Author Topic: Lens haze - What cause? Is that that bad?  (Read 473 times)

Zang

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Lens haze - What cause? Is that that bad?
« on: January 14, 2021, 06:15:32 »
Hi all,

I have collected tons of 'junky' lenses but I had never seen hazing issues, well, until I bought the last one which is not a junky one at all. When looking at the rear element under some specific angle, I noticed some small areas (1mm diameter) that look slightly foggy. If I change my eyes to a different angle, the element look clear again and the blotches become almost if not completely unnoticeable. Those things cannot be cleaned, for sure as I already tried. My feeling is they do not affect the picture quality in a noticeable way as they cover very small portion of the surface and they do not look bad.

Have you guys seen similar issue? What are the most common causes and is it a growing problem over time?

Cheers,
Zang

David H. Hartman

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Re: Lens haze - What cause? Is that that bad?
« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2021, 07:57:57 »
The haze or marks, are these on the inside or outside of the lens?  is this a Nikkor lenses or other makers lens? Is the lens multi-coated or single coated?

I'll forbear guessing what this haze or these marks are until there is some clarification. Can you offer photos of the haze or marks?

Dave
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MEPER

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Re: Lens haze - What cause? Is that that bad?
« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2021, 08:42:39 »
I have an old Tessar lens for my old Contax rangefinder where there are some slight haze in between two elements that are cemented together.
This is not easy to clean. Otherwise I think haze can be cleaned if caused by e.g. lubricants that has evaporated.

David H. Hartman

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Re: Lens haze - What cause? Is that that bad?
« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2021, 08:51:31 »
Good that I didn't guess as I would have been well away from the mark. I'm sure you get some answers soon.

Dave
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oddb1ts

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Re: Lens haze - What cause? Is that that bad?
« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2021, 09:42:20 »
Hi all,

I have collected tons of 'junky' lenses but I had never seen hazing issues, well, until I bought the last one which is not a junky one at all. When looking at the rear element under some specific angle, I noticed some small areas (1mm diameter) that look slightly foggy. If I change my eyes to a different angle, the element look clear again and the blotches become almost if not completely unnoticeable. Those things cannot be cleaned, for sure as I already tried. My feeling is they do not affect the picture quality in a noticeable way as they cover very small portion of the surface and they do not look bad.

Have you guys seen similar issue? What are the most common causes and is it a growing problem over time?

Cheers,
Zang

Hi Sound like lens separation , the glue in lens gets old and starts to separate , causing a mist or fog,  The nikon 35-70 f2.8 is bad for it , and most of the time the lens is great to use as long as you do not shoot towards the sun, this is where you will see the effect of fogging . Not sure if it is a growing problem for newer lens , but it would be for older lens.
I used to buy old lens at boot sales , some had some bad misting and cleaned up well , but some were glued and not so easy to clean and not worth the effort.  some great old lens out there..

Birna Rørslett

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Re: Lens haze - What cause? Is that that bad?
« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2021, 09:48:51 »
Drop-like deposits from evaporated lubricants can sometimes occur, but these would be on the inside not the outside of the affected lens element. Sea spray can make similar deposits and these are on the outside. Can be tough to clean, through.

Early fungus spots can also appear in the described manner. They typically have a core surrounded by more loose web at least when the infection spreads further.

Store the lens under dry conditions and use it frequently in sunshine, that'll usually take care of the milder fungi-related issues. You should, however, consider cleaning the lens to get rid of the fungus as sooner or later it will adversely impact lens coatings (which supplies the "food").


Zang

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Re: Lens haze - What cause? Is that that bad?
« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2021, 15:18:09 »
The haze or marks, are these on the inside or outside of the lens?  is this a Nikkor lenses or other makers lens? Is the lens multi-coated or single coated?

I'll forbear guessing what this haze or these marks are until there is some clarification. Can you offer photos of the haze or marks?

Dave

Hey Dave,
This is a good question. I can't definitely tell, but it seems like they are on the outer side. The lens is Contax Zeiss Makro-Planar 100mm f2.8 to be exact. The lens is multicoated. I'll try taking some picture later today, but it will be really hard.

Cheers,
Zang

Zang

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Re: Lens haze - What cause? Is that that bad?
« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2021, 15:24:48 »
Drop-like deposits from evaporated lubricants can sometimes occur, but these would be on the inside not the outside of the affected lens element. Sea spray can make similar deposits and these are on the outside. Can be tough to clean, through.

Early fungus spots can also appear in the described manner. They typically have a core surrounded by more loose web at least when the infection spreads further.

Store the lens under dry conditions and use it frequently in sunshine, that'll usually take care of the milder fungi-related issues. You should, however, consider cleaning the lens to get rid of the fungus as sooner or later it will adversely impact lens coatings (which supplies the "food").

Hi Birna,

Without much experience and knowledge, My guess this is not fungus. The affected areas are of smooth and consistent shade. They are only visible under some angle of view. My old lenses from early 90's were stored for 20 years under my staircase and they still look crystal clear today.

Cheers,
Zang

Zang

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Re: Lens haze - What cause? Is that that bad?
« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2021, 15:34:13 »
Hi Sound like lens separation , the glue in lens gets old and starts to separate , causing a mist or fog,  The nikon 35-70 f2.8 is bad for it , and most of the time the lens is great to use as long as you do not shoot towards the sun, this is where you will see the effect of fogging . Not sure if it is a growing problem for newer lens , but it would be for older lens.
I used to buy old lens at boot sales , some had some bad misting and cleaned up well , but some were glued and not so easy to clean and not worth the effort.  some great old lens out there..

Hi,

Looking at the design of the lens, I do not see gluing anywhere so that is ruled out.

Cheers,
Zang

David H. Hartman

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Re: Lens haze - What cause? Is that that bad?
« Reply #9 on: January 14, 2021, 21:36:29 »
Hey Dave,
This is a good question. I can't definitely tell, but it seems like they are on the outer side. The lens is Contax Zeiss Makro-Planar 100mm f2.8 to be exact. The lens is multicoated. I'll try taking some picture later today, but it will be really hard.

Cheers,
Zang

Zang,

If your lens were a Nikkor F-bayonet, EL-Nikkor enlarging lens or Nikkor-W, SW or M view camera lens from the 70's and later and probably most and maybe all from the mid 60's I would recommend using Regent Grade Anhydrous Methyl Alcohol as a lens cleaner. Please verify this as I'm not at home to check but I recall this form of alcohol was recommended in a Nikkor-W Instruction Manual that came with my Nikkor-W 210mm f/5.6 and other Nikon view camera lenses. Methyl alcohol should NOT be applied to any painted surfaces as it is or was the primary ingredient in Lacquer Thinner. I am not sure about plastics used in modern AF Nikkor lenses.

A counter indication: I used anhydrous methyl alcohol on a Schneider 135mm f/5.6 Componon-S enlarging lens with a vintage of 1973-74 and the methyl alcohol stripped the flat black paint between the filter threads and the glass surface. I smeared the black paint on the surface of the glass. It was easily cleaned off the glass and I re-blacked the area the paint came from. This is why I asked about the maker and age of the lens.

Multi-Coated lenses reflect less light from their surface compared to single coated lenses so minor impurities, smudges and swirls on the surface are more easily seen as these frequently reflect more light than the lens surface. A careful inspection of single-coated lenses can reveal that smudges and swirls are present.

When multi-coated lenses first came on the market people used soap based lens cleaners like Kodak Lens Cleaner and complained that multi-coated lenses were difficult to clean. In my experience they are not more difficult to clean when the correct lens cleaner is used. Distilled water was frequently recommended as a cleaner but distilled water is not a solvent of grease and oil so its effectiveness is limited.

Methyl alcohol is an aggressive solvent of grease and oil and regent grade methyl alcohol is 99% + pure and free of particles down to a few microns.  It is expensive at around $30.00/500mm (USD). Methyl alcohol is an effective lens cleaner for lenses on which it is safe to use. I'm quite sure I've used methyl alcohol on a 1969 vintage 50mm f/1.4 Nikkor-S and other Nikkor lenses of that era with no problems.

Dave

Away from home, I've been using 91% isopropyl alcohol as a lens cleaner. Any comments?
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Erik Lund

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Re: Lens haze - What cause? Is that that bad?
« Reply #10 on: January 14, 2021, 21:47:24 »
Please take some close up images of the issue  :D  makes it much easier to see if it's fungus or what it is. Thx
Erik Lund

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Re: Lens haze - What cause? Is that that bad?
« Reply #11 on: January 14, 2021, 21:58:39 »
Hi,

Looking at the design of the lens, I do not see gluing anywhere so that is ruled out.

Cheers,
Zang

The lens is called 7 lenses in 7 groups but what about the thick lens element no. 3 from the front. Could this lens element be made of two lenses cemented together or would the lens then be 8 lenses in 7 groups?

Roland Vink

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Re: Lens haze - What cause? Is that that bad?
« Reply #12 on: January 14, 2021, 23:22:10 »
If the thi
The lens is called 7 lenses in 7 groups but what about the thick lens element no. 3 from the front. Could this lens element be made of two lenses cemented together or would the lens then be 8 lenses in 7 groups?
If the thick lens was two lenses cemented together it would be shown on the lens diagram and it would be 8 elements in 7 groups. It looks pretty clear the lens is just 7/7 elements/groups, with no cemented lenses.


Matthew Currie

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Re: Lens haze - What cause? Is that that bad?
« Reply #13 on: January 14, 2021, 23:22:58 »
I've never noticed big problems from a little fungus or the like on surfaces, but some haze really seems to ruin a lens.  I had one 20/2.8D lens that developed heavy and even haze inside a glued element, and that basically killed the lens.  Images looked lousy and had no contrast.  Unfortunately the exotic glue seems not to be easy to duplicate, and a valiant attempt by a local repairman produced a nicely clean, clear lens too soft to serve.

I have a 35/2.8 "New Nikkor" that developed some kind of haze on the outside of an element inside.  Again, it was fairly even and dense, not looking like the usual stringy fungus.  That also lost a lot of contrast and quality.  But because it's the lens it is, I opened it with little more than bare hands and easily cleaned it up with plain old isopropyl alcohol and a slightly used sensor swab.  I don't worry too much about the permanence of this fix, since it's so easy to do again.

Roland Vink

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Re: Lens haze - What cause? Is that that bad?
« Reply #14 on: January 14, 2021, 23:31:35 »
... I can't definitely tell, but it seems like they are on the outer side
... My guess this is not fungus. The affected areas are of smooth and consistent shade. They are only visible under some angle of view.
It seems like a layer of oil or something which has accumulated around the edged of the lens. A very thin layer would not affect optical properties and would only be visible at certain angles. Being at the edges it is harder to clean so may have remained after regular cleaning. If it is on the front element (outer side) I'd suggest putting a drop of lens cleaning fluid on lens cleaning tissue and try getting right into the edges of the lens. But as others have suggested, posting a picture of the affected lens would be useful.