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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre General Photography Talk 
Thread started 29 Feb 2016 (Monday) 01:13
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Sterilizing your lenses?

 
Xerxes
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Feb 29, 2016 01:13 |  #1

Even if you store them in proper conditions, there is a chance your lenses can catch fungus. What measures have you taken to prevent this?

I'm thinking of using an ozone generator inside of a poorly ventilated box. Would this damage the coating of the lens?

What about using a high powered laser just outside of the UV spectrum to burn them off? Or is the only solution a good CLA. I'm interested in killing off any fungus before they have a chance to take hold, not curing a diseased piece of glass.




  
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Snydremark
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Feb 29, 2016 01:18 |  #2

What kind of conditions are you living/working in? Unless you're dealing with a constant, warm, moist condition you're probably worrying about things way too much.


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mike_d
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Feb 29, 2016 01:20 |  #3

Snydremark wrote in post #17917304 (external link)
What kind of conditions are you living/working in? Unless you're dealing with a constant, warm, moist condition you're probably worrying about things way too much.

This was my thought. Isn't Calgary a pretty dry climate?




  
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Xerxes
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Feb 29, 2016 06:56 |  #4

My place is an even 20c most of the year and fairly dry. I am a little worried because I make cultured foods at home and purchase most of my lenses second hand from other countries.




  
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Hogloff
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Feb 29, 2016 07:37 |  #5

Xerxes wrote in post #17917467 (external link)
My place is an even 20c most of the year and fairly dry. I am a little worried because I make cultured foods at home and purchase most of my lenses second hand from other countries.

Calgary has an extremely dry climate. If the lens has no fungus on it when you purchase it, it won't get any in Calgary. I wouldn't worry at all about fungus issues and just leave your lenses on an open shelf.




  
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bps
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Post edited over 2 years ago by bps.
     
Feb 29, 2016 07:48 |  #6

I've never heard of anyone buying and using an ozone generator before, especially when everyone already has a natural ozone at their disposal here on planet earth.

I store my lenses inside Pelican cases. Since Pelican cases are sealed, I use re-usable desiccant to keep the air dry inside the airtight Pelican cases. This ensures there is not enough humidity to allow fungus to grow.

You do not live in an area humid enough to worry about it, but if you lived in a highly tropical environment with no air conditioning, then you might have something to worry about. In that extreme situation (which very few people live in), then you might want to invest in a climate-controlled sealed cabinet. But again, very, very few people live in a location with no climate control inside their home.

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lilkngster
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Feb 29, 2016 07:56 |  #7

Continuous ozone or UV, bad for fungus spores AND bad for rubber. You willing to trust that Canon used ozone and UV resistant rubber gaskets and things or do you think they went cheaper?

Dry and cool storage, minimzing the chance for introducing, and some sort of maintenance routine/infestation plan seems best.


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Wilt
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Post edited over 2 years ago by Wilt.
     
Feb 29, 2016 08:28 |  #8

Rather than ozone, why not simply get a UV light source intended for sterilization purposes? It has been known for many years that UV light has various effects on fungi. A Canadian study found that using germicidal UV-C lamps resulted in elimination of bacterial and fungal growth on surfaces within an HVAC system. While the investigation indicated that concentrations of fungi were significantly lower when UV lamps were in use, the study did not determine what stages of fungal growth were most susceptible, nor did it determine whether there was a reduction in spore viability, nor if all the varieties of fungi obtained from the HVAC units were susceptible to the UV light.

Put the UV light source inside a box lined with aluminum foil (shiny side away from the box sides) put lenses inside, rotate lenses occasionally so UV light is not blocked by the lens barrel but hits all glass surfaces.


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lilkngster
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Feb 29, 2016 09:19 as a reply to  @ Wilt's post |  #9

For the purposes for "sterilizing" a lens, I would also favor ozone. Because it is a gas, it will be able to go to all the parts of the lens that mold was able to. UV will work great for the outside of the lens and which ever lens elements will get enough "dose", but I cant imagine there will be enough light spread after a few of the elements to do anything for the inside barrel lining deeper in the lens.

I just don't like the idea of ozone plus rubber, which will age and crack sooner, especially if you are using long term fungicidal doses.


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Feb 29, 2016 09:41 |  #10

One other thing to take into consideration. Many/most lenses have plastic based ribon cables connecting things internally. Ozone could affect the plasticity of the ribbon cables making them more brittle and prone to breakage.

Secondly, fungus spores are everywhere and as soon as you remove the equipment, it will once again be covered. They need water/moisture to grow so it seems that the best preventative measure is to keep moisture away thus the fungus never gets a chance to sprout and grow.


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Feb 29, 2016 09:50 |  #11

A rapidly accumulating body of information on the powerful oxidizing agent,ozone, showing an alarming record for materials damage.

  • Chain breaking and crosslinking can both occur in polymers exposed to ozone. Rubber cracking under stress can readily be detected within 3/4 hours when exposed to ozone levels as low as 0.03 ppm. Polyamines, rubber, nylon, and nitriles, and even fiberglass all do poorly exposed to ozone.
  • Paint systems have been examined, although not comprehensively. Researchers used electron microscopy and weight reduction to follow the surface erosion of automobile finishes, latex, industrial coatings and oil based house paints under both sulfur dioxide and ozone attack. In general coatings exposed to ultraviolet light tend to show greatest effect from ozone as a pollutant.
  • it even affects metals. Test results indicate that the attack on copper of reduced sulfur gases such as hydrogen sulfide "...can be markedly enhanced both by solar radiation and by the ubiquitous atmospheric ozone. It had been known that ozone would enhance the oxidation of silver either in a solid state or in an aqueous solution. The same applies to iron. Reports that damp or wet aluminum reacts with ozone cause corrosion. Magnesium, steel, and zinc fare poorly exposed to ozone.

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Feb 29, 2016 17:20 |  #12

.

Xerxes wrote in post #17917300 (external link)
Even if you store them in proper conditions, there is a chance your lenses can catch fungus. What measures have you taken to prevent this?
I'm thinking of using an ozone generator inside of a poorly ventilated box. Would this damage the coating of the lens?
What about using a high powered laser just outside of the UV spectrum to burn them off? Or is the only solution a good CLA. I'm interested in killing off any fungus before they have a chance to take hold, not curing a diseased piece of glass.

Xerxes wrote in post #17917467 (external link)
My place is an even 20c most of the year and fairly dry. I am a little worried because I make cultured foods at home and purchase most of my lenses second hand from other countries.

Is there some reason you are so worried about fungus; so much more worried about it than anybody I have ever heard of?
If something has happened with fungus in your past that is causing this over-the-top concern, then it would be interesting to hear about it.

.


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lilkngster
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Post edited over 2 years ago by lilkngster.
     
Feb 29, 2016 19:28 as a reply to  @ Tom Reichner's post |  #13

I think because of the "cultured lifestyle", there may be some concern. I can't imagine probiotic bacteria or any of the cultured food items should be any concern to your lenses. The issue for your lenses is some family of mold which can grow on and damage lens coatings/glass.

If anything, if I were OCD enough, I would be more concerned about the possibility of introducing foreign and potentially problematic mold spores/yeast into my food prep area from used lenses that are coming from all over the world, than I would be about sterilizing lenses.


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bumpintheroad
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Feb 29, 2016 19:53 |  #14

here is an article by the EPA discussing UV disinfection of various pathogens in water, including spores. Over the past several years, UV disinfection has become one of the most popular methods of treating ground water for consumption. Perhaps you can extrapolate some relevant data from these studies.

https://cfpub.epa.gov …il/abstract/112​8/report/F (external link)


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MalVeauX
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Post edited over 2 years ago by MalVeauX. (2 edits in all)
     
Feb 29, 2016 20:14 |  #15

Xerxes wrote in post #17917300 (external link)
Even if you store them in proper conditions, there is a chance your lenses can catch fungus. What measures have you taken to prevent this?

I'm thinking of using an ozone generator inside of a poorly ventilated box. Would this damage the coating of the lens?

What about using a high powered laser just outside of the UV spectrum to burn them off? Or is the only solution a good CLA. I'm interested in killing off any fungus before they have a chance to take hold, not curing a diseased piece of glass.

You're going off the deep end.

Ozone generator?
High powered laser?
Seriously?

No trying to be rude, just trying to help you back to reality.

Even if you did live in a humid, hot place, you'd be fine. Fungus grows in dark, damp environments. Fungus very much dislikes sunlight. Spores are every where. That's unavoidable. You breath them out of your nostrils often times. They're on your skin at all times too. They lay dormant. As long as conditions are not favorable to them to grow, they do not. They need food, like all living things. So it's not just conditions for them to do their thing, but also, to have a source to pull some energy from. Fungus doesn't exactly prefer to live in a lens, as it's ultimately going to die in there, even after it's really been in there a while and done some damage. You're left with the remains and some etched glass. But this is mostly fear-mongering.

Put your glass under UV light, or just natural sunlight. Do it once every few months. Store in a dry sealed place. You do not need a humidor, laser, or professional disinfecting service. Just good old fashioned UV light.

I buy used lenses from all over the world too, WITH fungus, sometimes on purpose, for years. My 5D's, 1D's, etc, all are fungus free, even after using this kind of stuff. Just give it a UV bath and you're good to go.

Enjoy photography. Don't worry yourself to extremes.

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Sterilizing your lenses?
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