What to do with a Fungus affected Zoom-Nikkor 180-600mm f/8.0 ED (pre-Ai Version)

KooperChaos

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Hello everybody!

I started this summer with digging out my fathers old photo equipment to try analogue photography. When I checked the lenses looking for fungus, I noticed that many of them are unfortunately affected. The above mentioned 180 mm-600 mm aswell. When I did a bit of research about fungus I realised that it's almost always cheaper to just buy a used lense from eBay since the old Nikor lenses became dirt-cheap over the years.
But I was wondering what's about the 180mm-600mm lense? I've read some where that there weren't that many made of the lense, so I was wondering if it would be worth it to send it to a repairman for a clean up. The lense has fungus on multiple inner elements. How much would a clean up approximately cost? Or is it aswell a case of "just buy a used one from eBay"? Is the number of produced lenses of that type really relativly small? (I think I've read something around 1000)

Tanks for any replies,

with best regards
KooperChaos.
 

480sparky

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A rare bird indeed, but it would depend on which version of the lens you have.

I would certainly check with a qualified repair shop to see what it would cost.
 

vintagesnaps

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Supposedly fungus is difficult to do anything about, but I agree with Sparky about having it looked at and get an estimate on cost and find out realistically what can be done with it.
 

480sparky

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KooperChaos

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A rare bird indeed, but it would depend on which version of the lens you have.

It is the pre-AI version, serialnumber 174058

According to Nikon Lens Versions and Serial Nos, only about 100 made. It appears you have the 5th one off the line.

Uh... that makes restoring it a worthwhile consideration... I'll contact focalpoint on Monday to get a idea of how expensive the repair would be. Considering that I've never took a lense apart I doubt that it would be a good idea to do it on my own... especially since it is a very complex lense and the fungus is on multiple inner elements as it appears. (not to forget that there are not that many of them... I don't want to destroy it! which unfortunately would be the most likely outcome of a selfrepair attempt)
 

compur

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That lens has 18 glass elements. Not exactly a piece of cake to clean up. And, with film gear, it's usually wiser to buy another than to have the original one repaired.

But, on the other hand I doubt you'd find another of that same lens at a "dirt cheap" price. It's pretty rare and rare Nikkors aren't cheap. If it cost, say, $500 to clean up then you'd still be ahead, I would think since your original cost was zero. (Assuming it is otherwise in good shape.)

BTW, there's an AIS version of this lens for sale on eBay USA right now with the "eBay asking price" of $4,200

Translation: "eBay asking price" = reality times 3
 
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480sparky

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Ah, just send it to me. I'll clean it up.

Of course, I'll need 15 or 20 years to test it to make sure the fungus doesn't return. :allteeth:
 

Dave Colangelo

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It really depends on the type of fungus and how its effected the lens. There is no way to truly know what you can do until you open it up. You can find my similar attempt here. But it boils down to the following. Some fungus/mold is superficial and will come off with soap+water or a light application of naptha or something similar. If this is the case you may be in luck. The issue comes with some fungus that releases an acid capable of etching the glass surface its self. In this case the physical element may be damaged or scratched which is where the problems arise. However since most stuff seeps in around the edges much of the damage tends to be closer to the edges of the elements so at small apertures you may still have a working lens.

If this lens is as rare as it seems to be it sounds like its worth restoring. Keep in mind all nikon F-Mount lenses work on pretty much all modern nikon DSLR's so the lens may still hold lots of value as its still more than usable. I would hunt for a decent repair facility and see what they can do about it.

Dave
 

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