It is very important to save your photography equipment from fungus attack. Fungus growth inside the lens can very easily obstruct the vision. The worst thing is that with passage of time fungus grows and will deteriorate the situation.
Photography is a very expensive hobby. To enjoy full taste of it you must have to spend some significant amount of money. With passage of time; and of course with regular practice, you will keep on learning new things. With the increased knowledge, you will start feeling restricted with your old gears and may need to upgrade. This up-gradation will also cost you some money. This spending
is justifiable if you are quite passionate about photography. But, just by spending some money and buying the latest gears may not be sufficient. To get full benefit of your spending, you will need to protect your photography equipment. Photography equipments are by nature very fragile and delegate. You need to take very good care of it while handling as well as while storing.
Lately, I was out for photographing with one of my friend. It was a rainy day. While taking shots I observed some white patches on the LCD of my DSLR camera and started to wipe it out. Few minutes later, I discovered that the white patches were not sticking from the outside; but from the inside of the LCD.
I discussed with my friend and after coming back from the outing, closely inspected the lens. I discovered growth of fungus at the inner side of the lens. My friend explained that fungus cannot grow within a few hours. It must have developed earlier. Maybe, maybe not; because before going to the outing I inspected all my gears and at that time I didn’t see the fungus.
Note that fungus growth inside the lens can be confirmed if any “spider web” kind of thing is seen inside the lens.
So far as practicable, avoid changing of lenses while outside. This will prevent introduction of particles and moisture inside the camera and also the lens. Or, even if you do, take good care so that moisture and particle intrusion can be minimized. This could be a
reason for fungus attack in my gears. I changed lens once while outside. Since it was a rainy day, the whole climate was very moist. So, it was very easy for the lens to catch some moisture and fuel the growth of fungus. This also justifies the white patches on the camera LCD which later disappeared. My guess, those were the moisture!!
Solutions for fungus infection in photography equipment:
1) Prevention is better than cure. It is better to prevent the occurrence of fungi. Buy a dry cabinet. Dry cabinet is a type of box which maintains perfectly dry and moisture free environment inside. This is specifically for photography equipments. This prevents occurrence of fungi. Remove the moisture that accumulates over the body or various parts of your photography equipment by “BURNING”!!. Burning doesn’t mean put all those on fire. The word burning is used to mean “drying”. You can use a table light fitted with filament bulb(remember; never use CFL lights. they don’t heat up. you need the heat to vaporize the moisture off your gears.) and put your gears beneath the light. Keep those for at least 3 – 4 hours. You don’t need very high temperature. Low temperature for longer duration is better. That doesn’t imply that high temperature with smaller duration will also do the same thing. No, it won’t. Higher temperature can damage your photography equipment. So have patience and use a light at most 100 Watt power and put your gears near it for 3 – 4 hours after you return from some photographic expedition. You can use sunlight too, but never ever use fire.
The picture shows how I do it. Since all my gears were put there, this picture was shot with mobile. Sorry for the quality.
2) If already caught by fungus; then first try with sunlight and table lamp burning. Even after detecting fungal growth, regular burning and dry storage care should be taken of the gears. This way you can prevent further growth of the fungi and may avoid expensive professional cleaning.
3) If you dare to open the lens(I mean the factory made lens casing) then open it and clean with hydrogen peroxide or any other anti-fungal solution used for lenses. But be careful. If the anti fungal solution is not specifically made to be used for lenses then don’t use it.
4) If you don’t dare to open the casing(which most of the photographers don’t, including me), take the lens to the nearest service provider.
5) Eventually burn your whole camera bag with sunlight or table light.
6) After coming from outside, don’t directly put your gears in bag and lock up. Keep it in open dry space for some time and then burn and then put it inside.
Whatever you do, do it quick, because fungus grows very quickly and it can damage the whole lens in course of time.