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The great fungus experiment.

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by lenshoarder, Aug 4, 2012.

  1. lenshoarder

    lenshoarder Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 7, 2010
    I bought a Canon 50mm F1.4 at the thrift store today. It's in really great shape except for one thing. Fungus. I've gotten a lens or two with fungus before, but they've been light cases. I opened them up and wiped off the fungus with alcohol. Considering that I've had some of these lenses for years and the fungus hasn't come back, that seemed to do the trick. I think it mostly has to do with the low humidity environment I live in. It's unusually "high" right now, it's 42%.

    Anyways, the Canon lens I got today is something else entirely. It's not that the fungus is dense but it's everywhere. Generally I see fungus on an inside surface of the lens. This is the first time I've seen it on the outside of both the front and rear elements. So here's my plan. I'm going to dunk it in alcohol and do a complete teardown. The alcohol dunk should kill the fungus entirely. I don't think it'll hurt the lens. In the old days, people used to keep buckets of alcohol around if they filmed around water. If an accident happened, they would throw the camera and lens into the alcohol bucket.

    Any comments or words of advice? I have $6 invested in this lens. :smile:
  2. chicks

    chicks Mu-43 All-Pro

    Interested to hear the results. I shop thrift stores for lenses, and live in a dry climate, so have yet to find an infected lens, but you never know.
  3. speedandstyle

    speedandstyle Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Drop the whole lens , unassembled? into the alcohol?

    I am very interested in learning how to clean up fungus and other issues as I have acquired a few lenses off ebay with said problems. What tools do you need and where do you get them?
  4. LowTEC

    LowTEC Mu-43 Regular

    pay attention if there is any rubber seal inside (I dunno the age of said lens), alochol can kill seals in a hurry
  5. lenshoarder

    lenshoarder Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 7, 2010
    I think the fungus lenses are from other parts of the country. We get a lot of transplants.

    There's a lot of plastic on a FD 50mm. I'm particularly concerned about the aperature blades. We'll see how it goes.
  6. lenshoarder

    lenshoarder Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 7, 2010
    The whole thing. I'm going to put it into a glass jar and fill with 99%. Wait a few minutes and then lift out and let it dry out completely outside before the teardown. The fumes are not exactly healthy.

    I've taken apart my fair share of lenses. Of course, you need a good set of small/jeweler's screwdrivers. You'll need an assortment. An ill fitting screwdriver will strip the head of a screw. It's not like those little screws are easy to find. The rubber tip from a crutch or cane is very useful for removing the front bezel of a lens. You'll also need a slotted ring wrench. Those can cost some dollars. I use a $10 pair of calipers instead. It works just as well.

    Most lenses are very easy to take apart. The Kodak M lenses from many decades ago have me baffled. They seem completely sealed. I have tried and failed to find a way to get them open. The hardest part of the whole process is getting the focus right again. Even noting where everything should line up, it's a tedius process of trial and error to get it right. There must be some way to do it. I doubt they did the trial and error method at the factory. I have no idea what that method was.
  7. heedpantsnow

    heedpantsnow Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 24, 2011
    So I'm guessing you will have to re-lube the aperture, etc. as the alcohol will wash out the lubricant?
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