Is it possible to clean mold off of lense elements

Discussion in 'Large Format' started by jim_galli|1, Dec 8, 2000.

  1. I got a "bargain" Ebay lense today that was actually NOS. No signs of use whatever. But sometime during it's storage life it has gotten a good case of mold on the inner rear element. It's a simple lens and the element surface is easy to get to. I tried cleaning it with alcohol and a cotton swab and got quite a bit off, but not all. Is there a solution or is this a garbage can item?

    <p>

    Thanks in advance for any help. Jim Galli, Tonopah Nevada
     
  2. I read a thread recently that using an amonia solution is the trick
    to getting rid of fungus. You might want to go and check the other
    threads for more detailed information. It was too long ago so you
    should be able to find it quickly.
     
  3. Even if the damage is severe and there is coating damage or etching of
    the glass, don't give up on the lens until you've actually tested it.
    Surface flaws like this make the lens undesirable to collectors, but
    often make very little difference under most shooting conditions. The
    improvement made by using a lens hood is often greater than the
    degradation caused by surface flaws, in my experience.
     
  4. Try putting the lens in the bright sun for a day or two. This worked
    for me once and failed to work another time, but it would appear to
    be worth a shot.
     
  5. I've tried grain alcohol, rubbing alcohol, Windex, water, bleach and
    amonia on an old uncoated lens I was given free and I couldn't get
    the fungus to budge. I soaked one cell in undiluted amonia and later
    undiluted bleach. NOTHING!

    <p>

    However, I can still get negatives good enough to contact print.

    <p>

    Is this a coated lens? If not you might try acetone.
     
  6. Yes the lens is multi-coated. It is a nice little Konica 90 in a
    Seikosha shutter originally intended for 120 I suppose. I'll clean it
    up the best I can and use it a bit for close-up on 4X5. Thanks all
    for the nice response. I'm a first time user. Jim
     
  7. Although I have not tried this (so if a lethal gas is generated and
    kills your dog, don't blame me!), Ed Romney recommends equal parts
    Hydrogen Pyroxide and ammonia, applied with cotton swabs.
     
  8. Hmmmm........... May be a double remedy here. Clean my lens, and the
    neighbors dog keeps me up all night. I'll give it a try and post
    results.
     
  9. I echo the Romney lens cleaning solution. Equal parts Hydrogen
    peroxide & ammonia works well. It will remove anything organic. I
    cleaned an old Kodak lens and except for some slight patterns it came
    out great. Any mark that's left is an etched coating which can't be
    removed without recoating the lens.

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    BTW, I had some lens elements coated for a piece of optical test
    equipment and the cost was about $300 for a simple BBAR of two or
    three layers. Most of the cost was in the setup and cleaning. I'd
    thought of having some of my older pieces recoated at the same time
    but never got around to it.

    <p>

    Cheers,

    <p>

    Duane
     
  10. I'm actually looking for how to clean my lenses & came across this. I'm new & certainly no expert but in anything/anytime I want fungus removed I use white vinegar. It actually kills it. It can't be as damaging as some of the 'remedys' I've been reading. Good luck.
     

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