I recently had a bad case of fungus in a Sony kit lens. The fungus was between the two outermost lenses that are assembled together in a glued plastic case.
I placed it in a cleaned vacuum box with enough rubbing alcohol to submerge it — I actually had to tilt the box to cover everything, so I should have added more.
I first cleaned everything very thoroughly.
I sucked all the air out of the container and watched small bubbles leave the lens.
I then let air back in. Make sure the lens elements are fully covered with alcohol so that it can seep in.
Alcohol between the lenses:
Now empty the box, put the lens back, and suck the air out. It almost all came out in the first go, but you may need to experiment with the orientation of the lens because the leaking hole needs to be below the alcohol.
The last droplet wouldn’t come out with suction.
Now, this is a crucial step. If you just let the alcohol evaporate, it can leave a dried-out mark.
So here’s what you can do: swing the lens in your arm so that the alcohol creeps to the edge and then leave the lens to dry upright, standing on the spot where the droplet went so that it stays down there at the lowest point.
Voila! A fixed lens!
The stuff that’s seen on the outer ring is all that was left from the alcohol residue drying by itself. There’s no haze or any remnant at all on the rest of the lens.
After this initial attempt, I repeated the process a second time and ended up with a lens with absolutely no residue at all.
Read also: How to Remove Fungus from a Lens
In hindsight, I would have placed the lens in a new clean Ziploc bag with alcohol and then put that in the vacuum box to avoid any dust or grease completely.
Warning: If you don’t know what you’re doing, it’s always safer to send your camera equipment to authorized repair services. These types of do-it-yourself repairs should be done at your own risk — and when it comes to things as sensitive/delicate as camera equipment, the risks can be great.
About the author: Lasse Reinhold is a hobbyist photographer based in Denmark. The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author.