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Are Radioactive Lenses Safe?

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by ArticFox, Nov 2, 2012.

  1. ArticFox

    ArticFox Mu-43 Rookie

    Oct 12, 2012
    Early lenses can be radioactive. Camerapedia research indicates a lens can have an equivalent of a chest or dental x-ray exposure. That sounds dangerous. Radioactive eyepieces are very dangerous to the eye.

    Opinions or research knowledge before I purchase radioactive legacy lenses?
  2. Aegon

    Aegon Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 3, 2011
    Portland, OR
    • Like Like x 3
  3. Grinch

    Grinch Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 9, 2011
    Yeah and if your store them in your pants pockets you can skip the vasectomy. My SMC Takumar is my favourite lense, and doubles as a night light to boot.
  4. GaryAyala

    GaryAyala Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    I wouldn't eat one or use it as a cup.
    • Like Like x 2
  5. speedandstyle

    speedandstyle Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    If you are eating glass, the radioactivity is the least of your worries!:eek: 
  6. fin azvandi

    fin azvandi Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 12, 2011
    South Bend, IN
    One issue when people hear "radiation" is that they forget our bodies are bombarded with a certain amount of radiation 24/7 from the environment, and a small increase over that background level does not necessarily translate into an increased risk for adverse effects. A lens may increase your exposure, but unless you have is pressed up against your body for days straight there's just not that much to worry about.
  7. ArticFox

    ArticFox Mu-43 Rookie

    Oct 12, 2012
    While I appreciate Aegon's presentation as important, I am not impressed with the source.

    The presentation in Camerapedia is more impressive, but more alarming.
    Radioactive lenses - Camerapedia

    I have never seen a list of radioactive viewfinders.
  8. GaryAyala

    GaryAyala Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    I was bitten once by a radioactive spider.
    • Like Like x 1
  9. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    • Like Like x 9
  10. uci2ci

    uci2ci Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 22, 2012
    Los Angeles, CA
  11. addieleman

    addieleman Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 5, 2010
    The Netherlands
    This is a smoking gun, a picture has just been shot.
    • Like Like x 1
  12. tanglewood

    tanglewood Mu-43 Rookie

    Oct 11, 2012
    Hello Ned,

    Exciting photo, I love it. :smile:

    My Canon film SLR once did that to me.

    At first I smelled something burning, then there was a flash, but not electronic.

    The pop up flash, ummmm, well, popped itself.

    Out of warranty the camera was... sadness...

    Well. OK. Long time ago...


  13. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    @tanglewood: That would be sad indeed. I have a large graveyard of camera bodies which have fallen by the wayside over the years... :( 

    @ucl2cl: I'm a pipe smoker.
    • Like Like x 1
  14. ArticFox

    ArticFox Mu-43 Rookie

    Oct 12, 2012
    Ned's Behavior

    Ned, you have been banned for such irresponsible radioactive hotness on our humble MFT forum. LittleMT fainted on the spot.

    BTW, I've got to know what equipment you have in that photo. A Pen Mini? Panasonic EVF? Lens?

    Today, would you prefer using an OMD with that setup?
  15. rejo

    rejo Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 27, 2011
    safe or not

    First of all you have to know what type of radiation it was exposed to, for how long it was exposed and what distance it was from the source.
  16. Crdome

    Crdome Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Sep 11, 2011
    West Central Indiana
    Ned: Perfect example. Better not go through airport security with that.

    ArticFox: If you are contemplating military aerial surveillance lenses. The radioactive decay turns the glass' color to a brown tone.

  17. ArticFox

    ArticFox Mu-43 Rookie

    Oct 12, 2012
    Discoloration of Radioactive Lenses

    I have read that Thorium in the glass can change the lens to a yellowish color. I have even read that MC coatings can also affect color. There have been discussions about reversing this color with several days of continuous daylight exposure. I don't know the impact of the yellowish hue on the final image, though.
  18. Repp

    Repp Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 27, 2011
    Seoul, South Korea
    Nice to see another pipe smoker out there. I'll have to try holding it like that while shooting (w/ pinky and ring finger around the stem?), as I knocked my Peterson out of my mouth the other day when I moved the camera too fast trying to get a shot...
  19. addieleman

    addieleman Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 5, 2010
    The Netherlands
    Treating radioactive lenses

    As suggested here, I treated a Minolta MC Rokkor-SI 28mm 1:2.5 by illuminating it with the Ikea Jansjö LED light (only € 9.99), either side for about a week. This seemed to work to a large extent, the yellowing is largely gone. I didn't take pics before and after, but trust me, the treated sample was as bad as the untreated sample shown below. The 28/2 is included as an example of a non-radioactive lens.

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
    • Like Like x 1
  20. alotmoore

    alotmoore Mu-43 Rookie

    Aug 27, 2012
    New York
    How long did you keep the lens under the lamp each day?

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I747 using Tapatalk
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