Rationalizations and Reasons

Dear J-

I got a screamin’ deal on this lens, but at a price: it’s infected with fungus. I’ve had lenses with a little fungus before and it wasn’t too big of a deal — the fungus didn’t spread, and I didn’t hang on to the lenses long enough for it to spread to other lenses. This one, thogugh, I wonder: as it’s clearly been sitting in dark storage for too long, the fungus is pretty advanced (did they discover this in a swamp and clean it up before selling it?) and has spread over more than one element. The coating is likely irreparably damged by now and I’d gotten this as part of a projected lightweight two-lens that if my experience with the other lens is any indication, I’m only going to use occasionally enough to ensure that the fungus is only going to spread unless I take action to kill it now.if you’re not familiar with lens fungus it sounds just as the name implies: it’s a thready-looking organism that thrives in damp, dark places, like lenses stored in high humidity and never exercised. Given time and opportunity it can be arrested and killed but it may not be worth it in this case with clean lenses going for a few hundred dollars more.

I’m willing to accept it but I’ve fed my paranoia by wondering how contagious it is: if I use it regularly, is it going to spread to other lenses? This particular lens is a 4x zoom notorious for being an air-pumper as it grows during zooming to almost double the volume. Does that mean that spores are being blown back from the lens into the body? It’s almost worth saving the inevitable fight (and peace of mind regarding this fungal contagion) to return the lens within the allotted week, no muss no fuss. The advantages of keeping the lens are relatively few (I already have this focal length range covered albeit at greater weight, and I would be driven insane if the rest of the lenses got infected) and advantages are few but it’s still not an easy choice. But as Spock says the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few — or the one — so I’m thinking baack it goes.

I may end up getting one of these lenses evventually in the future, but I’m happy enough with what I’ve got and I remember passing up other opportunities to get the lens in the past, as we needed the money for other things. Call it my Christmas givt to myself or at least to my sanity: google searches are pretty evenly divided over the potential for spreading lens fungus and we live in a dry enough climate that it wouldn’t be an issue anyway but if I didn’t need it before, I don’t need it now and certainly not at the expense of the other glass in the stable.



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