Fungus in my Rokkor 50mm?

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by rpringle, Jan 11, 2014.

  1. rpringle

    rpringle Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 9, 2014

    As this is my first post let me know if this isn't the proper page for this thread.

    I have been checking my lenses off and on for the past few years for fungus build up. I use a lot of adapted lenses for the M43 and I have some old expensive glass for my 4x5 setup as well. I have noticed dust even in my new lenses which I understand is normal because none of my lenses are sealed. However recently I was checking my Rokkor-x 50mm 1.7 and noticed something that might be a small fungus spot on the edge but I'm not 100% sure. This would be unfortunate because it's one of my favorite lenses. I am however very OCD and paranoid with my photo equipment. I also have an untrained eye when looking for such things\. I also recently checked my Lentar 450mm f6.3 and looks to me like it might have some fungus or haze. Most of my newer lenses I keep in my camera bags but I have started to keep my older ones in a clear plastic box next to a window. They're all kept in a cool and dry place. All my adapted lenses are my dad's old lenses that I've been using for years. The only new one is my Celtic 135mm and I just ordered a Rokkor-X 300mm f4.5.

    Is there anywhere I can bring it to have a professional look at it? Or should I try to bring it to a local camera shop and hope someone there knows anything or cares? I'm mostly concerned about fungus moving to my other lenses.

    Thanks in advance and sorry for such a long winded question.


  2. stratokaster

    stratokaster Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jan 4, 2011
    Kyiv, Ukraine
    Frankly speaking, it doesn't look like fungus to me. I suspect that the oil used for lubricating the focusing helicoid may have evaporated and condensed on glass surfaces ā€” it's a common problem with some old lenses.
  3. wildwildwes

    wildwildwes Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 9, 2012
    Brooklyn, NY
    Sorry to read about the issues you're experiencing with "fungus" in your lenses.

    The worst thing one can do is to store lenses in sealed environments (particularly plastic bags). If all of the conditions are right (humidity, temperature, etc), fungus THRIVES. The good news is that in SOME cases, one can have affected lenses "cleaned", restoring the optics close enough to their original condition. In many other cases however once fungus has started to pervade the lens coatings that most modern lenses now implement, the effects are literally "etched" into the glass (with the fungus essentially "eating" or "feeding" on the coatings and glass).

    Best bet is to store you lenses in a cool dry place along with some Silca gel packets. DON'T SEAL them in anything where humidity and heat will create the perfect terrarium for fungus to vacation IN your lenses!

    Good luck and keep us posted...
    • Like Like x 1
  4. rpringle

    rpringle Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 9, 2014
    I've been keeping them for the past few months inside a clear plastic box like you get at walmart I guess that would be considered sealed and bad? I have seen some people keeping them on shelves but I thought the dust would also be bad being out in the open. I suppose it might be worse keeping them in a box together where the air is trapped. I may have to think about putting up a shelving system just for lenses. I would consider getting my old lenses cleaned but it seems like it might cost more than the lenses themselves are worth. Of course I LOVE my minolta glass on the M43 system so they're worth much more to ME. Right now I use the Rokkor-x 50mm 1.7, 135mm f2.8 Celtic, and I just got a Rokkor-x 300mm f4.5 all of which I intend to use for the foreseeable future. I know cost of cleaning varies but if there's anyone that knows roughly how much it might cost that could possibly fill me in?

    I'm not sure it looks like fungus either and it's so small that I had a tough time photographing it. I've seen some absolutely horrid pictures of lenses with fungus, mostly ones from humid climates. I'm currently in Maine so it's not awfully humid but I do tend to get my gear wet/cold.
  5. RamblinR

    RamblinR Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Aug 16, 2012
    Qld Australia
  6. stratokaster

    stratokaster Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jan 4, 2011
    Kyiv, Ukraine
    By the way, if this is indeed fungus, it can be effectively killed by UV radiation.

    In Russia ("In Soviet Russia...") we usually kill fungus this way: we cover up the rear side of the lens with baking foil so as not to cause a fire and leave the lens in an open window on a sunny day. (The front end of the lens should face the sun, obviously.) Of course, the fungus stains will remain, but at least it will stop growing and won't infect your other lenses.
    • Like Like x 1
  7. EarthQuake

    EarthQuake Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 30, 2013
    Its really hard to tell from these shots, having seen a LOT of different types of fungus in lenses I would say no, but again its hard to say for sure.

    Generally, the first tell of fungus is a spider-web type pattern, and I'm not seeing that here.
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