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Best way to store lenses?


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Until recently I thought it was fine to store my lenses and kit in my camera bags - after all they're nice and padded and designed to hold them snuggly , right?

As I upgraded my lenses I sold some of my older lenses, but had a couple returned due to having signs of fungus.

This was news to me, so I investigated further to find this can be a problem if any moisture gets into a lens, particularly if they are older and have some dust inside as well.

On line I found the importance of storing kit in scrupulously dry conditions and, as you would expect, there are cheap and expensive solutions to this. I've gone for cheap - aas I don't live in an area of high humidity. I have a couple of airtight plastic crates (about £10 ea) with  20gram silica gel pouches thrown in (£1 ea).

I also found these wine bottle holders in our Sainbury's supermarket to hold my telephoto lenses perfectly (£1.75 ea) https://www.sainsburys.co.uk/gol-ui/product/all-sale/sainsburys-home-fridge-wine-holder-134549429-p.

To kill any fungus (it doesn't clean it out though) I invested in a small UV sanitiser lamp, which I place in the cardboard box the plastic crates came in, and give my lenses a 30 minute blast after using them in humid or wet conditions.

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Yup, if you live in anything less than a semi-arid area, you should take the Breardedone's advise.  And even if you live in a dry climate, it doesn't mean it's always dry -- and you can always travel to a humid area or lake, seashore, river, etc. and "infect" your gear unknowingly. 

After any trip, clean everything -- which you probably do anyway -- and make sure it's DRY.

One fungusy lens can infect the rest!

Edited by XKAES
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On 4/25/2021 at 3:23 PM, thebeardedgroundsman said:

To kill any fungus (it doesn't clean it out though) I invested in a small UV sanitiser lamp, which I place in the cardboard box the plastic crates came in, and give my lenses a 30 minute blast after using them in humid or wet conditions.

I once had fungus (very serious fungus) inside of two of the lenses I have had for years.
Searching on the web I found a recipe for getting rid of them. It was very effective. The fungus inside the lenses totally disappeared, and I am now still using those lenses, and they are immaculate.

Outside your house, inside some closed and roofed construction (as might be some kind of store-room or store-closet outside in a backyard or even better if it is in an inhabited house or store), you ought to set and leave your lens or lenses on something to support them over an open recipient containing some pure liquid formaldehyde. The support for the lenses over the recipient ought to allow the vapours to pass through, from the formaldehyde, to the lens or lenses. Then, you leave it there for maybe two weeks (or until the cleaning is done).

The formaldehyde and its vapours are extremely toxic and carcinogenic, so don’t give the procedure a try if you can’t leave the recipient with formaldehyde and your lenses safely apart and far away from everybody and from any animals or pets you might have.

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Much depends on how extensive the fungus is, where it is, and how much damage it has done.

If it's "a little, on the edges", it's no big deal, and drying out and keeping it dry might stop it.

If it's a lot, the question becomes "How much damage has it done to the lens coatings?"  Chances are you will never know -- even if you could kill it, but if it's damaged, it's damaged.  Try drying it out, using formaldehyde, UV light, etc. -- and make some comparison shots.

If the fungus is between cemented lens elements, extensive drying, UV light, etc. can be tried, but I doubt formaldehyde or any other gas would get in there to do much good.

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By shining a torch up through the lens in a darkened room, and looking at an angle, I could see a few spots, on one lens near the front, and on the other towards the back. Nothing to noticeably effect the image quality - just enough so the dealer would not buy them (good to know they are scrupulously zero tolerant with their used stock - I'm happy to buy from them).

I think I'll stick to drying and UV light rather than resorting to formaldehyde.

The only Formaldehyde that seems easily accessible in Britain, is 37% (or there about) and used for treating Koi Carp.

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