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Help diagnosing what this is on my lens?

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by fadingphoenix, May 25, 2014.

  1. fadingphoenix

    fadingphoenix Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 27, 2013
    I purchased a Rokinon 7.5mm from Ebay. One of it's lens cap tabs was stated as being busted but the cap was still supposed to work with the remaining tab. Well...the seller didn't do much to secure the cap during shipping, and the other tab broke as well before it reached me. The loose pieces fell inside the cap and spent their time banging around against the front element of the lens. Images are below, and as you can see the lens was dusty, with some scuffs and such from the plastic pieces. Then I spotted something else and my heart stopped. My thought was mold, and...it still looks weird to me for it to just be a scuff or a smudge; But after taking some pictures of it, I attempted to clean the lens. After blowing the dust away with a rocket and brushing over it with the brush end of a lenspen I ran a lens tissue over the front element. The spot wiped right off. Was it just nothing? I've never seen any examples of mold growing on the outside of a lens, I've only ever heard of it growing inside. I sent a message to the seller about the lens cap, but I didn't mention this; partly because other than these close up images I don't have any evidence, and because I wanted to get an opinion on whether it was anything or not.

    The First image isn't quite, but the third should be a 1:1 macro of the spot.
    View attachment 363701

    Crop from above
    View attachment 363702

    To show the haze around the spot
    View attachment 363703
  2. AdamSF

    AdamSF Shutterbugger

    Oct 13, 2013
    San Francisco, CA
    To my inexpert eye, that looks like fungus.
  3. AcinonyxRex

    AcinonyxRex Mu-43 Rookie

    Oct 17, 2013
    ^ +1

    It appears that there is a fungus among us!
  4. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    "We don't allow fungus here."
    "Why not? I'm a fun guy!"
    • Like Like x 1
  5. fadingphoenix

    fadingphoenix Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 27, 2013
  6. tjdean01

    tjdean01 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 20, 2013
    Sounds like the guy who sold it to you is a huge liar! He probably sold the lens because he knew of the issues. I hope you didn't pay more than $90 for it.
  7. fadingphoenix

    fadingphoenix Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 27, 2013
    Well, in fairness it doesn't seem he lied about the lens cap. He merely didn't secure it and the second tab broke during shipping. I can't imagine how he wouldn't have seen this spot though, it was right on the front element, and I can't imagine that fungus would have taken hold like that between the time he shipped it an it reached me. I sent him a second message explaining and included a link to this thread so he could see the images. I've still just never seen an incident reported of fungus on the exterior of the front element, every case I've seen online has been inside of the lens.
  8. EarthQuake

    EarthQuake Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 30, 2013
    Yeah this is indeed fungus. File a not as described claim if he refuses to take it back.

    I've seen fungus grow on the exterior of many a lens element. It doesn't necessarily mean that it will grow internally as well (plenty of UV light, and storing in a well ventilated, climate controlled low humidity environment will kill/prevent further fungus growth, most likely), but the risk of it happening is much higher. I wouldn't keep this lens unless you can get a significant partial refund back for it.

    As far as proof, you have the photo above, which is plenty of proof in terms of winning an eBay case.
  9. orfeo

    orfeo Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 27, 2013
    That is what cheap lens are about... Most rave about them telling yeah you idiot why pay for top dollars lens!?
    Well cheap lens come with poor QC for one reason duh...
  10. EarthQuake

    EarthQuake Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 30, 2013
    Fungus has nothing to do with quality of the lens, only the conditions in which it were stored (hot, humid, and dark, generally).

    The lens cap issue seems like the original owner simply kept poor care of the item, and then packed it poorly as well. I own the same lens and the lens cap isn't any worse built than various other caps that came with much more expensive lenses.
  11. HarryS

    HarryS Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 23, 2012
    Midwest, USA
    Looks like the crap I just wiped off my 9-18 zoom this morning. Made for a dark spot on some of my pix and I thought it was dust on sensor, but was some spatter on the front element. I had just come back form a bike ride, shooting from the seat, storing lens in pocket. Rough handling, I know. No lens changes while pedaling though.

    If seller had even packed lens in old newspaper, cannot see the tab breaking off a Rokinon. Had mine in my other pocket.
  12. Ricoh

    Ricoh Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Nov 2, 2013
    Fungi need nutrients, so in a sense I can more easily understand external growth. Internal, I'm not sure; well I'm not sure on any of this, biology isn't my subject.
    What I am sure I would do is return expecting full refund, including postage.
  13. jnewell

    jnewell Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 23, 2011
    Boston, MA
    IIRC, fungus is "contagious." In other words, it can spread from the affected lens to others. I would triple bag the thing and get it well away from your photo equipment. I would also return it to the seller ASAP.
  14. fadingphoenix

    fadingphoenix Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 27, 2013
    Yeah, aside from one day when I slipped it in my bag to try it while out and about, I kept the lens quarantined.

    I want to thank everyone for the input. The seller responded to me on the weekend and I shipped the lens back today. First time I've ever had to raise an issue on Ebay.
  15. fortwodriver

    fortwodriver Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Nov 15, 2013
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    Fungus will very quickly consume most modern coatings if left to sit on the lens. This actually looked more like human snot to me...as if someone handling the lens sneezed and well, spattered across the lens surface. The trick was that you were able to wipe it off and see no change in the iridescence on the surface.

    Either way, good idea sending it back - sounds like that lens got tossed around quite a bit. It's anyone's guess what else inside the lens may have been loose, rattly, or out of spec.
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