Lens Mold

- - posted in Ancient Archives

One thing that has particularly bothered me about the mold problem is that my camera and small collection of lenses were stored in the chest of drawers that had a patch of mold at the bottom. I had dismissed the idea of mold in lenses until I found my battered 30-year old binoculars, stored in the damp storeroom in the old flat, with mold inside, and then read that mold etches the glass in a lens: if it gets in and grows then your lens is ruined. While we’ve been cleaning the flat I’ve been keeping my photography kit packed up in my backpack, and moving it from room to room.

After more research and talking with a rather helpful person in Calumet I think I may be worrying too much, as usual. There seems to be very little info on the web about lenses and mold, and that hopefully indicates that outside a few very humid countries it isn’t usually a problem. Keeping old lenses in leather cases (as my binoculars were) is a known cause of lens mold. Some older lenses were made with parts that were biodegradable and considered tasty by mold. With modern lenses, stored relatively well and used occasionally, it shouldn’t occur. I used to collect all the packets of silica gel that arrive with hardware and scatter them about near my camera. Just to be on the safe side I’ve bought two 500g bags of Silica gel from Fred Aldous.

I also need to get out with the camera more: sunlight kills mold spores.