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Playing around with a stock 18-55 and a Sigma 70-300 ...
Now, with an SMC Takumar 105 and a CZJ Flektogon 35 too ...

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Cleaning fungus traces ... (1)

After beeing away for a while because of professional reasons, now back willing to share the last hint ...

As most of you know, the worst enemy of a lens is not dust or sand (or the Nutella on your fingertips), but the spores that fix on the elements of the lens and grow, especially in an humid environment, leading to some specks on the lenses, almost impossible to clean with "normal" liquids ...

Having fed my LBA with a Boyer Saphir B 135/4.5 for a few euros, i was quite disappointed by discovering that, once cleaned from dust, the lens showed some fungus traces on its front element (shame on me, i neglected to take a picture of the lens before cleaning ...). I was aware, from some forums discussions, that a good method for cleaning fungus traces from lenses was a cure of Cold Cream, but i was ... disappointed ... by the fact that every people was talking about Pond's Cold Cream, which is not commonly available in France ...
But, a few days ago, my friend told me that the cold cream is the oldest available cosmetic in the world, and that it is sold by almost all the major brands, with the same basic composition ... So, i went to the pharmacy and bought a tube of Avène Cold Cream, telling to myself that, in the worst case, i could have used it for my hands ...
And last night i decided to give it a try ... I started by cleaning the lens with some Zippo fluid (almost 100% pure kerosene, one of the best lens cleaning fluids around), then i applied some cold cream, and waited almost an hour ... Then i cleaned the lens again, and checked the fungus traces: they were still there, but the mold specks were lighter :-) ... So i decided for another try: another application of cold cream, and another cleanout after almost two hours ...

And the results are:
Crop IMGP8015

No more mold on the lens :-))) ...

I'm aware that this is only a little win, i still have to test it with my Meyer Orestor 135/2.8, with a nice fungus spot on its inner element (i promise, this time i will not forget to take a picture of the beast before trying to clean it), but the results i got with this lens seems quite promising to me ...

The whole set of pictures is in this Flickr set.

My Boyer Saphir B 135/4.5 wishes to thanks the Zippo fluid, the Avène Cold Cream, the basin cap and the microfibers cloth ...
IMGP8012

... And of course my FA-43 Limited for taking the pictures ...

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6 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Should moldy old photographers use this (cold cream) on their person as well? LOL!!!

February 12, 2009 at 1:40 AM  
Blogger edumad said...

Hi.

I used Pond's cold cream on a Super-Paragon, with good results. It was not very strongly infested so quick application was enough.
I see the lens still has many marks, is it dust or just a really old and bruised lens?
What do you use for the final clean of the lens? Fibre cloth lens papers? Lens pen?
My glass allways has some specks in the end :(

February 17, 2009 at 11:32 AM  
Blogger IndianaDinos said...

Hi edumad,

Nice to read that this worked for you, too ...
My lens still needs more cleaning (especially inside), since it has been stored in a dusty environment for a while ...
For the final cleaning, i always use Zippo fluid with a micro-fiber cloth (be careful: some old lenses have a really fragile coating that may be damaged by such a cloth ...)
The cold cream can remove the fungus molds, but it will certainly not remove the traces on a damaged coating ...
Anyway, don't be worried by such specks, i currently use a Meyer Goerlitz Orestor 135/2.8 with some fungus inside, and it is not affecting the IQ of the lens (nevertheless, i will open it and clean as soon as i find a way to do it) ...

Thanks for commenting

February 23, 2009 at 2:38 AM  
Anonymous Sendhil said...

Hello,

Dont know about cold cream and kerosene as cleaning agents for optics :) BUT i can highly recommend these 2 links:

http://www.zeisscamera.com/doc_lenscare.shtml

http://www.zeiss.com/C12567A8003B58B9/Contents-Frame/3CFD45E4A65DEC10C12571000056AC85

Both reference Carl Zeiss who in my opinion are one of the best in optics engineering if not the best :)

The first one is a 1905 manual :) and the second is a very current link to Zeiss Germany service and support page!

Personally, i used the cigarette ash method on my current DSLR lens which had a 2mm size growth of fungus as using straight micro-fiber cloth did not work, so was the case with distilled water and i did not have naptha handy.

Cigarette ash worked like a charm :) lens is now as good as new and i intend to now ensure that this does not happen again!

March 16, 2009 at 8:03 PM  
Blogger IndianaDinos said...

Hello Sendhil,

Thanks for the links ...
BTW, i think the light naphta which the Zeiss doc refers to, is the ... Zippo fluid ;-) ...

March 23, 2009 at 2:18 AM  
Anonymous Oboyob said...

ucAffeDear Sendhil,
Can you please explain a bit more on how you did the cleaning task with cigarette ash? It sound very interesting and must be effective, I wonder.
Thanks.

August 19, 2013 at 12:20 PM  

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