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Fungus Question

LGTEC
Apprentice

I apologize for posting another subject so quickly, but I want to make sure I do the right thing here. 

Today I was at a used Camera store and I was trying out a lens on my camera (Maybe 5 minutes most). After looking at the lens, I noticed there was some fungus on the very middle element. Of course I didn't put the lens back on the camera after that. I should of checked before.

However, I'm hoping it didn't contaminate my camera body. Should I get the sensor cleaned? or is there something else I should do? 

Sorry never delt with fungus before. 

The camera sensor looks new still, but I've heard fungus can spread easily. 

14 REPLIES 14

Waddizzle
Legend

If yo have never had your gear cleaned and checked by Canon, now might be a good time.  Tell them about your concerns. 

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"The right mouse button is your friend."

wq9nsc
Authority

Fungus growth is generally growing on the inside of the lens so your quick check is highly unlikely to have caused problems for your camera body.  Infection typically occurs when a contaminated piece is stored with the other gear in a dark place for an extended period of time.

 

If you want to be a little more sure:

 

Use a "pocket rocket" or similar to blow out the camera.  Keep it pointed downward.  Wipe the external surfaces of the camera with an alcohol wipe.  Let it dry completely before storing it in a light environment sealed up with a desiccant pack.

 

Fungus needs moisture and dark to grow.  Keep your camera in a low humidity environment, use silica desiccant packs if you have them available.  I don't like using rice or other "home" remedies because they have their own dust and biological agents.

 

I keep large silica packs in the Canon cases with my large white primes and my smaller lens stay in a big Pelican case with more silica packs.  The camera bodies stay in a separate case with more desiccant packs.  The type I use and what is best are the industrial type that change color when they are approaching saturation, they can be baked in a low temperature oven as needed to drive the moisture out for reuse.

 

Rodger

EOS 1DX M3, 1DX M2, 1DX, 5DS R, M6 Mark II, 1D M2, EOS 650 (film), many lenses, XF400 video

"I keep large silica packs in the Canon cases with my large white primes and my smaller lens stay in a big Pelican case with more silica"

 

Wow, Rodger you take storing lenses seriously! I have had 50, 60, 70 lenses just sitting on a shelf in the formerly stop bath stained shelves of my old darkroom. There is probably 30 down there as we speak. I just counted five sitting right here with me on my computer desk. Oh, well. Smiley Happy

EB
EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!

Ernie,

 

I suspect those lingering darkroom chemicals won't allow anything to grow 🙂

 

I shoot a lot of sports stuff in bad weather so the gear often gets wet and I am not giving fungus a chance.

 

Rodger

EOS 1DX M3, 1DX M2, 1DX, 5DS R, M6 Mark II, 1D M2, EOS 650 (film), many lenses, XF400 video

"...I am not giving fungus a chance."

 

I should say!  Smiley Happy You have to keep on top of because the silica only last for six to 12 months if it is in a sealed container. Opening it let's new humidity in the case which alters its shelf life.  It can be dried, though.  So, you see I did think about it along time ago.  I just felt it was too much trouble for too little reward.

 

I have often wondered and now it comes to mind once more, how many lenses I have owned?  Not to mention how many I had access to from work. Smiley Frustrated

EB
EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!

Ernie,

 

I think having a fungus issue is pretty rare for most users unless they live in the tropics. Until I started shooting a lot of sports in bad weather I never bothered with any special precautions for the camera gear.  But it seemed like a good idea after the cameras and I sometimes spend hours outside in horrible weather.  I have shot a few swim meets and those are probably even worse but it was in the depths of winter so they dehumidified quickly once I left the event.

 

I have a bunch of silica very large silica packs from the electronics work that I do along with a small environmental chamber I used for some electronics projects years ago so it is easy to dry out the silica packs and keep them functional.

 

I would expect that only a tiny percentage of camera owners will ever have an issue with stuff growing in the lens but once it starts it would be a problem.  Some of the early plastic materials in some of the vintage radio gear I have restored are like Petri dishes for fungus and many of these early formulations have a similar weakness to Bakelite; stuff sufficient to clean and disinfect often takes off the thin outer layer that formed when it cured and nothing will ever make them look exactly the same again once that layer is damaged or removed.

 

Rodger

EOS 1DX M3, 1DX M2, 1DX, 5DS R, M6 Mark II, 1D M2, EOS 650 (film), many lenses, XF400 video

It is really curious to see the extreme ends people go.  I have seen full timers abuse gear to level I think unimaginable.  And,  then on the other hand there are folks that treat their gear fastidiously. I guess I fall somewhere in between?

 

On one occasion at a pro football game I saw a guy sit on his camera and 600mm telephoto while eating a snack! Yup, using it for a stool. And lens caps, who needs lens caps? Me, I do reasonable care but not extensive. Nothing gets really abused but it does what I want or it's gone. I feel if I can take it, my gear can take it.  Then, I have a friend that is **bleep** about his gear.  He doesn't have a lot but it all looks brand new. He even has and uses a changing bag to switch lenses when we are on an outing. There is all levels for sure.

EB
EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!


@wq9nsc wrote:

Use a "pocket rocket" or similar to blow out the camera.  Keep it pointed downward.  Wipe the external surfaces of the camera with an alcohol wipe. 

 

Rodger


. . . And I'm sure you meant to keep the camera body pointed downward when the lens is removed, in which case you'll have to point your Rocket blower upward to blow out the inside of the camera body. Robot wink

TCampbell
Elite

B+W used to make a device called the B+W UV-Pro.  It was a UV-C light that mounted either on the lens or on the camera body ... you'd treat the lens or body for approximately 1-2 minutes.

UV-C is light is a high-energy wavelength strong enough to qualify as "ionizing" radiation.  It is enegetic enough to break molecular bonds and doing this effectively kills the mold and/or mold spores.  This doesn't "clean" the lens (the mold is still there) but it does kill it so it can't continue to spread.  (UV-C isn't as strong as X-rays ... which will knock electrons off atoms, nor gamma rays ... which can knock alpha particles (an alpha "particle" is really two protons and two neutrons) out of the nucleus of atoms (the most deadly form of ionizing radiation).  But *any* form of ionizing radiation is dangerous and you don't want to be directly exposed to it.  The B+W product mounts to the lens or camera in a way that all the light is contained (you wont see the UV light in the room).  (If you were to use such a solution, I highly recommend you read all safety warnings and follow all instructions.)

But I'm not certain if they even make this product anymore.  I've mostly only seen it advertised in regions with heavily tropical environments where mold is a bigger problem.  I don't see it sold by anyone in the US.

 

Tim Campbell
5D III, 5D IV, 60Da
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