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Thread: Is this fungus?

  1. #1

    Default Is this fungus?

    I have never really encountered this problem before.







    You can see the extent of the white matter I am seeing on the rear element in the first picture. Next 2 are closer ups with an extension tube set up, pardon handshake, etc, I did a quick one with a tripod only. From what I can discern, it is inside the lens itself, below the surface of the rear element at the back for sure.

    So 2 questions:

    1) Is it fungus?
    2) If it is, would this extent affect IQ?

    Thanks a lot in advance, guys.
    Last edited by night86mare; 5th February 2010 at 05:05 AM.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Is this fungus?

    Unfortunately, from those images you've attached, I'd say it was. They look very much like classic fungus spider web patterns.

    The impact on image quality really depends on the amount of fungus. It's hard to tell exactly how bad it is from looking at images but it will have a greater impact on your images than say, normal dust of the same size, as they can damage the lens coating and lens surface. This will affect your image contrast primarily, and I suppose can leave you more prone to flare.

    Good luck with it!

  3. #3

    Default Re: Is this fungus?

    oh well, i knew that getting a quantaray would be a sacrifice, but fungus as well.. thanks jed.

    at least the damage to my pocket wasn't too bad - seller doesn't accept returns, just take it as a lesson then. what you see are two of the larger specks, the rest are just little spots, all around the centre area, perhaps 5-6 spots in total, including those 2 beauties you see up there.

    i did suspect fungus right away, but it didn't start from the side (as is normal, according to information i found).. and all i can find of fungus examples are either not taken properly, or way more extensive.

    i don't really plan to clean it up, i think cleaning would cost more than what i paid for the lens.....

    would it be good to keep uninfected lenses away from infected ones? i am wondering, since putting it in a dry cabinet would surely halt all growth given the right RH? seems like there's mixed opinions online about this.

    is there any way to ensure that the fungus doesn't spread any more?
    Last edited by night86mare; 5th February 2010 at 06:17 AM.

  4. #4
    Member Foxshade's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is this fungus?

    Quote Originally Posted by night86mare View Post
    i don't really plan to clean it up, i think cleaning would cost more than what i paid for the lens.....
    Can you ask for the cost of cleaning first?

    I got my Boss' old Nk 70-300mm sent to NSC for fungus issue. It cost him SGD 70.
    A true photograph need not be explained, nor can it be contained in words.
    ~Ansel Adams

  5. #5

    Default Re: Is this fungus?

    Quote Originally Posted by Foxshade View Post
    Can you ask for the cost of cleaning first?

    I got my Boss' old Nk 70-300mm sent to NSC for fungus issue. It cost him SGD 70.
    that's more than what i bought the lens for!

    maybe i'll ask fatigue, see what he says after seeing the pictures.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Is this fungus?

    Quote Originally Posted by night86mare View Post
    at least the damage to my pocket wasn't too bad - seller doesn't accept returns, just take it as a lesson then.
    Hmm... eBay? Did the seller not mention problems with the glass at all? Their dispute resolution centre might not be great as you might possibly imagine, but if he didn't say anything about the fungus then it might be worth pursuing.

    Quote Originally Posted by night86mare View Post
    what you see are two of the larger specks, the rest are just little spots, all around the centre area, perhaps 5-6 spots in total, including those 2 beauties you see up there.
    Fungus starts off as spots, as it begins as a very small colony which then spreads outwards. So the spots might well start expanding.

    Personally, it's news to me that fungus starts from the sides, but I'm not a lens repair technician so that doesn't necessarily mean anything. The samples I have seen are similar to this, maybe with more/bigger spots, but as I said, it all begins as a speck, and in its earliest stages I don't think it's possible to distinguish between fungus and a dust spot with the naked eye.

    Quote Originally Posted by night86mare View Post
    i don't really plan to clean it up, i think cleaning would cost more than what i paid for the lens.....
    No, and depending on the extent of the damage it could be significantly more than a normal clean, as the lens might need recoating or even repolishing. The latter probably not worth doing for all but the ridiculously expensive lenses.

    Quote Originally Posted by night86mare View Post
    would it be good to keep uninfected lenses away from infected ones?
    Yes, I am unsure about this as well, I've heard varying opinions about this and not seen any concrete information one way or the other.

    Quote Originally Posted by night86mare View Post
    i am wondering, since putting it in a dry cabinet would surely halt all growth given the right RH? seems like there's mixed opinions online about this.
    I believe that this is the theory but again, do not know scientifically if so. At the same time I think the theory doing the rounds is that frequent use also tends to stymie fungus developing (and growth?) because they need still air.

    I do highly suspect that the lens has been sitting around for yonks, unused... I'd completely forgotten about Quantaray the brand until now, although someone will doubtless pop up and tell me they're alive and well.

    Quote Originally Posted by night86mare View Post
    is there any way to ensure that the fungus doesn't spread any more?
    I would have thought the same advice re not getting it would apply... no humid places, and regular use (to keep the air inside the lens in circulation rather than going stale).

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    Default Re: Is this fungus?

    Quote Originally Posted by night86mare View Post
    that's more than what i bought the lens for!
    More??? Eh, got lobang for Nk lens?
    A true photograph need not be explained, nor can it be contained in words.
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  8. #8

    Default Re: Is this fungus?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jed View Post
    Hmm... eBay? Did the seller not mention problems with the glass at all? Their dispute resolution centre might not be great as you might possibly imagine, but if he didn't say anything about the fungus then it might be worth pursuing.
    well, i did contact the seller, it's a lady i think.

    she didn't list it as NOT having fungus, but basically she didn't say anything about fungus at all. i thought i'd give it a shot at getting a steal, so went for the kill at the last minute of the ebay auction closing..

    anyhow, it's just a fun lens for someone, not for my use. everytime you get an ebay auction it's like a gamble anyways, particularly for those now-and-then sellers.. so i make sure i never pay a price that i couldn't lose.
    Last edited by night86mare; 5th February 2010 at 06:41 AM.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Is this fungus?

    Quote Originally Posted by Foxshade View Post
    More??? Eh, got lobang for Nk lens?
    you can try risking the perils of ebay uk......

    i've gotten some nice lenses for good prices here, MF and pentax though - one 24mm f/2.8 for 24 pounds that i had to fix somewhat myself; one 28mm f/2.8 for 15 pounds.

    i'm having a hard time looking for any steals for canon/nikon unless you're talking about film slr bodies.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Is this fungus?

    I've been relatively lucky with my ebay dealings; although I nearly bought a stolen D1h once. Actually I did I think IIRC and I got my boss to pick the camera up for me rather than get the guy ship it. All sorts of alarm bells so he never followed through and in the end I had to give a statement to the police it was part of some big operation down south that was hitting a few big photo stores :P

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Is this fungus?

    It is fungus for sure. As Jed said the spider like pattern is unmistakable. Get it cleaned ASAP before it etches the coatings and actual glass to the point of no return.
    The Ang Moh from Hell
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  12. #12

    Default Re: Is this fungus?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jed View Post
    I've been relatively lucky with my ebay dealings; although I nearly bought a stolen D1h once. Actually I did I think IIRC and I got my boss to pick the camera up for me rather than get the guy ship it. All sorts of alarm bells so he never followed through and in the end I had to give a statement to the police it was part of some big operation down south that was hitting a few big photo stores :P
    that sounds scary
    Quote Originally Posted by Ian View Post
    It is fungus for sure. As Jed said the spider like pattern is unmistakable. Get it cleaned ASAP before it etches the coatings and actual glass to the point of no return.
    ok. thanks ian.

    can't afford to clean it, so i guess we'll see how it goes, i hit singapore in mar

  13. #13
    Deregistered wootsk's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is this fungus?

    The worst is when the fungus leaves protien residue between glass and coating. Take care
    Btw where the goat thingy...

  14. #14

    Default Re: Is this fungus?

    This is surely an encounter worth for analysis.

    When did you spot it?
    Where was the lens kept?
    How long was the lens in the open?
    Were you eating food when you are handling the lens?
    Are there any non photographic equippment kept with the lens?

    I would presume the back lens was covered all the time.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Is this fungus?

    Quote Originally Posted by wootsk View Post
    The worst is when the fungus leaves protien residue between glass and coating. Take care
    Btw where the goat thingy...
    goat thingy?

  16. #16

    Default Re: Is this fungus?

    Quote Originally Posted by spheredome View Post
    This is surely an encounter worth for analysis.

    When did you spot it?
    Where was the lens kept?
    How long was the lens in the open?
    Were you eating food when you are handling the lens?
    Are there any non photographic equippment kept with the lens?

    I would presume the back lens was covered all the time.
    1) when i opened the box from ebay

    2) don't know, ask ebay auntie

    3) don't know, ask ebay auntie

    4) wa, obviously not.....

    5) don't know, ask ebay auntie..

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    Default Re: Is this fungus?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jed View Post
    Fungus starts off as spots, as it begins as a very small colony which then spreads outwards. So the spots might well start expanding.
    How fungus can live inside lens? What do they eat? Glass? That is so bizarre

  18. #18

    Default Re: Is this fungus?

    The fungus may be on the outside surface of the element.

    Try cleaning it with a piece of soft tissue/facial cotton with a bit of alcohol. If you are fortunate, it may clean off.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Is this fungus?

    i guess the next step is to prevent the fungus from spreading. there are a few ways to treat the fungus without disassembling the lens.

    1) try fumigating the lens using thymol. it has been experimented with preserving optical instruments with some success. you can obtain this from indian herbal medicine suppliers.

    2) try using a satchet of herb, thyme or oregano together with your lens casing.

    3) most effective method is exposure to strong sunlight or UV light. so you can try sunning it or bring it to the toilets of clubs where they have comb disinfectants using UV light.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Is this fungus?

    Quote Originally Posted by pokiemon View Post
    3) most effective method is exposure to strong sunlight or UV light. so you can try sunning it or bring it to the toilets of clubs where they have comb disinfectants using UV light.
    I'd forgotten that. Yes, this is good advice. Erm, not the toilets of clubs with disinfectants thing, I don't know nothin' about that. But erm, strong sunlight buggers them.

    Won't clean up the muck already on it.

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