View Full Version : Fungi : Sunbathing lens cell ?

18-Jul-2013, 12:35
Hello All,
Looking forward to using this WA Hermagis .
Both lens cells have 1 very tiny flake of translucid fungus towards the middle, shaped like the leaves of horse chestnut trees...
They are stuck in between the crown&flint of each cell. Can't clean them.
I am not sure if they have grown up since I purchased the lens, but I occasionally placed the cells under the sun for a "kino" session...
I am not even sure they could affect seriously any picture, I may see that shortly.
But meanwhile and for my curiosity :
The lens gets burning hot if placed under the sun, so I am reducing its strength/session time : could it damage the lens otherwise?
Not sure if this lens is worth having the cell separated/cleaned/re-cemented, but who would do this for me?
Same as per all my oter lenses, I hope this one will be still at work for long after I disapear and I feel I should take a good care of it.
Thanks for any comment & advise.
Ralph, NYC.

18-Jul-2013, 13:24
I'd just wipe it off.

Louis Pacilla
18-Jul-2013, 14:23
Sounds more like balsam separation then a fungus problem. I know it looks like fungus but I'd bet its glue failure. This is both good new and bad the good news is it more then likely won't get much worse in your lifetime. The bad news is the only way to get rid of it is to remove the cells, separate & clean the old glue off then glue the cells back together again.

18-Jul-2013, 14:53
Thanks Louis,
I'll take the good news and will use it like this.
Might be a good idea to stop the sun baths if it is a problem of glass separation...
I'll check around and find someone to remove/clean/re-glue them properly only if separations get far worse.

Carsten Wolff
18-Jul-2013, 17:27
Thanks Louis,
I'll take the good news and will use it like this.
Might be a good idea to stop the sun baths if it is a problem of glass separation...
I'll check around and find someone to remove/clean/re-glue them properly only if separations get far worse.

Esp. since you're in the US, try Focalpoint, or S.K.Grimes, but I'd just use it as-is.

18-Jul-2013, 18:33
Thanks for the tip Carsten :
I know S.K.Grimes doesn't re-cement lenses any longer, but I never heard about Focal Point.
It seems it is one of their core services, and I may need it sometimes.

18-Jul-2013, 18:47
If you have a fungus problem, try putting the lens through multiple passes of a court house metal detector.

I once gave a lens with some fungus ten or so passes through a metal detector. It was a "slow afternoon", and the Sheriff's Officer was glad to have someone to speak with.
A few weeks thereafter I saw that the fungus had stopped expanding. In any event, so much for governmental claims that radiation from a metal object scanner does not harm anything.

If nothing else, give it a try before you resort to more expense cures.


19-Jul-2013, 06:34
Thanks for the tip, Flauvius,
I could try this method, even if NY Court Houses and Gov security teams are probably not always as understanding than others...
But good idea: Just bringing your old lenses with you everytime you know you have to pass through one of these. As "En route lenses health-care session".
Also, I know a firm who has a big X-Ray scanner near my job.

19-Jul-2013, 06:52
Hello All,

I took some pics of it through my wife's iPhone & a crap x8 magnifyer.
(Sorry, not up to best standard as I had to use my 3rd hand)

I don't know if it is a fungus...
It looks like a buble of air, that got squeezed in the cement between the glasses, and that expended as it could before the cement dried,
it is about a square mm and quite shinny upon light angle.9903399034
Its rounded borders are neat and don't show any crack of any sorts.

For the moment I will shoot with the oldie and check its bubles.

Thanks : I did appreciated your comment and tips!

Kevin Crisp
19-Jul-2013, 07:56
The edge shows really minimal separation. The jellyfish looks like a spot of separation (some call them snowflakes).

The spot, though, is not in any way a typical balsam fault. It looks like a spot of separation from an early post-balsam cement. Given the apparent age of the lens, I'd guess somebody in the 1950's recemented it.

In your position, I'd just take it out and use it. These little spots will have zero effect on the negative.

19-Jul-2013, 08:17
Not fungus, relax, resume shooting.
Enjoy your lens.

19-Jul-2013, 08:29
Albedo ....i wish my lenses looked that good ...Just gives a lens a personality ....i have a lens that is so bad i have to plan my scene detail around the defects, flare, softness ect....

19-Jul-2013, 08:30
That's not fungus. Fungus normally has very thin tendrils radiating from a central mass.

It appears to be an imperfection in the adhesive, for whatever reason.

Shoot it.

- Leighi

19-Jul-2013, 08:41
Thanks Kevin,
Right, when using the magnifyer I saw tiny particles of dust within the cement.
Couldn't it seem strange Hermagis would let this hapen?
They were quite renowned for the quality of their work...
Let's wake up the great-grand Pa: It must see sharp enough for my emusions !

Kevin Crisp
19-Jul-2013, 08:49
Bubbles in cement tend to look more or less round. Less round if the element is moved around much to center it before applying the curing light. They can be oblong when looked at with magnification. So I think you have a less than perfect recemented lens. If the alignment was good, it will work just fine. And even if there is some slight error there, it is amazing what stopping down will do. Have fun with it.

19-Jul-2013, 19:12
I think the lens was poorly re-cemented and ended with a speck of dust stuck between the elements, which is causing that odd pattern of separation.

As for passing the lens repeatedly through a metal detector, I don't think it would do the lens any harm, but what about your testicles if you are holding the lens?

19-Jul-2013, 20:55

The Sheriff's Officer kept hitting the emergency reverse button on the metal scanner as we talked about film photography for a half hour. He said, that in the 80s he we was the photographer for his high school's newspaper.

As for our testicles: No one held the lens, it just went back and forth on the conveyor belt as it was bombarded with "safe" radiation.


Kevin Crisp
19-Jul-2013, 21:35
"Do you solemly swear that the testicle you are about to give...."