fungus inside camera lens?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by someone, May 16, 2006.

  1. someone

    someone Guest

    Hello,

    I have a Canon 10D which I purchased two years ago. Up until recently, I
    have never had a problem with it. This past week, I took a trip during which
    I took some pictures. When I viewed the images in the camera, it seemed that
    everything was fine with the pictures. However, when I proceeded to download
    the pictures to my laptop to edit them, I noticed that in all the pictures,
    there were some dark lines that were streaking through the pictures. The
    streaks were most visible in the images where there was a light background
    such as a blue sky or white clouds.

    While investigating the cause for the streaks, I looked at both lenses
    carefully. Thinking that perhaps the cause was due to dust on the outside of
    the lenses, I carefully cleaned the front and back element of each of the
    lenses and then tried taking some more pictures. When I looked at the new
    images, I noticed that the same problem was occurring with them as well -
    dark thread-like streaks in each of the images. Once again I looked at the
    lenses but this time I made sure took look through each of the lenses and
    what I noticed is that there appeared to be some sort of dust or material
    inside each of the lenses that was causing the problem. I also took a look
    at the image sensor itself and noticed after careful inspection that there
    also appeared to be possibly some marks or scratches on it as well.

    To confirm that what I was looking at actually existed, I took the camera
    back to my local Ritz camera store where I had purchased it and had the
    people behind the counter take a look at the lenses. After they had looked
    at them, they said that there was some fungus inside the lenses themselves
    and that it what was causing the problem.

    My question is, has anyone else ever heard of this happening or had this
    happen to them before? If so, what can cause fungus to get inside a camera
    lens? The reason for my questions are because I have taken very good care of
    the camera and lenses and made sure that I have kept them dry at all times.
    In fact, when the lenses are not being used, they have their lenses caps on
    and are store in my camera bag that is zipped shut. Any ideas as to what is
    going on here and would some desiccate help to prevent this from reoccurring
    in the future?

    Thanks
    someone, May 16, 2006
    #1
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  2. someone

    Paul Rubin Guest

    "someone" <> writes:
    > My question is, has anyone else ever heard of this happening or had this
    > happen to them before? If so, what can cause fungus to get inside a camera
    > lens?


    Yes, it happens. I'm not sure exactly how it happens, but the
    phenemonon is well known. I don't think it's happened to any of my
    lenses. The lens is pretty much ruined, from what I hear. Keep the
    lens away from your other equipiment so it doesn't spread.

    Google search for (lens fungus) gets lots of hits. Here's the first:

    http://www.chem.helsinki.fi/~toomas/photo/fungus/
    Paul Rubin, May 16, 2006
    #2
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  3. Paul Rubin wrote:
    > "someone" <> writes:
    >> My question is, has anyone else ever heard of this happening or had this
    >> happen to them before? If so, what can cause fungus to get inside a camera
    >> lens?

    >
    > Yes, it happens. I'm not sure exactly how it happens, but the
    > phenemonon is well known. I don't think it's happened to any of my
    > lenses. The lens is pretty much ruined, from what I hear. Keep the
    > lens away from your other equipiment so it doesn't spread.
    >
    > Google search for (lens fungus) gets lots of hits. Here's the first:
    >
    > http://www.chem.helsinki.fi/~toomas/photo/fungus/


    You don't say what lens. Or if you have tried an alternate for testing.
    Both recommended.

    --
    john mcwilliams
    John McWilliams, May 16, 2006
    #3
  4. someone

    2 Guest

    Fungus is death. Put that infected POS in the trash and move on.

    It it ain't fungus, then throw it away anyway.
    2, May 16, 2006
    #4
  5. someone wrote:
    > Hello,
    >
    > I have a Canon 10D which I purchased two years ago. Up until
    > recently, I have never had a problem with it. This past week, I took
    > a trip during which I took some pictures. When I viewed the images in
    > the camera, it seemed that everything was fine with the pictures.
    > However, when I proceeded to download the pictures to my laptop to
    > edit them, I noticed that in all the pictures, there were some dark
    > lines that were streaking through the pictures. The streaks were most
    > visible in the images where there was a light background such as a
    > blue sky or white clouds. ...


    Well that does not really sound like something in the lens. Generally
    things in the lens or on the glass surfaces do not focus on the sensor and
    you don't get any real images of them, but rather a indistinct reduced image
    quality or no change at all.

    The bad part is, if that is fungus, it may be a problem. Some fungus
    can etch the glass and or coatings. No fix for it.



    --
    Joseph Meehan

    Dia duit
    Joseph Meehan, May 16, 2006
    #5
  6. someone

    Pat Guest

    I agree with Meehan. You may have found a problem, but it might not be
    YOUR problem. Go try another lens and see if it's that or not. If so,
    you have a simple but expense solution.

    If not, you have to keep looking and probably replace the lenses
    anyway.

    BTW, I have never heard of fungus in a lens. Those things are sealed
    pretty well to keep out humidity and such. Has anyone over tested it
    to see if it is really a fungus? Are you sure you the lenses didn't
    get left to bake in the sun and the coatings are disintegrating. Paul
    Rubin posted the link http://www.chem.helsinki.fi/~toomas/photo/fungus/
    .. That second picture looks more like coatings-gone-bad than fungus.

    Try both lenses you have and see if the lines move. If not, then it
    isn't the lens. Time to clean the sensor.

    What do the lines look like? Are they straight? Can you post a pix or
    two, esp from different lenses.
    Pat, May 16, 2006
    #6
  7. someone

    Bill Funk Guest

    On 15 May 2006 18:24:09 -0700, "Pat" <>
    wrote:

    >BTW, I have never heard of fungus in a lens. Those things are sealed
    >pretty well to keep out humidity and such.


    Some of the expensive the expensive ones are; I think al ot of the
    Canon L lenses are pretty well sealed.
    The Canon EF 70-300mm IS lens isn't sealed, and the body extends quite
    a ways, letting in lots of air. Just one example of many.
    --
    Bill Funk
    replace "g" with "a"
    Bill Funk, May 16, 2006
    #7
  8. someone

    Pat Guest

    Huh. I wonder if he's in a particularly damp environment. Seems weird
    to have it in 2 or 2 lenses that are 2 years old (although he said the
    camera was 2 years old, not the lenses).

    Seems like if it let in lots of air, it would let in lots of dust.

    What does the fungus eat?

    The only real experience I have is exploratory surgery on a lets years
    ago. It wasn't exactly sealed, but it all screwed together pretty
    tightly.

    That second image in the link looked more like a surface that has
    alligatored (like bad paint) more than anything. But I confess I've
    never seen lens fungus.

    Just another reason to live in the Buffalo area. Too cold for even
    fungus to bother with us.
    Pat, May 16, 2006
    #8
  9. someone

    ASAAR Guest

    On Mon, 15 May 2006 19:29:45 -0400, someone wrote:

    > the pictures to my laptop to edit them, I noticed that in all the pictures,
    > there were some dark lines that were streaking through the pictures. The
    > streaks were most visible in the images where there was a light
    > background such as a blue sky or white clouds.
    >
    > While investigating the cause for the streaks, I looked at both lenses
    > carefully. Thinking that perhaps the cause was due to dust on the outside
    > of the lenses, I carefully cleaned the front and back element of each of the
    > lenses and then tried taking some more pictures. When I looked at the
    > new images, I noticed that the same problem was occurring with them as
    > well - dark thread-like streaks in each of the images. Once again I looked
    > at the lenses but this time I made sure took look through each of the
    > lenses and what I noticed is that there appeared to be some sort of dust or
    > material inside each of the lenses that was causing the problem. I also
    > took a look at the image sensor itself and noticed after careful inspection
    > that there also appeared to be possibly some marks or scratches on it as
    > well.
    >
    > To confirm that what I was looking at actually existed, I took the camera
    > back to my local Ritz camera store where I had purchased it and had the
    > people behind the counter take a look at the lenses. After they had looked
    > at them, they said that there was some fungus inside the lenses themselves
    > and that it what was causing the problem.


    Don't assume that the Ritz crackers know what they're talking
    about. See if they'll let you use another Canon camera for a few
    minutes. It doesn't have to be another 10D, although that would
    make things simpler for you, as would bringing two small cards (CF?)
    instead of just one. Put your lens(es) on their camera and take a
    few pictures with the light backgrounds likely to produce the same
    dark lines. Put their lens on your camera and do the same. It
    would be quite surprising if all of the shots contained dark lines,
    and I assume that they'll only appear in the pictures taken with one
    camera. That way it should be easy to determine if it's your camera
    or your lenses that are causing the problem. I also assume that it
    would be the camera's sensor that's at fault, since fungus inside
    the lenses, if they effected the image, would be more likely to
    cause a lack of sharpness, not dark lines. But that remains to be
    seen, and the sensor probably wouldn't be the cause of the problem
    unless the dark lines always appear in the same position in the
    images. Lenses would tend to put the dark lines in the same
    location only if they were never refocused or zoomed from shot to
    shot.


    > My question is, has anyone else ever heard of this happening or had this
    > happen to them before? If so, what can cause fungus to get inside a
    > camera lens? The reason for my questions are because I have taken very
    > good care of the camera and lenses and made sure that I have kept them
    > dry at all times.
    > In fact, when the lenses are not being used, they have their lenses caps on
    > and are store in my camera bag that is zipped shut. Any ideas as to what is
    > going on here and would some desiccate help to prevent this from
    > reoccurring in the future?


    It could be caused by having a bag that's too good, such as one
    designed to be waterproof, protecting the camera from extreme
    downpours, or if the camera's lenses are stored in ziplock bags.
    There's always some water content in the air, and as the temperature
    fluctuates, when the temperature drops, the humidity in the bag will
    increase, with the possibility of moisture condensing on internal
    lens surfaces. The lenses probably aren't air-tight, and any coated
    lens surfaces might provide a really nice growing environment for
    fungus spores. The worst location in a home for storing photo
    equipment might be a room that is air conditioned, especially one
    that has an air conditioner too large for the room, as they're more
    likely to produce wider temperature swings. Now if you line in a
    bone dry desert, sorry about that, but we'll have to come up with
    some other reason for the fungus (if the Ritz Brothers were right).
    ASAAR, May 16, 2006
    #9
  10. Pat wrote:
    >
    > I agree with Meehan. You may have found a problem, but it might not be
    > YOUR problem. Go try another lens and see if it's that or not. If so,
    > you have a simple but expense solution.
    >
    > If not, you have to keep looking and probably replace the lenses
    > anyway.
    >
    > BTW, I have never heard of fungus in a lens.


    I've seen lots of lenses with fungus inside - spidery fungus, spotty
    fungus, cottony fungus, sometimes cleanable if you can get to it - other
    times it has eaten into the internal coatings. Hell, I've run across
    lenses with dead bugs and larvae inside!

    But one thing I haven't run across is fungus that produces lines in a
    pic - loss of contrast and/or sharpness, but that's about it.
    Bob (but not THAT Bob), May 16, 2006
    #10
  11. ? "Pat" <> ?????? ??? ??????
    news:...
    > Huh. I wonder if he's in a particularly damp environment. Seems weird
    > to have it in 2 or 2 lenses that are 2 years old (although he said the
    > camera was 2 years old, not the lenses).
    >
    > Seems like if it let in lots of air, it would let in lots of dust.
    >
    > What does the fungus eat?
    >
    > The only real experience I have is exploratory surgery on a lets years
    > ago. It wasn't exactly sealed, but it all screwed together pretty
    > tightly.
    >
    > That second image in the link looked more like a surface that has
    > alligatored (like bad paint) more than anything. But I confess I've
    > never seen lens fungus.
    >
    > Just another reason to live in the Buffalo area. Too cold for even
    > fungus to bother with us.
    >

    My tamron 24 mm f2.5 (my old Nikon FM-2) had developed some fungi.I had left
    it in my Kozani apartment, which was very humid.Was repaired for free (was
    still in guarantee).I suppose they removed the front element;after getting
    the lens back, the front element ring seemed being tampered with.


    --
    Tzortzakakis Dimitrios
    major in electrical engineering,freelance electrician
    542nd mechanized infantry batallion
    dimtzort AT otenet DOT gr
    Tzortzakakis Dimitrios, May 16, 2006
    #11
  12. someone

    m Ransley Guest

    Try the lens on a different camera, I have 20 yr old Canon aspherical
    lenses that were left out in the rain overnight and are still fine, over
    the 20+ years they have been kept in very humid areas.. A streak doesn`t
    sound right fungus is fairly random, perhaps its a cheap lens that had
    its coatings scratched in manufacturing and was purchased contaminated
    with spores, or is poorly sealed by design. It might be the sensor. If
    its a high quality lens it can and might be worth having fixed. The
    highest quality Canon lenses do more than take better photos, they seal
    better. Id say its a factory defect that is showing up late, as I guess
    you are out of warranty.
    m Ransley, May 16, 2006
    #12
  13. someone

    Chips Guest

    Just for info:

    Some fungus grows first by little threads spreading around. They are called
    mycelia. After the mycelia grow enough and collect enough food or whatever,
    then the mushroom part of it can grow and spread more spores.
    Fungi eat by putting out very strong enzymes and acids outside themselves to
    digest and break down materials in their immediate environment, then
    absorbing it. This way they can put out digestive stuff much stronger than
    something that digests internally. They can eat damn near anything I think.

    GC


    "Pat" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > Huh. I wonder if he's in a particularly damp environment. Seems weird
    > to have it in 2 or 2 lenses that are 2 years old (although he said the
    > camera was 2 years old, not the lenses).
    >
    > Seems like if it let in lots of air, it would let in lots of dust.
    >
    > What does the fungus eat?
    >
    > The only real experience I have is exploratory surgery on a lets years
    > ago. It wasn't exactly sealed, but it all screwed together pretty
    > tightly.
    >
    > That second image in the link looked more like a surface that has
    > alligatored (like bad paint) more than anything. But I confess I've
    > never seen lens fungus.
    >
    > Just another reason to live in the Buffalo area. Too cold for even
    > fungus to bother with us.
    >
    Chips, May 16, 2006
    #13
  14. someone

    MB Guest

    Re: fungus inside: an experiment

    I would look at an image from one lens next to an image from the other--
    side by side on your monitor. Are lines in different places, or exactly the
    same? If they are in exactly the same position, it's unlikely it's the
    lenses.
    MB, May 18, 2006
    #14
  15. You may or may not have fungus in your lenses, but it's unlikely that it
    is responsible for lines in your images.

    Generally, the surfaces of the elements in a camera lens are nowhere
    near being in any focal plane of the system. The light from a point in
    the subject spreads out and passed through the entire front element of
    the lens, and most of the surfaces of the other lens elements too,
    before being focused to a point again at the sensor plane.

    So a blob or filament of fungus somewhere in the lens will absorb a
    little light, or scatter a little light, from the bundle of rays going
    to *every* pixel in the image. The result is a bit of blurring or loss
    of contrast over the whole image, not an identifiable feature like a
    line.

    Fungus, scratches, or dirt on the sensor cover window or the
    anti-aliasing filter could cause lines, because these structures are so
    close to the focal plane. But the lens is not.

    Dave
    Dave Martindale, May 19, 2006
    #15
  16. someone

    Mike Guest

    "Dave Martindale" <> a écrit dans le message de news:
    e4jmg1$i0c$...
    > You may or may not have fungus in your lenses, but it's unlikely that it
    > is responsible for lines in your images.
    >
    > Generally, the surfaces of the elements in a camera lens are nowhere
    > near being in any focal plane of the system. The light from a point in
    > the subject spreads out and passed through the entire front element of
    > the lens, and most of the surfaces of the other lens elements too,
    > before being focused to a point again at the sensor plane.
    >
    > So a blob or filament of fungus somewhere in the lens will absorb a
    > little light, or scatter a little light, from the bundle of rays going
    > to *every* pixel in the image. The result is a bit of blurring or loss
    > of contrast over the whole image, not an identifiable feature like a
    > line.
    >
    > Fungus, scratches, or dirt on the sensor cover window or the
    > anti-aliasing filter could cause lines, because these structures are so
    > close to the focal plane. But the lens is not.
    >
    > Dave


    Another example, same principle:
    In the 1960' (maybe later, too?) some well known Russian optics for their
    line of 35mm cameras had ALL (air?) bubbles in the glass. 4 or 5 of them,
    often in a flock, clearly visible. This was not really exception, it was
    rather common. Seemed incredible. This didn't turn the picture into a fish
    tank.

    mb
    Mike, May 19, 2006
    #16
  17. someone

    2 Guest

    "Dave Martindale" <> wrote in message
    news:e4jmg1$i0c$...
    > You may or may not have fungus in your lenses, but it's unlikely that it
    > is responsible for lines in your images.
    >
    > Generally, the surfaces of the elements in a camera lens are nowhere
    > near being in any focal plane of the system. [...]


    Dave, we have seen exceptions in short lenses for small sensors, stopped all
    the way down.
    2, May 19, 2006
    #17
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