Humidity is the greatest enemy of photographic equipment. Most commonly causes for breakdown of photographic equipment are moldy lens, lens unglued, worn-off coating, aperture failure, focus ring too tight, lens oil leakage, failure to Infinity focus, dirty lens, and damaged coating. These problems occur due to two main factors, erroneous maintenance and incorrect storage environment. Photographic equipment should be stored in an environment with a humidity range between 40 and 50% RH.If the expensive coating on the glass is infected by mold, this coating will be removed as well during the cleaning process. Thus, the optical quality of the glass will deteriorate (introducing more purple fringing, ghosting, flaring and etc)
Since the lens is so compact and precise, 100% restoration is difficult to be achieved after dismantling your lens for cleaning purposes. Thus, mechanical quality of the lens might suffer as well. (eg. distortion and front/back focusing problem)
Mold can affect all types of photographic equipment such as regular digital cameras, professional cameras, binoculars, video cameras, and microscopes, as well as other sophisticated equipment relating to optical measurements. Affected lenses will not to return to the original sharpness even after repairs because mold is often invisible to human eyes. The damage and repurchasing cost incurred in videotaping and photographic work will hefty sum.
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