Not for the faint of heart: 55-200mm partial tear down

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Sebastien Guyader
Sebastien Guyader Contributing Member • Posts: 601
Not for the faint of heart: 55-200mm partial tear down
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I live in a tropical, with a quite humid climate, and my apartment is particularly humid. As a result, fungus grew on my 2 lenses' rear elements (55-200mm zoom and 23mm f/1.4). Ok, some of you guy will tell me I should have protected my lenses, but I just thought it would not happen on quality glass... Silly me, lesson learned.

Living on an island in the middle of the Caribbean, sending my lenses for cleaning would cost me quite a lot of money because of the cost of overseas shipping, added to the cost of cleaning by a professional (I don't know if there are any local professionals, but I wouldn't trust them more than myself).

So, I decided I'd try to disassemble the rear elements and try to clean the fungus, being inspired by some tutorials and videos I found on the internet. Starting with the 55-200, using some information from the guys at Lens Rentals who did the disassembly. Then I saw with horror that not only the rear element was affected, but also the third element inside the zoom. Getting to rear element and removing it for cleaning was not too hard, but I didn't dare going deeper (actually the Lens Rentals tear-down page didn't give me enough step-by-step details to go further. But I was able to use a cotton swab and put some ammonia/H2O2 mixture on the fungus spot on the middle zoom element (which is behind a second lens element) and prayed it would work.

Then I cleaned the mixture, used an air blower to dry the glass and remove any dust/lint left over, and proceeded to reassemble the zoom.

Half way of reassembly

Sorry, it's the only image I took of the process. But I'm proud to say that the lens is cleaner. There's still some traces of fungus on the rear element, I should have let it soak longer in the cleaning mixture, but now I know I can do it and if I need, I'll clean it again more thoroughly. And I'm even prouder to say that the lens is 100% working!

Now the 23mm f/1.4 is waiting for its turn...

 Sebastien Guyader's gear list:Sebastien Guyader's gear list
Fujifilm X-T2 Fujifilm XF 55-200mm F3.5-4.8 R LM OIS Fujifilm XF 23mm F1.4 R Samyang 12mm F2 NCS CS Gimp +1 more
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