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Lens with possible mold issue.. Help

Discussion in 'Open Gear Talk' started by Isoterica, Aug 27, 2012.

  1. Isoterica

    Isoterica SC Hall of Famer

    Dec 6, 2011
    I am hoping I can pool some knowledge here. If a film camera has fungus.. does that mean that the lenses that were used on it are automatically 'infected' for lack of a better word. Even if the glass is clean, does one expect there will be spores within and if so.. what can be done? I know, professional cleaning, however in lieu of that since it's old glass and without replacement parts should something be damaged in the cleaning, there will be few who want to take this job on. What can be done instead? I've heard of UV light, like standing it outside?.. all day in the sun. My husband also has access to industrial uv curing equipment and a few seconds of flash from one of those lamps would be far more powerful than the sun bake. Does UV also kill the spores or only active mold?
     
  2. kyteflyer

    kyteflyer ~@¿@~

    Jan 31, 2011
    Newcastle, Australia
    Sue
    I *think* it also kills the spores. On the Pentax forums people usually just say leave it in sunlight all day, but maybe a dose of the UV lamps would be a quicker option.
     
  3. pdh

    pdh SC Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    Kristen I've done lots of googling in the past on this subject, and of course there are always contradictions, but the things I've found that sound most plausible to me are that
    1 All lenses have spores in anyway, from manufacture onward (fungal spores being so tiny it's very difficult to exclude them except in extreme clean room environments)
    2. fungus problems only really arise when the lens is in an environment which encourages growth - in essence, warm and humid (and sometimes cool and humid)
    3. like so many lens "problems" a few fungal threads on the glass is unlikely to be noticeable on the final image, though heavy damage (thick tracks or etching caused by the chemicals released by the fungus) could reduce contrast a bit.
    4. it can be cleaned but if there's etching it's permanent
    5. fungus definitely does spread from lens to lens
    5a fungus definitely does not spread from lens to lens.

    make of that what you will!

    when you say the camera has fungus what do you mean?
    I think if I had a film camera with a cloth shutter that was mouldy, I'd bin it - not necessarily because of the lenses, but because of possible silver-halide or dye-eating fungi.

    really we need someone from a lens manufacturer for proper advice, but I've never managed to find one commenti ng on this subject online.

    Brian's the closest we've got and he doesn;t seem to be about at the moment

    oh and
    6. yes UV should stop growth but won't remove existing tracks.
     
  4. Isoterica

    Isoterica SC Hall of Famer

    Dec 6, 2011
    I have read several info sites this weekend Paul and since the lenses are like 1940's there is probably something living in them all by now, just not growing and multiplying. In this particular case I bought a lens from ebay, it was stated the glass is clean etc [it has not arrived yet but is the last to compliment my father's old Minolta rangefinder] however the camera it was attached to had fungus. I did not see seller having the camera in his sales, just the lens and a camera case. But having read what I did about all lenses having some kind of spore thing going on over time ..I figured as long as the glass was still clean I could do damage control. I was just wondering if a strong [these uv lights cure ink on high speed printing presses in a flash] lamp exposure [albeit a very brief one so that the lens doesn't melt] would do the trick. Or maybe I don't even need to worry over it at all? There is supposedly no glass tracking/evidence of mold. I do recall Brian mentioning a sun bath on his lenses. Not sure if it heats up the spores though Sue, would be great it if did. I'd like to know at the very least that I didn't purchase a virulent bomb that is going to make all my other stuff sick via camera contact. While Leica still repairs their cameras and there are a lot of other repairmen for them, there just really aren't repairs for Minolta screw mount leica-likes. Reason being, if something gets broke in cleaning, they have no spare parts. I had several repair shops turn me away when I needed my shutter curtains on the camera replaced due to that -sigh-. I just want to enjoy my dad's camera while there is still film to use in it.
     
  5. pdh

    pdh SC Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    I reckon that death-ray UV of your husband's will do the trick.
     
  6. Isoterica

    Isoterica SC Hall of Famer

    Dec 6, 2011

    LOL that it is, one flash and you get a sunburn if you are too close and the light is not shrouded. He figures a foot to a couple feet away for a few seconds should expose far stronger than the sun. Just hope he doesn't make a death ray out of it via shooting uv light through the lens and out the other side! I get visions of magnifying glasses and ants. Industrial strength!
     
  7. pdh

    pdh SC Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    hehehe expect it's all happening at Area 51 ... I have seen a thread somewhere (might be at RFF) where someone reckons burning the fungus marks with the sun's ray's focused with a magnifying glass was a good solution ... I wondered what the effect of the resulting gases/particles produced might have on the innards of a lens ... that shouldn't be a problem with UV as the idea isn't to burn the fungus but sterilize it without heat.
     
  8. Isoterica

    Isoterica SC Hall of Famer

    Dec 6, 2011
    Okay so that I have this right in my head, it is about exposure to the type of light, not about cumulative heat caused by the light, correct? These lamps could melt the lenses if one wasn't careful, they are that powerful. Tilt the lens this way and that so the light goes through the front, maybe this way and that through the back of the lens.. and it should be inoculated? I so love this hobby but the more I know the more I realize I don't know a whole lot.
     
  9. pdh

    pdh SC Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    Kristen I'm relying on my secondary school physics education - and that was a looooong time ago - plus a bit of internetting rather than any professional knowledge... but to me that sounds about right ...
     
  10. Isoterica

    Isoterica SC Hall of Famer

    Dec 6, 2011
    Lens arrived, 'looks' clean. I am pleased, now my rangefinder kit is complete. :)