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Camera Lens Fungus

Find Tips for Cleaning Fungus in Your Camera

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Lens fungus is one of those camera problems that you may not have heard about much, but, depending on the climate in your location, it could be a problem with which you should familiarize yourself.

Lens fungus is caused by moisture trapped inside or on the surface of the camera, where, when combined with warmth, fungus can grow from the moisture. The fungus, as it grows, almost looks like a small spider web.

This time of the year, in the spring and early summer when rainy conditions are common and there's a lot of moisture in the air, you may be more likely to find yourself facing the issue of camera lens fungus. These tips should help you avoid camera lens fungus problems.

  • Obviously, the best way to avoid lens fungus is to prevent moisture from entering the camera. Sometimes, unfortunately, this is unavoidable. However, try to avoid using the camera in high humidity areas and during wet weather. Stay out of the rain.

  • If your camera does become wet, you're going to want to try to dry it immediately. Open the camera's compartments and seal it in a zipped plastic bag with a silica gel pack, for example.

  • If you must operate your camera in high humidity, make sure you store the camera later in a dry, cool location. It's best if the container allows light to enter, as most types of fungus prefer darkness. However, don't leave the lens and camera in direct sunlight, which can damage the camera.

  • Fungus can be introduced to your camera and lens when you touch the lens surface and viewfinder. Try to avoid leaving fingerprints on these areas, and clean any fingerprints immediately with a clean, dry cloth.

  • Try to avoid blowing on the lens with your mouth to clear dust or breathing on the lens to purposefully fog the glass for cleaning purposes. The moisture in your breath could cause the fungus you're trying to avoid. Instead, use a blower brush to remove particles from the camera and a clean, dry cloth to clean the lens.

  • Finally, if you do encounter a lens fungus problem, the lens will need to be cleaned. A mixture of vinegar and water placed on a dry cloth can clean the fungus. However, because the fungus tends to grow inside lenses and between glass elements, cleaning the lens yourself is extremely difficult without damaging the lens components. Sending the affected lens to a camera repair center for cleaning is a good idea.

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