Fungus question

Jan 26, 2005
Haverhill, MA's not on my toenails!

I have found a beautiful AIS zoom which I've been lusting for and there is a very tiny bit of fungus on the front element.

While the lens is really inexpensive, I hate pi**ing money away. Will it have any effect on my images? I've never shot fungused before, so I have no clue what the answer is. The fungus is faint enough that you really have to look hard to find it.

Anyone have any experience?
Last edited by a moderator:


Apr 30, 2005
sf bay area
hi jim-

in general, you should stay away from a lens with any fungus whatsoever.

but if you're determined to buy it, leave the lens out in direct sunlight for several days to kill the fungus. it won't disappear, but it should stop growing.

as for the effect on your photos, it's probably minimal. it depends on the location and the amount of fungus. if it's off to the edge of the front element, it should be ok. i've shot with a couple of lenses that had fungus on them (the drawback of living in a tropical country) with no visible issues, but this was before digital, before i could see every little defect and spec :)

is it possible for you to take some test photos, or to ask for them?

Feb 22, 2005
There is no cure for the damage done by fungus. Leaving the lens in the sun (or other source of UV) might kill the fungus, but the damage done to the coatings of the lens is permanent. As previously said, if it is around the edges, don't worry. Even the center isn't a big deal, if as you say, you have to look really hard to see it.
Years ago, I did some test shots for a friend. He had bought an older 300mm view camera lens for $60. It was worth about $3000. Only problem, there was a chunk of glass missing from the rear element. I do mean a chunk and it was an ugly looking gash. I did the tests, he paid for the 8x10 sheet film, and I couldn't see where the image was compromised. While it was under a controlled condition and I admit, I wouldn't use that lens in any situation where there was flare, the point is that a lens can look pretty bad and still perform.
Also, many years ago, the best lenses were the ones that had little air bubbles in them. I have an old Ansco TLR with several bubbles in the lens.
Jan 26, 2005
Hi Jim,
Did you get the lens with the fungus?

I have not experienced fungus in my lenses but I do know that I wouldn't touch a lens with it because of the damage it can do. I have had much experience with fungus in Florida and after hurricane Charley last summer.

The homes and condos that got water damage also had terrible mildew (fungus) damage and all walls had to be torn out and started over. The stuff just grows and grows and impossible to get rid of it when in the homes.

So I guess when I apply what I know about it in Florida it then makes me more careful than ever about fungus in the lenses.

THose are just my thoughts about fungus-- I wouldn't want it anywhere :frown:

For what it's worth,

Removed User 2

I'd be scared to contaminate all my other lenses with a cheap infected lens.
I wouldn't want to throw away my 85 1.4 and 28 1.4, just to name a few... :eek:
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