lens fungus.......

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by huntrbll, Apr 16, 2006.

  1. Can an older Nikon lens with fungus be properly cleaned and
    restored, and about how much does it cost to have this professionally
  2. Yes, simple CLA is sufficient if the fungus hasn't etched the coating. If the coating is damaged, affected elements will have to be ground, polished and re-coated.. based on the value of the lens it may not be cost-effetive.

    Contact John Van Stelten at http://www.focalpointlens.com ... Immaculate worksmanship and a fine gentleman too. He did a great job on my 200mm/f4 AFD ED IF Micro Nikkor.
  3. Lens coating is trade secret for manufacturer. I doubt Nikon will let anyone else know it. Besides, they do coating by volume, not just one. The cost is way too much in terms of coating just one lens element. Then you have to wonder what grinding or polishing will do to original specs. If any one of those process doesn't meet original specs, you entire lens is finished. Then you will have to pay for the cost equivalent for coating 50 or more elements in each process.

    Basically, any damage on the coating and beyond means the lens is dead.
  4. R. Liu wrote "Basically, any damage on the coating and beyond means the lens is dead."

    Are you sure? I ask because I have several fairly ugly lenses that shoot quite well. I've been able to shoot one of them against a pristine example of itself and the results were indistinguishable.

    Bill, asking a professional isn't very expensive. Whether cleaning your lens -- what is it? -- is worth the trouble depends on how badly it shoots with the crud in place and on how much a replacement will cost.

    Good luck, have fun,
  5. Bill not to discourage you but:

    Is it advisable to repair my car? Well yes or no, it depends how much damage there is and depends on the car etc..

    There is more than one lens - even more than one Nikkor lens. So the very clear answer is: it depends. It depends on the lens type and it depends where the fungus is located, how severe the damage is and another 100 variables. Do not expect any helpfull answer that will apply to "repairing a lens". Just to give an example, some lenses have front elements that can easily be replaced. If the "older" lens is as old as 5 years chances are near 100% that this element can be obtained in no time and replaced with 100% recovery of the lens. But then again older could be much older than that and the lens might be complex and the damage severe. But if your lens is REALLY old it might be irreplaceable and worth a fortune as collectors item.

    How can we help you? Give the details and if possible a picture of the fungus. You will get good replies soon.
  6. Yes, the odds are quite good that your older Nikon lens with fungus can be restored. The man to consult is, as Arnab indicated, John Van Stelten. He cleaned fungus off of a couple of elements in my ebay purchased 400mm. f5.6 ED lens a few years back and thereby saved the day.

    The issue is whether having this done will be cost-effective for you. Pretty much the minimum cost of having any fungus removal done is $200 or so, as the process involves disassembling the lens, etc. For a lens that might be replaced for $200, this wouldn't seem worth it. But if your lens is a pricey one (or if it has particular sentimental value?) then it's worth considering, and you should at least get an estimate.

    If the lens element(s) require(s) recoating, the price will be much higher, of course. This is something that Mr. Van Stelten does, and his work is, you will find, highly recommended. But again, the key here is cost. You may as well check it out.
  7. Nikon does stock replacement elements for current lenses and recently discontinued ones. I
    had a scratched front element replaced on a 105mm/2.8 AF Micro-Nikkor a few years ago
    (when it was a current lens). SK Grimes/Boston ordered a replacement element and had the
    lens back to me in about a week. Cost $20.00. With older lenses this may not be possible, if
    the replacement parts are depleted.
  8. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Moderator

    Cost $20.00.
    Is there a missing 0 somewhere, well, I mean before the decimal point?
    The issue is that if Bill Keaton's lens is some less expensive f2.8 AI-S lens, repair cost may easily exceed the current value for the lens. If it is the 500mm/f4 P, it may be a different story.
  9. The lens I am talking about is a moderately priced Nikon on ebay, with excellent cosmetics except for a little dust and fungus. Based on replies, I think it would be wise to pass up and wait for another to become available. Thanks for all the replies.........
  10. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Moderator

    Oh, if you are not talking about fungus on lenses you already own, instead, you are talking about buying a used lens with known fungus problems, I would definitely not buying such a lens and risk a very high total cost for purchase and then get it fixed. You are much better off buying a lens that is in good condition to begin with.
  11. When I say "any damage", it refered to the discussion of fungus here, not those scratches or specks that do not affect image quality. But, like an old friend of mine, who spent his entire life as a test engineer on fighter jets at Lockheed, used to say, "Only a fool is sure".

    If you lens is more than $1000, well $5000, it may worth the try. After visiting Mr. Van Stelten's website, I'll recommend anyone who has a lens problem to consult him. He's a real fine gent, professional and honest. But read his page carefuly and understand what he's telling you. There is no way even for pro like him to know the original specs for coating, glass meterial or element radius of the lens. If someone likes to buy lens with fungus from ebay, expecting it to be 100% restored by a pro, mostly by himself, it's just foolish. I doubt even Nikon can gurrantee a 100% restoration after regrinding and polishing. They just replace the damaged one with similar part. Of course you may get lucky to get a lens that can be simply cleaned and restored. You have my bless.
  12. Well, the 105mm Micros have small front elements so the part was cheap and front elements
    are apparently quick to remove and replace. I'm sure bigger parts would have cost more, and
    apparently internal and rear elements require more disassembly so labor costs go up. Also
    my mishap & repair was about 1993, and inflation would make that repair more expensive
    now. I doubt I would buy a lens with obvious fungus, unless it was a rare one that had
    potential to be worth fixing.
  13. There's some evidence that a lens with even bugs and bits of metal in it can perform quite adequately: http://www.certo6.com/gallery/planar.html
  14. LOL, amazing. Apprently, when he was in the gun repair business, he was fed up with reparing lenss. So he put that bug in the lens as a test target for his repaired gun. This maybe a better way to treat a lens with fungus.

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