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Thread: The mold theory

  1. #1

    Question The mold theory

    I am trying to seek a better understanding why mold can grow on camera equipment. From suite 101's short article, it explains

    Tiles, glass, porcelain may seem a little strange, but fungi can stick to surfaces and assimilate many nutrients that dissolve in water: amino acids, sugars, fatty acids, ammonia, nitrates and minerals. If the fungus is growing, then there is enough to eat in that environment.
    while i can understand if mold is growing in the camera, then surely there is food in the camera. But i am unsure what in the camera can really provide such sufficient supply of those listed items? unless it is the moisture itself that carries such ingredients?

  2. #2
    Moderator Octarine's Avatar
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    Default Re: The mold theory

    Don't forget the dust. It can carry a lot of those substances mentioned. Next: your hands. Every moment there are tiny particles of your skin that get scrubbed off. They are like dust and can easily get into the lenses and cam. It's organic, perfect food for fungus.

  3. #3

    Default Re: The mold theory

    Next, don't forget the thin, invisible film of bacteria that will easily start growing...
    Alpha

  4. #4
    Senior Member giantcanopy's Avatar
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    Default Re: The mold theory

    Some of the older lenses might use organic cement compounds that makes the substrate tastier for fungi compared to newer lenses.

    Ryan

  5. #5

    Default Re: The mold theory

    So a drycab/box is a sure-fire way to solve this problems??

    or are there other precautions we should take as well?

  6. #6

    Default Re: The mold theory

    Quote Originally Posted by Phosphorus View Post
    So a drycab/box is a sure-fire way to solve this problems??

    or are there other precautions we should take as well?
    Use ur camera more often

  7. #7
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    Default Re: The mold theory

    Or you can live in Australia or Canada.

  8. #8
    Senior Member giantcanopy's Avatar
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    Default Re: The mold theory

    Quote Originally Posted by Phosphorus View Post
    So a drycab/box is a sure-fire way to solve this problems??

    or are there other precautions we should take as well?
    Not sure fire way, but reduces the probability by making the conditions more difficult for germination.

    Ryan

  9. #9
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    Default Re: The mold theory

    I read somewhere where that the oil from our fingertips contain all sorts of amino acids and oils that actually can sustain life. Not to mention that the interior of camera is dark and cooler.
    Plus our beloved humid weather, a camera is quite good place for fungi growth.

  10. #10

    Default Re: The mold theory

    While i can understand how our hands may leave materials on the exterior surfaces we touch, I am more intrigued on how to supply sufficient materials in the interiors of our equipment. As in, sufficient to sustain prolonged growth and reproduction?

    Also i was told that taking the equipment places day in day out can reduce the chance for fungi growth, and storage in dry cabinet is recommended if not moving equipment for four or five days. Hmmm but if there is food in the cam, can movement really save it?

    And then, why do we tend not to worry about other items in our household over moldy development (or maybe it is just me....) ? I am sure camera equipment are not the only objects fungi are lining up to purchase a title deed for. Excuse me while I scratch this strange dark patch of skin on my foot; itchy....

  11. #11

    Default Re: The mold theory

    Mold is a family of fungus and uses enzyme to breakdown organic material before consuming.

    Spores can carry sufficient nutrient to spread to another area. If the surface does not have extra nutrient, the spores will still crack and then stay within size. But if the interior happens to have material to consume, the dissolved material gets blown onto the lens creating more area for growth.

    Fungicide kills spores by inhibiting that enzyme reaction thus starving the fungus to death. But fungicide cannot kill unopened spores. Synthetic wax protects the material surface from moist and thus fungus will not grow but does not mean that the fungus will not grow on top of the wax. But at least the wax can be re-wax without the surface being damage.

    Actively used camera can still have fungus but less occurances since the interior electronic heats up, moisture remains low or inconsistent for growth. When exposed to uv (sunlight), fungus growth is retarded.

    Rubber grip become brittle may not be due to fungus but rather material decomposition with time or acid from perspiration.

  12. #12

    Default Re: The mold theory

    IMHO, using dry cabinet is to reduce the probability of fungal growth to negligible level, as we already eliminate the important element - humidity level. So, it is just to buy a peace in mind.

    However, i've seen my friend using dlsr for 3 yrs without a dry cabinet. And her lens is still good.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: The mold theory

    Maybe it's the coating on lens that supports fungus growth.

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