The dreaded fungus is something that bothers every photographer. I have suffered from it before, and every coming rain gives me constant worries of possibilities of fungus growing somewhere inside my lenses. I am more vulnerable to fungus than most people because I don't think much about taking out the camera to get some good shots even if it has been raining a bit, and have often got plenty of rain drops on the camera and the lens therefore.
Where does fungus comefrom?
How can fungus be avoided?
- Fungus spores are everywhere and germinate under suitable environmental conditions:
- Relative humidity of at least 70% (more than 3 days)
- No or little airflow
- Nutrients (textile lint, traces of grease, varnish, dust and dirt)
- Temperatures between 10 and 35°C
- Silica Gel. This seems to be the easiest and common way to avoid fungus, but I haven't had much success with it either.
- . Store the lenses in an airtight container. Again, you may need to put a few Silica Gels in the container. Putting too many of Silica Gel is known to dry out the lubricants in the lens, so you need to use your discretion with quantity of the Silica Gel.
- . A popular idea is to install a low wattage tungsten bulb in the closet where you keep the lens. This will keep the place warm and dry, preventing the fungus. This is known to work.
- . Store the lens in transparent container. Fungus is known to fear light and love darkness. Also make sure that the lenses are not stored in leather bags, as leather can easily attract fungus.
- And finally, of course, the best way to prevent fungus is to get out and shoot more often.
- After the work is done, immediately clean the instruments. If possible, you can use a fan or blower to facilitate evaporation of surface moisture.