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Thread started 30 Sep 2013 (Monday) 20:47
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Is it possible to clean out fungus?

 
pdrober2
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Sep 30, 2013 20:47 |  #1

We found my wife's grandfathers gear recently, an old Minolta body and two lenses. The 58mm lens has an obvious spot of mold behind the rear element. I was hoping to convert this over to EOS so I was curious if anyone here has had any luck with mold remediation. Thanks.


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Sep 30, 2013 21:07 |  #2

I just clean it using regular lens cleaner(don't know if it's the proper way but it worked for me), it just wipes off.


The only issue will be the lens itself.

Some are easy to take apart while others are a nightmare. Good news is that the rear element is usually really easy to take out. At least on all the lenses I've taken apart(FD komine 28mm, FD canon 50mm 1.4, Canon EF-S 18-55, PK Sigma 21-35mm)


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Sep 30, 2013 21:15 |  #3

How do you avoid fungus altogether?


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pdrober2
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Sep 30, 2013 21:23 |  #4

Keep your gear dry. I use desicators in my pelican case to pull out any moisture inside.


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ZoneV
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Oct 01, 2013 04:48 |  #5

I have cleaned or at last tried to clean some lenses from fungus.

First: There is nearly no method to do a 100% fungus disinfection. A lens that had fungus is after normal cleaning not 100% fungus spore free. Zeiss had a method to perform such a 100% cleaning, but not anymore.

Second: I suppose most used lenses have some few spores of fungus inside. But they don´t start to grow, because of lack of humidity over a longer period of time. Spores good for glass fungus are many around us.

Third: Cleaning away the visible fungus is sometimes easy, sometimes no more possible because the coating/glass surface is damaged. Somtimes isopropanol or other clenaing liquids do the job. Some use cold cream (dont know if they have tested wheter it works better than iropropanol alcohol), clenaing fluids with ammonia or others.
With damaged glass only lens polishing (external link)could help - with the high risk of damaging the lens surface form too much and get bad image quality.


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pdrober2
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Oct 01, 2013 09:48 |  #6

ZoneV wrote in post #16337637 (external link)
I have cleaned or at last tried to clean some lenses from fungus.

First: There is nearly no method to do a 100% fungus disinfection. A lens that had fungus is after normal cleaning not 100% fungus spore free. Zeiss had a method to perform such a 100% cleaning, but not anymore.

Second: I suppose most used lenses have some few spores of fungus inside. But they don´t start to grow, because of lack of humidity over a longer period of time. Spores good for glass fungus are many around us.

Third: Cleaning away the visible fungus is sometimes easy, sometimes no more possible because the coating/glass surface is damaged. Somtimes isopropanol or other clenaing liquids do the job. Some use cold cream (dont know if they have tested wheter it works better than iropropanol alcohol), clenaing fluids with ammonia or others.
With damaged glass only lens polishing (external link)could help - with the high risk of damaging the lens surface form too much and get bad image quality.

Thanks. Since its an old lens that was free, i'm going to open it up and try and clean it. I'll post an update post-op.


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Rocky ­ Rhode
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Oct 01, 2013 10:12 |  #7

pdrober2 wrote in post #16337070 (external link)
Keep your gear dry. I use desicators in my pelican case to pull out any moisture inside.

Small bag of rice works too; in a pinch you won't starve should you get stranded bw!


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ihigh
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Oct 01, 2013 10:55 |  #8

Frodge wrote in post #16337053 (external link)
How do you avoid fungus altogether?

I keep it in a dry area, make sure all caps are sealed tight, and I'll actually let the lens sit in a bag of rice if its going to be there for a while. Never had any issues yet. I got the idea from a wedding photographer who's big in the area round me.




  
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Oct 02, 2013 16:34 |  #9

I do mold remediation for a living, zonev is right there is no way to completely remove all the mold spores which range anywhere from 3 - 30 microns (a human hair is around 100 microns). All you can do is try to remove as many as you can. (We use several rounds of hepa vacuums and an antimicrobial to remediate a home ) I have never attempted to clean a lens, but we clean contents in mold environments using this method, so I would think it would be the same. The idea being to remove as much dust as possible. Again I have NO experience cleaning a lens, but if its an old one as you say, and you are going to try anyway I will try to answer as many questions as I can about mold. Feel free to PM me


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jmooberry
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Oct 03, 2013 20:19 |  #10

Jemhead wrote in post #16341612 (external link)
I do mold remediation for a living, zonev is right there is no way to completely remove all the mold spores which range anywhere from 3 - 30 microns (a human hair is around 100 microns). All you can do is try to remove as many as you can. (We use several rounds of hepa vacuums and an antimicrobial to remediate a home ) I have never attempted to clean a lens, but we clean contents in mold environments using this method, so I would think it would be the same. The idea being to remove as much dust as possible. Again I have NO experience cleaning a lens, but if its an old one as you say, and you are going to try anyway I will try to answer as many questions as I can about mold. Feel free to PM me

I just started reading the mold threads out of curiosity, but now I'm wondering just how prevalent the problem is? i've owned cameras and equipment for over 40 years and i don't think I've ever encountered mold problems. What percentage of photographers have issues with mold in your estimation?


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Oct 03, 2013 20:23 as a reply to  @ jmooberry's post |  #11

depends on the type of fungus. some fungus wipes right off like dust. other types of fungus produce acid and etch the glass over time.


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Oct 03, 2013 21:25 |  #12

jmooberry wrote in post #16344472 (external link)
I just started reading the mold threads out of curiosity, but now I'm wondering just how prevalent the problem is? i've owned cameras and equipment for over 40 years and i don't think I've ever encountered mold problems. What percentage of photographers have issues with mold in your estimation?

I don't really know myself. I have never personally seen it. I just noticed in the classifieds when its mentioned a lens is free of fungus that I was aware this was even a problem


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ZoneV
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Oct 04, 2013 03:40 |  #13

jmooberry wrote in post #16344472 (external link)
I just started reading the mold threads out of curiosity, but now I'm wondering just how prevalent the problem is? i've owned cameras and equipment for over 40 years and i don't think I've ever encountered mold problems. What percentage of photographers have issues with mold in your estimation?

It depends largely where you live and use your lenses, and how you buy your lenses.
In humid regions - like Vietnam - lenses are prone to get fungus.
New lenses show normal no fungus, but old lenses that are probably wrong stored show more often fungus.

So I think the normal hobby photographer, living and photographing in not very humid ares, who mainly buy lenses that are new or at least not stored for several months unused will most likely never see fungus in his lenses.

A photographer who loves old manual lenses and buy those from fleamarkets and over Ebay worldwide is much more likely to have visible fungus in a lens.
But probably he is not noticing this. Fungus is not always easily visible, you need right light from right direction.

I bought several lenses described as "fungus free" or "clear optics" like the Canon FD 300mm/2.8L and FD 24mm/1.4L with fungus on a lens.


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RTPVid
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Oct 04, 2013 11:27 |  #14

pdrober2 wrote in post #16338104 (external link)
Thanks. Since its an old lens that was free, i'm going to open it up and try and clean it. I'll post an update post-op.

If that is the f1.2 58MM Rokkor, that is a highly sought after lens. It will sell used, in good condition, for upwards of $500, so due diligence and care is warranted.


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soundsubs
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Oct 04, 2013 11:45 |  #15

I was able to clean the fungus off of a Canon 135mm f/2 that I got off ebay. It wiped right off. To ensure I got it all, I boiled the lenses in water after washing them with soap and alcohol.

They can be a real pain to get completely clean, but well worth it.


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Is it possible to clean out fungus?
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