Lense Fungus


#1
Hi, CS members.

Need clarification, just took over a lens.
Spotted few fungus spot while cleaning front elements.

Had a bad experience, years back spotted fungus send to agent for cleaning job. But few weeks after collection, the fungus came back and worst it spread. In the end lost a good lens.

So this time round, what are the chances of it to repeat history all over again?

Base on 1 senior photographer that I knew of, commented that local lens sale in sg from factory has anti-fungus coating on. And once fungus spotted, user send to local agent to get it clean. Chances that fungus will reappear after time. He advise paying slightly more get it return to factory to do the job or sell it off/return back to seller.

What your take on this?
Any recommendations?

Ian
 

Octarine

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#2
How do you store your lenses? Do you use any form of dry box / dry cabinet? If not, read the many threads of "Do I need a dry cabinet?".
Fungus will always come back if conditions are suitable: dark, humid, stale air, organic material available. If you store your lenses just somewhere in a drawer, bag or shoebox then history will repeat.
Lenses are made in a very factories globally and they are not made for climate zones. That's the reason why people in tropical climate need dry cabinets whereas people living in moderate climate zones hardly hear about such things.
The quality of cleaning jobs varies, we have stories here about good jobs done by Service Center and good jobs done by other independent repair shops.
 

#3
Octarine,

As pernormal, i usually store my equipment in dry cabinet with 45% set.
When not in used; hence what are the chances of it to repeat even in a dry cabinet.
 

Octarine

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#5
As pernormal, i usually store my equipment in dry cabinet with 45% set.
When not in used; hence what are the chances of it to repeat even in a dry cabinet.
That's a good start. In addition you could verify whether the setting to 45% RH and the reading is correct. Get a second hygrometer and do the salt test to determine its accuracy. Then check the conditions in your dry cabinet.
Based on personal experience and from experience of others here you could lower the RH setting to 35% without causing any damage to the lenses. This will reduce the probability of fungus developing. But it will never bring it to Zero since fungus is very resilient toward inhospitable conditions.
Use your equipment, expose it to sunshine and UV and the chances of catching fungus are low.
 

#6
That's a good start. In addition you could verify whether the setting to 45% RH and the reading is correct. Get a second hygrometer and do the salt test to determine its accuracy. Then check the conditions in your dry cabinet.
Based on personal experience and from experience of others here you could lower the RH setting to 35% without causing any damage to the lenses. This will reduce the probability of fungus developing. But it will never bring it to Zero since fungus is very resilient toward inhospitable conditions.
Use your equipment, expose it to sunshine and UV and the chances of catching fungus are low.
Won't a RH setting of 35% be too low humidity, lubricants in camera body or lenses may harden or bind, rubber parts may crack as a result extremely dry condition?

Another buddy of my, used to exposed his lens to sunshine but his fungus issue is not address.
As mention by user in CS forum.
 

Malsam

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Jun 13, 2010
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#7
I second octarine's suggestion...the more you use the least likely you get fungus growth. Recall whenever you go overseas to shoot even in tropical countries with high humidity. You probably be away for many days but most of us don't put in a dry cabinet? Also administer some common sense protection will definitely help. As for fungus will come back again...I'm not too sure but I don't think fungus "germs" will linger on the surface and wait for a chance to grow? Some of the better lenses have good coating will also help in lens protection.
 

Octarine

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#8
Won't a RH setting of 35% be too low humidity, lubricants in camera body or lenses may harden or bind, rubber parts may crack as a result extremely dry condition?
The lubricants are not water based. There is no water that could be drained out by low RH. Bro daredevil123 (mod) has done a test with zero RH for prolonged time - nothing happened to the lens, the lubricants or the rubber.
I have encountered issues with rubber when it was left out in high RH for a long time, or due to sweat from my hands. But those bodies I keep in dry cabinet for a long time are perfectly fine with RH of 35% (according reading).

Another buddy of my, used to exposed his lens to sunshine but his fungus issue is not address.
Not sure what the expectation is. Putting a lens into the sun will not remove fungus like ice melting in the sun. Once the fungus has grown into the cob like structure it needs to be cleaned off manually. The exposure to UV will reduce any growth activities, but it will not remove existing fungus.
 

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Octarine

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#9
As for fungus will come back again...I'm not too sure but I don't think fungus "germs" will linger on the surface and wait for a chance to grow?
Fungus spores are everywhere around us, on our skin, on our food, in the air .. you name it. And they wait for suitable conditions: temperature, humidity, organic material. The key is not give them those hospitable conditions. Because trying to remove spores is futile.
 

daredevil123

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#10
The lubricants are not water based. There is no water that could be drained out by low RH. Bro daredevil123 (mod) has done a test with zero RH for prolonged time - nothing happened to the lens, the lubricants or the rubber.
I have encountered issues with rubber when it was left out in high RH for a long time, or due to sweat from my hands. But those bodies I keep in dry cabinet for a long time are perfectly fine with RH of 35% (according reading).

Not sure what the expectation is. Putting a lens into the sun will not remove fungus like ice melting in the sun. Once the fungus has grown into the cob like structure it needs to be cleaned off manually. The exposure to UV will reduce any growth activities, but it will not remove existing fungus.
Just to clarify, it is very difficult (impossible) to achieve zero RH with our dry cabs. What I observed is keeping gears at 20-30% RH for two decades did nothing to harm any of our equipment, even equipment from the late 70s. This is because all modern day lubricants and rubber are all synthetic and will not easily dry out.

If you own any equipment that is very very old (pre 60s) withe leather, natural rubber or old age grease then you might want to keep your dry cab at around 40%.

For TS's case, I suspect the built in hygrometer is either off calibration or not working well. That is the first thing to check if fungus keeps growing in equipment kept in that dry cab.
 

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jaiyen

Senior Member
Jun 22, 2011
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#11
Just to clarify, it is very difficult (impossible) to achieve zero RH with our dry cabs. What I observed is keeping gears at 20-30% RH for two decades did nothing to harm any of our equipment, even equipment from the late 70s. This is because all modern day lubricants and rubber are all synthetic and will not easily dry out.

If you own any equipment that is very very old (pre 60s) withe leather, natural rubber or old age grease then you might want to keep your dry cab at around 40%.

For TS's case, I suspect the built in hygrometer is either off calibration or not working well. That is the first thing to check if fungus keeps growing in equipment kept in that dry cab.
I heard some people will put a bottle of silicon gel inside the dry cabin to indicate that the cabin still working fine.....isit true??? Thx
 

one eye jack

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Jun 11, 2011
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#12
I heard some people will put a bottle of silicon gel inside the dry cabin to indicate that the cabin still working fine.....isit true??? Thx
You should verify other's claims by researching online. Do it the scientific way by comparing
with a known good hygrometer that means with an external one that has been calibrated using
simple methods which are relatively accurate and I stress RELATIVELY. Then put it in the dry cabinet
and let it sit for 2 - 6 hours. This will be more accurate than what you mentioned about silica gel.

http://www.sciencecompany.com/Understanding-Relative-Humidity-and-the-Hygrometer-W136.aspx

http://exoticpets.about.com/od/herpresources/ss/hygrometer.htm
 

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