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Attack of the Killer Fungus

johnriley1uk

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Attack of the Killer Fungus

4 Sep 2015 10:21AM   Views : 734 Unique : 352

Every now and again I get handed a bag of cameras and/or lenses, usually from older people who no longer need or want them. They can be to sell for them, or just a give-away to a good home, but whatever the reason is the one thing that remains a crying shame is Fungus. Cameras and lenses should be stored on open shelves, in a dry environment, with plenty of air circulation. Items should be exercised to keep the mechanics working smoothly. Batteries should be taken out. All these things are rarely attended to, and although some items survive surprisingly well, others are a bit of a tragedy.

Yesterday, I was handed a bag of Pentax film cameras and lenses. Two MX bodies, one with a jammed shutter, the other with a shutter that jammed after two releases. Both were filthy, although after cleaning up both are cosmetically not at all bad. If they worked they would be very desirable as everything is still tight and shows very little wear. Two Sigma lenses are riddled with fungus and the rubber focusing rings have become sticky with age. Horrible.

And here is the biggest tragedy:

014-fungus.jpg


These two M series Pentax lenses are mechanically superb, smooth as silk, the cosmetics are lovely and ...the glass is full of fungus. What a shame indeed.

So what to do? Well, prevention is much better than cure. I store all my little used cameras, lenses and other kit on open shelving in a room that is clean and dry. The only kit in a bag is that in regular use. The Billingham Hadley is ready for use, but if the bag or contents become damp out in the field then everything is taken out and dried fully before being put aside again ready for the next time.

Currently the two Pentax lenses are basking in the sunlight, so maybe the fungus can be killed off. I don't hold out any great hope for that. I am at least left with one Pentax P30 body that has escaped all the ravages and is very nice and fully functional. One ray of sunshine in the gloom!

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Comments

NeilWigan Avatar
NeilWigan Plus
13 17 16 England
4 Sep 2015 3:44PM
Good advice ,John and keep plenty moisture absorbing sachets around.
SlowSong Avatar
SlowSong Plus
15 11.1k 30 England
4 Sep 2015 5:27PM
I'll have to get my P30 and Program A bodies out and have a look. Am guilty of having kept them in cardboard boxes in the spare room for about 20 years, with lenses, albeit being very dry. Sad I wonder if I dare actually put a film through one of them again. Tempting. Smile
rick Avatar
rick Plus
10 507
4 Sep 2015 7:51PM
John, If you fancy selling the 40mm please let me know.
Irishkate Avatar
Irishkate Plus
13 45 123 United Kingdom
6 Sep 2015 11:32PM
Thanks for advice and warning.
Kate GrinGrinGrin
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