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Old Mar 11, 2007, 10:48 AM   #1
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I need your advice urgently! I have a problem with my lens.

I bought Nikon D80 with kit lens Nikkor 18-135mm DX in last December 2006 (around 23 Dec). Then I bought 50mm f1.8 in January 2007. This 50mm/f1.8 lens is always on my D80 and the kit lens 18-135 mm is always in the bag.

Now I want to buy the VR lens 18-200mm VR(850 US$) or 70-300mm VR (650 US$) because my kit lens cannot satify me in some situations..

So I went out in this evening and found one of the camera shops has both VR lenses. I asked the shop whether I can trade-in with my kit lens. Then the problem comes up...

The seller checked my 18-135mm kit lens and said he doesn't want this lens as it has many fungus inside the lens.

You might want to know how did he check the lens.
He detached the lens from the camera body, pointed to the ceiling lightby opening the aperture and looking through the lens and said it has many many fungus inside the lens.
I was totally shocked what I heard from him. I don't know how the fungus look likes so I have no idea what to say. So far there is no problem with my pictures taken with this lens. I cannot see anyloss of sharpness or brightness etc. on the photos.

The sellersaid cleaning the fungus will cost me about 250 US$.(This new lens cost only 450 US$.)

As I am a newbie in this photography field, I never thought about this kind of problem before. If I have been told about such problems with the lens, I will not buy this kind of stuff as I can not affordto fixany kind of these costly problems.

I wonder how's comes this 2 month old lens has a fungus? (As I said above,I use 50mm prime lens mostly.)

Anyone know whether Nikon's warranty covers this kind of problem?

Please advice me what should I do with this problem.

Thanks for any comments.

chwin

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Old Mar 11, 2007, 12:53 PM   #2
rey
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I've read about this before, though I heard it rarely happens.

The interesting part is that the problem happens when you DON'T use your lens. Fungi thrive in dark damp place. So storing your lens in a damp place could be a problem. This is why when I got into photography, I started collecting those silica gell bags with "Do Not Eat" and "Throw Away" warnings on them, as they help absorb moisture.

Did you check your lens, the same way the guy did? You can open up the aperture and look for signs of fungus. You're looking for spider-web looking crud. From what I gathered online, you can kill them with light. Either fire up flashes on them, or using flashlight. You probably have to leave the aperture open.

I don't know if Nikon warranty covers it.

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Old Mar 11, 2007, 5:58 PM   #3
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It is extremely unlikely for a lens to develop fungus in that short a time. To recheck for yourself, as mentioned, look through the lens at a bright light source such as a LED flashlight. Fungus will show as specks or lines on the internal lens elements.

My best guess is that this salesperson is less than completely honest.

brian
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Old Mar 11, 2007, 9:46 PM   #4
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The only fungus contaminated lenses I have ever seen were either in a tropical jungle environment for around a year or were underwater in flood waters. The advice to check it yourself. The dealer's eyes are not likely better than your own.

Was the lens supposed to be new and did you get it from a reputable dealer?


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Old Mar 14, 2007, 8:52 AM   #5
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Thank you all for your advice and Sorry for my late response..

I checked the lens in my home as the seller did but as I am not professional I couldn't see any fungus. My eyesight is not good for this kind of things.

So I went to the dealer yesterday Tuesday morning and told them to check my lens for so called fungus. As I have the warranties for the camera and the kit lens, I have to leave my camera and lens at the dealer service center for tesing. They asked me to pick them up on Friday. I asked the dealer to check the camera too because I found a small dust on the CCD sensor. (As first I have only fungus inside the lens. But I found a small dust on the CCD sensor when I was taking the pictures after I cameback from the seller on Monday night.)

The dealer call me this evening and informed me that the camera CCD dust problem is under warranty and I don't need to pay anything. But the warranty does not cover for the fungus inside the lens. The dealer asked me whether I wish to clean the fungus and it will cost me 120 US $. But I need to wait 2 weeks to get the lens back as they need to order the spare parts from the Nikon.

What can I do? So I am thinking that whether I should agree to clean the lens or not.

As I said before I wish to buy a 70-300 mm VR or 18-200mm VR.

So now I have 4 choices:

1) repair the lens and buy a new 70-300mm VR (about 100 $ + 650$ = 750 $)
2) buy a new 18-200 mm VR and forget the 18-135 kit lens (about 800 $)
3) buy a new 70-300 mmm VR and forget the 18-135mm kits lens and use with my 50mm/f1.8 for the below 70mm shots. (about 650 $)
4) forget about repairing the kits lens and use it until it dies. (probably it will be lasting for one year) (no cost until now)

Please give me some advice for above selections.

And one more question-

Will the fungus spread to the CCD sensor and the other lens that I have if I won't clean the fungus?

Oh I need to tell you that I am now staying in Thailand and it has a tropical weather so it might be the reason to get the fungus so early (within 2 months). But I live in Bangkok not in the other provinces and travelled only to one beach since I bought the camera in December.

Rgds,

Chwin
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Old Mar 14, 2007, 10:38 AM   #6
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The problem is that you're asking a series of questions:
1) What lens should I be using?
2) Is the kit lens good enough for me, or is it worth the money to upgrade?
3) If I should upgrade, which lens should I upgrade to?

This is one of those difficult situations. Mostly because it is about money, and only you know your money situation, and partially because we don't know enough about your photographic interests. The last tricky part is about your standards. You'll see what I mean shortly

Exactly what type of pictures do you take? Landscapes? People? (Party pictures? Portraits? Pictures of your kids? Group shots?) Objects? Small objects (books, jewlery, flowers...)? Big objects (cars, buildings, boats...)? Something else? (I, for example, take wildlife.) So, tell us about what you like to shoot!

Your asking about three different lenses:
18-200 mm VR
18-135 kit lens
70-300 mm VR

The first two lenses are wide angle lenses and are good for landscape, large object, and group pictures.

The last lens is a longer telephoto that is not very wide at all (70mm is more powerful than the human eye and that is as wide as it goes.)

You use those lenses for VERY different things, so you can't just ask us which you should get without telling us what you want to take pictures of.

The 18-200 is very good for it's zoom range and I'd highly recommend it *IF IT MATCHED WHAT YOU SHOOT*. My dad has it and likes it a lot. I did some research for him when he got it and everyone loved that lens.

70-300 is a decent zoom range for distant things. Artistic shots of larger things, isolated shots of landscapes, your kid sitting in the playground. I can't find any good info about the 70-300 VR online. The review sites that I normally check don't have it listed - I assume it's a very new lens. The one review I found for it was here:
http://www.photozone.de/8Reviews/len...56vr/index.htm

They seem to like it for the price, but say it has problems. Read it to learn more.

And this leads us to our other problem. What are your standards.
Are you willing to spend more money for higher quality? You generally get what you pay for with lenses. The more expensive ones are better - but if you don't care about how they are better (the improvements won't make a difference for you) then you're just wasting money.

This is something that only you can answer. You implied in your first post that the kit lens "didn't satisfy you" and you were looking to trade up. But you didn't say *how* it wasn't satisfying you so we can't say if either of those lenses are addressing the shortcomings of what you have.

Now you are going about it the right way. You used the lens you have until it no longer fits your needs. That is *exactly* the right time to upgrade because then you know what you want so you aren't buying something you don't really need. This is good. But you need to give us more info so we can help you in your particular situation.

Eric
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Old Mar 14, 2007, 12:41 PM   #7
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If you think the dealer is reputable and he's not just scamming you for money by claiming the lens has fungus, then I think it's worth getting it cleaned. The very least you can spent $120 to get it "fixed" and sell it for more if you can find a buyer for it.

If you want to get a one lens that do all, the 18-200VR is a great choice. But like Eric said, it depends on your shooting needs. It seems like you were able to get by with just the 50mm, so it's hard to tell what your shooting needs are.

If you need a little more reach, you can get the 70-300VR, but I would still get the 18-135 fixed and keep it around since 70mm is not wide at all.

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Old Mar 14, 2007, 9:07 PM   #8
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Advice for the future if you live in a high humidity area. Don't store your equipment in a closed camera bag and don't leave the bag in a dark closet. Circulating air, light and of course anything that lowers humidity will generally reduces the chances of fungus formation. If you are going to continue using the same bagI'd suggest emptying it out and spraying it liberally with an underarm deodorant. I don't know whats available in your market but plain (not anti-perspirent) Right Guarddoes have an anti-fungicidal action and won't harm the bag materials. Leave the bag open for a couple of days after treatment.
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Old Mar 14, 2007, 11:00 PM   #9
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I would also put the bag out in the sun. Sunlight can do wonders (along with what ac.smith suggested.)

Eric
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Old Mar 15, 2007, 8:04 AM   #10
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Concur with Eric on sunlight.
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