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Thread: UV sterilizer for cleaning lenses/cameras

  1. #1
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    Default UV sterilizer for cleaning lenses/cameras

    I've recently gotten a UV sterilizing wand such as shown here: UV-C Sterilization Wand Review & How to Kill Germs - YouTube

    It emits UV-C which is a germicidal part of the EM spectrum. It kills microbes, bacteria, fungus, viruses, supposedly by breaking apart their DNA. I've tried it on dirty wash-cloths and sweaty badminton shoes and it does reduce/remove the odours, so I believe it is killing microbes.

    I radiated with UV-C, a lens of mine that had some fungus, and wiped the fungus away with a wet tissue, and shone some more. The fungus has not grown back, although the glass is not completely unscarred by the experience.

    And I also want to share that I feel that after radiating my other lenses and the camera CCD with it, the photos have gotten back that nice sharp je ne sais quoi quality to them. My theory is that fungus/bacteria/microbes on the lenses, on the CCD and on the electrical contacts cause poorer autofocus and softness/deterioration to the photo quality. This is obvious when there is fungus growing on your glass, but even in less severe cases, I think it's probably still true.

    I just want to know whether anyone else has experience with these UV sterilizers on their photographic equipment and whether they experience similar benefits?

    I wonder if there's a market for this product in photography. Dry cabinets prevent or retard fungus growth, but doesn't kill the fungus. UV-C apparantly does.

  2. #2

    Default Re: UV sterilizer for cleaning lenses/cameras

    Quote Originally Posted by toasty View Post
    And I also want to share that I feel that after radiating my other lenses and the camera CCD with it, the photos have gotten back that nice sharp je ne sais quoi quality to them. My theory is that fungus/bacteria/microbes on the lenses, on the CCD and on the electrical contacts cause poorer autofocus and softness/deterioration to the photo quality. This is obvious when there is fungus growing on your glass, but even in less severe cases, I think it's probably still true.

    This is a classic placebo effect.
    Alpha

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    Default Re: UV sterilizer for cleaning lenses/cameras

    I take from your reply that you haven't tried it. In which case, how would you know?

    I was looking for replies from people who may have tried it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by toasty
    I take from your reply that you haven't tried it. In which case, how would you know?

    I was looking for replies from people who may have tried it.
    I think for most people, leaving the lens pointed at the sun for a few days is more economical than using that wand. I did that In order to get rid of the yellowing of my Jupiter 8 lens. Besides, if one really wants to remove the fungus, he can just wipe it off with lens cleaning fluid, this the whole UV wand step is unnecessary
    There are no bad photographers, only photos that could've been done better
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  5. #5

    Default Re: UV sterilizer for cleaning lenses/cameras

    Quote Originally Posted by toasty View Post
    I take from your reply that you haven't tried it. In which case, how would you know?

    I was looking for replies from people who may have tried it.
    From the moment it is in your hands, bacteria are everywhere. You would need a bacterial layer at least 0.5mm thick on the sensor and the AF modules to affect images and AF speed. In other words, your camera would be dripping with slime.

    It's basic biology knowledge...
    Alpha

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    Default Re: UV sterilizer for cleaning lenses/cameras

    Re: leaving it in the sun. UV-C is mostly filtered out by the atmosphere. Not a lot of it reaches the surface. Yes, sunlight does have some affect on microbes, but not as potent as UV light generated for the specific purpose of killing microbes. Sure you can give that a try, but I'm sure it will be less effective than UV-C from the sterilizer.

    Rashkae, your camera performance deteriorates from the presence of microbes before you see any slime. Microbes are not just bacteria, and not all bacteria are slimy either. Loss in sharpness, loss of contrast etc... could all be caused by microbes (such as fungus) on the lens and on the CCD. In the extreme case, when you've got fungus growing on the lens, you'll definitely see picture quality loss. Fungus can exist in all levels, from spores which may not affect picture quality, to covering the lens and possibly the CCD which will affect the picture quality.

    So I'm not sure which part you disagree with. You agree that there's bacteria and fungus everywhere. I take it you agree that fungus degrades picture quality (the degradation depends on the quantity of the fungus). Do you agree that UV-C kills fungus?

    I find that a lot of people seem to have problems accepting that UV-C really has germicidal properties. For the record, it is a documented fact of science that UV-C kills fungus and other microbes. You can google it.

  7. #7

    Default Re: UV sterilizer for cleaning lenses/cameras

    Quote Originally Posted by toasty View Post
    So I'm not sure which part you disagree with. You agree that there's bacteria and fungus everywhere. I take it you agree that fungus degrades picture quality (the degradation depends on the quantity of the fungus). Do you agree that UV-C kills fungus?
    Yes, in extreme cases fungus begins to affect picture quality. HOWEVER, I do not believe your theory that the microscopic layer of microbes, spores, etc that are present everywhere will have any visible impact on the sharpness or clarity of the sensor, AF module, etc. And even if you kill the microbes with UV-C, you sill left the dead biological matter in place. So I believe you suffer from a placebo effect.

    I think a basic wet swab will give better results than any wild theory about UV-C magically making images sharper and AF faster. If that was the case, then all camera cleaning workshops would blast with a UV-C lamp first.

    You state that the performance of our gear deteriorates from microbes before we even see any visible signs (such as fungal growth) yet you offer ZERO evidence to support it.

    Does UV-C kill microbes? Yup. Does an invisible layer of microbes on our gear deteriorate "performance" and slow down AF? Nope, not unless there's a visible slime/mold layer already.

    Basic biology and engineering.
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    Quote Originally Posted by toasty
    Re: leaving it in the sun. UV-C is mostly filtered out by the atmosphere. Not a lot of it reaches the surface. Yes, sunlight does have some affect on microbes, but not as potent as UV light generated for the specific purpose of killing microbes. Sure you can give that a try, but I'm sure it will be less effective than UV-C from the sterilizer.

    Rashkae, your camera performance deteriorates from the presence of microbes before you see any slime. Microbes are not just bacteria, and not all bacteria are slimy either. Loss in sharpness, loss of contrast etc... could all be caused by microbes (such as fungus) on the lens and on the CCD. In the extreme case, when you've got fungus growing on the lens, you'll definitely see picture quality loss. Fungus can exist in all levels, from spores which may not affect picture quality, to covering the lens and possibly the CCD which will affect the picture quality.

    So I'm not sure which part you disagree with. You agree that there's bacteria and fungus everywhere. I take it you agree that fungus degrades picture quality (the degradation depends on the quantity of the fungus). Do you agree that UV-C kills fungus?

    I find that a lot of people seem to have problems accepting that UV-C really has germicidal properties. For the record, it is a documented fact of science that UV-C kills fungus and other microbes. You can google it.
    Now you're just being kiasu. So what if there are
    Microbes, So what if they degrade picture quality? What's important is how much degradation to the image is there? If you regularly use your equipments, The exposure of light itself will e able to prevent fungal growth.

    Of course UV-C will kill fungus. But so what if you kill it? The dead fungus body will still remain there. End up you'll have to send it for cleaning which negates the point of killing the fungus with the steriliser in the first place.
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    Default Re: UV sterilizer for cleaning lenses/cameras

    I believe you suffer from a lack of understanding of continuity.

    If extreme presence of fungus has a large impact on picture quality, then a small presence of fungus has a small impact on the picture quality which includes picture softness and lack of contrast.

    It isn't like the effect of the fungus (on the picture quality) suddenly happens when you can see the fungus. It appears gradually as the fungus grows and the UV light kills the fungus before it reaches that phase.

    Dead biological matter breaks down and will fall off, much like decomposing leaves break down and are re-absorbed into the ground.

    If what you said were so we'd be up to our necks in leaves, but they break down and are reabsorbed by the environment. Same with dead fungus, and given that fungus is much smaller than leaves, the break-down occurs much faster.

    >Does an invisible layer of microbes on our gear deteriorate "performance"
    To correct your misunderstanding, it isn't an invisible layer of microbes. Look at lens with fungus on it. You can see the fungus. It grows from an invisible state continuously to a visible state and the performance degrades continuously as the fungus grows. The UV-C kills the fungus before it spreads to the visible state and it also can kill fungus when it is already visible.

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    Default Re: UV sterilizer for cleaning lenses/cameras

    fudgecakes: see my reply to rashkae, dead fungus could break down and be reabsorbed similar to the way dead leaves are.

    It's quite amazing to me, how people who haven't tried something have such strong opinions on it and close their minds to people who are reporting results from having tried it.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by toasty
    fudgecakes: see my reply to rashkae, dead fungus could break down and be reabsorbed similar to the way dead leaves are.

    It's quite amazing to me, how people who haven't tried something have such strong opinions on it and close their minds to people who are reporting results from having tried it.
    LOL. You failed bio? Dead leaves are broken down by bacteria and fungus. If fungus breaks down, it is broken down by bacteria.

    So what is going to "reabsorb" on a sensor? You think it's soil, waiting for bacteria to process broken-up organic compounds?

    I think you are so stuck in your fantasy theory that you have lost grasp of reality.
    Alpha

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by toasty
    I believe you suffer from a lack of understanding of continuity.

    If extreme presence of fungus has a large impact on picture quality, then a small presence of fungus has a small impact on the picture quality which includes picture softness and lack of contrast.

    It isn't like the effect of the fungus (on the picture quality) suddenly happens when you can see the fungus. It appears gradually as the fungus grows and the UV light kills the fungus before it reaches that phase.

    Dead biological matter breaks down and will fall off, much like decomposing leaves break down and are re-absorbed into the ground.

    If what you said were so we'd be up to our necks in leaves, but they break down and are reabsorbed by the environment. Same with dead fungus, and given that fungus is much smaller than leaves, the break-down occurs much faster.

    >Does an invisible layer of microbes on our gear deteriorate "performance"
    To correct your misunderstanding, it isn't an invisible layer of microbes. Look at lens with fungus on it. You can see the fungus. It grows from an invisible state continuously to a visible state and the performance degrades continuously as the fungus grows. The UV-C kills the fungus before it spreads to the visible state and it also can kill fungus when it is already visible.
    I believe you suffer from a lack of basic knowledge.

    A small presence of fungus or bacteria will not have an impact on image quality unless the pixel pitch is on the micron size where it can be occluded by microbes. As it is, we're about 20 years away from that technology in consumer goods.

    In nature, dead matter is broken down by fungus and bacteria. This is absorbed by living organisms such as plants via the roots. This is primary school science, which you apparently skipped.

    There is no misunderstanding on our part, only in your head.
    Alpha

  13. #13

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    So if the sensor absorbs the dead matter, the sensor will grow larger?

    Cool! Then Crop Sensors can grow to become Full Frame sensors, and Full Frame sensors can grow to become Medium Format sensors.



    I'll try that at home later

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by kei1309
    So if the sensor absorbs the dead matter, the sensor will grow larger?

    Cool! Then Crop Sensors can grow to become Full Frame sensors, and Full Frame sensors can grow to become Medium Format sensors.



    I'll try that at home later
    I can provide extra fertilizer if you want! Toasty can provide the uv light. You'll be shooting medium format by next week!
    Alpha

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    Default Re: UV sterilizer for cleaning lenses/cameras

    The dead fungus can drop off the lens or sensor if it is small enough, or break down into material that can be dissipated into the air. When you burn wood, the carbon turns to CO2 which dissipates into the air. Do you think it is not possible for the material that makes up the fungus could not do similarly?

    >A small presence of fungus or bacteria will not have an impact on image quality unless the pixel pitch is on the micron size where it can be occluded by microbes. As it is, we're about 20 >years away from that technology in consumer goods.

    Again, a lack of understanding of continuity. Between the "small presence of fungus" and the fungus which is clearly visible, is a continuity of performance degradation. That performance degradation will vary continuously from slight softness and lack of clarity, through to total obscurity. The UV can hit the fungus at any point along this continuous function and thereby improve the quality of the photo. This is not impossible.

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by toasty
    The dead fungus can drop off the lens or sensor if it is small enough, or break down into material that can be dissipated into the air. When you burn wood, the carbon turns to CO2 which dissipates into the air. Do you think it is not possible for the material that makes up the fungus could not do similarly?

    >A small presence of fungus or bacteria will not have an impact on image quality unless the pixel pitch is on the micron size where it can be occluded by microbes. As it is, we're about 20 >years away from that technology in consumer goods.

    Again, a lack of understanding of continuity. Between the "small presence of fungus" and the fungus which is clearly visible, is a continuity of performance degradation. That performance degradation will vary continuously from slight softness and lack of clarity, through to total obscurity. The UV can hit the fungus at any point along this continuous function and thereby improve the quality of the photo. This is not impossible.
    Again, a lack of basic knowledge...

    Before you try using big words like "continuity" I do suggest a healthy dose of basic understanding and common sense.

    Yes, when wood is burned, it is broken down into particulate matter (CO2 is a gas, not particulate matter) including ash. Only a small portion of carbon gets bonded to atmospheric oxygen to form CO2. A vast majority is left behind.

    So to achieve the same effect on particulate matter stuck to a sensor, you would need a blowtorch.

    It is truly funny how you reach for far-off, impractical, extreme examples of a totally different nature than photography and electronics to make your "theory" sound good in your head.
    Alpha

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    Default Re: UV sterilizer for cleaning lenses/cameras

    Quote Originally Posted by Rashkae View Post
    Again, a lack of basic knowledge...

    Before you try using big words like "continuity" I do suggest a healthy dose of basic understanding and common sense.

    Yes, when wood is burned, it is broken down into particulate matter (CO2 is a gas, not particulate matter) including ash. Only a small portion of carbon gets bonded to atmospheric oxygen to form CO2. A vast majority is left behind.

    So to achieve the same effect on particulate matter stuck to a sensor, you would need a blowtorch.

    It is truly funny how you reach for far-off, impractical, extreme examples of a totally different nature than photography and electronics to make your "theory" sound good in your head.
    You think continuity is a big word? really? high-school math must have been tough. Point is that the fungus could be hit at any point along its growth and killing the fungus could improve photo quality. which despite your denigrating words, you have done nothing to disprove.

    The basic point is you are ignorant of how the fungus behaves when it breaks down. You talk about common sense and then talk about totally crazy things like needing a blow-torch to remove the dead fungus. The fact is you're just ignorant about the entire issue. You don't know how the dead fungus behaves, you don't know by what biological mechanism it breaks down, nor into what elements it breaks down into. You don't know that the dead fungus couldn't, when radiated at some stage along it's development, just fall off the lens. Do you?

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by toasty

    You think continuity is a big word? really? high-school math must have been tough. Point is that the fungus could be hit at any point along its growth and killing the fungus could improve photo quality. which despite your denigrating words, you have done nothing to disprove.

    The basic point is you are ignorant of how the fungus behaves when it breaks down. You talk about common sense and then talk about totally crazy things like needing a blow-torch to remove the dead fungus. The fact is you're just ignorant about the entire issue. You don't know how the dead fungus behaves, you don't know by what biological mechanism it breaks down, nor into what elements it breaks down into. You don't know that the dead fungus couldn't, when radiated at some stage along it's development, just fall off the lens. Do you?
    Actually I already explained all of the above. But since you have comprehension and retention issues (primary school was tough for you, huh?) I'll repeat:

    1. Fungus or any microbe will only be an issue once it is large enough to occlude the microlens on the sensor. If it is on the lens, it would need to be large enough to cause light occlusion that would be visible with the naked eye already. In small enough quantities to be considered invisible to the naked eye, it will not have a visible impact on your images.

    2. The blow-torch example was from *your* example of a fire being necessary to break down wood. "Totally crazy" is the rubbish you have been spouting.

    3. The only ignorance here has been shown by you. I have already told you that bacteria are primarily responsible for the breakdown of dead fungus (in the absense of fungivore insects and snails). You obviously have reading comprehension issues.

    4. Yes, I am very aware of how bacteria and fungus attaches itself to objects. Enough to know it will not just "flake off". You, obviously, do not. You just enjoy the fantasyland in your head. :-)
    Alpha

  19. #19

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    But it's OK man. You obviously have a monopoly on "crazy ideas" and obviously are so intelligent that you thought of something that thousands and thousands of scientists and camera/lens manufacturers never thought of because obviously they don't have your level of genius, of "sense of continuity" (even if that is a misuse of that word when used in your context).

    So let us all bow down to the grand master who has proven physics and biology to be incorrect, and has a camera sensor and lens that can absorb broken down organic matter. *bow*
    Alpha

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    Default Re: UV sterilizer for cleaning lenses/cameras

    Quote Originally Posted by Rashkae View Post
    Actually I already explained all of the above. But since you have comprehension and retention issues (primary school was tough for you, huh?) I'll repeat:

    1. Fungus or any microbe will only be an issue once it is large enough to occlude the microlens on the sensor. If it is on the lens, it would need to be large enough to cause light occlusion that would be visible with the naked eye already. In small enough quantities to be considered invisible to the naked eye, it will not have a visible impact on your images.

    2. The blow-torch example was from *your* example of a fire being necessary to break down wood. "Totally crazy" is the rubbish you have been spouting.

    3. The only ignorance here has been shown by you. I have already told you that bacteria are primarily responsible for the breakdown of dead fungus (in the absense of fungivore insects and snails). You obviously have reading comprehension issues.

    4. Yes, I am very aware of how bacteria and fungus attaches itself to objects. Enough to know it will not just "flake off". You, obviously, do not. You just enjoy the fantasyland in your head. :-)
    And I've already countered your so-called explanation. You seem to have trouble remembering that yourself.
    1) Fungus quantity and the associatd performance degradation varies continously. There are cases where the fungus is sufficient enough to cause softness and lack of clarity. The fungus does exist in this state at some time between the spore state and the full-blown state. When hit at this state you are clueless as to what the effect could be.
    2) The example of C->CO2, is to show that your statement that you need bacteria and fungus to break down matter is false. You can break down by a variety of mechanisms that you have failed to consider. It does not imply that you need a blow torch. That is your ridiculous example.
    3) Incorrect, it is shown by you. The C-CO2 example shows that you do necessarily need fungus or bacteria to decompose, nor that you necessarily decompose into solid material. It is possible for things to decompose into gaseous material, or even in other ways that you are totally oblivious to.
    4) But you are ignorant of what happens to the fungus when it dies before it has attached itself firmly to the lens.

    Just admit it: you don't know. That is the mature thing to do.

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