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Fungus behind lense...how big a problem?

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by Harry Lavo, Apr 26, 2007.

  1. When a seller says a lens that is in otherwise good shape has a few specs of fungus behind the main element, but careful testing shows it not to affect the image, should I believe him? And even if this is the case, since apparently it is a fungus, will it simply grow until it does become a problem?

    Any and all experience would be appreciated.
  2. fks


    Apr 30, 2005
    sf bay area
    hi harry-

    the seller is probably correct in that a few specs here and there shouldn't affect image quality. however, i'd stay away from any lens that has fungus unless it's free (and even then i'd worry that it'll spread to my other lenses).

    cleaning the affected element can remove the fungus, but it's usually eaten through any coating on the element. fungus can supposedly be stopped by exposure to sunlight, so you might be able to stop the growth.

    the lenses that i had that suffered from fungus are pretty much goners, but the fungus was widespread.

  3. Donzo98


    Nov 10, 2005
    Merrick, NY
    Do not buy it... not worth the hassle.
  4. Wow, thanks ricky. Didn't think about it doing physical damage to the coating...but that's valuable info and that's why I asked.
  5. I gather you agree with ricky above, then. Thanks.
  6. rvink


    Mar 21, 2006
    New Zealand
    A few threads of fungus through a lens won't have any noticeable effect on the image, no different from internal dust.

    If the fungus is cleaned quickly the lens can be restored to original condition. However fungus can etch the coatings and even the glass, you won't know the damage (if any) until it's cleaned. Even if the coatings or glass are damaged, it's usually over a small % of the surface so will have little effect on the image. The damage is more to the lens's resale value and the owner's need for "pristine" optics.

    If you are looking for a "user" and are not too concerned with cosmetics a lens with fungus may be a viable option. I would have it cleaned to prevent it spreading however. As Don said, it's often not worth the hassle unless it's a real bargain.
  7. mycom


    Apr 24, 2006
    I wouldn't touch a fungus infected lens that stuff is contageous !

    Some repair shop flat out refuse to accept fungus infected lenses.
  8. Run from it Harry! Must have a crack someplace for fungus get there in the first place.

  9. 332720

    332720 Guest

  10. tommyc


    May 2, 2006
    Dumb newbie question - is there anyway to prevent fungus to begin with? What causes it?
  11. rsprouse


    Jan 25, 2006
    Encinitas CA
    The same thing that encourages fungus anywhere - prolonged exposure to moisture and warmth. I hear it is prevalent in the tropics. Luckily I have not experienced it in So. Cal.

    -- Russ
  12. The secret is to open your camera bag once a day, let that old stale air out and take all your lenses out and shoot with them. :biggrin:

    Also, I'm always grabbing those little de-humidifier pellet bags you find in certain items that are purchased, like electronics, shoes, ect. And placing them in different areas of my camera bag. They don't last all that long, so they need to be replaced often.

    PS- these little bags can be purchased also. If I lived in a very humid enviroment, I'd have a large supply of these.
  13. Thanks, Michael, I've sent off a note requesting info.
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