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Old Jan 11, 2010, 10:16 AM   #1
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Default Fungus damage? Advice, please!

Warmest greetings to all. I've been reading over the forums for awhile, but finally had a question to ask worth signing up for!

I was recently gifted an old manual Sigma lens (for Nikon's, 75mm-210mm) that, upon close inspection, appears to have been infected at some point by a fungus. I'm not 100% sure, as I only recently purchased my first real SLR camera, but the pictures look similar to those I've found online. The lens was owned by my father who has lived in Florida for about 20 years, so you can imagine the kind of humidity it may have been exposed to at some point.

Pictures of the lens model and problem areas are linked below. I also added a picture taken with the lens (plant).

http://img689.imageshack.us/g/dsc0210t.jpg/

At this point, I've taken a few photos with the lens and I do not see any evidence of the odd-looking area in the actual photos. So here are my questions:

1.) Is this, in fact, a fungus on the back lens element (closest to the body)? If so will it spread to my other lenses via proximity even if it is now stored in a dry, cool place in the midwest (Michigan), where there is very little humidity?

2.) How much would it cost to clean/repair? A guestimate is fine.

3.) In your estimation, would the repair be worth it if the pictures currently come out fine?

4.) Will attaching this lens to my camera body create a chance that the spores could get inside my camera body and/or transfer to my other lenses that way?


Thank you for any insight you all might provide. I'm very new to these things and want to make sure I'm not compromising my equipment or anything.
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Old Jan 11, 2010, 8:57 PM   #2
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Guys, based on a response to my question from a repair company, I've decided to simply replace the lens with a newer one.

I'm now looking at these 4 lenses, and was hoping some of you all might have experience with them to help me narrow down the possibilities without necessarily having to buy all 4.

options:

55-200mm range
Nikon 55-200mm f/4-5.6G ED IF AF-S DX VR
Quantaray 18-200 mm DC 3.5-6.3

70-300mm range
Tamron AF 70-300mm f/4.0-5.6 Di LD
Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6 SLD DG


all are within my price range. I'm not really sure if I need the range of the 300mm's, but I do have a certain affinity towards having the *option* to go out farther if I need to. That being said, if one of the 55-200mm lenses would provide a significantly better picture up to 200mm, I'd be inclined to go with one of those and forego the 300mm for now.

as always, any advice would be appreciated.
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Old Jan 11, 2010, 10:32 PM   #3
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Forget the Quantaray 18-200. I was in the Ritz store at their corporate headquarters a while ago, and had a chance to see it on a Sony A700. That was the first and only time I ever saw chromatic aberration in the viewfinder. And asside from the vignetting, the Nikon 55-200 VR is a very nice lens.

Between the two, the Tamron 70-300 Di LD is better than the Sigma.
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Old Jan 11, 2010, 10:54 PM   #4
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the image stabilization on the 55-200 nikon is nice on these consumer slow aperture tele's.

but if you need more reach, go with the tamron
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Old Jan 11, 2010, 11:49 PM   #5
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thank you for the insight and advice, gentlemen.

one last question about the 300mm range: I see Sigma also offers this lens:

Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6 APO-M "Motorized" DG Macro lens

is the Tamaron 70-300 Di LD better than this one also? If so, I'll have narrowed my choices down to the Nikon 55-200m and the Tamaron 70mm-300mm.

thank you for all the help so far.
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Old Jan 12, 2010, 5:34 AM   #6
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The motorized version is for the Nikon bodies that don't have the built-in autofocus motor. Otherwise, it's the same lens. And, yes, the Tamron is better.
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Old Jan 12, 2010, 10:22 AM   #7
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understood. yes, I have a D40 (my very first DSLR...I went inexpensive to test the water first ) so I would need that internal motor.

alright, so I'm down to the Nikon and the Tamron. I've been reading online that both of these lenses are pretty decent up to ~200mm, but the Nikon has no macro mode (?). would it be silly to get both lenses and use the Nikon for most needs, then switch to the Tamron when I wan a nice macro shot or when I want to get something a little bit farther away? Or is the Tamron competitive enough with the Nikon between 70mm-200mm that having the Nikon would be pointless?

I see both the Nikon and Tamron can be had for about $160. I can't find a used Tamron, so that one would be new. (as an aside, I've found the Sigma APO floating around used for $100.)
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Old Jan 12, 2010, 11:21 AM   #8
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if you are interested in macro work, save up for a true macro lens, and then just pick the tele that best fits your needs.
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Old Jan 12, 2010, 11:23 AM   #9
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If they're both good to 200mm, and one doesn't do macro, why get both?

And while the Nikon is stabilized, the Tamron doesn't vignette nearly as much.

Do you have something in mind for which stabilization would be an issue?
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Old Jan 12, 2010, 11:41 AM   #10
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"If they're both good to 200mm, and one doesn't do macro, why get both?"

Indeed. lol. I just put it out there to make sure there isn't something important differentiating factor that I'm missing in my deliberations. I wanted to make sure the Tamaron is similar the Nikkor up to 200m in image quality, as I think the 70-200m range will be the most important for me, with 200-300m being used more sparingly. If the Tamaron can do that, I'll be picking it up.

as for the stabilization...no, I don't suspect that will be a big issue. most of my work would be of still things...and I have very steady hands. no wildlife photography for me. at least, not enough to warrant paying a lot extra. at least, not yet.

"if you are interested in macro work, save up for a true macro lens, and then just pick the tele that best fits your needs."

and I shall. I've already got my eyes on the 105mm Nikkor Macro. Looks fantastic. But if the 70-300m can give me some quasi-macro in the interim period between now and when I buy that lens...I'm all for it.

would it be a bad idea to pick up a used Tamaron if it has a bit of "dust on the front element" (according to the seller)? or should I be leery?

thanks again, gentlemen.
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