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I have a bad case of FUNGUS!
Neil Wade, Photographer
Taipei | __ | Taiwan | Posted: 11:03 AM on 09.01.08
->> Get your mind out of the gutter! The fungus is on my lens!

I've been noticing over the past year or so that my Nikon 17-55 2.8 has been getting a bit less sharp. It's also been giving pictures a particular "glow" when I shoot in bright daylight. So tonight I was playing around with it and I held it up to the light and looked through and saw the map of a strange city! I mean, it's BAD. It's all over an element somewhere in the middle.

I've looked for info on here and the web but all I really have found is articles about the fungus. Can anyone recommend a place to try to have it removed? I have the feeling that it's too advanced and might not be repairable, but we're obviously talking about an expensive lens, and it might be worth a shot. I live in Taiwan and I'm not sure if I trust them to do something like this, My one trip to the official Nikon service center here left me quite underwhelmed. So, I would prefer to mail it to the US or Japan, etc.

Does anyone have any experience with this?
Thanks in advance
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Ron Erdrich, Photographer
Abilene | TX | USA | Posted: 3:43 PM on 09.01.08
->> When I was stationed in the Philippines one of the ways I remember people talking about how to get fungus out of the lens was to have it x-rayed at a hospital or airport. Supposedly that would take care of it. Also, some guys would make a hot box using a cardboard box with a low watt light bulb inside. You don't want it too hot as that could damage some of the rubber parts.

Basically, it's like having one of those old EZ-Bake ovens your sister or buddy's sister had when you were a kid, though again, not as hot. You want to create a dry, warm environment and leave the lens in there for awhile to kill the mold.

Since you're in Taiwan, you'll want to do this in an air-conditioned room because the humidity is the killer here. If that's not possible, then in your hot box I would suggest putting silica gel packs to lower the humidity inside as well. You might also line the box with tin foil to magnify the light.

Simple sunlight or strong UV exposure, while perhaps not a cure, might at least alleviate it somewhat.

Remember though, killing the fungus won't remove any damage it may have caused. And even if it is dead, if there is enough of it on the lens it might not disappear after you kill it.

Hope this helps.

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Andrew Scott, Photo Editor, Photographer
McLean | VA | United States | Posted: 5:52 PM on 09.01.08
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Baron Sekiya, Photographer
Kailua-Kona | HI | USA | Posted: 11:17 PM on 09.01.08
->> Hawaii has high humidity too. I bought a large cooler from Costco, put my gear in there and put a couple canisters of Silica Gel to absorb the moisture. Here's the stuff I used.

The canisters are easily reactivated by baking my my toaster oven.

NPS might be able to clean some of the fungus stuff off the lenses, a friend of mine once had Canon clean their lens which had fungus growing on it and they did a good job of cleaning it off.
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Renay Johnson, Photographer, Assistant
San Diego | CA | | Posted: 11:29 PM on 09.01.08
->> My apologies for the thread hijack,but I don't see how lenses get fungus on them. I can see if they are constantly exposed to moisture and not dried, but can someone in So Cal get fungus on their lenses if they keep them in a camera back? I've seen a couple of people talk about fungus on camera equipment, but I still can't picture the situation. One guy thought about keeping his gear in a gunsafe.
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Neil Wade, Photographer
Taipei | __ | Taiwan | Posted: 1:09 AM on 09.29.08
->> I wanted to share my experiences with this, uh, fungus problem I had. I blogged about it here:
And while I'm not the world's best blogger, I wanted to share what I learned about camera lens fungus because I really didn't find much information about it out there.

But basically, if you live in a humid environment, get one of those humidity-proof cabinets and don't leave your equipment in you bag.

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Max Waugh, Photographer
Bothell | WA | USA | Posted: 1:18 AM on 09.29.08
->> Okay, so let's say you're stuck in a humid environment for a couple weeks, and you don't access to the materials to make a "hot box." Do you think carrying along some extra zip locs with the small silica gel packs for storing each piece of equipment every night would actually be effective? It's something I'm considering for my Central America trip in November.

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Neil Wade, Photographer
Taipei | __ | Taiwan | Posted: 1:20 AM on 09.29.08
->> Oops, Sorry!!! I told you I wasn't a good blogger.

Try this link:
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Neil Wade, Photographer
Taipei | __ | Taiwan | Posted: 1:24 AM on 09.29.08
->> If you're just going for a few weeks, I would say to not worry about it too much. It seems that the fungus takes quite a long time to grow. Your idea sounds perfect and is what I do when I'm on the road for a long time. I wouldn't worry about putting the equipment in the ziplock bags after every use, but over night might be a good idea.
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Thread Title: I have a bad case of FUNGUS!
Thread Started By: Neil Wade
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