2007 at 05:56

Another good practice with lenses you do not use often is to take them out of their cases or whatever, remove the front and rear caps, and place them where some sunlight can travel through the lens (but not start a fire!).

Two hours of daylight (and UV in particular) is a good preventative.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote momech Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 November 2007 at 06:08
My own experience, FWIW.
I live in Corpus Christi, Tx. Very high humidity year round. I used to store lenses in plastic with silica. Seemed to work pretty well for a long time, then had an outbreak of fungus that affected 4 lenses; probably didn't change the silica often enough.
These days, I try to expose all my lenses and filters to sun light at least every 2-3 months, and store them without the plastic. Just place silica with them in the lens case or camera bag. Have had no fungus for the last 3+ years.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote MG1968 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 November 2007 at 09:03
Originally posted by Asher Asher wrote:



Using UV filters actually increases the risk of fungus.


how so?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote W&7D Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 November 2007 at 10:13
The greenhouse effect.

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brettania View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote brettania Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 November 2007 at 10:29
Originally posted by MG1968 MG1968 wrote:

Originally posted by Asher Asher wrote:



Using UV filters actually increases the risk of fungus.


how so?


I tend to agree with this as the filter makes the space between it and the front element potentially a happy little enclosed breeding environment for the "nasties". However, if used in conjunction with other methods of fungus prevention (such as regular sunbathing and humidity control) there may not be too many harmful effects.

I once purchased a secondhand 100-300 APO (described as being in "excellent" condition) and took the filter off only to discover the back of the filter and the front element had mould. I would bet that the filter had been on from the time the lens was sold.

One has to remember that no lens, or lens plus filter, is 100% airtight and therefore impossible for spores to enter.

Edited by brettania - 24 November 2007 at 10:48
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Xavier Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 November 2007 at 13:21
I do as brettania suggests. Putting a lens on my windowsill (inside :P) for a while so it can soak up a bit of light.

As for Silica Gel you can actually re-use it. When the crystals are pink they have absorbed water. You can roast/heat them in an oven till crystals turn blue and then they're ready to have another go. They turn light pink fairly quickly due to atmospheric moisute I guess but that doesn't mean they're full.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Bob J Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 November 2007 at 13:50
My understanding is that one of the best ways to reduce risk of fungus is to use them often - Circulation of air helps and UV light is supposed to be very good for killing off spores.

Edited by Bob Janes - 24 November 2007 at 13:51
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