Of fungus and& dust and our lenses & bodies..


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jonkk

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Dec 29, 2006
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#1
Hello friends!

Just a thought (or two), and seeking the opinions, advice and tips of others concerning fungus and dust problems in camera bodies and lenses.

It was brought to my attention recently that my friend's pretty expensive lens had some fungi growing on the rear element. And so it got me wondering again:

1. Lens fungus is the bane of our existence. Hence, keeping lenses clean and dry and in the dry cabinet when not in use is a good idea. How long can lenses be kept out of the dry cabinet, especially in our local context (humid and hot)?

Also, is taking the lenses out to 'sun' and expose them to a good dose of UV light a better idea, rather than leaving them in the black dry cabinet all the time? What's the best way to ensure the lens is kept clean and dry and free from fungi?

2. Dust in the lens is an inevitable outcome of any good camera lens, simply because a good camera lens is actually used! While this dust doesn't make a difference to your images, it is annoying to have.. and might potentially become a problem if it accumulates excessively (though I can't see how as yet). Any advise as to how this dust can be reduced, while still using your lenses freely?

Thanks alot for your kind attention and sharing your valuable insights with me :) Always keen to learn and improve my own practices!


To share with you my camera usage and care:

I'm a regular photographer and have six lenses in regular use. Changing lenses is the most natural thing to me, and I don't think twice about changes. I do so quickly, with minimal open exposure of the rear element and the inner chamber to the environment. Also, my camera body and rear elements always face downwards and away from wind when I do my lens changes. My lenses are always capped and placed in the bag when not in use.

After shooting, my lenses and bodies stay in the camera bag on most days after I bring them home. They're usually used again within the next few days. I'm under the impression (from what another experienced photographer shared with me) that since you use them regularly, you get fresh air and exposure to UV light that keeps fungi at bay.

Would it be - instead - advisable for me to keep my gear in the dry cabinet immediately after each use?

I store my gear in my dry cabinet when I've used them out in wet weather (not exposed to water directly), or when I've decided i've kept them out of the dry cabinet for too long (typically 2-3 weeks) or when I'm not going to use them for a long time.

I clean my bodies and lenses once in a long while, or when the they're obviously soiled by dust or grease. I otherwise leave my gear alone in the bag or dry cabinet after use.

I've had my gear for about 2.5 years. I've had no problems with fungi and my images are sharp and crisp thus far :)
 

sidloojl

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Jul 8, 2009
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#2
for me, i always replace my gear into the dry cabinet after shooting. why don't you do that?, it is not like you don't have one..
 

Ninestar

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Jun 18, 2009
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#3
Would it be - instead - advisable for me to keep my gear in the dry cabinet immediately after each use? QUOTE]

Normally i will use a dry cloth to wipe the camera and lens before keeping them in the dry cabinet. It could be cos my palms are sweaty. :) So i more concern abt keeping the camera clean.
 

Octarine

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Jan 3, 2008
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#4
I've had my gear for about 2.5 years. I've had no problems with fungi and my images are sharp and crisp thus far :)
What other proves do you need? You can't be that wrong with such results, right? ;)
 

jonkk

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Dec 29, 2006
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#5
Thanks for the feedback guys :)

I'm just wondering about the real world implications of living in our climate - warm and humid.. and its impact on lens and fungal growth.

In theory, it means having to put our equipment into the dry cabinet after each use.

But how necessary is that on the field? For example, there was a time I had to bring my gear out with me and it didn't go back into the dry cabinet until after a month. But in this time, I was shooting almost every day or every other day. I doubt the dry cabinet matters as much, if you are actively using your gear and exposing it to fresh air and sunlight.

I'm inclined to take Octarine's take - that what I do has worked for me. but would like to seek the general consensus among other regular photographers.
 

jonkk

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Dec 29, 2006
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#6
I might want to add that I'm also asking for real-world experience judging by my friends who are regular wedding/portrait photographers and press photographers. They never seem to clean their lenses, or even cap them at times.. and they change lenses freely and the rear elements and camera chamber are exposed without much fretfulness! One of them hardly leaves his lenses in a dry cabinet as he shoots every other day! Granted that they can afford to pay for replacement lenses, and that their work requires them to change lenses quickly - i'm sure there's a balance of general 'well-being' of their lens and camera.

Just curious.. :)
 

night86mare

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Aug 25, 2006
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#7
well, if you think about it, when you are using it EVERYDAY

putting it for 9 hours every night, and the dry cabinet has to handle the moisture in between, i doubt it'd make much of a difference if fungus wants to grow or not.
 

Lomographer

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Apr 27, 2009
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#8
well, if you think about it, when you are using it EVERYDAY

putting it for 9 hours every night, and the dry cabinet has to handle the moisture in between, i doubt it'd make much of a difference if fungus wants to grow or not.
quite true, it's rather inevitable
 

nixontkl

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Nov 12, 2007
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#9
going a little into plant biology, condition for fungus to grow is

1. moist/wet
2. cool/dark

when storing the lens indoor for prolong period would subject your lens to the condition of DARK(lack of sunlight UV) and MOISTURE(singapore is humid with humidity at 70-80%)

so a dry cab thou is DARK but u remove the moisture factor by keeping the air inside dry.

if u shoot every now and then in the day, lots of UV light from the sun to stop fungus growth, MOIST air also no use.

SO as long as u dont subject your lenses to prolong exposure to the above 2 condition together, your lenses is pretty much well taken care of.

but of cos dont go sun your lenses under the whole afternoon sun :thumbsd:, you may just cook your lense. :)
 

jonkk

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Dec 29, 2006
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#10
So indeed it all works out.

1. Use it as much as you need to. Fresh air and sunlight is good.
2. Store it in dry cabinet when you don't use it.

:) Thanks guys!
 

gazkw

Senior Member
Jan 12, 2009
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#11
another issue is... does fungus spread?

i have a vintage camera that has fungus growth and till now i keep it far far away from my stable of lenses.
 

nixontkl

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Nov 12, 2007
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#12
another issue is... does fungus spread?

i have a vintage camera that has fungus growth and till now i keep it far far away from my stable of lenses.
Fungus is a living organism, of cos it will spread if its alive. a lens with life fungus will spread, but if the fungus is dead then i doubt it will spread.
 

dark72

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Nov 22, 2007
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#13
...but if the fungus is dead then i doubt it will spread.
Question..How do you know a fungus is dead?

Fungus is a living organism, of cos it will spread if its alive.
(Btw that's why don't put fungus infected camera into your dry cabinets since it would spread around to the non-infected ones)
 

nixontkl

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Nov 12, 2007
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#14
Question..How do you know a fungus is dead?
if u subject the fungus to enough heat and cook the fungus, it will die. UV ray from the sun most prob be able to help kill fungus but then again, its not encourage to let your lens get a good tan under the sun as it will spoil the grease inside.

if the fungus is dead, you shouldnt see the patch growing any more bigger
 

zac08

Senior Member
Feb 21, 2005
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#15
Dun forget the lenses have UV protection coatings... so wat suntan are you talking about??

Anyway, just keep the lenses safe inside the dry cabinets when they are not in use. I only remove them if I want to use them for the day.
 

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