Cleaning Zuiko 50/1.4

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One thing that always bothered me with my dad’s old Olympus is the glass that came with it.

The camera works perfectly, but both the Zuiko Auto-S 50mm f/1.4 and the Makinon 24mm f/2.8 had fungus; the 50mm with much greater extent, covering almost the entire surface of the front elements.
Being this the most used and travelled lens, the situation was getting worse, to the point that image brightness and sharpness were being greatly affected.

Zuiko Auto-S 50mm f/1.4

So the other day, while I had some free time, I decided to open the Zuiko and clean the fungus inside…to no avail.
I managed to remove the rear mount, the rear cover and get to the back elements. Got those cleaned and nearly perfect.
Continued to struggle with the front side, removing the filter and aperture rings. All was going great…until I got the front elements.

As you can see on the respective diagram on the bottom of this page, the front element is actually 3 glass elements sealed together into a single piece. I could’ve unscrewed the very front element and get to the other 2 but unfortunately I didn’t have the tools required to do so…

So yeah, I ended up opening the entire thing and cleaning 40% of the fungus, at most. This is not a *success* article, I wish it was.
Remember to prevent this kind of thing by keeping your glass in a dry place along with a silica desiccant bag. UV light is also said to keep the little bastards away.

Still, I shot 36 exposures last week just to try it out and got it developed yesterday. Pictures will soon be posted, stay tuned.


The final shot

Hi there, welcome to my blog! I'm Filipe Varela, a designer at Automattic, and am passionate about photography and video. In this site I post photos from my journeys and daily ramblings — in sum, a slice of life. Browse through the archive or check the homepage for the latest posts.