Tips To Remove Fungus From Camera Lens
The term' lens fungus' might not be familiar among the general public but people from the photography profession know quite well the meaning of that term.
Lens fungus is a rare problem that you probably wouldn't have heard before yet, it still exists. Camera lens fungus emerges only depending on the type of climatic locations you travel to varying from extremely humid to extremely cold.
But, the major cause for the formation of fungus in camera lenses is humidity. Why? You will learn further in this article.
If you have zero experience or understanding of lens fungus and want to travel with your new camera, it's better to have brief awareness of these problems before heading out. I will also explain certain tricks or ways to clean lens fungus, in case the situation demands.
Continue with me if you are interested in learning about camera lens fungus in detail.
What is camera lens fungus, and what does lens fungus look like?
Do you think fungus attack is seen only in food items or on old wooden racks? No, you must have sometimes noticed some white patches on the sticking on the lens' outer surface. This is nothing but "lens fungus." Fungus attack on lenses is a serious issue. You cannot neglect it just like that.
Because if a piece of bread gets fungus, you can throw it. But that's not possible with camera gear, right? That's why I have come up with an in-depth article about this topic.
If there is fungus on camera lens, it affects its performance and reduces the worth of the camera because camera fungus can spread throughout the camera.
Moreover, vintage cameras are more prone to attract fungus in the camera lens, and they are made of metal with no alloying or any protective coating. This acts as an easy target for camera lens fungus.
The dust particles in the air that sit on the camera lens sometimes hold fungus spores, and it also acts as the carrier of molds. As the fungus prefers dark and humid places to settle, lenses are perfect for their growth as they provide all favorable conditions for the growth of fungus in the lens.
Thus, it becomes mandatory for beginner photographers to know how to clean inside camera lenses. This is important to maintain the overall picture quality.
Camera lens fungus decreases the quality of the images, and it messes with the camera clarity. On top of all that, lens fungus cleaning itself can be a complicated task.
Camera fungus or lens mold has a spectrum of heterogeneity. Some of them are not instantly harmful, while the accumulation of some fungus inside the lens can be lethal from the minute it gets contracted with the lens.
A fungus lens won’t look much different than the regular spot tendrils, spider’s web, hair, or even root-like pattern on your lens; it’s apparent that your lens is attacked by camera lens fungus. Some of the lens molds even look clouding like the surface of the lens.
There is a diversity in fungus lenses that you cannot see with the naked eye. They look like flecks of dust which are almost unnoticeable while performing a lens fungus cleaning procedure.
The following method to check whether you have fungus on the lens or not is to view it under different lights. There is also fungus that looks like patch mold and is quite noticeable for you to confirm that there is fungus inside the lens.
HOW DOES LENS FUNGUS AFFECT IMAGE QUALITY?
There are some differences in glass fungus that can stay on the surface of the glass, and you can still see through it. Similarly, fungus in the lens can also be adjustable if the infection is not that bad. You can still use it as long as it gives you the same picture quality.
Serious infections have the same effect as a heavily soiled lens: soft areas, low contrast, even complete image obstruction. Sharpness is broken if the lens surface is physically etched.
To check if your lens has this issue, you can try doing this. Would you please take out the lens attached to your camera and test it by shooting random pictures under sunlight? If you see any smudges on the photographs probably, your lens is facing a fungus attack.
Remember that the fungus is a living organism. Even if it doesn't affect the quality of the image now, it can grow large enough to affect you in the future.
Besides affecting the image quality, if there is fungus on the lens, it will also lower the overall quality of the camera. Many beginner photographers are oblivious about the accumulation of fungus on the camera lens, and they have never even researched how to clean inside the camera lens.
But in the long term, it affects a lot, so it's better to know how to avoid lens mold in the first place and the lens fungus cleaning technique.
HOW TO AVOID A FUNGUS ATTACK ON A CAMERA LENS?
The process how to remove fungus from the camera lens without opening is quite a difficult task, but first, let us look at the methods through which we can avoid persuading fungus on the camera lens in the first place.
The ordinary ways that we use to avoid glass fungus can be used as starters to prevent camera lens fungus as well such as:
An extra measure to prevent contracting fungus in the camera lens is to keep the camera lens in an airtight box in the presence of some silica gel. The silica gel has the tendency to absorb moisture; thus any residual moisture in the box can be ripped off even the fungus lens.
This is one of the most affordable and convenient ways to prevent camera lens fungus, as lens fungus image quality is not what you would aspire for. Thus, this method comes in handy when it comes to preventing fungus on lenses. Silica gel is very cheap, and you can use the food storage boxes as a container.
But, if you have a budget you can purchase a Pelican case, also known as a DSLR storage box which is on the expensive side of camera lens fungus prevention.
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On the other hand, a dehumidifier can also suck all the residual moisture to avert fungus in the lens. Though it requires a specific bit of investment, in the longer run, this will be worthwhile.
Rather than searching for “how to clean inside camera lens,” you should first know how to avoid the accumulation of fungus on the lens. No photographer in the world would like a site of lens mold on their precious camera lens.
Thus, whether you are a beginner or professional, you have to educate yourself on cleaning inside camera lenses. Besides, you also have to learn how to tackle the fungus issue in the lens or fungus on the lens depending on how the lens fungus cleaning method will differ.
HOW TO REMOVE FUNGUS FROM THE CAMERA LENS WITHOUT OPENING IT?
I am pretty sure most of you have never heard about lens fungus. But it’s a real thing, and you have to deal with it in humid conditions. Let’s straight dive into the part of removing fungus in-camera lens without opening it.
The best way to treat stubborn fungus without dismantling the lens is to give it a little UV light. All you need to do is keep the camera under sunlight for about 2 to 3 days.
UV light kills fungus so, this much exposure should be enough to eradicate any lens mold. Make sure to remove any UV filter if you have it attached in front of the lens.
Unfortunately, barely killing fungus doesn’t mean completely removing it. Unless it’s not hampering the quality of the pictures, it works. But, if it is doing bad to your picture quality, then continue exposing the lens in UV light every day.
If you are not a fan of stepping out in the sun, there’s another way you can procure UV light in a fungus lens. You have to keep the lens under a UV lamp. UV lamps are highly affordable and are available easily in the market. All you have to do is;
- Take a stainless steel container and fix the lamp in that box.
- Once the box is set, place the camera in such a position that the lens faces the lamp.
- Use silica get to absorb the moisture faster. Pour a kilo of silica gel into the box and let it sit there until it changes its color from white to blue.
- As soon as you start seeing the color change in silica gel, you can infer that the process is done.
Cleaning fungus inside the lens is one thing, while killing fungus is an entirely different thing. Killing fungus is a tricky job. Even if you somehow manage to clean the core of the fungus, temporarily, you will feel that the job is done, but in reality, the fungus leaves its spores behind that can attack the lens and again infect the lens.
If you follow this procedure, there’s a high possibility that the spores will be gone too. Many professional users suggest hydrogen peroxide is the best method to wipe off fungus from the very core of the lens. A mixture of Hydrogen peroxide and ammonia works best. Things you need to do;
- Prepare a mixture with 2% Hydrogen peroxide; 4% Ammonia; 94% distilled water.
- The mixture should be kept prepared half an hour before cleaning.
- You have to soak the mixture on the lens for some time.
- Wipe the mixture with a soft cloth.
All the described methods are great for removing fungus from the lens without opening it. But, also note this point that this method only shows results when the fungus accumulation is fresh. If you delay in cleaning, there’s a possibility the fungus has already entered the inner core of the lens, and there’s no other way than to dismantle and clean it from the core.
Lens are safe from fungus as long as you keep them in a waterless and pleasant condition. The camera lens fungus problem is easy to treat, not very serious. It can get serious if you neglect cleaning them frequently. With proper lens fungus cleaning and maintenance, you can increase the lifespan of camera lenses so they can last for a decade and help you get world-class picture quality.