Inexpensive vintage lenses have many potential uses and are easy to find for sale on websites like Ebay and Craigslist, and from film aficionados to video makers to mirrorless shooters there are plenty of people on the hunt for these lenses today. They can be fantastic value, but when shopping the used market for them there are some flaws to keep in mind when inspecting pre-purchase.
One of these issues, fungus, has a fairly simple and painless fix. It involves a little tinkering, but if you’re not normally the type to dig into your newly acquired photography equipment’s innards for repairs, this video from YouTuber Mathieu Stern will walk you through the process.
You Will Need:
•A Lens Wrench
•Quality Paper Towels
Use the lens wrench to remove the front of the lens. Once it’s off, the glass will be removable.
Using hot water, wash the glass with dish soap and use the paper towels to carefully press it dry and follow with a white vinegar rinse to remove any calcareous residue.
One it’s good and clean, handling the glass with rubber gloves to prevent smudges, put it back into the barrel and put the front back on.
It’s not brain surgery, but the nature of the task may make it seem daunting to some people who are nervous about damaging their lens. It’s a valid concern, but less worrisome with these cheap, old lenses, and a video guide.
With this technique in mind, you can feel a bit more comfortable purchasing vintage lenses online where you can’t physically hold the lens and look inside for fungus. Surely the technique works best on simple lenses and is probably best suited to primes, but in the era when these lenses were made, zoom lenses didn’t have anywhere near the quality that they do today anyway. Happy bargain lens hunting. Let us know in the comments what your favorite vintage lenses are and how you use them!