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Old Jun 17, 2019, 8:51 AM   #1
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Default remove fungus from lens

Hi,
I saw a lens yesterday that I would consider buying, except that it has fungus on it. I imagine that I'll have to take it apart, because the fungus appears to be on one of the inside elements. Once having done that, is there any way of removing it?
Thanks,
.... john
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Old Jun 17, 2019, 5:40 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Shinnen View Post
Hi,
I saw a lens yesterday that I would consider buying, except that it has fungus on it. I imagine that I'll have to take it apart, because the fungus appears to be on one of the inside elements. Once having done that, is there any way of removing it?
Thanks,.... john
G'day mate

Short answer ... NO
Long answer ... NO

Even Longer Answer to be visible, the fungus has already eaten its way into the chemicals used to coat the grass for whatever reason the maker has chosen, and once damaged, there is no going back.

However - 25 yrs ago I have seen a local Aussie 'tog use a heavily fungus affected lens for wonderful 'arty-farty' portraits where the image was shown as all 'whispy-like'. I don't think such a lens would have worked if the fella was doing landscapes or family stuff

Phil
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Old Jun 17, 2019, 6:16 PM   #3
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You can kill the fungus by leaving it out in direct sunlight, but you can't repair the damage it's already done.
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Old Jun 17, 2019, 8:18 PM   #4
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I think I'll go a bit against the tide with this question and say "Maybe".
The spots you see on the internal lens elements are mostly from oily vapors which blend with moisture and condense inside the lens. This creates something that fungus can grow on, and over time, can attack the lens coatings, but the fungi don't eat the coatings directly. The waste products of the fungal growth can etch some lens coatings, though. I have disassembled a couple lenses and cleaned the spots with no harm to the optics, but can't speak for all cases, of course.
It is chancy, and I wouldn't spend much money expecting good results. I've been lucky a couple times.

brian
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Old Jun 20, 2019, 8:28 AM   #5
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Alright then. I think I'll take a gamble. The lens is only $5 so it's worth a try.
He may have sold it already, so the entire discussion could be purely educational.
When, if, I get it, what would be the best way to clean it?
..... john

Last edited by Shinnen; Jun 20, 2019 at 8:29 AM. Reason: grammar
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Old Jun 20, 2019, 3:26 PM   #6
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If you successfully disassemble a lens, you'll have access to all the exposed surfaces where fungus might have been. That is, it's unlikely that fungus would have developed on the surfaces that are within a lens group, or a group of lenses that are sealed together.

The best way to clean the surface of a lens is with distilled water with a bit of ethyl alcohol (commercially available at any liquor store under the brand name 'Everclear') and lots of Q-Tips. Wet one end of the Q-Tip in the water/alcohol mixture and, starting at the center of the lens, swipe the Q-Tip toward the edge, rotating the Q-Tip slightly against the direction you're swiping. Then rotate the lens so that the next swipe will clean another portion of the lens surface. Continue until you've cleaned the entire surface of the lens. Then repeat the entire procedure using the dry end of the Q-Tip to dry the lens surface.

NEVER dip a Q-Tip into the water/alcohol mixture a second time. That will contaminate the clean mixture. If a lens element is large, you should use multiple Q-Tips to clean it completely.
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Old Jun 26, 2019, 9:15 AM   #7
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Hi TCav,
I have not been able to get the lens, since my car is in the shop for repairs. I'm hoping for next week. If I'm able to get the lens I will want to know if I can use 99% isopropanol. I have lots of that. I'll let you know either way.
Thanks again,
..... john
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Old Jun 26, 2019, 2:17 PM   #8
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I wouldn't. Most commercially available isopropanol contains additives (color, etc.) that will leave a residue, whereas ethanol will evaporate cleanly.

You can try straight distilled water, but adding ethanol will help with any tough spots.
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Last edited by TCav; Jun 26, 2019 at 2:20 PM.
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Old Jun 27, 2019, 9:17 AM   #9
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OK.
Thanks,
.... john
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Old Today, 6:48 PM   #10
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Hey guys,
Unfortunately the lens was gone when i went to get it. But I will tuck away the information you gave me for the next time.
Thanks,
....... john
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