Howto clean fungus Olympus OM 50mm f/1.8?

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by rdo, Apr 3, 2013.

  1. rdo

    rdo Mu-43 Rookie

    Aug 26, 2012

    I have an Olympus OM 50mm f/1.8 but unfortunately it has some fungus inside the front lenses group. The front element is constructed of 2 lens that are hold together somehow and i can't figure out how to disengage them.

    Is there anyone succeeded in separating the 2 lenses of the front element?

    I can't find anything in the net - just 2 post saying that it is impossible :eek:
  2. dd1

    dd1 Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 9, 2011
    If it is in between the elements it probably isn't worth doing, the elements would be cemented together, pulling them apart would damage them, you also wouldn't be able to reassemble them correctly either in a DIY situation (or probably any situation outside of the original factory).

    It would be cheaper and easier to just replace the lens.
  3. mr_botak

    mr_botak Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 4, 2011
    Reading, UK
    What dd1 said. You'll never get them cemented back together again, I tried on a different type of lens. Is the fungus affecting image quality?
  4. Sammyboy

    Sammyboy m43 Pro

    Oct 26, 2010
    Steeler Country
  5. quatchi

    quatchi Mu-43 Veteran

    May 17, 2012
    Munich, Germany
    Also be aware, that with a heavy use of alcohol, you can stop/kill the fungus, but you cannot remove the damage its done. The fungus nourishes on the lens coating or the lens itself and produces acids. These acids damage the lens and you will always see the exact outline of the fungus.

    This however, doesn't mean that you cannot use the lens anymore. Depending on the level of its spread, it might not effect the image quality. There was once a very nice blog post of a guy with a (Nikon?) lens. He first showed pictures made with the lens which seemed ok, but not stellar. Then he showed a picture of the lens itself. The front lens element was broken and cracks reached from the middle of the lens to the rim. It neatly showed that good pictures can still be made with an completely damaged lens. Unfortunately I do not have the link to that blog post anymore.

    Bottom-line: If you can't open the lens, just use it as often as you can/want and do not worry to much about the fungus. When it starts to affect the image quality, you then should think about replacing it.

    Additional notes: You might want to find out, why that lens got fungus in the first place. Maybe you store your lenses in a humid place? It is sayed that taking of the lens caps on placing an affected lens in the sunlight (= dry + UV) is supposed to stop or slow down the growth of the fungus.
  6. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Could this be the test you are referring to?

    Another option is that the heavy use of alcohol (by viewers of your images) may make any lens aberrations irrelevant. :tongue:

    All kidding aside, I think Quatchi is right on here. The first step is to determine what caused the conditions that allowed the fungus to bloom and then eliminate those conditions or alter your lens storage protocol to minimize them. As for this particular lens, you'll be better off either getting rid of it or just shooting with it as is rather than attempting any sort of (likely quixotic) repair.

    Note that some folks feel that they don't want a lens "infected" with fungus to be stored alongside a "clean" lens less the fungus prove "contagious". Others (including myself) subscribe to the theory that fungus spores are literally everywhere, but fungus will only bloom given the right conditions (hear, humidity, etc.). Either way, it's something you might want to be aware of.
  7. malmeida14

    malmeida14 Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 17, 2012
    I have for 25 years a Zuiko 50 f1.8 that I use on my OM-4 T and now also with my OM-D EM-5. I was very concerned with fungus as you. I cleaned my lens but, I had the same problem with some fungus between the glued elements (see photos). But after calm down, I realize that this lens with fungus is sharper then the micro 4/3 12-50 that I also have, so i'm living with the fungus and don't think about it. Now I keep my lenses without caps in transparent plastic boxes with silica, hopping the fungus keep way from my lenses.

    View attachment 271318 Full size image After: View attachment 271319 Full size image