How to Clean Lens Fungus: An Ultimate Guide for Beginners

Probably you have never heard of lens fungus. But still, you can get affected any time. It is a frustrating issue as this little thing will damage your image quality and performance of your camera. It can affect your camera lens irrespective of the brand, quality or price tags. Any camera can get affected and the reason is humidity. If you are staying in a humid place for a long period and you are not keeping your camera gear in an airtight container, it is likely to happen.

Lens Cleaning Solution Won’t Be Enough

Now here we are going to discuss the ultimate guide to deal with lens fungus. Because from a number of reviews we have learned that people can’t all of a sudden determine what they should do in such situation. They often try to clean it with lens cleaning solutions and cloth. Some also try to get rid of it using ethanol or alcohol. Using elbow grease with any of these solutions will not be able to help you. All of these techniques may leave a scratch on your lens and worsen the situation.

So, here we will give you some tips and easy to follow methods to deal with the problems.

First Get Some Tools

To get the job done properly, you need to have some easy to use and affordable tools. These tools are not only useful for this purpose but will come handy as long as you have a camera.

  • First. you need to have a lens spanner and Japanese Industrial Standard Screwdriver.
  • Second. You need to have a desk lamp so that you can see properly and work properly.
  • Next. You need to have a tweezer, some cotton balls, parts dish, soaking dish.
  • Then to protect your eyes and hands you need safety goggles and gloves. You need some hydrogen peroxide and household ammonia.
  • You need to have a lens poofer and a microfiber cloth to clean without a scratch.
  • Finally, grab some coffee and put on some music.

Now Dismantle the Lens

  • Before you start taking down your lens, try to note down somewhere every step. So, you will be able to put it together again.
  • Use your Japanese Industrial Standard Screwdriver (JIS)to unscrew the lens. Keep them safe. Once you have removed the lens mount now you can move the aperture ring from the camera body.
  • Between the aperture ring and the lens body there is a tiny steel ball, be careful about that, it may launch itself and you may lose it in the room.
  • Since you have opened the lens, clear the aperture ring as you have chance and tools. With the aperture ring removed, clean the back part of the lens body. It is good to keep doing some cleaning as you go dismantling.
  • You can use the lens spanner to remove the retaining ring. Once the retaining ring is removed, now, you can remove the rear element from the lens.
  • There are a number of ways to remove the glass. You can either tip the lens upside down. It may drop off. If it does not, reinstall the retainer ring and use a non-metal object to rap its side to make some movement.
  • Have a piece of cloth where you can put all the parts arranged properly, so, you can put them together once again. When placing the lens glass, be sure about the convex and concave shape.
  • There is a spacer ring about the most rear element and inner element. Simply tip the lens on your hand. If you feel that more than one part has come along be alert. Put them in accurate order on your cloth.
  • Be cautious about the inner part, because the inner part normally has a thin layer of coating. It can get damaged with simple impact and leave a scratch on it. So, handle it gently.

Let’s Start Cleaning

Now it’s time to start cleaning the fungus. No matter where the fungus has formed, now you have dismantled the lens, opened it wide, you can clean it properly. One thing you need to remember that, there is a black coating on the edge of the glass. It is there to reduce internal reflection. Sometimes it comes off when cleaning the fungus. It is advised to take it off as much as possible or completely and recoat it.

Make the Solution

  • To start making the solution, it is better to wear all safety equipment. Wear the safety glasses and hand gloves. Use a syringe to make sure all components have required quantity.
  • Our solution has hydrogen peroxide and ammonia. Try to work in a well-ventilated place. Ammonia fume can be harmful. Take equal amount of both components and mix them together.
  • Let’s say here we will make a 10 ml solution, so, take hydrogen peroxide and ammonia 5 ml each. Now stir them properly so that they mix with each other.
  • Put a disposable lens wipe or something else at the bottom to make sure elements you are going to soak in the solution is not scratched by the dish.

Remove the Fungus

  • Now soak the element on which fungus has formed into the solution. Keep it for a couple of minutes. You will see that some bubbles are clearing off the fungus from the surface. Sometimes, it may take few more minutes to remove the fungus.
  • Now take the element to the sink. Wash it with free flow of water, don’t rub it. Rubbing may leave a scratch on the element. Do it properly to rinse off the solution.
  • Now use the lens power to blow the water droplets away.
  • Finally, use the microfiber to give a final touch.
  • After you have completed the cleaning process, cover it with another clean microfiber to protect from dust.

Reassemble All Parts

Now, you have cleared fungus from your lens, you need to put it back in one piece. You have to follow your notes and serial you kept them on the cloth. The way you have dismantled the lens from the camera and take it apart, the same way, backward, now you will put it together.

Last Few Words

A camera is a fancy equipment. You need to take care of it properly. A simple disturbance on the lens can have a major impact on your captured memories. Fungus formation is a very simple issue, but you can’t ignore it. You should keep your gadgets always in an airtight container or use some silica gel pack on your camera bag. This silica gel will absorb the moisture. Keep them in a dry, cool place. And if ever you face the problem, just follow the above-mentioned steps.

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I am a photography enthusiast turned blogger, sharing my passion and expertise on her blog, "CallofPhotography." Growing up surrounded by nature, I developed a love for capturing moments through my lens. After studying Fine Arts with a focus on photography, I launched my blog to share tutorials, gear reviews, and my own photographic work. Through engaging storytelling, I invites readers to join her visual journey, inspiring and empowering photographers of all levels worldwide.

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